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Ryan Dennis

Ryan Dennis is the son of a New York dairy farmer and a literary writer whose early essays were originally published in Progressive Dairyman.

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Farming is seldom at the heart of social and political controversy. That is not the case in South Africa, however.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has recently begun to make good on his promise to expropriate farmland owned by the white population and redistribute it to black citizens.

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The baler greased and put in the shed. The insulated boots dug out from the cellar. The barn battened down and winterized.

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All hail to the countryside when it comes to candy on Halloween. There were only a few houses on the roads in either direction – most of them relatives – but, boy, would they fill your bags up.

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Recently, I went back to Berlin to visit an old friend. The German capital is a vibrant, international city known for its eclectic clubs and a willingness to accommodate all types of eccentricities and counterculture.

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It is no secret farming is a difficult enterprise. Present economic and political conditions have made it even more challenging, particularly in the dairy industry.

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I started noticing a lot of people looking back in my direction. At first, I assumed they were looking at my girlfriend, which filled me with that natural mix of jealousy and pride.

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