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Baxter Black

Baxter Black tackles ag issues with a strong funny bone. Black is an American cowboy, poet, philosopher and former veterinarian.

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To ethanol, or not to ethanol, that is the question.

Whether it’s better to pay less for a gallon of gas and get less miles per gallon, or to pay more and go further on the same gallon? This is the question that motorized man has passed down through the ages. Is the perception of being “green” more important than keeping the price of corn down? It depends on the size of your tank, your tolerance for frequent stops, the coffee at your convenience store, your stock in Chevron or your job at the feedlot.

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I like vegetarians. I like organic farmers, I like mule people, purebred breeders, heelers, bankers, equine practitioners, county agents, BLMers, cat lovers and cowboy poets.

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Never was my observation “It’s easy to be green when it’s not personal,” more obvious than today. As population increases and suburbanization encroaches on previously rural countryside, each new settler or squatter must face their own deleterious impact on the environment.

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How many of you think of the Humane Society of the United States as a benevolent benign group whose focus is to rescue, care for and humanely dispose of the hundreds of thousands of unwanted dogs and cats? So did I. I have always looked at them with respect and lent my support. I am saddened to see their transformation into a radical animal rights group now aligned with PETA and the Farm Sanctuary.

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The ad read:

For sale: 30-acre ranchette with two wells, year-round creek, round pen, loading chute, run-in shelter, paddocks, corrals, granary and poultry condo, a perfect place to watch people and critters grow and thrive in a Montana atmosphere!

Poultry condo? That would clinch it for me!

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Oh, no, just when they were beginning to wear me down, a new study concludes that by 2100, forests in the mid- and high-latitudes will make some places up to 10 degrees warmer than they would be if the forests did not exist.

Does this bode ill for the salesmen offering to sell you carbon offsets by planting a tree in honor of the luxury appliance in your home? Alas, it merely points out the problem of scientists guessing, speculating, hoping, wishing, or projecting answers to questions that remain unproven.

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