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Lee Pitts

California cattleman Lee Pitts provides his brand of humor on issues surrounding the ag industry.

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I’ve read that many writers have a hard time letting themselves be happy. I don’t know if it’s the actual writing that causes depression or if depressed people are just drawn to the job.

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Wine tastings are so over. The trendy thing now in California and Europe are dirt tastings, in which folks with seemingly too much money and not enough to do swirl a muddy concoction of dirt in a glass, hold it up to the light, stick their snoot in a soil slurry full of humus and then make sophisticated statements such as, “It’s a bit dusty, but I taste an echo of loam with just the right notes of compost. And was that a hint of clay on the mid-palate?”

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Have you attended one of these auctions where bulls are sold in a theater-like setting, displayed on a big screen and aren’t run through the ring? It’s heresy, I say. Pure laziness.

I think a purebred Brangus breeder in Texas was the first to have the courage to try a bull sale without all the bull, and this past fall more breeders used the format.

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I was talking to my friend Phil on Thanksgiving about his father, Peter Tognazzini, and I mentioned that there would be a good turnout for his funeral. Phil, in his modest manner, said, “Why would there be a crowd? He was just a rancher.”

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Billionaires have rediscovered land as a secure investment, and my neighbor ReRide and I were wondering what kind of neighbors these new ranchers will be.

“They’ll make awful neighbors,” opined ReRide. “Them and their huge ranches that cover two time zones and their pressed jeans, 100-dollar monogrammed shirts, with their cows all the same color.

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’Twas the night before Christmas and the family was en route to Grandma’s house. As they motored through the intersection of a small sleepy town, the ill-mannered child in the back seat yelled into his father’s ear, “It’s him; it’s him; it’s Santa Claus!”

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