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.


It came as a surprise to me that there is a brisk hedgehog business in the country. It shouldn’t have.

Earlier entrepreneurial promoters had done well with Chia Pets, pet rocks, longhorn cattle, ostriches and Humvees.

Hedgehogs (HH) are about the size of an orange with a pointy nose and spiny back. They bring to mind a cross between a pocket-porcupine and a scorpion fish.

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You have no doubt heard the statement that “a watched pot will never boil?” Well, I am here to tell you that a watched cow will never calve!

I developed this theory observing a heifer that fell in love with the wrong bull. She was supposed to be bred by my junior herd sire, a bull so thin he can’t cast a shadow.

The bull, of unknown origin, looks like he was weaned on a pickle and the best description of him that I can think of is he looks like an old cowhide draped over the top wire of a barbed wire fence.

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Spend a few days in the blistering Texas sun during the state’s worst drought in generations, and you learn something vital about the beef industry.

The summer of 2011 may be winding down, but for many producers in the Southwest, this has been a scorcher that’s stuck around too long.

The heart of Texas typically gets around 36 to 37 inches of rain a year – this year it’s received less than 8. The state saw the hottest month of June on record and the driest 12-month stretch through July.

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0811pc_black_1I was reminiscing with a group of Dexter breeders. A Michigan farmer named Lew said when he was a boy, his grandpa hired a mule man to clear some timber. It was raining like a cow pouring hot tea on a flat rock!

The mule man sat in his old Chevy coupe with his arm out the window holding onto his harnessed log-skipping mules, Bob and Jim.

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0811pc_pitts_1Mark Zuckerberg is the 27-year-old billionaire techno-geek god who founded Facebook.

For you old-timers, Facebook is that Internet phenomenon that allows hundreds of millions of people around the world to simultaneously waste their time telling hundreds of “friends,” most of whom they’ve never met in person, every little boring detail of their lives.

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During my growing up years, I wasn’t particularly fond of certain chores. I was even less fond of piano lessons.

My mom had the misguided notion that I possessed some musical talent that lay hidden somewhere in the recesses of my tone-deaf soul and that I would some day regret my apathy toward developing my talents.

My mother and I had some epic battles as she would, ever so gently, (her recollection) attempt to persuade me to walk to the torture chamber cleverly disguised as the piano teacher’s house (my recollection) to my weekly lesson.

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