Current Progressive Cattle digital edition

Lee Pitts

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


Here are some things you never want to hear your veterinarian say:

“I wish my hands would quit shaking before I operate on your $1,000,000 stud.”

“It’s nothing that $500 in medicine won’t cure.”

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Pundits and pontificators are making a big to-do over a couple surveys in the United Kingdom that revealed how stupid the British children are when it comes to the food they eat.

In one survey of 16-year-olds to 23-year-olds, one in 10 thought that eggs come from wheat. In a survey of 1,000 6-year-olds to 8-year-olds in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset (sounds like a law firm) fewer than one in four knew that hamburgers come from cattle.

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Signs of prosperity are starting to show up in cow country, such as ...

No. 10. New wardrobes: At the auction market I saw two old tightwad ranchers wearing blue-blue jeans and walking funny, as if they were stepping on red-hot nails.

What really happened was they bought new Wranglers and their first new boots in 30 years! (They’ll get them broke in about the time the market caves in.)

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I’m confused. There are people who love cheese but don’t like cows, and folks who’ve made a religion out of wine and worship the fruit of the grape, yet they hate the agricultural industry.

They love whole grains but detest wheat farmers. They blame beef and cow flatulence for all the world’s problems, yet they build expensive outdoor kitchens for barbecuing.

I’m confused about meat-eating vegetarians who call themselves “flexitarians” and lacto-ovo vegetarians who dine on brie and frappacinos.

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I’ve never been very superstitious. I’ve never used the services of a fortune teller, shaman or palm reader and I think the predictions offered up by a stargazer are as reliable as the defroster in my old 1964 Chevy pickup was. And Chinese food advice is as hollow as the inside of the fortune cookie it comes in.

I don’t eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day or any other day for that matter. And other than having a fear of heights, I’d have no trouble staying on the 13th floor of a hotel, if they had them.

I even wore jersey number 13 when my basketball coach in high school assigned it to me. I don’t carry on my person a lucky penny, four-leaf clover or rabbit’s foot, and black cats and ladders don’t scare me.

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I am an irregular American – only sort of human, a black sheep, you could say. My detractors would lump me in with the loafers, deadbeats, drunks, gamblers, hoboes and tramps.

Yes, it’s true, I have to admit that I have always belonged to that lower class of people known as “fall calvers.” There, I said it. Do those of you who calve your cows in the springtime think less of me now? I thought so.

Because the vast majority of cattlemen in this country calve their cows in the spring, those of us who calve in the fall are discriminated against, victimized and looked down upon by those smug ranchers who think they are superior just because they calve in blizzards and don’t have to watch calvy heifers during the holidays.

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