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Guest Blog

Read about different aspects of the industry from a variety of perspectives. Guest writers include cattle producers and beef industry experts.

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They call them the dog days of summer. I always figured it was because a person felt like lying in the shade all day and barking at folks that bothered him, like an old cow dog. National Geographic tells me it has something to do with the Dog Star the Romans would see in July. I didn’t realize it was so hot there that even the stars want to lie around all day too.

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Some years ago, I was in Dallas for one of the charity events we support, and a guy asked me what I “do.” I gave my usual, “I’m in agriculture,” which always seems to lead to the inquiry of whether we have a ranch and then to the rather personal follow up question of, “How big is it?” But he caught me off-guard with, “That’s the life. Outside whenever you want, nature all around. No crowds, no traffic, no pollution or crime. I want something like that.”

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Staring at that wall of billowing, black clouds racing across the prairie makes a grown man shake in his boots. The terror nature unleased on the western Corn Belt in the ides of May unfolded rapidly, leaving a swath of destruction in its wake.

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"If guys wanted to tighten up their calving window, it's really an ingenious and not too complicated way to do it," my sister-in-law's father, Dallin, says. We are at my niece's birthday party, and like it does when you get cattle people together, the conversation quickly turns to business.

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If you’re a cow-calf veterinarian, you spend quite a bit of time becoming closely acquainted with a number of bulls every spring – probably more than you’d care to be.

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If you walked across my pastures, you wouldn’t believe there is a fertilizer shortage. Heck, even the smallest cattle yards have a devil of a time getting rid of all the manure our blessed beasts produce.

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