The Scoop View All →

Welcome Saddle Butte Ag to the On Pasture Community!

By   6 days ago

We got a really nice call the other day from the folks at Saddle Butte Ag. They wanted to become a sponsor of On Pasture to support the work we do providing graziers with the information they need. Doing something that benefits everyone isn’t a new thing for Saddle Butte Ag. As a family owned […]

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Does Keeping the Soil Wet Around a Ground Rod Keep an Electric Fence Hot?

By   2 weeks ago

This week’s electric fence article from Jason Detzel describes how to set up a Pos/Neg fence to keep it hot even when weeds begin to build up along the bottom wire. It’s a lesson he learned from first-hand experience. You’ll appreciate the diagrams included, as well as the video that shows how to implement it […]

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Burger King’s “breathe the farts of change” Campaign Doesn’t Pass the Sniff Test

By   3 weeks ago

Does lemongrass solve the cattle methane problem? Dr. Frank Mitloehner, UC-Davis professor and extension specialist, is known for challenging the FAO’s numbers on cattle and climate change and getting them to change. Here he tells us what’s up with Burger King’s newest ad campaign.

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Do You Have the Allies You Need to Be a Successful Grazier?

By   4 weeks ago

A note from Kathy: Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how inter-related we all are and how much the quality of my life depends on the actions and responses of others, and how much the simplest things I do are equally important to them. It turns out my friend John Marble has been thinking […]

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Flying Snakes

By   1 month 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   1 month 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   2 months 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   2 months 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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    Grazing Management View All →

    Hove Family Increasing Profitability and Biodiversity

    By   6 days ago

      When Calvin Hove’s dad bought their place near Sisseton, South Dakota in 1958, the property had two functions. One side was pasture, the other side was where they made hay and fed the cattle. Since then, things have changed a lot. Calvin’s son Mark has worked with a variety of partners to develop more […]

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    I Got Burned – My Lesson About Hot Fence

    By   2 weeks ago

    There are two different types of high tensile fences on my place.  The original fence was built to hold and protect sheep so it is a five strand high tensile that reaches down to about 5 inches above the ground.  The new fencing, which was installed in 2017 and was built for beef cattle, is […]

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    Greg Judy on Stockpiling to Extend Your Grazing Season

    By   3 weeks ago

    Last week we started a discussion about how to go about stockpiling in the coming months. This week we continue with some thoughts from Greg Judy. Greg is always innovating, and in this case he’s looking at stockpiling a bit differently. In Part 1, we talked about one of the hardest parts of stockpiling: it […]

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    Extend Your Grazing Season By Stockpiling Forage – Part 1

    By   4 weeks ago

    There are two different ways to feed your livestock with stockpiled forage over the winter. One way is to make hay or silage and then feed it to livestock over the winter. This can be quite expensive. The other option, which is much more economical, is to leave the forage in pasture where it stands, […]

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    Answers to the Most Commonly Asked Grazing Questions

    By   1 month 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   1 month 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   2 months 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   2 months 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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      Pasture Health View All →

      Cows Can Eat Multiflora Rose

      By   6 days ago

      If you’re one of the folks who hate multiflora rose, you’re not alone. It’s been declared a noxious weed in almost all of the states where it’s found. Yet, it has many fine qualities. It makes a good rootstock for developing ornamental varieties of roses. That’s why it was originally imported from Japan. It’s also […]

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      How to Plant a Tree in Your Pasture

      By   2 weeks ago

      If you missed all the important things that trees can do for you and your livestock, check out last week’s article, “Take Your Grazing Up a Level By Adding Trees to Your Pastures.”. It’s that time of year when everyone has long forgotten the cold of winter and the mild days of spring. The summer […]

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      Take Your Grazing Up a Level By Adding Trees to Your Pastures

      By   3 weeks ago

      As someone who spends a lot of time talking with farmers about planting trees, there’s a certain phrase I’ve heard more than I can count. “Why in the world would someone do that? My granddad spent years clearing the woods so we can farm.” If you’re reading a grazing publication, I’ll assume you’re a bit […]

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      Has Dry Weather Got You Worried? Planting Annual Forages Can Provide Fall Feed

      By   4 weeks ago

      Thanks to co-author Dr. Jerry Volesky, University of Nebraska-Lincoln extension range and forage specialist. Listen to a discussion of the content in this article on this episode of the BeefWatch podcast. You can subscribe to new episodes in iTunes or paste http://feeds.feedburner.com/unlbeefwatch into your podcast app. Dry conditions in many parts of the country are […]

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      Manuresheds – Moving Manure Back to Fields and Pastures

      By   1 month 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   1 month 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   2 months 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   2 months 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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        Livestock View All →

        Grass-Finishing Myths that Reduce Profitability

        By   6 days ago

        Note from Kathy: These are just three of the ten grass-finishing myths that will Greg will be covering in the Introductory/Overview session of the upcoming online Pasture-Finished Beef Workshop August 11-13 from 7-9PM ET. This is going to be a great workshop, covering topics important to anyone trying to finish beef on pasture. It will […]

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        How I Raise Great Beef on Pasture

