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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.

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It helps to know a little about a lot of things. It gives you a broad perspective. It also allows you to make a fool of yourself in many different areas.

In my column, readers may notice that I appear to have an opinion on almost everything in agriculture. It might impress some, but real authorities in certain areas can easily see how thin my expertise is spread.

For instance, I worked in a sheep parasitology lab during ag school. I tell people casually that I helped work out the life cycles of Thysanosoma actinoides, Stephanofilaria tylisi and Elophora schneideri.

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Outside my window, the world is a glorious panorama of color. The leaves flutter red, yellow and orange in the breeze.

Autumn – what a glorious time of year! The artist of heaven paints the world a majestic array of splendor ... and I complain that winter is coming.

I swoop from room to room, exhorting my children to hurry up, clean up and shut up. I make sure they know exactly what still needs to be done, and what is going to happen if they don’t get it done.

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I’ve always been impressed by diversified ag operations, where one brother is the farmer in the family, another is the rancher and the third sibling, usually the youngest, is in charge of the shop.

(If there is a fourth sibling, that person either runs the trucks or is a lawyer in town.)

More and more I’m finding families where one of the siblings involved is a daughter and, invariably, she is the one in charge of the cows.

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After having lived his entire life – up to that point – in the arid, rural West, my oldest son spent a couple of years in the Washington D.C. area.

He was quite an anomaly in the cities of the East Coast. While some of his roommates and acquaintances were not completely unfamiliar with the West, none of them could quite understand his addiction.

It wasn’t completely his fault. I suppose it was partly a product of the environment to which he was constantly exposed as a lad and partly due to his genetic makeup.

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I never claimed to be a cowman and I’ve got the scars to prove it! Frostbit fingers, baler twine blisters and an odd scrape in the side of my head where the hair won’t grow back from when my good ol’ horse slipped down on an ice slick on the calving lot.

I went out off the front quarter, hung my left spur on the canvas medicine bag that was looped over the horn with parachute chord and lost a chunk of my ear when he drug me, unconscious, over the rusty metal feeder by the gate. My ear now looks like a chew toy!

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The coldest I’ve ever been in my life was in Aberdeen, South Dakota, when the wind chill was minus 35 degrees. I can’t tell you what it felt like because I’d lost all feeling once we got into negative numbers.

But I still preferred that to hot weather because you can always put on more clothes, but when it gets unbearably hot there’s only so much you can take off before breaking indecent exposure statutes.

I’m touched that there have been so many good articles written this summer about how to care for the cows when it gets hot. But what about the cowboys?

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