The Scoop View All →

Flying Snakes

By   7 days ago

Every day, loads of scientific papers and information of all sorts hit my email inbox. I sort through it all, looking for things that will help make your work easier, more successful and more profitable. This is not one of those things.This is just a really interesting story about snakes that fly, and the process […]

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On Vacation (In Theory)

By   2 weeks ago

On Pasture usually takes a week-long break about this time every year. This year, the plan was to pack up our camper, and head to a “dark-sky” spot a couple hours south and east of Tucson with my Mom and Dad in their motor home. It’s hot here now, so we were just going to […]

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Having Trouble Logging in to On Pasture? Here’s Help!

By   3 weeks ago

On March 1, 2020, On Pasture became a subscription supported publication. That means that, like many other online publications today, readers need to login to be able to read articles. And, like logins everywhere, things don’t always go smoothly. So, based on the input we’ve gotten from you, and the solutions that work best, here’s […]

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A Wildfire Comes to Tucson

By   4 weeks ago

For the past week we’ve been watching the Bighorn Fire in the mountains a few miles north of our house. It was started by a lightning strike one evening that turned into a small fire by morning. Over the next few days the fire grew and spread. Strong winds came up and the fire took […]

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Learning From Mistakes

By   1 month ago

The year I turned 18 was not a comfortable one between my Dad and me. I was at that stage where I knew everything. Dad was at that stage where he knew how much I didn’t know and, being the worrier he is, he was probably worried about what was ahead of me. I remember […]

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Where Do You Go to Get Good Animal Health Advice?

By   1 month ago

I’ve just started reading a really great blog: Memoirs of a Country Vet. The author, David E. Larsen, DVM, ran a mixed vet practice for 40 years in Sweet Home, Oregon, treating people’s pets and their livestock both. He retired in 2016 and now he’s sharing stories of the work he did, the people he […]

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Find Your Grazing Group – And Get a Discount to On Pasture!

By   2 months ago

Every organization and company has a vision and mission statement. Here’s On Pasture’s: For the past seven years we’ve been covering the whole cow from rump to nose, all to support you with the ideas and information you need to be a sustainable and profitable grazier. But we think we can do more for you. […]

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Supporting Grazing Communities With Discounts and the Events Calendar

By   2 months ago

In his article, “Intelligent Groups Make Innovations Easier,” author Chip Hines says: “If you are serious about making changes in your operation or are still in the incubation stage, get involved with others of a like mind. There is no better way to get the juices flowing and stimulate the mind. Several people are much […]

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    Grazing Management View All →

    Answers to the Most Commonly Asked Grazing Questions

    By   7 days ago

    Victor Shelton is the NRCS Grazing Specialist and Agronomist for the state of Indiana. He has been writing “Grazing Bites” since 2008 and this article is the 150th he’s written. We’re honored that he shares these with the On Pasture community. Victor says, “Almost every issue has initiated an email or phone call from someone, […]

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    Fencing Tips To Make Your Life Easier

    By   2 weeks ago

    When I started using electric fence back in 1997, I knew so little that I wasn’t even sure which questions to ask. I remember spending a lot of time on the phone with a Kencove salesman asking questions, not understanding his answers, ordering things anyway just to see if looking at them would help me make sense […]

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    Harnessing Cow Power to Rejuvenate Forages

    By   3 weeks ago

    Thanks to the Beef Cattle Research Council for this great article! As forage stands age, plant species composition shifts and production declines over time. There are many different methods of rejuvenating or renovating forage stands and strategies vary in intensity, effectiveness, and cost. Breaking old stands and re-seeding forages, while effective, is among the most […]

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    Sieben Live Stock Company – Success Through Working With Mother Nature

    By   4 weeks ago

    If you get lost in the beauty of this video, I don’t blame you. There’s spectacular western scenery, cowboys on horseback, wildlife, and shining cattle trailing across broad green pastures. But there’s a serious message here, too – one about the importance of understanding mother nature and working with her to create all this beauty. […]

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    What Makes a Really, Really Good Cow?

