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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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This month, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to discuss barn cats (barnicus caticus). I say “cats” plural, because it is impossible to have a single barn cat for more than three days. After three days, you will suddenly find your cats have multiplied according to the Fibonacci sequence (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 …), or your one barn cat has turned into no barn cats.

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Although video sales are gaining a foothold on the cattle trade, most calves still transfer from rancher to feeder through a sale barn. And if there is a sale, it is a requirement that there is a veterinarian on site.

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Y’all know Lonesome Dove, right? The iconic mini-series, the Pulitzer Prize winning novel and arguably the most popular Western ever. As I rule, I don’t love Western movies, and I honestly despise the poor acting (and horseback riding) of John Wayne, but I get sucked in every time those trumpets begin the haunting melody of the Lonesome Dove theme song.

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She came barreling into the house, breathless. “Call Daddy right away. Bud is running up the lane.” Taking a gulp of air, she continues, “His saddle’s still on and is bleeding really bad and, and I think he is hurt really bad. Please hurry, call Daddy.”

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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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