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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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The summer I turned 10, Dad sold the farm, bought a small motel, and I became a city kid. Accustomed to dealing with milk cows morning and night, tractors, hay balers, combines and irrigation ditches, I was out of my element.

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Methods and machines used to bale hay have certainly changed through the years, and I’m sure that almost every major farm equipment company has produced a small square hay baler at some point.

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I wish I had just a dime or two for every gallon of fuel I’ve used on wasted or superfluous trips to town. If I did, my healthy retirement fund might actually exist somewhere besides that spot in my consciousness which houses all my wildest dreams.

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What is the difference between a farmer and a rancher? The answer may seem obvious – the farmer raises crops, and the rancher raises cattle. But here in southern Idaho, the line separating the two is pretty blurry.

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Google may have all the answers, but it doesn’t mean it always has the right answers.

I learned this lesson last summer when I asked the popular search engine to diagnose the round, red rashes on my shins that itched like a pup with fleas.

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We did get loaded before we got “darked on.” By the time we made it to the Hill City, Idaho scale, we were being snowed on. After we loaded, I retrieved the pot of chili from the cab of the truck and the propane camp stove.

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