Shipping Season

Fall is shipping season. Normally, the Carhartts hanging on a ranch house back porch flavor the air with the aromas of cow manure, wet dog, horse sweat, and diesel fuel, but on shipping day, the wonderful aroma is roast beef, potatoes, and apple pie cooking in the kitchen. I love shipping season. It’s payday for ranchers who, after depleting previous

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The Great Divide

Over the weekend, the trophy wife and I flew to New Hampshire and Maine for marathons #22 and #23. Eastern cities are mostly filled with city kids, and while on vacation, I rarely engage the heavily indoctrinated in an intellectual debate. Instead, I prefer people watching and casual conversations. For example, Friday afternoon we tasted the wares in a Bristol,

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Cow Doctor Gift Giving: Take Three

My oldest granddaughter, Clara, helped trail cattle to the mountains the last two summers, and she is hooked on cowboy life. She wants to follow my footsteps to vet school before owning a ranch, and she is driven and smart enough to get it done. Clara is 14.

Clara on Roscoe

A year ago, Clara became the owner of a gift

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Real Cowboys

Real Cowboys

Real cowboys are rare.  I grew up trailing cows on the family ranch in northern Wyoming, but academics steered me to a career peripheral to the cow business.  Today, I am all hat and no cows.  My older brother stayed on the ranch and lives the life city folk dream about, or used to, because who knows what motivates

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When Adversity Opens Opportunity

Adversity does not create character; it reveals it. This hurricane season has shown that adversity also opens opportunity — good, bad, and sometimes lighthearted. First the good.

In the run up to Irma, essential supplies — such as fuel, food, and water — were rapidly depleted by fleeing citizens. Those staying behind added plywood, batteries, and generators to the list of

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Chewing the Fat

Several years back, we were visiting my son Tyler and his bride Jill in Provo, Utah. Their first baby was up and sucking, so I suggested they replace their flashy Audi sports car with a used mini-van. “Only fat people drive mini-vans,” they shrieked. Ignoring them, I extolled mini-van virtues when we pulled alongside a Ford Aerostar at a stop

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American Spirit

Six years back, my middle daughter felt 11 months pregnant with her first child. As Lyon County Deputy District Attorney, she served several small, rural cities in Nevada, and jailing bad guys required traveling the backroads. As a perk, the county provided her retired patrol cars, so essentially, she was driving the law enforcement version of a ranch pickup minus

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Eclipsing the Truth

The moon recently eclipsed the sun, a novelty which lasts but minutes. Progressives are eclipsing the truth, and the damage will linger for decades. Here is proof. While the GOP struggled with their Obamacare repeal, progressives staged several spontaneous protests choreographed to manipulate public opinion. Amid a drift of whiny snowflakes were two protestors waving professionally printed, yet contradictory signs.

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Motivated by Hate

Our great republic is facing a not-so-civil war with resistors doing anything to destroy Donald Trump. Unlike Barack Obama, who knew every Democrat always had his back, President Trump stands alone in the line of fire. His friends are few. The left hysterically screams he is a racist and a bigot, baseless accusations purposely designed to inflame CNN’s and MSNBC’s

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In the Dog House

In the Dog House

Gift giving means I walk the fine line between living the dream and living in the dog house three times every year. Last December, I mentioned my $60 blender versus the $5,000 beaver blanket Christmas gift dilemma, and with the trophy wife’s birthday and our anniversary both in August, I once again found myself conflicted. For Druann’s

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Burned Twice

With 12% of our Treasure State suffering the drought of the century, over 300,000 acres of central Montana range and timberland has burned. Producers in the Missouri Breaks are a special breed, and today’s column is for those far from the fire line, but whose actions may be the death nail for cowboys struggling to survive the wildfires. Consider what

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Repeal and Replace Progressives

Repeal and Replace Progressives

America’s framers wisely designed rules limiting government power, and public servants pledge their allegiance to this national rulebook when taking their oath of office. Unfortunately, progressives immediately ignore this oath because their policies can only be advanced after destroying these constitutional restrictions. It is neither equality, nor fairness, nor diversity, nor tolerance which makes America great —

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The Dreaded Freshman Fifteens…

With summer slipping away, today’s column focuses on the dreaded freshman 15s. Yes, there are two. Few soon-to-be college freshmen consider the big 15s when pondering their future, but they should. First, I will chew the fat about the 15 with which you are familiar.

