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The Scoop View All →

For Earth Day, Do What You Do Best – Graze!

By   3 days ago

This week I ran across a video from one of On Pasture’s sponsors, Organic Valley. In it, Kevin Mahalko talks about one part of the “Soul of Farming:” grass. He talks about the relationship between grass and his dairy cows, and the importance of a farmer’s stewardship of his lands to everyone around him. I […]

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Even a Tiny Bit of Water Makes Things Grow

By   1 week ago

Check out the super bloom in Tucson, and find out how you can grow one with On Pasture.

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Know Where Your Food Comes From

By   2 weeks ago

As a kid, even though I grew up in town, I knew a lot about where my food came from. In the summers, while Dad was at work, Mom took my brother and me, and sometimes some of the neighborhood kids, on field trips. We visited Monfort feedlots in Greeley, driving around among the pens […]

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Things Farmers Never Tell You

By   3 weeks ago

The first time I bred the does in my goat research project, people kept asking, “How will you know they’re pregnant?” My answer: “If they have a baby, they were pregnant.” I was asked this question so often I decided this must be important information to have. So the next year I bought a marking […]

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Standing Up For On Pasture

By   1 month ago

Have you heard that sitting is the new smoking? Yeah – head over to  Start Standing, and you can read all about the risks associated with sitting all day long. Research has shown that it slows metabolism by 90% after just 30 minutes, messes with cholesterol levels, and can even shorten our lifespan. This is […]

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What is the Most Read Online Grazing Resource?

By   1 month ago

It’s On Pasture! Surprised? I guess I am a little bit. When I first talked to friends and colleagues about starting a grazing publication, all I really wanted to do was get good information to graziers in a format that was easy to understand and that could be applied quickly. I wasn’t thinking about world […]

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Three Steps to a Profitable Farm/Ranch – Webinar This Friday

By   1 month ago

The whole purpose of On Pasture is to help more folks make a better living. We’ve addressed ways to do that with grazing management, understanding how your forage works, and ways to manage livestock. But I’ve always wanted to do more to address teh most heartbreaking complaint I hear over and over from farmers and […]

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Get Your FREE 2019 Grazing Chart and Get Your Grazing Season Off On the Right Foot

By   2 months ago

You’ve heard this Chinese proverb, right? It’s the same with getting started planning your grazing. If you haven’t already started using a chart or some other management tool, the time to do it is now. And we’re lucky to have Troy Bishopp to help us get going. Troy is enthusiastic about grazing, about making it […]

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    Grazing Management View All →

    Thinking Outside the Box Can Be Fun and Profitable

    By   3 days ago

    One of the easiest things to do on the farm is to get in a pattern of doing things the same way. This may go on for days or even years. We seem to get comfortable in a zone and no longer question how we do things during our daily routines around the farm. We […]

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    Sharing the Bounty of Spring – Providing Food and Shelter for Wildlife, Whether We Want To or Not

    By   1 week ago

    This is an exciting time of year here on the ranch. The plants, the animals, and the people are all starting to recover from a difficult winter. Grass is sending up cautious spears to look around and some early forbs are getting busy too. We humans are trying to shift from rubber boots and heavy […]

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    Temporary Perimeter Fencing

    By   2 weeks ago

    Perimeter fencing is an important part of a rotational grazing system, and if, like a high tensile fence it’s also electrified, it makes it easier to set up paddocks and move livestock. Here’s the last in our series on setting up high tensile fence. (This piece was updated on 4/16/2019 with additional photos of gate set up.)

