A Story Of Cattle And Cold Weather

It’s bitterly cold across much of the Upper Midwest. And so I relate this story: Years ago, when I was a high school student, I helped to check our cattle during calving. One bitterly cold night — the thermometer read 19 below and the wind chill made it much colder — I went out at…
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A Little Extra Feed On Christmas?

It was once common practice, or so I’m told, for Upper Midwest ranchers to give their animals a little extra feed on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve day. My ancestors on my North Dakota family ranch were among those who did it. I’m ambivalent. Yes, it’s a nice sentimental touch, and one that recognizes the…
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Kudos To Farm-Town Hangouts

Years ago, I stopped for a noon meal in a cafe in a small North Dakota town that shall remain nameless. I was one of roughly a dozen customers being served by a single employee, who seemed to be the proprietor. The guy was having a rough time of it. He didn’t have most of…
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Don’t Overthink Thanksgiving

Sure You may read or hear it again this Thanksgiving: the earnest admonition to think long and hard about the past year. We’re supposed to carefully contemplate our lives and identify all the things to be thankful for. I respectfully disagree. Nearly all of already know what to be thankful for: our family, our health…
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Profit? You Kidding Me?

A pro football coach once was asked during a difficult season whether his team still had a chance to make the playoffs? In an incredulous voice he responded, “Playoffs? Don’t talk about playoffs! You kidding me? Playoffs?” That’s probably the response of some area farmers and ranchers when they’re asked whether they’ll make a profit…
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