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Paul Marchant

Paul Marchant is an active rancher who tells stories as though we're all "sittin' horseback and ridin' drag" together. His Irons in the Fire articles both entertain and spur thought about personal values and goals.

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I’m not a social media genius, but ever since my kids set up a Facebook account for me nine or 10 years ago, I dabble regularly in the medium. I now have Instagram and Twitter accounts to accompany my profile in Mr. Zuckerberg’s kingdom.

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Bart has a lot going on. He grows barley, wheat, sugarbeets and hay on his southern Idaho farm. He’s got a little feedlot where he finishes a couple hundred head each year. He buys, sells and hauls about a gazillion loads of hay annually. He’s as conscientious a neighbor as you’ll ever find.

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Jackpot, Nevada, is a wide spot in the road about 50 miles south of Twin Falls, Idaho. The town was founded in 1954, shortly after Idaho banned slot machines.

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All four tires on my old beater trailer were mostly worn out, somewhere between another couple hundred miles and barely hanging on. The manager of the tire shop wasn’t surprised to see me, nor was he surprised at the sorry state of my tires. He was pretty familiar with my routine.

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I spent several years working in and running feedlots, so I have a keen appreciation, even fondness, for that particular side of the cattle business.

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“Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing – your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.”
—Viktor Frankl

Anybody who’s ever lived, and especially anybody who’s ever tried to raise kids or cattle, knows you can’t avoid making choices. As a matter of fact, that is really an absurd statement. You can’t even function without making a choice. It’s a choice to simply get out of bed, walk out the door, do the chores or wave to your neighbor as she drives past.

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