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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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Over the years, I’ve argued, debated, conversed and commiserated with my kids over myriad subjects and themes, ranging from the length of my daughters’ dresses and my sons’ ability to tuck a shirt in to presidential politics, the price of October fat cattle and serious social issues like racism and sexual violence.

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Every year, about the middle of June, we turn the cows out onto one unit or the other of our Forest Service allotment.

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It was a little after midnight after the last day of the county fair. I was worn out and ready for the week to be done. A couple of my fellow fair board members and I were trying to wrap up some cleanup projects and prepare for a barrel racing the next morning.

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I jumped the little roan, the last of five horses, in the trailer. He’s a good one to put on the back because he loads easy, and he fits nice and snug into the corner of the trailer.

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A life spent caring for God’s creatures can be a life full of aggravation. I’m not talking about the slight inconveniences of emptying the litter box or taking Fido and Duke for a jog around the park.

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Last month, I drove to Clover Valley, in Elko County, Nevada, to attend the funeral of an aunt, my mother’s sister. As we drove south on Highway 93, out of Idaho and into Nevada, the rugged, imposing, snowcapped Ruby Mountains came into view, powering skyward from the valley floor of the high desert country.

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