Salt Block Art

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lick1Do you consider your cows’ salt block art? Rancher Whit Deschner does, and has used the unusual ‘art’ to raise money for Parkinson’s disease research1

Whit Deschner is probably the world’s foremost connoisseur of salt block art. These sculptures start out as 50-pound cubes of salt, about a foot long on each side. Ranchers give them to their livestock as nutritional supplements. Six years ago, Deschner was visiting a buddy who had put a block out in front of his cabin. It caught their eye.

What the cows left behind looked like a swirling sculpture of grooves, pinnacles and even a small porthole. To Deschner, there was only one thing to do.

“Why not have a salt lick art contest?” he says.

And over the years, Deschner has raised more than $30,000.

Putting on the Great Salt Lick is a community effort, and on the night of the auction, the mayor and his band kick things off with some cowboy tunes.

One by one, the salt licks are brought to the stage and Daley takes off with the bidding. Blocks sell for about $5 at the feed store, but here most sell for $200 or $300. And a few of the more unusual pieces hit $1,000.

In the end, the auction raises well over $12,000, shattering last year’s record.

Source: NPR, This story was made possible with support from the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation.