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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.

LATEST

Unknown to most of the world, Israeli dairy farmers have developed one of the most advanced dairy industries in existence. This small country with a turbulent political history, scarce resources and one of the worst climates in which to milk cows has pioneered impressive innovations in the field.

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The Steuben County Fair marked both the end of summer and a chance for farm kids in our area to hang out together under the guise of showing cattle.

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A radio sits in the crux of two pipelines at the top of the parlor. It’s mostly tipped to its side and tentatively secured by a piece of baling twine. Dust clogs the speakers and the quality of the reception changes every time a cow walks past it on her way to the freestalls.

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The Aran Islands lay off the west coast of Ireland as three small shadows in the haze of Galway Bay. Inis Oírr (pronounced “inish ear”) is not much more than a square mile.Like the other two islands, it is one of the few remaining gaeltachts where Irish (mistakenly called Gaelic by Americans) is still the primary language.

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I don’t know how old I was when I realized that Santa Claus wasn’t real. A story about a fat man slipping through chimneys with toys has a lot of holes in it. If it was true, we would be dealing with a very capable man in being able to do all that he was reported to – and surely, this same man could have done our morning chores for us so we could have stayed in the house and opened presents.

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When I was little, I sat on the armrest of the tractor while my father ran the TMR mixer. I asked him many things throughout the course of my childhood, but one of the questions I returned to the most was, “Why don’t farmers protest low milk prices?”

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