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Baxter Black

Baxter Black is a cowboy poet, author, vaquero philosophizer, left-handed roper and former large animal veterinarian.

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I can’t remember how many songs Martin wrote, probably half of my notebook full of livin’ room hits! I guess nobody knew me as well as Martin. All those sad love songs, honky tonk songs, funny ones, bluegrass, country, cowboy, even the occasional gospel song, he heard first.

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Joe Camacho is a cage fighter. Can you imagine his mother saying, as he goes off to fight the front line of the Oakland Raiders, “Be careful, Joey, and don’t get hurt.”

I caught myself giving that same instruction to my son as he went off to his high school soccer game. As a soccer veteran, over the years he’s already had a succession of concussions, sprains, cracks, pulls, punches, cracks, whops, whacks and smashes! “I will,” he said, as he limped out the door.

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Typically smaller, more rural communities have no veterinarian, or at least none that will take a calving call or a horse colic emergency.

Veterinary schools, veterinary associations, concerned farmers and isolated ranchers continue their search for new veterinarians interested in practicing Food Animal and Equine medicine. While we are searching in our front yard it is possible that the answer is sneaking up behind us.

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This Memorial Day my thoughts go back to a friend from college, Clovis May. Mild mannered, hard working, good cowboy from a ranching family in Deming, New Mexico. I don’t recall exactly what his major was, but probably Range Management or Ag Business. He was big enough to play football, but he rodeoed. A solid man in character, physicality and reliability.

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As the percent of farmers continues to decrease in proportion to the population, it seems the harder the ANTIs (HSUS, PETA, Sierra Club, name one) try to increase America’s dependence on foreign food just as they have done with manufacturing, energy, timber and steel. They have the foresight of a mayfly.

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Many of us took a meats course in college or have dressed wild game and have a basic understanding of how it gets from the pasture to the plate. Harry is not one of us, in that regard.

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