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The Scoop View All →

Let’s Not Just Talk About Making Money – Let’s Do It!

By   52 mins ago

We’re doing something new here at On Pasture. After years of conversations about how hard it is to make a living as a farmer/rancher, we want to do something about it. And that’s why we’re working with Charlotte Smith at 3 Cow Marketing. Farmers and ranchers have to have a whole host of skills in […]

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Six Steps That Will Make You Money On Your Farm

By   1 week ago

In April, when I was at the “Our Farms, Our Future” conference, I had a “straw that broke the camel’s back” moment. For years I’ve heard from farmers and ranchers how little money they make. But at the conference, sitting in a room of about 1000 people, listening to a panel of young farmers say […]

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How to Get City Folks to Understand and Support Farmers and Ranchers

By   2 weeks ago

It’s a common complaint among ag producers: “Those city folk don’t understand us and they don’t even know where their food comes from!” We all talk about it, but, what are we doing about it? In this week’s issue of On Pasture, John Marble shares what he’s doing about it. I REALLY want you to check […]

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Ag Policy is Being Written. Does It Reflect What’s Important to You?

By   3 weeks ago

According to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), “The farm bill connects the food on our plates, the farmers and ranchers who produce that food, and the natural resources – our soil, air and water – that make growing food possible. [It can have a] tremendous impact on farming livelihoods, how food is grown, and […]

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Start Your Farm

By   4 weeks ago

New York Times Best Selling Author Forrest Pritchard’s latest book “Start Your Farm” will be hitting bookstores soon. Here’s what you need to know about the book and how to pre-order your copy.

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How Do You Do Restoration on Bare Soil With No Water?

By   1 month ago

Restoration and soil health look a lot different in Tucson, Arizona than in the other places I’ve lived. Here’s a project that I’m working on. I’m sharing it with you because it’s interesting, you can learn a little more about me and where I live, and maybe you’ll have some ideas to share too.

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A Visit With Greg and Jan Judy

By   1 month ago

I (Kathy) got to spend a couple days with Greg and Jan Judy at Green Pastures Farm last week. I had so much fun! I got to see how he’s working with another young farming couple to grow their pastured hogs and egg-layers business on the Judy place.     We checked out his flock […]

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An Invitation to Collaborate With On Pasture

By   2 months ago

Thanks to your support, On Pasture is what it is today – a source of great, grazing information with over 1800 articles in our archives, AND a community where we learn from each other and the many mistakes we’ve made and the successes we’ve all had along the way. As we head into our sixth […]

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    Grazing Management View All →

    Managing to Prevent Grass Tetany

    By   51 mins ago

    Is grass tetany a threat to your herd? It could be if you’re dealing with cool conditions and lush spring forage growth. It is what we call “washy” grass. This new growth is very high in water and nitrogen. It can also be fairly high in potassium. Fields that have been fertilized with nitrogen may […]

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    Back to Grass – Turning Marginal Cropland to Pasture For a Diverse Sustainable Operation

    By   1 week ago

    Darin Michalski’s direction in life was influenced by his father. “Dad didn’t like farming much. He was more into cattle. He always cussed some of the land we farmed. It was pretty marginal land and said that we should sow this down to grass.” So when he got his first 80, that’s what Darin ended […]

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    How to Graze For Water Quality and Quantity

    By   2 weeks ago

    “Healthy watersheds through good land management, that’s what we work on,” says Robert Potts, President and CEO of the Dixon Water Foundation. “Managing the land is the critical component in making sure we have enough water and the kind of water we want going forward.” Their success in meeting their goals is the reason the […]

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    Wait! A Test to See if Your Grasses Are Ready to Graze

    By   2 weeks ago

    Bethany Johnston of UNL Extension tells us what leaf stages look like and what that means for grazing. Take her picture test and see if you pass!

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    Creating Resilient Soil With Cover Crops and Integrated Livestock

    By   3 weeks ago

    Thanks to Kara Pugsley, the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition and the Natural Resources Conservation Service for this profile in soil health. If you’d like to virtually visit the Reimnitz farm, check out the 4:46 video at the end of this article where Jordan describes his farm and work. Farmer and livestock producer Jordan Reimnitz has […]

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    Grazing Around Streams – More Ways To Do The Right Thing

    By   4 weeks ago

    We can graze around streams and avoid government regulations if we choose to do the right thing. Troy Bishopp is busy collecting examples and sharing them with On Pasture so our community can be a good example to all graziers.

