Current Progressive Cattle digital edition


Read online content from popular Progressive Cattle columnists including Paul Marchant (Irons in the fire), Lee Pitts (It's the Pitts), Baxter Black (On the edge of common sense) and Yevet Tenney (Just dropping by), plus comments from Progressive Cattle editors.


I’ve oft addressed the challenge of being true to the cowboy life. Remember, the cowboy’s dream is to be able to support himself throughout his life … without ever getting a job!

This stubborn independence weaves them through a series of vocations as they travel down life’s trail.

Vocations such as: team roper, cutting horse trainer, day-work wrangler, horse shoer, auctioneer, real estate broker, saddle maker, Heel-O-Matic rep, cowboy poet, stuntman, horse whisperer, even the ministry.

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Just because I wrote a column idea in the dust on a piece of furniture because I didn’t have a pencil and paper handy, my wife thought I was making a critical comment about her housekeeping.“If you don’t like the way I clean house,” she said, “you can just start doing it yourself.”

I don’t know why women complain so much about cleaning the house. They get to work in comfortable, mud-free conditions in which there are no snakes or flies, in most cases.

Although it’s true that we men don’t routinely dust the furniture and wash the dishes, that doesn’t necessarily mean we couldn’t if we had to.

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When it comes to cattle restraint and capture, I suppose my family is not all that different from a lot of ranching families.

My brother and I always figured the best way to doctor any critter, no matter the ailment, was to rope it. If a yearling had a burr in its tail – rope it. Bad eye, snotty nose, black hide, red hide – rope it.

My dad, on the other hand, tends to always (so it seemed to us) prefer the gentleman farmer approach – run it in the corral and into the chute. So, on average, we always use best management practices, I suppose.

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I have been writing my biography for years. Well, not just living it, but trying to put it down in black and white so I would be able to share the wonderful blessings that have come into my life because of the faith I have in Jesus Christ.

With Easter coming, I thought I would share an experience from my memoirs that has given me faith and assurance that there is a loving being who knows us individually and is concerned for our lives.

This incident happened before I came to know Jesus Christ, but it affected my spiritual, mental and physical well-being for a long time. The memory still has far-reaching spiritual significance today.

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Lassen County, California, is bigger than Rhode Island, but what isn’t? And it has less people than the average funeral in New Orleans.

It is famous for its volcano and Western tradition. Joy and her husband run cows, guide hunters and rent cabins at their ranch near Butte Creek.

It was nighttime, two days before hunting season, and two poachers were butchering a deer hangin’ in a tree down by the road.

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Every Christmas I look forward to getting a traditional card from a ranch family, in which every member is mounted on a good-looking quarter horse with a silver bit in its mouth.

So you can imagine my dismay when their 2011 Christmas card arrived and they were all mounted on a lazy man’s horse ... an ATV. What is the world coming to?

I just don’t get it. The opportunity to ride a horse for a living is why many of us got into the cattle business to begin with.

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