Current Progressive Cattle digital edition

Lee Pitts

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


Many college graduates are now finding that it made no sense to spend $200,000 of their parents’ money or go in debt $100,000 for a degree just to discuss the classics with other college grads in the unemployment line.

Some schools now are offering “diseducation” courses to untrain people who are having difficulty getting jobs because they are overqualified.

While these overeducated people had their heads buried in books, their high school classmates who didn’t go to college were getting all the jobs.

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One of the unwritten rules that city people live by is that if you haven’t heard a rumor by 10 o’clock in the morning, then you are supposed to start one.

Ordinarily, I don’t care about such gossipy town talk, unless it’s about me of course, but years ago my wife and I were the victim of a very damaging rumor.

And it was started by none other than the local police in the town where we leased a ranch.

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The key to a successful auction is speed, which builds the auctioneer’s best friend: momentum. Never give buyers the opportunity to think rationally; that’s the theory. But there are people who act as auction speedbumps. Here are a few.

Two Bits – This bidder always wants to cut the bid. If the auctioneer is taking $100 bids he’ll offer $50; if it’s 10 cents he’ll offer a nickel, all of which makes the auctioneer chant tongue-twisting numbers he wouldn’t ordinarily use.

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One of my favorite magazines is the National Junior Livestock Exhibitor, and it’s not just because they have carried my column for years. It’s just that underneath my cowboy exterior lies the heart of a steer jock.

I enjoy looking at pictures of winning show steers. I always have. While other boys’ bedrooms were filled with pictures of baseball players, every spare inch of my room was covered with newspaper and magazine clippings of winning show steers.

Even after I reached puberty – about my first year of college, I think it was – I thought more of steers than I did girls. I’ve had more dates with Angus than I ever did with women.

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Some people are just an accident waiting to happen. Take my friend ReRide for example. Getting hurt is ReRide’s “Achilles heel,” which is about the only part of his body he hasn’t broken, strained, cut, burned or shattered.

Not that I go around checking out other males’ anatomies or anything, but a mere glimpse of ReRide’s carcass is enough to make any woman become a nun.

Years ago, we were working our calves and since we had all day to process 100 head, about mid-morning we decided to take a well-deserved break.

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I’m a hot and cold kinda guy. I can be soaring with eagles one minute and pecking dirt with the chickens the next.

One minute I’m on top of the world, and the next minute it’s coming to an end. I just knew that when the clocks struck midnight on 2000, we were all gonna die.

I’m always either overly optimistic or overly pessimistic. There’s no cruising down the middle of the road for me, no sir; a guy could get killed in a grisly accident driving down the middle of the road. See what I mean about my negativity?

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