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    Grazing Around Streams – Three Examples of Trying to Do the Right Thing

    By   1 month ago

    With growing concerns over riparian management and its effect on water quality, farmers and ranchers are facing tightening regulations and restrictions on grazing next to streams and water bodies. In his first article on this topic, Troy wondered if we, as graziers, are doing all we can to protect water quality and our grazing future. […]

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    Intentional Management: Matching Needs With Resources

    By   1 month ago

    Thanks to Jonathan Rupert of Smith Seeds for this piece. A number of years ago, I had the privileged of visiting one of the many cattle ranches operated by Lykes Brothers in Florida.  If you’re not familiar with the name, Lykes is one of the top five largest cow-calf operations in the nation with over […]

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      Pasture Health View All →

      Is Seeding for New Forages in Your Future?

      By   51 mins ago

      Are you thinking about seeding for improved summer forages? Are you wondering what to seed, how much to seed and how to prepare the seedbed? Here are some tips to think about from Ed Rayburn, West Virginia University Extension Specialist, and a few good places you can go to get advice that’s right for you […]

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      What Kinds of Forages Are Good in Grassfed Systems?

      By   1 week ago

      This article comes to us from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) and Jan Holder’s book, “How to Direct Market Your Beef.” Jan and her husband took over management of their family ranch in 1992. Their plan was to “whip the ranch into shape in a few months and then spend the next […]

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      Wait! A Test to See if Your Grasses Are Ready to Graze

      By   2 weeks ago

      Bethany Johnston of UNL Extension tells us what leaf stages look like and what that means for grazing. Take her picture test and see if you pass!

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      Diversity in Pasture Plants Has Big Effects on Herd and Flock Health

      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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      Moderate Grazing Repairs Soils

      By   4 weeks ago

      Thanks to Dennis O’Brien and researchers at the USDA Agricultural Research Service for their assistance on this article. Decades of plowing throughout the Piedmont region of the United States have degraded the soil, allowing much of it to be washed away, and robbing what is left of nutrients and organic matter. Sorghum, cotton, soybean, and […]

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      Let’s Waste Grass With Jim Gerrish – Part 2

      By   1 month ago

      This piece is drawn from a presentation Jim Gerrish did in 2015 sponsored by the Iowa Beef Center. We’ve embedded the 15:20 video of the presentation where Jim talks about the benefits of “wasting grass.” We’re also summarizing it in two bite size articles to make it easier for all you farmers and ranchers on […]

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      Let’s Waste Grass With Jim Gerrish – Part 1

      By   1 month ago

      This piece is drawn from a presentation Jim Gerrish did in 2015 sponsored by the Iowa Beef Center. We’ve embedded the 15:20 video of the presentation where Jim talks about the benefits of “wasting grass.” We’re also summarizing it in two bite size articles to make it easier for all you farmers and ranchers on […]

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      When Does Fertilizing Pasture Pay? – Part 2

      By   2 months ago

      Last week, Bruce Anderson shared information about break even points when it comes to spending money on nitrogen fertilizer for pastures. This week, we get some additional information to consider from Sid Bosworth, Extension Professor at the University of Vermont. Grasses have a high demand for nitrogen (N). Grass hay trials have shown
 that some […]

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        Livestock View All →

        Sassy Calving: More Fun ~ Less Work

        By   51 mins ago

        Over the past ten years or so I have read many, many articles encouraging ranchers to calve in sync with nature, to calve when the other ungulate-ruminants calve. In other words, suggesting we calve in the spring rather than winter. The basis for most of this writing has been economics: a discussion of costs, inputs, […]

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        Selecting for Heat Tolerant Cattle Using Coat Shedding Scores

        By   1 week ago

        Scientists and the Farmer’s Almanac agree: this summer is going to be hotter than normal all across the U.S. and Canada. In fact, many farmers and ranchers I talk to agree that they’re seeing a trend of hotter summers over all. Everyone also agrees that heat stress reduces cattle weight gain, calf weaning weights and […]

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        Black is Only a Color

        By   2 weeks ago

        In a market that seems to tell us that we can only make money selling black cattle, Don Ashford has a different story to tell.

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        The Easiest Way to Treat Pink Eye

        By   3 weeks ago

        When visiting Greg and Jan Judy a few weeks ago, I asked Greg “What do you do about pinkeye?” “We don’t treat it,” he said. “We found that if we treated it the cow got better in 2 or 3 weeks. If we didn’t treat it, the cow got better in 2 or 3 weeks.” […]

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        Why Red Devon?

        By   4 weeks ago

        We all have reasons for the choosing the breed of livestock we raise. Don explains why Red Devons work for him.

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        Practical Advice for Dealing With Parasites

        By   1 month ago

        A note from the Author: I’m not much of a scientist. While I was trained in science, I am, for the most part, just an observer of nature. I see things in the world around me and make up working hypotheses that appear to fit. The solutions I present here are not proven; they are […]

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        Breeds for Changing Climates

        By   1 month ago

        Don Ashford thinks about how we should manage our herds in a changing climate. Is it time to switch breeds?