    By   1 month ago

    The best cow I ever bought was a real beauty. Her name was Miss Unaweep Rafter 145, and she came with some fancy registration papers and a bull calf at her side that my mother thought could be our next herd sire. I know old Unaweep was a good cow. She must have been – […]

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    Here’s What You Should Be Thinking About Now To Have a Great Grazing Season

    By   1 month ago

    It’s the first of June. Generally, by the first of June, most cool-season forages have peaked their growth and quite often have reached about two thirds of their production for the year. Clippings taken support that theory. Unfortunately, at least here in Indiana, there just haven’t been enough warm sunny days for this to occur […]

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    Is the Expense Justified? Part 2 of Fencing Costs and Effectiveness for Unusual Challenges

    By   2 months ago

    Last week Jim described the benefits of fencing out kangaroos and elk and shared costs and effectiveness for different kinds of fencing. This week, he follows up with the answers to an equally important question: “Will this kind of fencing result in more profit?” Read this even if you don’t have to fence out ‘roos […]

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    Fencing Costs and Effectiveness for Unusual Challenges

    By   2 months ago

    Ok – so you don’t have kangaroo or elk problems. Read this anyway. You’ll find some excellent examples of how folks fence to solve all kinds of problems and I think you’ll find things you can use. Plus, how often do you get to hear from a fencing expert on the costs and effectiveness of […]

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      Pasture Health View All →

      Manuresheds – Moving Manure Back to Fields and Pastures

      By   7 days ago

      We’ve all heard the term “watersheds.” We use it to describe a land area that channels rainfall and snowmelt to creeks, streams, and rivers. It helps us think about all the resources in one place and how they are distributed. Now, scientists are using that same concept to look at how we can reconnect livestock […]

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      Take a Deeper Look at Soil Health

      By   2 weeks ago

      Dr. Ray Weil has spent his whole life looking at and learning about soils and how they work to keep us all fed. In fact, he literally wrote the book on soils. He has a message for farmers and ranchers concerned about how their soils affect forage growth and profitability: Think deeper. Think about more […]

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      Updates on Projects to Manage Weeds and Turn a Dying Timber Stand Into Pasture

      By   3 weeks ago

        I am often reminded of my old professor Dr. Breakey, especially lately as I review the results of two recent “field experiments.” Project 1: What in Tar(weed)Nation? Managing a New Weed Last spring I wrote about a massive invasion of Tarweed that had dominated a large chunk of the ranch. Those nasty plants interfered […]

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      Field Bindweed – A Nutritious, Overlooked Forage

      By   4 weeks ago

      It’s high in protein – capable of adding 2.2 pounds of gain per day – and spreads 10 to 18 feet a season, AND cows love it. You should too!

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      Grazing for Soil Health

      By   1 month ago

      Thanks to the folks with NRCS’s “Unlock the Secrets of Soil Health” for their part in developing this article. The abandoned cotton farm Terry and Deborah Chandler purchased was in need of a lot of care. The fields were  highly eroded, and the top soil was absent. Rebuilding soil health was the first thing on […]

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      Water, Minerals and Shade – Where Should You Put Them in Pasture?

      By   1 month ago

      Water, mineral and shade – all are important to raising healthy livestock. They are also three things that your stock visit often so it’s important to balance convenience for the animal with the potential problems they can cause. For example, putting them all in one spot can encourage animals to stay in one place causing […]

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      Fences Grow More Grass

      By   2 months ago

      Shannon Carmichael thought her husband Bart was crazy when he started fencing the ranch first to half sections and then to quarter sections. “This is not how things are supposed to be done. We ride out, we gather, we calve cattle.” But as the pasture sizes began shrinking, she realized that there was a lot […]

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      To Mow or Not to Mow. That is the Question.

      By   2 months ago

      A reader sent a comment in asking for some advice on a topic that I’ve heard questions about in the past. I forwarded him to one of our grazing advisors, who shared an answer and then forwarded the question on to another grazing advisor. With thanks to Jason Linden, Troy Bishopp, and Greg Brann, here […]

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        Livestock View All →

        Facilities for a Stocker Operation

        By   7 days ago

        Over the past few months I’ve written several articles about why I made the switch from a cow calf operation to stockers and backgrounding. I’ve been able to improve my pastures, stop making hay all summer, and I can even have time off. And, at least in my area, stockers provide a lot more opportunities […]

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        Another Benefit of Smaller Cows – They Make Fatter Calves

        By   2 weeks ago

        For decades, cattle producers have been told that providing enough feed to their cows and their developing heifers is critical for ensuring high pregnancy rates. But researchers at the Agricultural Research Services Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory have found that’s not necessarily so. The results of their long-term study show that heifers fed […]

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        What Do You Do With Your Bull When He’s Not Working?

        By   3 weeks ago

        The bull in my herd lives a pretty good life.  He “works” a couple of months a year and the rest of the time he just, sort of, chills. Most cattlemen want their bull’s working season to last for as short a duration as possible. The advantages of a more uniform calf crop to sell, […]

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        Adding Sheep to a Cattle Operation – Part 2

        By   4 weeks ago

        For the past few weeks we’ve been sharing articles from folks at the American Solar Grazing Association about the business of using sheep to manage vegetation in solar arrays. It might have some of you cattlemen/women thinking about raising sheep. With that in mind, here’s the voice of experience from someone just like you – […]

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        Trials and Tribulations of a First-Time Shepherd/Full Time Cattleman – Part 1

        By   1 month ago

        For the past few weeks we’ve been sharing articles from folks at the American Solar Grazing Association about the business of using sheep to manage vegetation in solar arrays. It might have some of you cattlemen/women thinking about raising sheep. With that in mind, here’s the voice of experience from someone just like you – […]

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        Solar Sheep, LLC Shares Lessons Learned About Solar Grazing

        By   1 month ago

        Beginning with Part 3 in this series, we want to show you how different graziers approach the business of solar grazing so you can consider ways that it might work for you too. These businesses are also members of the American Solar Grazing Association (ASGA) and we’ll share how they’ve benefited from participating in the […]

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        There Are Many Ways to Solar Graze

        By   2 months ago

        Our last article offered a definition of solar grazing and a basic outline of what’s involved. Now we’ll cover a little more detail about different ways to get into solar grazing, including as an independent contractor, leasing out your flock to a solar site manager, or as an employee of a solar company. I’ll also […]

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        Solar Grazing: A New Income Stream for Livestock Producers

        By   2 months ago

        Utility-scale solar arrays may cover 3 million acres across the US by 2030, according to the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). This is causing tension with farmers and farmland advocates, as the panels are often sited on good ag land, displacing current production. One solution is to restrict solar developments from being installed on farmland. […]

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          Money Matters View All →

          Diverse Income from Your Scenic Pastures: Consider Glamping

          By   7 days ago

          In the early 2000’s, I had the joy of spending a memorable four days with Bill Burrows, a 6th-generation rancher and Holistic Management practitioner from Northern California. Bill told us the story of how his family very nearly lost the ranch in the 1980’s when the bottom fell out of the cattle market, and how […]

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          Working With an Apprentice – Setting Expectations & Balancing Work and Education

          By   3 weeks ago

          This is our fourth in our series to help you find and work with apprentices or interns. You can catch up with the whole series here. Your apprentice is about to arrive! How do you structure the workday, week, and month so that both education and the work get done? Today we’ll share strategies from […]

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          Writing an Accurate Apprenticeship Description & Promoting Your Opportunity

          By   1 month ago

          Last week, we talked about the questions to ask yourself when thinking about taking on an apprentice or intern. Now, let’s look at how to be clear about what kind of opportunity you have to offer, and the kind of person you’d like to work with. Describe your opportunity Apprenticeships come in all shapes, sizes, […]

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          Understanding Value of Gain Can Keep You in the Black

          By   2 months ago

          As I was talking to Blake about this piece, he told me about something Gordon Hazzard had once written. He said it went something like: “We are grass farmers, and we need to remember we are selling grass and water wrapped up in a cow hide.” Blake’s take on this is “Grass makes us our […]

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          Do You Know What Your Competitive Advantage Is?

          By   2 months ago

          One of the ways that beef producers can be successful in their business is to identify what their competitive advantage is in relation to their competition.  What is it about your product, skills, reputation, business structure, location or service that sets you apart from others?  What gives you a “leg up” on the competition? Asking […]

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          Adapting to Drought – Lessons That Lead to Success

          By   3 months ago

          In my February article, A Start-Up Grazier Shares Lessons Learned, I outlined several lessons we have learned in the early years of our cattle operation. Kathy asked that I share more details about each of the lessons from that first article to cover more of the challenges and solutions we developed along the way. Lesson […]

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          Tools for Deciding How to Diversify Your Operation

          By   3 months ago

          This week, we’re talking a bit about diversification, providing some examples of what it might look for different operations and how folks make the decision to diversify. This example comes to us from the Anderson’s of Whitman, Nebraska. We also share the story of Suzanne and George England, who decided to diversify instead of expand. […]

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          Hacks That Make and Save Money – The Dog-Goat Tractor and More

          By   3 months ago

          Self-sufficiency is on the minds of many folks these days. Victory gardens and chicken tractors were/are in the toolboxes of many families looking to harvest sustenance off their land. Back in 1918, public service flyers touted raising your own food and helping others with this tagline: “In time of peace a profitable recreation–In time of […]

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            The Classic by NatGLC View All →

            Two Grasses Show Us Why Grazing Management is Both an Art and a Science

            By   7 days ago

            Different grasses respond differently to grazing. Knowing what those responses are might change how we manage our pastures to get maximum productivity. From July of 2016, here’s some food for thought. How is grass productivity above and below ground affected by grazing at different heights or by leaving different residuals after grazing? A study at […]

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            Should You Get a Fault Finding Fence Tester?

            By   2 weeks ago

            Wayne R. who runs FencerFixer, shared this helpful information with us in May of 2015. It’s still helpful today. I usually say if you have over 10 or 20 acres of area fenced off, then go ahead and buy a good fault finding tester. If you have less than that, then purchasing a standard digital […]

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            How to Turn Wooded Sites into Silvopastures (Pastures With Trees!)

            By   3 weeks ago

            Lately folks have been asking for input on how to create pasture from overgrown wood/brush areas. From June of 2017, Brett Chedzoy has your recipe for success. Throughout most humid regions of the US, the landscape is dotted with old farm fields and pastures that today grow trees and shrubs.  In some cases, there are […]

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            How to Figure Out How Big Your Pasture Should Be

            By   4 weeks ago

            From June of 2013, here’s a timely article for those of you wondering “Is my pasture the right size?” While Sarah’s video targets dairy graziers, anyone raising livestock on pasture can benefit from spending 5 minutes watching. You’ll learn how to do the quick and easy math to figure out how big your pastures should […]

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            Portable Water That Moves With the Herd

            By   1 month ago

            If there’s no water in a pasture, it doesn’t matter how much grass it has. Here are examples from your fellow farmers and ranchers of how they put water where they needed it, drawn from a 2014 issue of On Pasture. Getting water to livestock in pasture can be a challenge and farmers and ranchers […]

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            Is Your Grazing Management Making a Difference? The Photos Show!

            By   1 month ago

            Our memories are fickle things, sometimes only remembering the best, other times only the worst, and sometimes nothing at all. From June of 2017, here’s a way to improve your memory and mark the progress you’re making in improving your pastures. Would you like to have concrete proof of your management successes? Would you like […]

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            Reducing Pasture Rest Days Is Expensive

            By   2 months ago

            From June of 2018, the breakdown of how much just a couple days less rest could cost. We all know that giving our pastures enough time to recover before grazing them again is critical to our success. But what may be news is how big the impact of just a few days less of recovery […]

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            Greg Judy’s Fencing Advice

            By   2 months ago

            It’s that time of year when fencing is top of mind. So here’s a May 2019 article to give you a few pointers. I’ve also added Greg’s responses to some questions readers had. Enjoy! In this 3:30 video, we visit the fence I built in 1999 that is still functioning as sheep pasture. It uses […]

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              Consider This View All →

              Will Eating Dirt Make Us Smarter?

