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Paul Marchant

Paul Marchant is an active rancher who tells stories as though we're all "sittin' horseback and ridin' drag" together. His Irons in the Fire articles both entertain and spur thought about personal values and goals.

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April. It’s that time of year when our ecological matron tends to be more like an obnoxious little brother than the nurturing mother her name purports her to be.

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The basketball season was winding down. Actually, the winding had already wound, and we were just exhaling and catching our breath at the end of a long season.

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“My life is a mess,” I thought.

It wasn’t how I’d wanted to start the day, but here I was with a tractor stuck in 3 feet of snow in a swale at the bottom of the feed grounds.

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve been surrounded by critters – and for this discussion, by critters I mean horses and dogs. As a matter of fact, it’s somehow been ingrained in my psyche that it’s an absolute necessity to have at least two dogs and two horses around at all times. And by two, I really mean too – as in too many.

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It was the first week of December, which for me can be perhaps the most exasperating time of the entire year. While I love the feeling of the Christmas season as it begins to take over our consciousness, the short days and the long chores associated with that time of year tend to sometimes leave me a little surly.

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What a peculiar lot we are. It’s true I generally agree with our boast that the people who are the brains and guts and muscle of modern North American agriculture are quite possibly the most creative, efficient, industrious, hard-working people God has placed on this earth.

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