I groan when I hear advertisements warning of hungry children in America, knowing the greatest public

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Companionship…

Buckshot was a great bird dog, but his habit of swallowing [k1]odd objects shortened his career. Large rocks were his favorites, and over the years, he gave himself four mini-boulder, bowel obstructions. Every time Buckshot started vomiting, a couple abdominal x-rays quickly confirmed our suspicions. Because boulder blockages rarely correct themselves, Buckshot usually went directly from x-ray to surgery. At

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Pig Lipstick

Because it is nearly fair time, let’s talk about pigs. In Montana’s 2007 legislative session, Representative Roger Koopman dismissed the Judiciary Committee’s efforts to fix a bad bill as being “lipstick on a pig.” It was the first I had heard this expression, but it is decades old. I typically avoid repeating clichés, but this one so fits today’s topic

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Into the Depths

Last weekend, the trophy wife and I completed back-to-back marathons. The first was 26.2 miles along Lake Superior, with the second skirting the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Because I am incredibly compromising, I added one extra day to our trip for the actual tourist stuff the trophy wife insists we do. Doing nothing on purpose, with no objective, for an

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Intentionally Indoctrinating Ignorance

Decades back, I performed a necropsy on a 600-pound feeder steer that dropped dead upon exiting a farmer’s squeeze chute. The owner suspected an anaphylactic reaction to the sulfa boluses he administered, and he wanted confirmation. I sliced the steer open and discovered that he had suffered a lacerated esophagus as a calf and that, over months, a forage-filled pouch

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Great American Resurrection

Get in, sit down, shut up, and hang on, America is on track to be great again. For decades, the ruling class secured power by cultivating covetousness and promoting theft. This idolatrous worship of government placed our nation on a path to destruction, but last November, voters flipped positions to embrace the principles upon which our nation was founded. Consistent

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Making America Great Again

I was a country kid raised with rocks and slingshots rather than I-pads, Angry Birds, and Ritalin. Lucky me. Back then, gooseneck horse trailers were rare, so we hauled critters in a Curtis stock rack mounted in the back of our half-ton pickup. This pipe and expanded-metal stock rack was built by Ed Curtis of Colstrip, Montana, and its tail

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Demeaning Dead Soldiers

In 1868, General John Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic proclaimed Decoration Day to remember those who died defending “their country during the late rebellion.” Over time, the holiday was renamed Memorial Day to honor battlefield deaths in every military conflict from 1775 to the present day. The idea called America is founded on the truth that God

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Faith, Family, Freedom

The trophy wife and I zipped from Montana through eastern Oregon and back last weekend, and the countryside was green beginning to end. Because I am a country kid, whenever I see baby calves frolicking in the spring sunshine on green rolling hills, framed by snow-capped mountain peaks, I praise our Creator. Spring always sparks enthusiasm, signaling a new beginning

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Flying the Friendly Skies of United

Flying the Friendly Skies of United

United Airlines stepped in it when they dragged a reluctant and bleeding volunteer off their plane under the watchful eye of passengers bearing smart phones. Facebookers had an electronic heyday, and I too jumped on the bandwagon, but rather than the internet, I scribbled United memes on the flipside of my old campaign signs.

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Defending Liberty

We conservatives erroneously relaxed on November 9, thinking a President Trump would steer America in an entirely different direction. We best not drop our swords and shields. Clinton supporters, congressional Democrats, cocktail caucus Republicans, life-long bureaucrats, celebrity twits, BLM activists, and media propagandists were one presidential term away from collapsing our once-great republic into a North American Venezuela, and they

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April Fools' Day

April Fools\’ Day

During normal times, it would be senseless to print an April Fools\’ column the second week of April. These are not normal times. Last Saturday, social media was flooded with imaginative fabrications so preposterous that even the most gullible readers recognized them as fiction. My favorites were the Laurel City Council announcing my hometown was now a

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Battle of the Bulges

Battle of the Bulges

By Krayton Kerns

The original Battle of the Bulge was tagged to Nazi Germany’s 1944 surprise attack on American forces. Today, we are engaged in a battle of two unique, but related bulges: economic and waistlines. Here is the deficit bulge grabbing headlines in the Treasure State: Montana’s Governor Bullock recently suggested closing one of our state-funded colleges

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Repeal and Replace

Repeal and Replace

The Cove Ditch splits my pasture. A couple decades ago, Cenex tunneled an oil pipeline under this ditch and used switch ties to cross the Cove during the construction process. (Standing Rock protesters were in kindergarten at the time, so offered no opinion.) Once this bridge rotted, I poured two large concrete support pads and snaked four massive

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Good Habits

Good Habits

I developed a cattle drive business in the 1990s, and 20 guests trailing 200 cows up the rugged Little Horn Canyon taught me to have absolute control of what I could control because surprises hid behind every rock. Before the first orientation ride, we explained proper saddling and unsaddling procedures. We stressed tying your bridle to the front saddle

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Digital thermometers…

Digital Thermometers…If there was a vet school lecture on assessing health by nasal palpations, I slept through it. When a client informs me his/her dog, cow, cat, or horse can or cannot be running a fever because “his nose is wet” or “his nose is dry,” I quickly steer my examination to the rear end of the critter. The true

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Ramblins

&nbsp;I had an epiphany on Friday as the last cow jammed into the squeeze chute: &ldquo;In real life, sometimes you are the veterinarian, and sometimes you are the cow.&rdquo; &nbsp;<br /><p>At first glance, on Election Day, 11-04-08, it appears that freedom-loving conservatives were the cow. (City folk won&rsquo;t understand that analogy. It&rsquo;s perfectly clear to country people, and since that

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