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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 started drinking coffee and milking cows at the age of 12. They probably came hand in hand, if not from the early mornings then as markers of entering an adulthood of sorts. Following the example of my father, I would have the first cup in the house and then bring the second one to the parlor.

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The year was 1990. The task: coloring a beaver. It was my first day of kindergarten, and there was a lot on the line as we sat on miniature chairs and looked each other over, trying to figure out where we were going to fit into society.

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There’s a lot happening on the planet’s surface right now. Global warming is killing off the biodiversity needed to sustain life as well as creating dangerous weather phenomena.

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A significant proportion of my childhood happened in the silence of a tractor cab. There was a brisk manner in which the morning moved from milking to feeding calves to feeding cows, but the afternoon fieldwork was where the day would start to settle out.

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If you’re going to murder your love rival, all the better if he has a cool name.

Currently, an Irish jury is deliberating whether to convict 50-year-old farmer Patrick Quirke for killing part-time DJ Bobby Ryan – better known as Mr. Moonlight – out of jealous affection for the 52-year-old farm widow Mary Lowry.

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Every English major knows the slagging that comes with announcing your choice of study. Close friends and concerned relatives play it off as a momentary lapse of judgement or quote employment statistics they hastily looked up on their phone.

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