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    Grazing Principles to Start Your Season Off Right

    By   3 weeks ago

    This 4:53 video from Ranchlands is a great example of how the principles of grass and livestock management are the same, no matter your location or climate. Check it out, and then read on for a list of principles and how to make them work for you. 1. What Are Your Goals? The Ranchlands managers […]

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    High Tensile Fencing Knots

    By   3 weeks ago

    Last week Greg Judy shared a couple of videos showing how he sets up effective, economical fencing using high-tensile wire. To make your own set-up easier, here are instructions for the wire knots to make the fence as strong as it can be. These instructional videos come to us from Tim Thompson, an Agriculture teacher […]

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    High-Tensile Fencing Tips from Greg Judy

    By   1 month ago

    High-tensile electric fence is the most effective and economical fence that you can build on leased land and it’s what I put up after negotiating a 10 year lease on a farm that had no fencing. In this 2:38 video, I describe how I set up a 5-strand hi-tensile fence using 12.5 gauge 180,000 psi […]

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    The Power of One Wire

    By   1 month ago

    Dr. Matt Poore also contributed to this article. The tools to improve productivity that we have at our disposal are quite astonishing. Computers that allow us to analyze our operations, equipment used to plant/harvest crops to produce feed, and the genetic predictions used to select better livestock are just a few examples of tools that […]

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    The Most Effective Pasture Rejuvenation Method Ever – and it’s FREE

    By   1 month ago

    Tom Krawiec and Troy Bishopp are on the same wave length – grazing charts are where it’s at if you want to have healthy pastures and a successful grazing season.

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      Livestock View All →

      SACB Method for Grafting Orphan Calves

      By   3 days ago

      SACB Method: (pronounced ‘sawb’) a simple and easy way to graft calves. Everyone and their dog has a sure fire method for grafting a twin or orphan calf. However, each method takes time and patience. These are things I don’t normally have during calving. Further, the very fact that an animal has to be handled […]

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      Prepping For Livestock Arrival

      By   1 week ago

      For those of you who are starting new herds or adding to the one you have, here are some tips to make sure you’re ready to receive new livestock. Coordinate With Your Shipper on Lane and Gate Size An eighteen-wheeler may fit through your gate, but will it be able to make it down the […]

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      Prevent Grass Tetany in Beef Cows

      By   2 weeks ago

      Thanks for this article go to Karla H. Jenkins, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Cow/Calf Systems and Stocker Management and Mary Drewnoski, Nebraska Extension Beef Systems 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 […]

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      Driving Cows and Calves – How to Make Sure They Stay Together

      By   1 month ago

      In the last four articles we talked about how to properly drive cattle. (Here are the last four articles in case you missed them: Approaching the Herd, Starting Herd Movement, Driving Your Herd, Turning Your Herd.) Driving pairs deserves special attention because this could well be the #1 livestock handling problem on ranches; that is, […]

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      Calf Scour Management

      By   1 month ago

      Thanks to Alberta Agriculture and Forestry for providing this great information! Calf scours can cause a large financial loss to cow-calf producers. With scours, the intestine fails to absorb fluids and/or secretion, and the material is passed into the small and large intestines. These higher fluid levels in the manure result in a watery discharge. […]

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      Turning Your Herd – How To Guide Them Once You’ve Got Them Moving

      By   2 months ago

      Here’s another in Whit Hibbard’s series on Low-Stress Livestock Handling. Earlier this year Tom Krawiec wrote about how he used these techniques to save his ranch $2400. Whit is following up with the information you need to build your own skills. Check out our Special Collection of Whit’s articles to see everything in the series. […]

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      Driving Your Herd – Better Techniques to Get Where You’re Going

      By   2 months ago

      Last week Tom Krawiec wrote about how much money he saved simply by using low-stress handling to drive his cattle. Since folks wanted to learn more, Whit is sharing this article on the low-stress handling techniques that made Tom’s cattle drive possible. Just about everything we do with our cattle comes down to driving them […]

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      Teaching Cattle To Graze Like Goats

      By   3 months ago

      Not so long ago, I visited Mike Roberts, the ranch manager at Waldron Ranch in Alberta, Canada. Mike is definitely one of those outside-the-box thinkers. As a great example, he is teaching his cattle to be goats to control woody species invasion on native rangelands. On part of the ranch, he has developed about 50 […]

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        Money Matters View All →

