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.


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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Every day the sun rises, filling the sky with pink and blue glory, sending golden light dancing over the dew-kissed or frost-laden world.

The sun climbs higher to reveal towering pines, snow-capped mountains, mirrored lakes, waving wheat fields, sparkling rivers and sun-baked deserts.

Creatures of every kind blink in the new morning light. Deer on spindly legs sip from bubbling mountain streams.

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I’ve always been kind of a data junky, especially with surveys. While in college, I worked at a marketing company that did surveys across several states on consumer feedback and political opinions.

The company built a solid track record for being able to call state political elections based on the responses of a few hundred people.

That’s one reason I was more than curious to see the results of Progressive Cattleman’s initial reader survey last year.

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Three giant lobby groups from an alternative time warp are engaged in a furious hissy fit whose purpose is raising money to pay lawyers. “Send money so we can litigate, pay company executives and solicit more funds!”

“Animals are overrunning government property,” they exclaimed, “… and endangering the environment. These are domestic animals that have been turned loose to fend for themselves and have multiplied exponentially!” Sound familiar?

Yes, the lobby groups are the usual suspects: Sierra Club, Audubon Society and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

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Some time ago, I taught my husband’s heavy equipment class of high school students how to write a résumé and cover letter and gave them information to prepare them for an interview with a potential employer.

I talked to them about skills, work experience, education and interests. I talked of job portfolios and letters of recommendation.

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