The Scoop View All →

Create the Grazing Publication of Your Dreams!

By   19 hours ago

Folks are sending us their ideas. Have you added your two cents? On Pasture is preparing for its 7th birthday (coming this March) by asking readers what we can do to serve you better. Our short survey asks why you come to On Pasture, how often you come, what On Pasture provides that other publications […]

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What Does On Pasture’s Future Look Like?

By   1 week ago

Here’s your chance to make OP’s future something that works even better for you! March of 2020 will mark seven years of On Pasture. What have we done together in that time? Check it out! We think those are pretty good stats, but we think we could do even more. So we’re asking you to […]

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A Little Holiday Break Brain Surgery For On Pasture 

By   2 weeks ago

A look behind the scenes at what keeps OP online. Last week, we moved On Pasture’s brain from our old server to a better dedicated server. We’ve done this a couple of times in the past in response to increasing readership that required more and more space and more connections to the server. In theory, […]

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Five Things You Can Do For Healthy Soils

By   1 month ago

On Pasture readers have told me they want to know more about improving their soils. And so, I shared a 5-week series on the principles of soil health. What I’ve learned from doing this for you is, though we’re working within a very complex system, what we need to remember is actually pretty simple: 1. […]

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On Pasture and the Yule Book Flood

By   1 month ago

Jolabokaflod – In Iceland that’s the word for this time of year. Translated directly, it means “Yule Book Flood.” It’s a celebration of both the Holiday season and the Icelandic passion for books. It begins with every family in the country getting the annual catalog of the year’s new books in the mail to help […]

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How Babba Louie Taught Me To Think Creatively About Predators

By   2 months ago

In the late ’90s, as part of my research project on the logistics and effectiveness of using goats to graze firebreaks, I got a guard donkey. Babba Louie was a stallion from the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro program. We gelded him, gentled him, and then penned him with my 50 wethers […]

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Stresses Affecting Graziers and How to Deal With Them – Kathy’s on a Podcast!

By   2 months ago

This week, I’m featured in the latest episode of Ag State of Mind. This podcast examines the stresses affecting farmers and ranchers and how to alleviate them and improve producers’ lives. In our wide-ranging discussion, host Jason Medows and I talk about everything from the ways On Pasture supports producers by providing information that can […]

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Get the Fencing and Watering System That’s Right for You

By   2 months ago

I really appreciate anyone who takes the time to understand grazier’s problems and then provides solutions that make sense. That’s why I’m really pleased to introduce American Grazinglands Services as our newest sponsor. You may already be familiar with the educational arm of American Grazinglands, Jim Gerrish. Jim has spent decades helping farmers and ranchers […]

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    Grazing Management View All →

    Flexibility Key to Grazing Through the Winter

    By   1 day ago

    Thanks to the Beef Cattle Research Council of Canada for this article. It includes a lot of examples of how one producer is solving the problem of keeping his herd grazing through the season through rain, mud, snow and ice. You’ll also find ideas on weaning, handling and culling. Enjoy! Variable weather is something Dean […]

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    This Ranch’s Grazing Management Improves Soil and Vegetation

    By   1 week ago

    The Bench Ranch has been using intensive, rotational grazing for at least 35 years and they have seen a change that includes more grass, healthy soils, and double the stocking rate the ranch used to carry. We add ideas for how you can follow in the ranch’s footsteps.

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    Outwintering Cattle With Stockpile and Bale Grazing

    By   2 weeks ago

    If you’re outwintering cattle, you have many options for providing the forage they need. In addition to grazing stockpiled pasture, I have tried bale grazing and unrolling hay. I have found all three methods to be useful in different situations. Preparing for Winter Before switching to seasonal heifer development, I used to outwinter a custom […]

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    Cody and Deanna Sand – Inspiration for Making Change and Being Happy

    By   4 weeks ago

    This series from our Special Collections, a great place to find series of articles on one topic. I’m sharing these articles because I think that Cody and Deanna Sand can inspire all of us to think about how we approach change. Here they describe the steps they took to move from $20,000 in debt to […]

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    How to Manage Wet Winter Grazing

    By   1 month ago

    I walked across some pastures on the last day of November and shook my head as water splashed up from my gum boots and splattered my pants. I was honestly hoping that this winter wouldn’t be anything like last year, but so far it is. Ugh, I’m afraid that mud is coming. Fall forage growth […]

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    Use Your Phone to Check Livestock Water and Pastures

    By   1 month ago

    This idea comes to us from the Beef Cattle Research Council of Canada. They’re sharing ideas from producers about how they improve the efficiency of their operations. Travis Peardon of Outlook, Saskatchewan likes to keep an eye on summer and winter watering systems as well as farmyard activities even when he might be some distance […]

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    Some Dos and Don’ts of Setting Up a Grazing Operation

    By   1 month ago

    I want to discuss the steps that we focus on when designing a new grazing operation on a new farm, starting with this saying: “If you have a lot of money, act like you don’t.” (If you don’t have a bunch of money ignore this.) The point is, being successful in a previous career is […]

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    Can You Please Manage, Pretty Please?! A Grazing Advocate’s Plea

    By   2 months ago

    It finally happened; a scream so loud, it echoed throughout the over-grazed hills and valleys of Central New York. Poised on a grassy knoll in “Braveheart” fashion, the Grass Whisperer yells out M-A-N-A-G-E. . . Call it a grazier’s meltdown, or a public service life purge; the agency-sponsored grazing professional and farmer who vehemently tries […]

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      Pasture Health View All →

      Let’s Watch Grass Grow!

      By   1 day ago

      You know how we always tell you that leaving more leaves of grass results in quicker recovery, and quicker recovery means more forage for your livestock?  If you’d like to see that in action, here some videos you’ll like. This first video is a comparison of the difference in response between orchardgrass continuously grazed to […]

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      Here’s a Great Resource for Learning More About Your Plants

      By   1 week ago

      Are you considering planting a new kind of forage in your pasture? Do you have trees or bushes that you’re trying to manage and you need to know more about them to be successful? Would you like to know what plants grow in your state? Well, here’s the website you need to answer all those […]

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      Understanding the Two Sides to Soil Organic Matter Can Help Us Improve Soil Health

      By   2 weeks ago

      This story comes to us from Anne Manning at Colorado State University. It’s helpful to our community because it gives us a better understanding of what is going on in the soil beneath our feet as we work to improve soil health. It turns out there are two different kinds of soil organic matter – […]

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      Meet the Father of Soil Conservation

      By   4 weeks ago

      More than 100 years ago, a young scientist, Hugh Hammond Bennett, recognized that the United States was at risk of losing it’s most important resource – it’s soil. He made it his mission to change the trajectory of agriculture at a time of great crisis and to provide farmers and ranchers with the information and […]

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      This Regenerative Rancher Manages for Grass

      By   1 month ago

      This piece was first published in November of 1962 in “Soil Conservation,” the monthly magazine of the Soil Conservation Service. It was written by Albert P. Thatcher and Brent J. Harrison, range conservationists with the Soil Conservation Service (today’s NRCS) in Casper and Gillette, Wyoming respectively. As you’ll notice, the practices of the rancher described […]

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      Soil Health Principles Part 5 – Diversity is Key

      By   1 month ago

      In the fifth part of our series on soil health principles, Buz Kloot focuses on the benefits of diversity for improving soil health. In his examples of a garden and two different row crop farmers, he demonstrates how growing a variety of cash crops, and a planting a diverse cover crop mix, can improve soil […]

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      Soil Health Principles Part 4 – Keep Live Roots in the Soil

      By   2 months ago

      In this, the fourth in our series on soil health principles, Buz Kloot talks about how, through photosynthesis, plants create carbon-based sugars, a sizeable portion of which is transferred into the soil via the plant’s roots. There, it feeds the 1-2 tons of soil microbes living in the soil. In return, as they process the […]

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      Soil Health Principles Part 3 – Keep the Soil Covered

      By   2 months ago

      This is the third in our series on soil health principles as presented by Buz Kloot, film maker and Research Associate Professor at the Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. We’re interested in principles because they provide the foundation for the decisions we make […]

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        Livestock View All →

        Is Soybean Stubble Good Cattle Feed?

