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From the Editor

Read commentary from Progressive Cattle editors, ranging from the origin of specific magazine articles to thoughts about industry trends.

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I recently attended a manager’s academy for dairy producers where I participated in an excellent seminar on negotiating by Linda Swindling, a lawyer from Texas (yes, you may laugh). I don’t particularly care for the term “negotiation.” To me, it means one of two things: “hostage situation,” or “you are going to lose.”

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If you’ve ever watched the Titanic movie from the 1990s, you might remember some actual footage of the sunken ship. With submersibles and robotic cameras, viewers caught glimpses of the somber atmosphere resting at the bottom of the Atlantic.

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It was the third straight Christmas we lived far from home. I worked in a college town in the deep South, where it never snowed at Christmas.

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Let me start this year’s Thanksgiving column by admitting that our family won’t be cooking a traditional meal come Nov. 25. The household has thinned over the years, and my wife and I have soured over the commitment to cook for eight hours only to eat together for 30 minutes.

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The cattle cycle – wherein inventory goes from lows to a recovery to herd highs, followed by liquidation, and then repeats itself – lasts about eight to 10 years.

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I grew up on a ranch about four hours away from where I live and work now. It’s about an hour from there to the nearest town with an actual stoplight and an additional half hour to the nearest Walmart. There are more cows than people, and the mountains are only a breath away. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss it. 

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