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Lee Pitts

California cattleman Lee Pitts provides his brand of humor on issues surrounding the ag industry.

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I have mixed emotions about the show ring and where it fits in with today’s data-driven cattle business. I grew up showing cattle and being on judging teams, and I think I learned more in those activities than I ever did in school.

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I can’t imagine a Christmas without kids. Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas are made special by those with wet diapers, no hair or teeth. And that’s just the old fogies among us; the babies are even more entertaining.

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Just as America is doing, the cattle industry is separating itself into two classes: the Haves and Have-Nots. According to the USDA, 57 percent of American ranchers have less than 20 cows, and the average herd is only 42 head.

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Despite having lived in, or near, rattlesnake country my entire life, I’ve never known anyone who actually got bit by one, let alone got bit and lived to tell the tale. Until now, that is.

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You can’t pick up an ag publication these days without finding a story on how drones will revolutionize the cow business. Supposedly, they’ll do everything from checking on float valves to spotting a trespassing hunter.

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Among the many things I enjoy about raising animals is watching their interpersonal relationships. If there was such a thing, I think I’d have made a very good cow, sheep, pig or horse psychologist. Wisely, I considered their ability to pay and became a writer instead, which pays only slightly better than a tightwad hog would.

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