        By   1 day ago

        After soybeans are harvested, cows sometimes are put out on the residues to graze. Some bean residues are even baled. But how good is this feed?   We’re all familiar with the usefulness of grazing corn stalks, but I see more and more residue from soybean fields grazed every year. Cows seem to like licking […]

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        Low-Stress Livestock Handling – Working Cattle in Alleyways

        By   1 week ago

        This piece comes to us from Whit Hibbard and Dawn Hnatow. In their first piece in this pen-working series, they described how to move cattle into a corral, how to empty pens from the front and the back, and how to get cattle out of a corner. Now, we move on to what to do […]

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        We Finally Get a BudBox

        By   2 weeks ago

        Animal handling can go a lot more smoothly with the proper facilities. Here’s how On Pasture author John Marble made that happen at his place.

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        Why Do Your Animals Eat What They Eat and Do What They Do?

        By   4 weeks ago

        This 4 article series by Darrell Emmick will give you a really strong understanding of what’s going on in your pasture with your plants and animals based on the latest information and research. You’ll find out how plants influence animals and animals influence plants, how animals remember where to go to find the best stuff […]

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        Low-Stress Livestock Handling and Corral Work – Part 1

        By   1 month ago

        It’s important that we talk about corral work for the simple reason that that’s where we spend a lot of time with our livestock, and it’s often a very stressful time for both animals and humans. Also, it’s unfortunately a great place to hurt performance and to teach our cattle that being in a herd […]

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        Seaweed Can Reduce Methane From Cows, But….

        By   1 month ago

        By now, you’ve probably heard the news that supplementing cattle with seaweed could reduce methane belched by livestock. In fact, researchers in Australia and the U.S. have found that feeding as little as .5% “Asparagopsis taxiformis, a red seaweed that grows in the tropics, can decrease methane emissions by 80 percent or more. But there […]

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        Flashing Night Lights Can Protect Livestock from Predators

        By   2 months ago

        Back in March of 2015, On Pasture published an article about Richard Turere, a 11-year-old Masai boy from Kenya, who invented a way to keep lions from nearby Nairobi National Park from attacking his village’s cattle. Using an old battery, a broken flashlight, an signal light switch from a motorcycle and a solar panel, he […]

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        Production Systems for Pasture-Finished Beef – Part 1

        By   2 months ago

        As Greg Halich writes in his introduction to the Producer’s Guide to Pasture-Based Beef Finishing, “Bringing animals to a finishing weight on pasture in a reasonable time frame is no easy task, and requires a fundamental understanding of how beef cattle mature as well as understanding the capabilities and limitations of various forages.” In the […]

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          Consider This View All →

          Bison Create Their Own Green Up

          By   1 day ago

          Graziers often cite bison as their inspiration for managing livestock in pastures and on rangelands. But what did bison actually do? Here’s what researchers learned from years of study of the Yellowstone bison.

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          What is the Cost of “Get Big or Get Out?”

          By   2 weeks ago

          A few months ago, at the World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin, our secretary of agriculture, Sonny Perdue, made a statement that was similar to one made in years past by the then secretary of agriculture Earl Butz, GET BIG OR GET OUT. There are those who believe that consolidation is inevitable and there is no […]

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          Loading Day – Goodbye to 2019

          By   4 weeks ago

            Here I am; pasture empty, pants dotted with cow manure and a hoof imprint on my calf, standing in an empty pen wondering about my life’s effort as a grass farmer nourishing the land and people. My work seems to be under attack from contributing to climate change to animal welfare issues. It’s an […]

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          Tell Me – Show Me – Watch Me: How to Train and Inspire New Hires

          By   1 month ago

          In 2004, I stumbled upon a book by Robert Kiyosaki entitled Cash Flow Quadrant.  It really changed the way I looked at what I was doing. I thought we were building a great business, but after reading Kiyosaki’s book I realized we were just creating a job for ourselves. The difference between a job and […]

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          Making a Go of It – This is How We Do It

          By   2 months ago

          There seems to be a real interest of late in the opportunities for young people to get started in livestock agriculture. The question that I would ask anyone young, or not so young, who has a dream of being in the cow business, where are you trying to go and how do you plan to […]

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          Grasslands May Adjust More Quickly to Warmer Winters

          By   2 months ago

          From the University of New Hampshire College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, here’s some insight into what happens to carbon uptake by grasslands and forests as our climate continues to warm. As climate changes, Northeast winters are warming more rapidly than other times of the year. While this may mean favorable growing conditions start earlier […]

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          Quitting the Ranch – A Tragic Account of Failure in Succession

          By   3 months ago

          A young friend of mine died the other day. To be honest, “died” doesn’t seem like quite the right word, probably because it’s not. On a beautiful fall day, my friend Donny picked up a gun and killed himself. Rest in peace, Donny. When it comes to situations like this, it seems we like to […]

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          Flannel Shirts and Pumpkin Spice Dreams

          By   3 months ago

          Here’s an ode to the winter fabric of farm and ranch life as a sign of the change of seasons.

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            The Classic by NatGLC View All →

            Be a Business, Not a Charity – Lessons From a Young Grazier

            By   1 day ago

            One of the things folks say they like about On Pasture is that our authors are also willing to share mistakes and lessons learned from things they did that didn’t go according to plan. That’s the whole point of this article, shared by Meg Grzeskiewicz two years ago. We’ve seen these same issues crop up […]

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            How a Grazing Plan Prevented a Wreck

            By   1 week ago

            “The pencil is mightier than the pen,” Robert M. Pirsig, of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. “If I’d written my plan in pen, I would have been in trouble!” Troy Bishopp, the Grass Whisperer   Every year, about this time, On Pasture starts reminding our community of the importance of having a plan […]

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            Make These Lists to Get Your 2020 Off to a Good Start

            By   2 weeks ago

            Another year has come and gone and now comes the time for all of the resolutions to be made for the New Year. Folks resolve to lose weight, quit smoking or dipping, cut back on their drinking, exercise more – you know, the standard stuff that will be forgotten by the end of January. This […]

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            You’re Reading On Pasture Thanks to the National Grazing Lands Coalition

            By   4 weeks ago

            As we close out 2019, I want to thank the National Grazing Lands Coalition (NatGLC) for all the support they’ve provided to On Pasture. When Rachel and I started, we had no funding at all, just an idea that helping graziers be more profitable and sustainable was a worthwhile thing to do. We hoped that […]

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            When It’s Cold, Cows Need More Feed

            By   1 month ago

            We think you already know this. But do you have the breakdown of how much more they need depending on the temperature, wind chill, and how wet or dry their coats are?

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            Tips for Stockpile Grazing Timing, Fencing and Pasture Size

            By   1 month ago

            From December of 2016, here are tips on pasture size, fencing equipment and more, to help with successful stockpile grazing. When to Start If possible and practical, it is best to not start grazing stockpiled forage until it goes dormant. Until it goes dormant, every time that solar panel of leaves is removed, the plant […]

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            How Nutritious is Your Annual and Stockpiled Forage?

            By   2 months ago

            From December of 2016, here’s some input on what you can expect from your stockpiled forage. Grazing your herd through the winter on standing forages in pasture is one way to reduce costs and improve your bottom line. It avoids the expense of baling, moving feed and then feeding. But is the feed giving your […]

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            In Times of Change, Be One of the Learners Who Will Survive

            By   2 months ago

            This is the season when we tend to reflect on where we are and where we want to go. I hope these thoughts from Don Ashford and November of 2015 are helpful to you. This is a quote from Eric Hoffer who was known as the longshoreman philosopher. Mr. Hoffer has been dead since 1983 […]

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              Money Matters View All →

              First Steps for Economic Success Integrating Livestock and Cover Cropping Systems

              By   1 week ago

              This information comes to us from the latest newsletter of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Grassland Studies. As part of its mission, the Center is home to the Beef Systems Initiative, an effort to provide producers the information that supports production systems that optimize feed resource use, natural resource conservation, healthy grasslands, and successful […]

