Current Progressive Cattleman digital edition


Read online content from popular Progressive Cattleman columnists including Paul Marchant (Irons in the fire), Lee Pitts (It's the Pitts), Baxter Black (On the edge of common sense) and Yevet Tenney (Just dropping by), plus comments from Progressive Cattleman editors.


A cowboy is the way he is
because he works with stock.
He’s learned it’s best to ease along
To find the rhythm in their song
And not to fret if days are long
’cause cows don’t punch a clock.

That separates him from the crowd
that keeps a job in town
That stack the boxes all in rows
Or bolt the knobs on radios
But when the evening whistle blows
They lay the hammer down.

“A job ain’t done until it’s done,”
that’s life down on the farm.
To gather those who tend to stray
To treat the sick on Christmas Day
And if she needs your help, to stay.
Until she’s safe from harm.

You see, you can’t just quit a cow.
Sometimes yer all she’s got.
No reinforcements in the hall
No nine-one-one to hear her call
Just you. Nobody else, that’s all,
to get her through the spot.

His calling is as old as time.
It is, will be and was.
Through blizzards, bogs
and bob wire fence
He stands against the pestilence
And though he feigns indifference,
he’s proud of what he does.

It’s done without a second thought
by those who tend the flock
“It’s what I do,” you’ll hear them say
With no demand for higher pay
And I believe they are that way
because we work with stock. end mark

In general, I hold pretty fast to a few steady and consistent rules of thumb. One such rule has to do with sticking to your strengths, at least when you’re out in public view. Another fairly reliable and ironic adage is that there is an exception or two to every rule.

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Show up to any cattle sale, and you are sure to see a variety of cowboys. Folks who don’t know agriculture assume all cowboys are the same, but saying one cowboy is the same as all the others is like saying a horse is the same as a pony. (Gasp!)

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My eyes glaze over, and I look for the nearest soda pop machine.

It’s another spiel on telling our story.

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It takes a special kind of person to be a veterinarian. Not special like the kind of person that fosters troubled kids or dedicates their life to ending world hunger, but the kind of special that makes you wonder where the wiring went a bit awry in the ol’ noggin.

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When I worked at Farm Credit, I’d categorize my ranching customers based on my perception of their potential profitability in an attempt to get a “feel” for the kind of finance relationship I could expect.

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