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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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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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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.

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As America continues to become tangled in the web of domesticated animal welfare, we continue to exacerbate the inhumane results of our efforts. The closing of horse slaughter plants has backfired.

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How does it strike you that the more concentrated agriculture becomes, the more rural/ag media is available?

Regional farm, ranch and equine-oriented publications are still a very strong part of our print media. Many of them have been around for more than 50 years.

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“We can expect to see extreme cold with increasing frequency as global warming continues.”

—President Obama’s science and technology adviser, January 11, 2014.

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