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              The Farm and Ranch Leasing Tips You Need Going Into 2020

              By   4 weeks ago

              It’s that time of year when we reflect on what we liked or didn’t like about last year and what we might like to do differently in 2020. If that includes growing your operation using leased land, you’ll appreciate these articles. From Meg Grzeskiewicz: Building Your Farm Business on Leased Pasture Selling and Signing:  Connecting […]

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              Some Dos and Don’ts of Setting Up a Grazing Operation

              By   1 month ago

              I want to discuss the steps that we focus on when designing a new grazing operation on a new farm, starting with this saying: “If you have a lot of money, act like you don’t.” (If you don’t have a bunch of money ignore this.) The point is, being successful in a previous career is […]

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              Mushroom Foraging – A Pasture Walk and Community Building Opportunity

              By   2 months ago

                I’ve hosted or participated in pasture walks that feature ice-cream churning, soil health measuring, grassland bird watching, winter grazing techniques, dung beetle counting, stockpiling strategies, land listening, cattle judging and predicting forage production.  They’re all hooks to get folks to attend and focus on learning another aspect of pasturing.  I would suggest adding another […]

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              Welcome to Wally Olson’s Pity Party

              By   2 months ago

              Wally Olson is an On Pasture sponsor who wants to help readers make more money marketing their livestock. Here he provides an example of how that works for him. A couple of years ago, I sold 95 bred, fall calving cows in Joplin, Missouri on August 1. That same morning I delivered the weaned calves […]

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              How Does the Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers Get Started?

              By   3 months ago

              Don shares this piece as an opening to a conversation. It’s an important one to have. Please share your thoughts, experiences, ideas and suggestions in the comments below. What Do Y’all Think? Donnie, our son, comes by to visit and check on the old people on Tuesday evening and Saturday morning. Last week he was […]

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              Why Selling on Social Media No Longer Works (and What Does)

              By   3 months ago

              We introduced Charlotte Smith’s new podcast back in June. Today, we want to share one of her latest episodes because it answers many of the questions farmers have about how to find customers and get the word out about their products. Enjoy! The social landscape of Facebook and Instagram have drastically changed in the past […]

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              Tips for Evaluating Property for Raising Cattle

              By   4 months ago

              This article comes to us from the Noble Research Institute’s Robert Wells, PhD., Livestock Consultant, and Rob Cook, Planned Consultation Manager and Pasture and Range Consultant. When buying land for cattle production, there are some unique characteristics to consider before signing a contract. These characteristics include: stocking rate, forage quality and type, soil type and […]

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                The Funnies View All →

                Today’s Episode of Cooking With Power Tools – Making a Sandwich

                By   1 day ago

                Don’t forget your safety goggles if you try this at home!

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                Snow Joke

                By   1 week ago

                I hope this isn’t in your forecast!

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                Cookies to Go With New Year’s Resolutions

                By   2 weeks ago

                Personally, I think you look great just the way you are! But if you insist on a New Year’s diet…here you go!

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                It’s the Christmas Can Can!

                By   4 weeks ago

                Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and Happy Kwanzaa to you and yours. Thank you for being part of the On Pasture Community! Haven’t had enough? Here’s the Twelve Days of Christmas. 🙂

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                Cows in Christmas Sweaters

                By   1 month ago

                I don’t know where they got these, or how they got the cows in them. Thanks to  Metro UK for sharing this. (And that’s where they call sweaters “Jumpers.” You can read more about it here. If this reminds you that you need your own ugly Holiday sweater, I found a few for you. And […]

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                Snowman vs Rabbit

                By   1 month ago

                Please notify authorities if you’ve seen this rabbit!

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                What Do a Comic Book Villain, a Mountain Lion and a Toddler Have in Common?

                By   2 months ago

                They overlap a lot more than you may have thought! Thanks to TheDad.com for this! Head over to the website for more great Dad jokes.

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                Looking for A Big Turkey?

                By   2 months ago

                When you’re picking out your turkey, this is something you should keep in mind. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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