              By   2 weeks ago

              Back in 2014, there was a lot of buzz about how a bacteria found in soil may help reduce depression. But that’s not the only thing dirt might be good for. Additional research shows that same bacteria might even make us smarter. Let’s start with depression.  Based on results in lung cancer patients, who said […]

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              Evaluating Apprenticeship Applications & Conducting Effective Interviews

              By   4 weeks ago

              This our third in the series to help you find and work with apprentices and interns. Last week, we talked about how to be clear about what kind of opportunity you have to offer, and the kind of person you’d like to work with. Now, let’s talk about evaluating applications and conducting effective interviews. Go […]

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              Considering Hiring an Apprentice or Intern? Questions to Ask Yourself First

              By   1 month ago

              The national average age of U.S. ranchers and farmers is approaching 60, and less than two percent of the U.S. population is currently dedicated to producing food. Experienced producers have decades of accumulated knowledge–and unless we find ways to pass this on to the next generation, the value of this experience may be lost. Given […]

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              One Step Closer to Lyme Disease Vaccine

              By   2 months ago

              Thanks to Josh Babcock, College of Veterinary Medicine,Washington State University for this article. Researchers have discovered the reason that Lyme disease can cause persistent arthritis. It’s a “shield” that protects our antibodies from attacking and destroying the part of the bacterium that causes arthritis. Troy Bankhead, associate professor in WSU’s Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology department, […]

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              Woven Wire Fencing Hack

              By   2 months ago

              If you’ve worked with rolls of woven wire fencing, you know how heavy they can be and how awkward it can be to try to unroll and set up. Repairman Jared decided to build his own solution, a rig he can hook to his tracker to hold the roll and make it easy to unroll. […]

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              Managing for Resilience Begins to Pay Off

              By   3 months ago

              I am a fairly young man seeing things I never thought we would. In the midst of a global pandemic we’ve all been shaken out of our normal. I am hunkered in my basement (mostly hiding from a 2-year-old) while making an attempt at teleworking as a soil conservation district technician. My wife is putting […]

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              Hacks That Make and Save Money – The Dog-Goat Tractor and More

              By   3 months ago

              Self-sufficiency is on the minds of many folks these days. Victory gardens and chicken tractors were/are in the toolboxes of many families looking to harvest sustenance off their land. Back in 1918, public service flyers touted raising your own food and helping others with this tagline: “In time of peace a profitable recreation–In time of […]

              Read More →

              Grasslands and the Herds that Graze Them Provide Critical Ecosystem Services

              By   3 months ago

              Cattle play a vital role out on the landscapes for grasslands. They mimic in many ways what historic bison used to do. That’s why we need cattle out on the landscape. Marshall Johnson Vice President Audubon Society The Audubon Society knows all about the important role livestock play in protecting grassland habitat for birds and […]

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                The Funnies View All →

                These Folks Had a Bad Day

                By   3 weeks ago

                I hope you don’t have days like these! https://v.pinimg.com/videos/mc/720p/27/70/f0/2770f0482efc00cddfb3bc49cd397d69.mp4

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                What Do You See?

                By   1 month ago

                Sometimes our eyes fool us!

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                The Swish Machine – A 70-Step Basketball Trick Shot

                By   1 month ago

                A great Rube Goldberg machine. Thanks to Bill Fosher for sharing this!

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                Space – the Final Frontier

                By   2 months ago

                Another adventure of the Starship Enterprise…

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                A Series of Fails

                By   2 months ago

                There are all kinds of ways for things to go wrong. https://v.pinimg.com/videos/mc/720p/0b/f7/48/0bf74857d7ad7140c5384f17077cdb55.mp4

                Read More →