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Erica Louder

Erica Louder is a farmer, mother, parts runner, veterinarian’s wife, lending professional and ag educator … not necessarily in that order, but then it depends on which day you ask. Her Outside Eden blogs help us look at everyday rural life and conversations with fresh perspective and a little humor.

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I woke up with a start, panicked that I’d overslept. I rolled onto my side and grabbed my phone on my bedside table. It was only 3 a.m. I flopped back down and then decided to get up and at least check. I swung my feet out of bed and padded in my bare feet to the laundry room.

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Last month, we attended the Gem State Classic Bull and Female Sale. It’s a yearly tradition for us. We come as spectators, sometimes as buyers and once as a consigner.

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Last month, Bill lost one of his prized Tennessee Walkers to sudden colic. Like most Idahoans with horses, he’d grown up with quarter horses and taught his own kids to ride on quarter horses. In his late-middle years, his good friend and hunting buddy, Don, introduced him to the gaited horse. One smooth gaited ride and he was converted.

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For the last 20 years of my grandpa’s life, he wrote cowboy poetry and performed all over the Intermountain West. This is one of my favorites, and it is perfect for reciting around Christmas.

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We weaned our calves in October. It’s a transition period for the farm, a literal metamorphism as the juvenile animals prove themselves to be an independent entity. They were weaned, branded and weighed, and they entered the record as the baseline of our future herd. We are always hopeful that these animals will thrive, but like anything, there is no guarantee no matter how well we attempt to manage the variables.

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My front window faces south, toward the highway. Between the house and the highway is a field they just chopped for corn silage. It was a strange year with a cold June and an early frost, and the corn didn’t yield as well as expected. I am sad about that, but I am glad to have my view back.

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