Current Progressive Cattle digital edition


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


I’m riding high as a kite these days because after Big Al pumped our septic tank he said, “You have one of the most healthy septic tanks I’ve ever seen.”

“I bet you say that to all your clients,” I blushed. But Big Al insisted that he’d never seen such a healthy septic environment, and he ought to know.

I bet he’s drained 10,000 septic tanks in his 25 years as a septic superstar.

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There’s a great story told about Alan Shepard just before his historic Freedom 7 spaceflight in 1961, making him the first American in space with a 15-minute suborbital flight.

After his successful return to Earth, reporters asked Shepard what he was thinking about while sitting in the Redstone rocket and waiting for the final countdown.

“The fact that every part of this ship was built by the low bidder,” he said.

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I was talking to Okie. He’s the farm dog. He doesn’t care to go out on the range with the cow dogs. His job is mostly guarding, barking and putting up a big front.

He does it well. I found him under one of the trucks. He’d dug a little bed in the dirt. It was in the shade. He seemed to be pondering.

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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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If you’ve spent the past few years watching your kids or grandkids typing away on Facebook and Twitter, and muttering how such antics are a waste of time, then you’re not alone.

You’re also dead wrong. The days of ignoring social media skills in the ag industry are now gone. And if you insist on remaining ignorant to modern communication, it’s only time before you’ll be gone too.

Marketing and message management have put power into consumers’ hands and with agriculture that war of words is being dictated by our critics.

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Jerry had what was called a suspect herd. His next-door neighbors had Brucellosis problems and since Jerry shared a common fence, he too, was required to be tested.

The neighbors sold out and let the land set the requisite time. Meanwhile Jerry brought in 20 half-Gertrudis heifers to his place. He evaluated them and concluded two out of three had no brain.

The government showed up to test them. They insisted on using their clanging, banging, government-issue head catch instead of what the cattle were used to.

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