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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 Dairy.

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One of the cruel aspects of getting old, for those lucky enough to have made it that far, is requiring care from someone else. Nursing homes, in addition to being expensive, are the biggest fear of the elderly heading toward dependence.

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Farming can be a balancing act, especially when it comes to managing cash flow. Once in a while sacrifices have to be made. Sometimes that’s attempting your own vet work or maybe putting off updating equipment for a summer.

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And here I am, leaning out the window, shouting at birds again.

The weather in west Ireland doesn’t need many adjectives throughout the year, the label “gray” taking care of most days.

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My parents probably thought they had raised me better. They had tried to give me the decision-making abilities that would prevent such disgrace. For it to happen once or twice is one thing – but after too many times, they knew I would get a reputation.

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Here’s a quick quiz: What are the top three countries for milk production by volume?

If you took a second to account for population and recalled a Milk House column from eight years ago about this country’s efforts to revitalize its dairy industry, you might have been able to put India at No. 1.

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It’s often joked that the best attribute of a good farmer is a short memory. And, of course, there’s truth to such a statement, as the challenges inherent to the act of farming can be frequent and plenty – something gets out, something else breaks, something unexpectedly needs to be paid for.

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