        A Model for Getting Local Meats and Produce Into Supermarkets

        By   3 days ago

        Fifteen years ago, it was unheard of for a small farm to sell beef to a supermarket. But today, thanks to Diana Endicott and several projects supported by Sustainable Agriculture Research and Educatioan grants (SARE), over 100 farmers in the Kansas City area supply 30 supermarkets, with meats, fruits, vegetables and specialty goods. Diana and […]

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        DEADLINE ALERT: Conservation Stewardship Program Applications Due May 10, 2019

        By   1 week ago

        $700 million is available nationwide to support conservation efforts on your operation. But you have to fill out a short form and apply by the deadline to be considered. The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is USDA’s largest conservation program, offering whole farm, comprehensive conservation assistance to farmers and ranchers across the country. CSP helps producers […]

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        Fiber Farm Grows Thanks to Technical and Financial Assistance

        By   2 weeks ago

        Thanks to Savannah Halleaux, Michigan FSA Public Affairs & Outreach Coordinator for sharing this article with us. “It was always my desire to have a sheep farm,” said Bridget Kavanagh, owner and shepherdess of Happy Goat Lucky Ewe Fiber Farm in Mason, Michigan. Kavanagh bought the property in 1987 when her children were little. It […]

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        Is Your Grass Making You Money?

        By   1 month ago

        Once you get your grazing organized (see how to do that here), you will see a lot of benefits. You will have more grass, more water, then birds, bugs, and wildlife will return. These are pretty cool benefits! Many would call this sustainable agriculture. There is another aspect of sustainability that doesn’t get much attention, […]

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        Is That Farm/Ranch Enterprise Really Making You Money?

        By   1 month ago

        Allocating costs is a tool used to assist in financial and managerial decision making within your operation. Done well it can help you focus on what’s making the most profit for you.

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        New ARS Study Shows U.S. Beef Is Not a Significant Contributor to Global Warming

        By   1 month ago

        An Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-led team has completed a comprehensive life-cycle analysis quantifying the resource use and various environmental emissions of beef cattle production in the United States. Their results so far indicate that U.S. beef’s contribution to climate change is small percentage of the country’s Greenhouse Gas emissions, and were not a significant contributor […]

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        Shiitake Mushrooms Add Value to Silvopasture

        By   2 months ago

        Note from Kathy: In April of 2018 I visited Greg and Jan Judy at Green Pastures farm. When I arrived, Greg was in the middle of inoculating logs with Shiitake mushroom mycelium, and he explained the process and the adjustments they’d made to their operation as it has grown. Check out Greg’s video here, as […]

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        Jumping In With Both Feet – How One Young Rancher Got Started in the 21st Century

        By   2 months ago

        Last month John described what successful ranching might look like in the future, and what steps young ranchers might consider. This article is another look at that subject, sharing the example of  a young entrepreneur finding success with a diverse, forward-thinking business model. My young friend Cody Wood is a nut; anyone can see that. […]

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          Consider This View All →

          The Conservation Stewardship Program – Funding for Improvements to Your Operation

          By   3 days ago

          “What CSP has done for us, it has allowed us to explore better options and produce a better product. it gives you a little more financial freedom to do things, things that you dream up and say ‘Gees, I wish we could do this, but money wise you just can’t’. It’s given us more freedom […]

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          High Tensile Fencing Knots

          By   3 weeks ago

          Last week Greg Judy shared a couple of videos showing how he sets up effective, economical fencing using high-tensile wire. To make your own set-up easier, here are instructions for the wire knots to make the fence as strong as it can be. These instructional videos come to us from Tim Thompson, an Agriculture teacher […]

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          A Farmer Walks Into a Print Shop….The True Story Behind the Free Grazing Charts

          By   1 month ago

          “A farmer walks into a print shop” could be the beginning of a funny joke. The joke, however, is mostly on you, as many farmers and ranchers have said they can’t take our excel file of free grazing chart templates and get them printed on a door-sized piece of paper. And then, when Troy gets […]

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          The Little Things Matter

          By   2 months ago

          Little things add up to big things that cost time and money. Here’s how to stop them while they’re small.

