“Always make your wire gates loose enough for the wife and kids.”

Anyone who has ever been 20 miles from the barn and pulled up to a notoriously stubborn gate, only to realize they forgot to bring a pair of fence stretchers, will find appreciation in cowboy artist Don Gill’s cartoon that was floating around social media this week – but of course that sort of thing never happens.

This cartoon reminds me of an incident that happened a few summers ago while taking a truckload of mineral to a group of commercial heifers several miles from the home place.

Pulling up to the newly built gate that was tight enough to make Popeye consider cracking open a can of spinach, I realized the ridicule that would be received if I showed back up at home looking for a pair of fence stretchers. The taunting words of, “sissy office worker,” filled my head and suddenly I had the determination of an Olympian and the body image of a 15-year-old adolescent boy flexing his muscles in the bathroom mirror.

With a grunt, some sweet talking and a lot of pushing, the gate loop popped loose just long enough for my ponytail to get stuck and my head pinned to the gate post.

I really don’t want to go into any further details about that dark moment in history involving a pale faced ginger flopping around in the middle of nowhere. But I will tell you I showed back up to the ranch that afternoon with a bruised arm, sore head, ripped shirt and a job completed.

When pigs fly

Admit it, the biggest attraction about the Super Bowl is watching ridiculous commercials. The Doritos marketing team has come up with a brilliant plan of fan created commercials that are judged and ranked for the premier spot.

Check out this 30-second clip of a story about a resourceful young man making a pig fly on his farm. Seriously, it’s worth the 30 seconds.

Rankings by beer

Now here is some news worth reporting on. Thrillist.com has a breakdown of best states in order of their microbrew quality.

Top five worst states are:

50. Mississippi

49. West Virginia

48. Rhode Island

47. North Dakota – ND also happens to be the top state in beer consumption. So it’s fair to assume these northerners are more about quantity than quality.

46. Nevada

Top five best state are:

5. Washington

4. Michigan

3. Colorado

2. California

1. Oregon

Personally, I’d rather go to North Dakota and drink a lot of crappy beer than subject myself to the hipsters in Oregon for a pristine brew.

Political correctness

According to the Daily Mail, Oxford University has banned sausages and pigs from children’s books in hopes of not offending Jews and Muslims. Spokespeople of the affiliated religions that are being tip toed around have publicly said the efforts are ridiculous.

And because I’m feeling politically correct this morning, the picture will suffice for my thoughts on the matter.

Lessons from the heart

On a more serious note, I’d like to share a piece by Gary Bates, Director of the University of Tennessee Beef and Forage Center. It’s titled, “Things I want my son to know.”

Here is the top of Bates' list:

  • How to catch and clean fish. It’s fun to catch them, but what’s the point if you can’t eat them.
  • It is important to be humble, not arrogant. Always try to give others credit for jobs well done. It is OK to be proud of good work you have done, just don’t call attention to it.
  • Always be honest when evaluating yourself. Being critical of yourself helps you improve.
  • You can always find somebody smarter, faster, and stronger. But don’t let anyone be a harder worker. Everything won’t come easy. You have to work hard to get good.
  • Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He thinks of you, and has a future and hope for your life.  
  • How to build a fire.
  • Treat women with respect. Value your wife like she is the most precious thing on earth. Because she is.

Click here to read to full list. It’s true, agriculture really has some of the best people.