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        Livestock – More Dangerous Than Mountain Lions, Poisonous Snakes, or Stinging Insects

        By   2 months ago

        Cattle and horses account for 90% of all animal-related deaths in the United States, and that number hasn’t changed since the last time researchers collected this data in 2007. Jared Forrester, M.D., the lead investigator for the study covering fatalities from venomous and nonvenomous animals from 2008-2015 says that learning more about deaths due to […]

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          Money Matters View All →

          Great Marketing Advice Part 2: Three Steps That Will Get New Customers to Your Farm

          By   52 mins ago

          Greg Judy turned On Pasture onto Charlotte Smith, saying hers was the best marketing advice he’d heard. Last week we shared her first article covering six steps for getting started making money from your farm. This week she takes a deeper look at one of those steps: Attract your dream customer. I work with thousands […]

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          Greg Judy Says: “This Is the BEST Marketing Advice I’ve Ever Heard” – Part 1

          By   1 week ago

          Greg Judy introduced Kathy to Charlotte at the April “Our Farms Our Future Conference” because he’d heard her talk and knew that she had a lot to offer On Pasture and its readers. She has been kind enough to provide us with this first in a series and we’re working on ways we can provide […]

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          Everything You Need to Include in a Farm/Ranch Lease Contract – Part 2

          By   2 weeks ago

          Over the last few months, my Boneheaded Beef Business Blunders articles have related how I’ve been burned by ineffective land lease and custom grazing contracts. As a result, I’ve changed what I include in contracts. Here in Part 2 I share the rest of the topics I am now including in my lease contracts along […]

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          Everything You Need to Include in a Farm/Ranch Lease Contract – Part 1

          By   3 weeks ago

          Over the last few months, my Boneheaded Beef Business Blunders articles have related how I’ve been burned by ineffective land lease and custom grazing contracts. As a result, I’ve changed what I include in contracts. Below is a complete rundown of all the topics I am now including in my lease contracts. I will do […]

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          Stock Tank Adventuring – A New Business Opportunity?

          By   4 weeks ago

          Looking at their natural resources in a new way helped this family find a new, money-making enterprise.

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          An Introduction to Conservation Finance

          By   1 month ago

          Thank you to the Western Landowners Alliance in partnership with WRA, Inc. for sharing this series on conservation finance with On Pasture. We hope it will help you understand and evaluate different approaches to your own property that take advantage of the ecological services you provide. Conservation finance is the idea that landowners can be […]

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          Can You Make Money Turning Cropland Into Pasture?

          By   1 month ago

          Current corn prices along with reduced availability of perennial pasture have some producers asking about the economics of turning cropland into forage for cow/calf operations. So three Nebraska Extension specialists. Jay Parsons, Mary Drewnoski, and Daren Redfearn, got together to answer these questions in a February webinar: “Will producing annual forages provide greater net returns […]

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          What Happens To Your Pasture Lease in Drought?

          By   2 months ago

          Do you rent pasture? What happens if drought lowers pasture production below expectations? Specifically, what does your pasture lease say about drought? It’s hard to think about drought in at the beginning of spring, but drought can play havoc on pasture leases. All too often, pasture leases fail to include an appropriate plan to adjust […]

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            Consider This View All →

            The Best Farm Girl Birthday Party Ever!

            By   52 mins ago

            Doug Ferguson’s daughter wanted to have her 6th birthday party at the sale barn. It took some creativity to turn her wish into reality. But, not only did Doug Ferguson pull it off, people are still talking about what fun it was a year later!

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            A Major North American Climate Boundary Moves East

            By   1 week ago

            The 100th Meridian is one of only two climate divides in the world. (The other divides the Sahara Desert from the rest of Africa.) Now scientists have found this line is moving east, and that could impact how we farm and ranch in the future.

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            Walking the Walk, Talking the Talk: Our 2018 Ranch Walk-About

            By   2 weeks ago

            A lot of folks talk about how non-farmers need to understand where their food comes from and what farming and ranching is all about. Here’s how John Marble is actually doing something about it.

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            Grazing is a Win-Win for Ranchers, Salamanders, Frogs and the Community

            By   3 weeks ago

            This story was drawn from a piece by Ashley Spratt, a Public Affairs Specialist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Ventura Field Office in Ventura, California. It was edited for content and length. See the full piece here. Amid the rolling grasslands and oak woodlands of Santa Clara and San Benito counties […]

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            Listen to This – A Conversation With Greg Judy and Adam Saunders

            By   4 weeks ago

            “One of the questions people ask me is what’s the most important lessons I’ve learned in farming, and one is invest in livestock, not machinery. That’s a huge one!…Because how many tractors have you see that had a baby calf?!” That’s Greg Judy talking with Adam Saunders in the latest “Our Farms, Our Future” podcast. […]

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            Cattle May Be the Last Hope for Saskatchewan Sage Grouse

            By   1 month ago

            This 8:27 video takes us on a cattle drive with Miles Anderson, a rancher south of Fir Mountain, Saskatchewan, Canada. On this day, he’s gathering and moving about 100 cow calf pairs onto the neighboring Grasslands National Park so they can graze and create habitat for the endangered sage grouse.   As we follow Miles […]

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            Can We Turn Cow Manure Into Toilet Paper?

