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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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Most summers, I am blessed, or cursed, with the opportunity to judge some county fair youth livestock shows. I don’t suppose I am any smarter than the average know-it-all parent who leans on the fence and distracts his 10-year-old during the junior showmanship class, but word got out several years ago I can talk a good line of B.S. and take abuse.

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One thing that no farmer ever wants to be called is lazy, and for the most part, we work our way well past that label in the eyes of the general public. I once had a friend who was contacted by a network news organization conducting a poll on work habits and work hours. About halfway through explaining his day, the interviewer proclaimed, “No one works like that!” and my friend hung up the phone on him.

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He knocked on my door at 7:30 a.m. Muting the cartoon, I answered still in my pajamas with my newborn in my arms. My neighbor, Jeremy, eyeing me, said, “Your cows are out. Is your husband home?” No, my husband is not home and nowhere near cell service. I tried to not sound bitter.

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History tags him as the giant collector. His name was Fredrick the First of Prussia, and he had a passion for giant soldiers, which he collected from throughout England.

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Flack. Harassment. Annoyance. Utter disbelief. Face-making accompanied by head-scratching. Occasional profanity. Threats of bodily harm.

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Since the time the last of my five kids left home, Father’s Day Sunday has brought with it a slight amount of unnecessary angst. Not that it would alter my affection for any of my two daughters or three sons, but I always worry, just a little bit, one or all of them will neglect, for whatever reason, to contact me on Father’s Day.

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