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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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India, a country in which 70 percent of people are involved in agriculture one way or another, has experienced an epidemic of farmer suicides in recent decades. The phenomenon is attributed to the difficulties of the occupation, which can range from monsoon failure to crop problems to money-lending vultures.

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Recently, I went back home and walked through the barn. The freestalls have held beef cattle in them since my parents quit dairy farming several years ago.

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It’s the worst part of being a foreigner in Ireland: immigration registration.

The office opens at 7:30 a.m. Because there are only two officials who work the Galway office, to be seen that day – most of us have requested the day off of work or arranged babysitters – one has to stand outside the office doors at 5:30 in the morning in a country that is always cold and raining.

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I don’t know what put the idea in my head, but I assume it was one of my father’s stories about making maple syrup as a teenager. Or maybe it was simply that it allowed him to buy a nice car in his teens.

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A new guilty pleasure of mine has been watching horror films. I used to scorn them for their predictability, cheap tricks and poor plot development. Now, I can’t get enough of them.

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In 1939, Patrick Kavanagh left his farm in County Monaghan, Ireland, and moved to Dublin to become a writer. When he was young, he would recite poetry while working in the fields or scribble down ideas for his own poems while attending to other farming chores.

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