            By   1 month ago

            An Austrian scientist has been looking at what comes out the back end of goats, horses, cows and even elephants because it has great potential to become paper.

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            Moore Land & Cattle Company – Profitable, Practical Resource Management

            By   2 months ago

            Greg Moore’s focus on restoring 25,000 acres of prairie grasslands and good habitat for wildlife has turned into more profit for his ranching operation, proving that ecological health and economic resilience go hand-in-hand

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              The Classic by NatGLC View All →

              Look at Your Cows to Figure Out If They Need New/Bigger Paddock

              By   52 mins ago

              Do you know if your cattle are getting enough forage? Are your paddocks big enough or is it time to move your herd to their next pasture? These tips from Jay and Krista Reiser will help you answer these questions and more. In addition to improving the soil and forage health, Jay and Krista were […]

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              Shade – Livestock Do Better With It – And Here’s How to Add It

              By   1 week ago

              In this week’s Livestock article we talk about how to start down the road of raising more heat tolerant cattle. But what can you do in the meantime? For this week’s Classic by NatGLC, we’ve drawn on two articles we’ve published in the past to give you some ideas for adding shade to your pastures. […]

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              Ideas for Mob Grazing Paddock Design

              By   2 weeks ago

              Think you can’t mob graze on 2700 acres? Jay and Krista Reiser describe the paddock design that works for them in North Dakota. Don’t have 2700 acres? Their design ideas will work for you just as well.

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              Parasite Control Silver Bullet

              By   3 weeks ago

              We first shared this in March of 2017. It’s good information about managing parasites no matter what kind of livestock you’re raising. If you’d like to know how to reduce deworming and still have healthy goats or sheep, you’ll want to check out the the ATTRA/NCAT publication “Managing Internal Parasites: Success Stories.” It includes stories […]

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              The Easiest Way to Monitor for Tracking Pasture and Rangeland Changes

              By   4 weeks ago

              Spring is a great time to set up pasture monitoring. All you need is your smart phone, maybe a shovel or fence post from the back of your truck, and the willingness to take a picture and email it to yourself and you’ve become a monitoring master! Here’s how, from August of 2017. Enjoy! Would […]

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              Treat Your Pastures Kindly This Spring for a Better Grazing Season

              By   1 month ago

              These tips from Troy were timely in 2014 and in 2018. They’re things we probably need to be reminded about every year! Enjoy! Believe it or not, sometime in the very near future you will be turning animals out to pasture.  Some of you will have a plan and decide when it’s the right time […]

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              Good Soil Testing Is An Important Part of Your Pasture Management

              By   1 month ago

              If you’re looking at your pastures and thinking they’re missing something. The first place you might start is with a soil test. It can tell you if the pH is off – so your forage isn’t doing as well as it could, or if you actually need to add a little fertilizer. This article by […]

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              Be Safe Around Your Livestock By Understanding Signs of Aggression

              By   2 months ago

              From an August 2015 issue of On Pasture, here are some always timely tips for interacting with bulls as well as an “animal/English dictionary” of what your livestock are saying and what your response should be. We start with a list of from Joe Emenheiser of things to remember when working with bulls: 1. Appreciate […]

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                The Funnies View All →

                Chickens Are More Impressive With Arms and A Superhero Theme

                By   51 mins ago

                Add a little excitement to your barnyard!

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                Are You Having a Bad Hair Day?

                By   1 week ago

                We all have bad hair days. We hope yours aren’t this bad.    

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                New Cross Breed Dogs

                By   2 weeks ago

                There may be some excellent reasons to get one of these new breeds!

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                Homemade Eye Protection for Cows

                By   3 weeks ago

                Farmers and ranchers are full of ingenuity when it comes to solving problems with whatever they have lying around.

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                Learning Hippo Behavior

                By   4 weeks ago

                Here’s a good Dad joke for you. 🙂

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                Excited For Spring? We are!

                By   1 month ago

                Unfortunately this is what spring has looked like so far for us….  

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                Dangerous Geese and Roosters

                By   1 month ago

                Last week we reminded you that livestock are more dangerous than mountain lions and gave you some signs that show you when you’re in danger. Now, here’s a video to save you from geese and roosters.

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                Pony for Sale

                By   2 months ago

                Sometimes the haircut makes the horse….  

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