Current Progressive Cattle digital edition

Baxter Black

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


This is one of those stories that sound so unbelievable you’ll know I didn’t make it up.

Mike studied the bloodlines. He checked performance records. He knew his herd like the top two layers of his tool box. He was a good young cattleman. When he decided on the course of action to improve his herd’s genetics, he called the breed association rep.

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There’s an old saying: “A cowboy is born, not made.” However, I’d like to propose that if you’re hirin’ a cowboy to help you take care of your stock, you might look twice.

You can’t necessarily assume that because he’s got a black hat and is broke, he’s a cowboy.

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Chocolate-covered chicken kidneys, beef liver or sliced pork tongue, expensively and individually wrapped in foil.

The closest thing you can get to jerky and still pay fresh meat prices.

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I went to America last week …the middle of America, Kansas, to a county fair. I flew into Denver and drove across miles and miles of green prairie. If America has a heart, it’s out here on the Plains. It’s not an easy place to live.

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When you hear cowboys tellin’ stories, it’s common for a listener to say, “It’s a wonder you weren’t killed.”

“Well, all I did was rope that sorry, no good, fightin’ bull with the crooked horn and tie him to a post in the corral, then throw another rope on him and tied it to the other side, then pulled him tight ’cause I was by myself, you know.

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I have been a travelin’ man a good part of my life. Most of my speakin’ jobs are Friday and Saturday nights, so Sunday means I’m usually on the road and headed home.

For me, Sunday morning on the road is a good part of bein’ me. Nine times out of 10 I’m in a rent car drivin’ to an airport where I board a flight to a major hub where I connect to another flight that gets me within an hour of bein’ home.

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