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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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As this goes to print, a highly anticipated time of the year for many has come around again: hunting season. When I’m asked to describe western New York, I tell the person it’s hills and deer hunting. We don’t have the big white-tail racks found in the Corn Belt, but a mix of fields and woods supports a strong regional herd.

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As I write, it is only two weeks until I turn 30. Although I’ve known it was coming for a while, only now, seeing it in print, do I realize what a large sum the number contains. Although it is a common and predictable angst shared by all of humanity that makes it this far, that does not lessen its totality.

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Lately, I’ve been listening to classical music in the milking parlor. I do it while spraying it down, when everyone else is gone. Sometimes when searching for the music I wanted I would go too far and land on the classical music station. Usually, I switched it back right away. I surprised myself the first time I didn’t.

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My parents have a bad habit that I don’t condone: They watch “The Bachelorette” on ABC. In the reality show, either a man or woman spends the season narrowing down a group of potential partners in search of “love.” I call it a loss in the battle for cultural integrity. They call it entertaining.

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Recently, I went to the alumni banquet of Canaseraga Central School, the high school I, my father and my grandfather attended. Currently, the district only has 250 students enrolled from kindergarten to 12th grade.

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A year ago this summer, supporters of a 75-year-old Indiana farmer received disappointing news. The Supreme Court ruled against Vernon Bowman and his fight against Monsanto.

Many are already familiar with the details after the story garnered national attention several years ago. Bowman purchased Monsanto soybean seed every year for his 300-acre crop farm.

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