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Read online content from popular Progressive Forage columnists including Paul Marchant and Brad Nelson, as well as comments from Progressive Forage editor Lynn Jaynes.

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Decisions.

Should I plant low-lignin alfalfa? Can I afford to hire another employee? Can I not afford to hire another employee? Should I buy the neighboring property? Can I justify a new rake? What about a hay barn? Is it time for me to sell out?

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In the summer of 1964, shortly after graduating from high school, I was working at a dairy farm near Nampa, Idaho. The owner decided to get his hay from Fairfield, Idaho, hauled in by a smaller trucking outfit, which was relatively new on the scene and struggling.

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Have you ever stopped to think about how different farming would be, especially the harvest of grains and grasses, if it hadn’t been for the intelligence and perseverance of a young man from Virginia?

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Davin is my neighbor. He’s in the eighth grade, and he just turned 14. Like a lot of 14-year-old boys, sometimes his attention span rivals that of a cedar post, but he’s a big stout kid, so he comes in pretty handy as a neighbor, especially since I don’t have any kids at home anymore.

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With farming and ranching profit margins getting slimmer, it’s increasingly difficult to keep things afloat. So why do you do it?

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Different is OK. For instance, I like to see how many years and miles I can get out of a pickup (my current 12-year-old rig has almost 326,000 miles and 99 percent of everything still works), but I know a fellow who must have a new pickup every year.

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