        By   2 weeks ago

        Raising great beef is both easy and hard. Each day it’s pretty easy to go about doing the animal chores, moving cattle to new grass, setting them up with water, and making sure they have supplemental minerals available. Each morning I move the cow herd to fresh pasture so they can glean the highest quality […]

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        Fly Management to Reduce Pinkeye Problems

        By   3 weeks ago

        It’s July, and as usual, the most popular article at On Pasture right now is “The Easiest Way to Treat Pink Eye.” Why July? Well, that’s when fly populations seem to reach their peak, and one fly in particular, the face fly, is a big part of spreading pink eye through a herd. That means […]

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        The Wave – the Secret to Keeping Calves and Lambs with Their Moms When Moving Them

        By   4 weeks ago

        For the last 8-10 years I have been working on an efficient method to move new born calves and lambs from pasture to pasture. This is something that scares many people and keeps them from managing grass at the same time they are calving/lambing. Most people will have a birthing pasture that gets hammered because […]

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        Facilities for a Stocker Operation

        By   1 month 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   1 month 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   2 months 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   2 months 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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          Money Matters View All →

          Rancher Loren Poncia Talks Covid-19 and a Shift to Direct-to-Consumer Sales

          By   6 days ago

          Loren Poncia of Stemple Creek Ranch near Tomales Bay, California is a fourth generation rancher raising grass fed beef, lamb and pork. His goal is to “raise an awesome, wholesome, nutritious product, and, at the same time, do the dance with Mother Nature to build soil health and biodiversity.” When Covid-19 hit, the ranch lost […]

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          These Could Be The Best Cows

          By   3 weeks ago

          Back in May, John wrote “What Makes a Really Good Cow” where he talked about judging the cows in your herd by blaming them for how their calves turn out and selling the cows that fail that basic test of performance. That’s a great theory, but how does it work out in practice? John shares […]

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          Diverse Income from Your Scenic Pastures: Consider Glamping

          By   1 month 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   2 months 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   2 months 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   3 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   3 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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            The Classic by NatGLC View All →

            Stockpiling for Winter Grazing – Reasons and How-To’s

            By   6 days ago

            We first shared this article and video in August of 2013, just a few months after we started On Pasture. So chances are good that most of you haven’t seen it. You really should though. Yes, it is a little longer than most that I give you. But this 16:47 minutes is like taking a […]

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            What Do Graziers Do in August? Stage Forage, Prep Stockpile and Plan for Winter Forage/Feed

            By   2 weeks ago

            From August of 2018, here’s a list of what graziers should be doing now. August often seems to arrive too early and speeds by way too fast. Mentally to me, August 1st starts the countdown to the first frosty morning. That time frame, depending on where you are in Indiana, is generally 60-75 days. There […]

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            Trampling Our Way to Success – Thoughts From a Workshop With Ian Mitchell-Innes

            By   3 weeks ago

            This week’s Classic by NatGLC comes to us from July of 2013. It’s a message well worth another look. “Graziers need to get beyond the paralyzing paradigm of wasting grass if we want to be truly sustainable.” Those are the words of Ian Mitchell-Innes, a South African farmer, philosopher, punster, and no-nonsense, world renowned educator […]

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            Radishes Are Good For Soil Health!

            By   4 weeks ago

            From December of 2014, here’s some amazing information about what radishes can do for soil. When this video starts, you might say to yourself “Precision Cover Cropping?! I do pasture!” But don’t turn it off! What this video has to tell us about soil fertility from cover crops is something that we can use in […]

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

            By   1 month 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   1 month 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   2 months 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   2 months 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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              Consider This View All →

              Rethinking Methane – Why Livestock Are Not the Problem and Could Be a Solution

              By   2 weeks ago

                Cow burps and farts – that’s mostly what first comes up when people talk about agricultural methane, making it seem kind of silly. So why all the concern? It’s because methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas, about 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide for the decade it lasts in the atmosphere. But, […]

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              Build a Self-Starter Apprentice/Employee With Feedback and Mentoring

              By   4 weeks ago

              Adding an apprentice or intern to your operation is a great way to add energy and new ideas to your operation while providing training to the next generation of graziers. But, like any new practice, there’s information to make it easier, and skills we must develop to be successful. For the past 6 weeks, Leah […]

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              Will Eating Dirt Make Us Smarter?

              By   1 month 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   2 months 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   2 months 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   3 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   3 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   4 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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                The Funnies View All →

                Give Your Chicken Arms

                By   6 days ago

                Here’s a fun DIY project. We’ve included all the instructions and some buying suggestions for the supplies you’ll need too.

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                Cats in Pumpkin Hats Ring Bells

                By   2 weeks ago

                I’ve been forbidden from teaching my cat, Molly, to do this. If you’d like to see a video of the tricks Molly can do, here you go: Adjust Your Expectations For More Success – Lessons From a Cat

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                Tip of the Day

                By   3 weeks ago

                If you are pouring concrete by a pond that has ducks it’s not a good idea to let the whole crew go to lunch at the same time. (Photo courtesy of a friend of a friend.)

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                Beef Basketball

                By   4 weeks ago

                This seems like a recipe for disaster. I don’t think one of the players really understands the rules. (Click on the play arrow to activate video.) 

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                These Folks Had a Bad Day

                By   2 months 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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