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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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I can’t remember exactly how he had gotten here, which may be a testament to how long he was a common sight on the bank near the barn. Since both my mother and aunt taught life sciences at local schools I can only assume that his origin is from a classroom egg incubation experiment.

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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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