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          Getting Water to the Stock Means a Ranch Survives

          By   2 months ago

          Thanks to Heather Emmons of the Natural Resources Conservation Service for this story of how to get water where livestock need it. (It comes to us from the  Conservation Roadtrip and you can see it in it’s original form here.) It can give you an idea of how you might work with the NRCS on […]

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          From Tibet, With Love

          By   2 months ago

          When your spouse knows you and what you love, even the most ordinary ranch supplies can become a sweet gift.

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          Sojourn in the Snow

          By   2 months ago

          Have you been having any fun lately? Troy reminds us to be kids once in awhile.

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          A Bull Named Pron

          By   3 months ago

          We were over at John Seal’s one day looking to buy some of those big Holstein heifers from Wisconsin that he would go up there and get about twice a year. We were trying to grow our outfit and our heifer production, in our mind, was going too slow. We had bought heifers from John […]

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            The Classic by NatGLC View All →

            Surviving Volatile Cattle Prices

            By   3 days ago

            When we first shared this article in October of 2016, John started with, “The cattle market is in the toilet. The future looks even worse. Calves bring only one-half of what they did a couple years back. Stocker margins are negative, feeders too.” The graph below shows why he said that. Cattle prices had risen […]

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            Guides for Identifying Pasture Grasses

            By   1 week ago

            This is the time of year when folks wonder, “What’s that growing in my pasture?” You can use these handy guides to help you find out. A number of On Pasture readers have asked for help identifying what they’ve got growing in their pastures. Finding resources for all of you is a little challenging because […]

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            Streams and Grazing – How to Do the Right Thing

            By   2 weeks ago

            From May of 2018, here’s the last in a series by Troy about one of the most important things we can do as graziers: protect streams and water bodies. All across the country, farmers and ranchers are facing tightening regulations and restrictions on grazing next to streams and water bodies. In his first article on […]

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            Plant Diversity in Pasture Improves Animal Productivity

            By   3 weeks ago

            Before I began farming, I was an oceanographer. I used to study tiny, planktonic crustaceans called copepods that feed on microscopic algae, at the base of the food chain, and are themselves consumed by fishes. Some 70 percent of all fishes in the ocean eat copepods at some time in their lives. So naturally, oceanographers […]

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            Sna-Koil™ – A Revolutionary Soil Treatment?

            By   1 month ago

            From Spring of 2013….here’s something to pay attention to. Sna-Koil™ is a revolutionary new product that works equally well for all crops, in all soil types, and in all environments. Farmers from Antarctica to Iowa, from Siberia to the Sahara, are raving about it! Used properly, Sna-Koil™ will: • MAKE YOU MONEY • Reduce your […]

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            Does it Pay to Fertilize Pastures? Part 1 of 2

            By   1 month ago

            Yes, some folks say they’ve been able to give up fertilizing thanks to excellent grazing management. For those of us who are still working on getting there, here’s what research has shown about the economics of an added boost.

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            You Can Train Your Livestock to Eat Those Weeds – No Matter the Size of Your Pasture

            By   1 month ago

            From March of 2018, it’s my annual reminder to you! It’s that time of year again when those special forbs start poking their heads up in your grassy pastures. That means it’s also the time of year when I remind you, “Those are NOT weeds. That is good forage!” And then I remind you that […]

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            Mud Season Is Coming – How to Set Up Spring Grazing For Success All Year Long

            By   2 months ago

            From March of 2017, Greg Judy’s tips for transitioning through mud season to good grazing. In just a few weeks it will officially be Spring. It’s the time when we start seeing a tinge of green grass poking its baby head up. Middle of March is also the normal time to have tons of mud […]

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              Pasture Health View All →

              Greg Judy Talks Spring Turn Out on Green Pastures Farm

              By   1 week ago

              Folks asked me to do a video showing what it looks like as I’m getting ready to turn cows out this Spring. So here’s a video from April 4. In this video you’ll see the green grass that is ready for our cattle, along with the old grass – a perfect mixture for making sure […]

