December 31, 2011
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Thanksgiving is a time for reflection. Warm memories, overstuffed afternoons and family. Yet rising from this cornucopia of good feelings, like a rubber chicken from a shopping cart full of cut-up fryers, is that runner-up for national bird... the Turkey.
I had just finished bein’ on an Extension program in the Herington, Kansas sale barn. I was standin’ in the auction ring afterwards tryin’ to answer a few questions and shake hands with the local stockman. My veterinary lecture, as usual, had been more humorous than informative.
About horses I’ve known… My first was named Maggie. A Standard bred. I was in the third grade. Father gave me an old cavalry saddle, split down the middle, light enough I could lift it. It was so uncomfortable I rode bareback.
First, a little about T.Tommy; he likes Corrientes, carries a stock whip and is good help when you need a team ropin’ partner, a good hand on a gather, isn’t bad on a backhoe and is good to his dog.
I happened to be at the National Finals Rodeo in 1988 when Leo Camarillo and partner roped their steer in five seconds flat! It ranked in my mind with John Alden pitoning up Plymouth Rock or Neil Armstrong making angels in the moon dust! I was there when history was being made! It didn’t matter that Leo’s time only took third in the go-round.
The Emperor’s New Clothes is a fairy tale wherein two swindlers convinced the vain emperor they could weave the most elegant clothes so uncommonly fine, only those with the highest refinement, good taste and intelligence would be able to see them.
A poem from Baxter Black.
A good friend from the Texas panhandle sent me a printed poster of a new program enacted by the Amarillo Humane Society. It is designed to encourage dog and cat owners to spay or castrate their pets.
Ol’ Louie loved bees. Of all the things I remember about him, I remember that best. He’d be layin’ out in the front yard, day dreamin’ and sunnin’ himself when I’d see an eye open and an ear cock.
Every now and then a feller has a weekend that is hard to forget. I had one years ago on a beautiful ranch in southern California.
Columnist Baxter Black shares a wild story of rounding up a cow on the loose.
Why is it that we know couples that beg the question, “What does she see in him?” I’m not going to use names for the sake of privacy. I can’t actually say “to protect the innocent.” I’m just going to use the aliasi of Geraldo and Lucinda.
January 1980 is a month I’ll never forget. It all started out about January the 7th. The previous spring I had a big hand in selecting the bulls we were gonna use on Albert and Louie’s heifers.
Many myths have been promulgated that have fostered a misunderstanding of cowboys by herbivores. It is incumbent on me to shed some light on this subject for my vegetarian readers.
In an effort to foster an understanding between cowboys and vegetarians, it is crucial to debunk certain myths.
The more advanced a civilization becomes, the farther it gets from the real world.
I can’t remember his number. I don’t call him often enough. His birthday always escapes me ‘cause I don’t keep up with that stuff.
In my travels I have been on lots of family farms where the whole family is involved in the work. During calving season it is not uncommon for the “rancher” to allow his wife to take the 10 p.m. heifer check.
I was reminded of Harry Johnson today. I’d been drivin’ down a long stretch of country road. The snow blowin’ up in the rearview mirror, a thermos of coffee in the seat and the sun warmin’ the cab of the pickup.
People ask where I got my mittens, my saddle blanket, my wild rag, my dog’s muffler, my colorful selection of pot holders that hang in my tack room. I always change the subject, but the time has come to confess.
This is one of those stories that sound so unbelievable, you’ll know I didn’t make it up.
This is the story of Tiny Slim Crachett, a genuine reprobate Who squandered his money and wasted his love until it was almost too late. He was just your typical cowboy, honest, brave and sincere And he lay on his bunk one Christmas Eve night belching up nachos and beer
When Marvin Garrett nodded his head, no one knew that 8 seconds later the Thomas and Mack Arena would be covered with goose bumps.
There is a bridge to cross in understanding between those who live off the land (rural) and those who benefit from it (urban), but have no personal relationship with it.
The story of Skip.
A variety of names for meat dishes.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” The message that rings down through the Bible from Exodus to Revelations, “Blessed are ye poor for yours is the Kingdom of God.”
Over the years the number of large animal veterinarians has steadily declined. It is most evident in rural America and Canada. Many factors have contributed to this decline; the greatest is the change in the profession itself.
Horses and cowboys go together. There are occasions when a cowboy and a horse are spoken of as one.
Beware, connoisseurs: A new discovery may change the way America eats. Love your broccoli? Savor your home-grown tomatoes? Would you give your eye-teeth for a blueberry pie?
Gerrall Wayne does his best to keep his old Toyota quarter-ton irrigator pickup in presentable condition. But he’s not afraid to put his ol’ truck to the test.
I went to America last week … the middle of America, Kansas, to a county fair. I flew into Denver and drove across miles and miles of green prairie. If America has a heart, it’s out on the plains. It’s not an easy place to live. You have to earn its respect. It will test you with blizzards, tornadoes, floods, droughts, dust, plagues and loneliness. It is often all or none. One learns to be self-sufficient.
Jeff needed a workin’ pen for his little herd of cows. He decided all he needed was some panels and a head gate. He rounded up some 16-foot panels of continuous fence, a metal head gate and two 8-foot posts.
When someone tells me they grew up on a dairy farm I say, “You have paid your dues, my son.”
An interview with several dud wranglers and packers showed they have accommodated the increasing number of large people. Using Belgians, Percherons and their crosses are mentioned often. Draft horses are gentle beasts by nature and most wranglers are ready with a hefty footstool to assist in mounting up.
In the movie Forrest Gump, the hero is a nice man with a low IQ, whose simplistic reasoning usually made sense. His response to anyone who called him stupid was to say, “Stupid is as stupid does.”
