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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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Several years ago, we decided to change things up a little bit on our place. My dad was getting older, the kids were starting to leave home for college, and I was spending more time away from home. It seemed like the ideal time to cut back on the number of cows we were running to ease the stress, headaches and burdens that accompany calving time.

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Old Mother Nature can surely be a crafty old gal; just ask anyone in Texas and Oklahoma who suffers through a three-year drought twice a decade or the folks in Iowa, Illinois or Ohio who were trying to calve in 2 feet of snow last spring.

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Like many small towns and communities in rural America, my hometown plays host to a raucous and reverent celebration every summer in honor of its earliest settlers and pioneer heritage.

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My son is a senior in high school. Through 27 years of raising kids, I’ve discovered the path through the teenage years is fraught with peril for both parent and child. One of the latest perils we’ve faced is a book report for his honors English class on Charles Dickens’ classic tale, Great Expectations.

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I was hustling home from Jerome one late afternoon a couple of weeks ago. I was a little irritated because I wanted to get home to get a horse shod before the sun went down. September irritates me anyway, because it brings with it the end of summer, the start of school, fewer daylight hours and colder nights.

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Well, he walks out in the arena
All dressed up to the brim
Said he’d just came down from a place
Called ‘Highland Rim’

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