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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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I had a free weekend, and I’d worked it out so I could help my dad move cows from one unit of the forest allotment to another.  My folks had just bought the ranch in southern Idaho’s Oakley Valley a year or two earlier while I was in college, and it would be several years before I would make that same ranch my permanent home.

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His color was just ordinary old bay, but he was a real looker – big, stout hip; nice, neat, pretty head; solid, heavy bone; four black feet and built like a brick house.

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Back in the day, when I was a fair-to-middling high school football player, I did my best to take heart in a phrase our coach often used in his efforts to get the most out of our small-town team.

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As I stepped out at 6 a.m. to get some chores finished before my planned excursion into town that morning, I relished the sight of a clear sky despite the below-freezing temperatures.

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I was checking heifers one dark, freezing cold night in late February a few years back, when I came upon a hapless tiny newborn calf shivering all alone under some sagebrush, with no mama in sight.

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Jeremiah is not a cowboy, nor does he aspire to be one. He spent enough time working on his neighbor’s little dairy as a kid to know he’d met what he figured to be his lifetime’s quota of cow duty. That’s not to say he isn’t happy and more than willing to help when he can; he just doesn’t pretend to be something he’s not.

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