I have been a travelin’ man a good part of my life. Most of my speakin’ jobs are Friday and Saturday nights, so Sunday means I’m usually on the road and headed home.
A poem from Baxter Black.
It all started because Jo wanted a small lawn behind the house. Tom encouraged her. Tom’s friend offered to lend them his heavy duty, magnum, HumVee version of a tiller.
Man against beast is a theme in many a story, from days of yore to 21st century wolves ravaging baby calves.
What is the mentality of a thief? Is it a complete lack of the concept that “it belongs to someone else?”
Bronc to Breakfast is my favorite Charlie Russell painting. The scene represents the typical roundup out west. In the foreground is a campfire with cooking pots and pans on the fire or hanging from the cross bar. A cowboy is sitting with his plate of beans, Cookie’s in an apron standing by the chuck wagon and in the background are some cowboys by the horses on a picket line.
How should we as food producers interpret the media’s looming concern about headlines saying “Rising Food Prices Bite Budgets?” Examples given from previous 12 months’ list of percentages increases show: Ground beef, 4.9 percent; eggs, 5.7 percent; tomatoes, 6.9 percent; pork sausage, 8.7 percent; potatoes, 9.2 percent; fresh fish, 9.9 percent; and oranges, 12.2 percent.
The legalization of marijuana in Colorado has brought to a head a common point of contention that has happened in state after state. It is a generational change, a population shift that is the result of the inevitable roll of civilization.
John lives down the road from me. We have cattle across the fence from each other. He is good at a lot of things; carpentry, electronics, sports and hunting, but cows are not his strong suit. He runs a handful on 90 acres. He called me one day askin’ if we had seen a cow of his. I told him we had cleared the pasture and had not seen her in with our bunch.
If it weren’t so ridiculous it would make you cry. The Endangered Species Act has popped up again like a stinky diaper at day care. This time it is the Plains Spotted Skunk, one of four species of spotted skunks that can be found almost anywhere from Canada to Mexico and coast-to-coast except, apparently, in the backyard of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
It was a Colorado winter afternoon when the boys spotted a big crossbred cow wobblin’ along with her calf trailing behind and a prolapse as big as an army-issue duffle bag.
The President’s science and technology advisor - Jan. 11, 2014. I cringe at how ludicrous global warming climatologists must feel these last two winters. Nature is pooping in their nest. Did he mean “extreme heat” instead of cold? Can they have it both ways? However, they shouldn’t be making excuses. They should be elated that winter seems to be coming back with a vengeance. But what if it continues? It puts them in the position of hoping for bad news. It’s called schenfreude.
It had been a long day for Steffan. Frozen pipes, touchy tractors, cranky cows and a stuffy nose. A headache had kept him banging his head against the wall from 6 a.m. to sundown.
As far back as 1628 “husbandry” was defined as agricultural produce, land under cultivation, farming. The word husband also implies a caretaker of land and livestock, a hands-on activity. From shepherds watching their flocks by night as described in the Bible, up to farm managers milking cows, showing fat steers and roping at the branding fire, animal husbandry was an appropriate title for a bachelor’s degree for a century.
Getting injured is an embarrassment to a cowboy.
Just because some women have an occupation involving farming and livestock, it doesn’t mean they’re not concerned about their appearance, hair, skin and body care. Kadie is one of them. She’s on a family ranch in Montana. Both she and her husband share the calving duties in the spring, but cold windy weather plays havoc with her beauty regimen. Last Christmas, she clipped out an ad for a spa that included hot tubs, massage, pedicures, manicures and mud baths. She even posted a sample page from the ad on her bathroom mirror listing the services she might need. At 4:30 a.m. one insomniac morning, she rose to check the heavy heifers. Her back ached and she couldn’t sleep.
When I started practicing feedlot medicine in the late 1960s, it was a fairly new specialty. Feedlots, as we picture them now in the Midwest and southwest, were not as common. But by this time I hired on with the Diamond A out of Roswell, N.M., and 20,000 head yards were spreading across the country. They prospered in the more arid southwest because mud is the biggest enemy of feedlot grain. The Imperial Valley of California, the desert country of Arizona and the Texas panhandle became popular places to feed cattle.
I looked at my schedule for the first week in December: Jamestown, N.D., Denver, Laramie, Wyo., and Springfield, Ohio. I asked my secretary why she couldn’t book me in Victoria, Texas or San Diego in the winter? She reminded me she had booked me in Miami last winter. “Yeah,” I said. “Miami, Manitoba.” Actually, I don’t worry about traveling in cold weather. It would be easier to plan if I could count on global warming, but it’s just not reliable. Al Gore found that out. You just can’t count on it when you need it. Jamestown started out clear and cool but Denver turned frosty. I made it to Laramie behind the snowplow. We had a great crowd at the evening show — winter doesn’t stop Wyoming cowboys from comin’ to town.
Like many of you, I receive all kinds of news stories, jokes, blogs, etc. Last week, three items came my way that stimulated a predictable knee-jerk response. Why, I asked myself, can’t I be more generous and examine the opposite side of view? So today, I will. The first item was, “In France, eating animals becomes legal obligation.”
President Jimmy Carter’s reign was called the time of malaise, defined as a feeling of discomfort. Present times might be described as a time of anxiety. Still hopeful, but with very little trust in the people we put in office. The recession has hit everybody and each of us has to find a way to get through it. We cannot let the dread of what our well-meaning but inept government has wrought bring us down. I’m guessing there is a segment of our population that doesn’t worry about our economic condition much. They are on both ends of the spectrum — those who live on a private or government pension, or welfare, who pay little or no taxes, and have no doubt the next check is coming, and …