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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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I’ve got a year-old Australian Shepherd dog. I don’t intend to use him for livestock; his job will be barker. We live in a rural area. The dogs are penned at night and released during the day into a three-acre house and barn lot surrounded by shock-collar wire.

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“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 crossbar.

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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.

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On the north side of Denver abides Commerce City. There, last fall, U.S. officials dumped millions of dollars worth of ivory tusks, carvings and jewelry into a steel rock crusher and pulverized it into dust and tiny chips.

The officials’ objective was to reduce the slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants each year.

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It’s nice to hear that my friends Chet and Dale are still holding up the reputation of the “mounted cowboy” in the land of Lincoln and John Deere. Due to a case of porphus ileades (Latin for poor facilities) at the local sale barn, two big bulls crashed the unloading chute and plowed into the parking lot.

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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.

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