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              Grazing Cover Crops for Soil Health and Profit

              By   2 weeks ago

              Thanks to Elisabeth Spratt of the Pasture Project for this article on their recently finished project! If you raise crops and are looking for a way to improve your soils and your bottom line, Wade Dooley says cover crops grazed by livestock is your solution. “It is the best and fastest way to realize an […]

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              Feeding Hay to Improve Your Land – Part 6

              By   3 weeks ago

              This is the last part in Jim’s series. If you missed any part, here are links to catch up: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5. Hay is more Carbon (C) by dry weight than anything else. When we feed hay we are also adding carbon to the soil in addition […]

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              Feeding Hay to Improve Your Land – Part 5

              By   1 month ago

              In case you missed them, here are links for previous articles in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. We have so far only considered the role of buying and feeding hay as a Nitrogen source for your pastures. Hay is also a great source for slow-release Phosphorus to benefit your […]

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              Feeding Hay to Improve Your Land – Part 4

              By   1 month ago

              Did you miss the start of this series? Here is Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Bale grazing has been increasing in popularity for several years now. This method of feeding minimizes or eliminates the need for running any feeding equipment in the winter months, but is it really all sunshine and roses? Let’s […]

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              Feeding Hay to Improve Your Land – Part 3

              By   1 month ago

              If you missed them, catch up by reading Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. Having a systematic approach to hay feeding is a critical part of maximizing the nutrient benefits you get when feeding hay is a big piece of your pasture fertility program. We have already seen in the previous post the […]

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              Feeding Hay to Improve Your Land – Part 2

              By   2 months ago

              This is Part 2 in Jim’s series. If you missed Part 1, here you go! When you feed hay for fertilizer, we often think of it as a way to reduce the need for purchased fertilizer, especially Nitrogen (N). Have you thought about how much N you may actually be applying when you feed hay? […]

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              A Rancher’s Discovery Shows Promise for Controlling Medusahead Rye

              By   2 months ago

              In two previous articles, Beth Burritt wrote about the scariest invasive plant I know, Medusahead rye. This week, I’m sharing the good news that there may be a solution for controlling it.

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                The Funnies View All →

                A New Opportunity for Diversifying

                By   3 days ago

                If you’re going to do this, you might want to see what kind of releases your gym members should sign. Without you, On Pasture doesn’t happen! If you appreciate what On Pasture does for you, please join your fellow readers and send support to meet our grant match. Becoming an Ongoing Supporter with monthly support […]

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                Dad and Daughter Sing-Along

                By   1 week ago

                The fireworks show had just ended, but this little gal thought she kept hearing them outside. So her Dad sang with her to keep her mind preoccupied. In the end, nothing competes with fireworks. Maybe I love this because I’m learning to play the ukulele. If we run into each other somewhere, we can sing […]

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                What Do You Call A Cow That Doesn’t Give Milk?

                By   2 weeks ago

                You may have other names for her too! Without you, On Pasture doesn’t happen! If you appreciate what On Pasture does for you, please join your fellow readers and send support to meet our grant match. Becoming an Ongoing Supporter with monthly support is especially helpful when we approach funders. And right now, it would […]

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                How to Get Someone Else To Prep Your Garden for Free!

                By   3 weeks ago

                It will just take a little planning ahead and the right kind of relatives.

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                Is Your Teen Texting About Sustainable Farming?

                By   1 month ago

                Or maybe you’ve found yourself doing it!

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                Beware of Coyotes

                By   1 month ago

                The people who made this sign must have read the research that says humor boosts retention of important information. And in case you’ve never seen it – here’s the historic moment when the coyote catches the roadrunner! (Just 1:42) 🙂  

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                Extreme Ironing

                By   1 month ago

                Here’s a new sport to try – from the man who invented it!

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                Flamingo Sledding

                By   2 months ago

                If you’re in the path of the latest snowstorm, here’s an idea for making the most of it. Get your own personal flamingo. 🙂 They have ice dragons, unicorns, penguins and polar bears too. I know – what will they think of next?!

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