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How to keep your farm girl happy

How to keep your farm girl happy

By Mike Barnett

How to keep your girl happy. It’s trending on Twitter right now.

And I’m nothing if I’m not trendy. So I decided I better jump into the conversation before it’s too late.

But with a twist. I have a few suggestions on how to keep your farm girl happy. After all, everyone can use a little help in this area.

Here’s the top 10 ways:

10. Whisper sweet nothings in her ear. Like at midnight. Nuzzle her neck. Move up to her ear. And in your sexiest voice, ask her to get up and see if that calf is born yet.

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EPA adds risk and uncertainty to clean water rules

EPA adds risk and uncertainty to clean water rules

By Mike Barnett

Environmental Protection Agency. EPA. I think a name change is due. Extremely Pugnacious Agency.

EPA recently released its final “Waters of the U.S.” rule. After months of debate, thousands of comments from farmers and ranchers—including 1,200 from Texas—and clear direction from both Congress and the courts, EPA did what it wanted to do. The final rule, according to an American Farm Bureau Federation analysis, will give EPA new powers to regulate farmers, ranchers and other businesses.

How did we get here?

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Ag exports important to all Texans

Ag exports important to all Texans

By Mike Barnett

What’s more boring than talking about international trade?

Watching paint dry. Maybe.

But it’s a subject that should grab attention. From farmers and consumers.

Because it directly affects you. Exports add value to Texas agriculture. All Texas crops and livestock were sold for $20 billion in 2012, according to the Texas Department of Agriculture. About a third of that was exported to other nations. Over $6.5 billion worth in 2012. That’s not pocket change.

Those dollars flow into rural Texas. To support local businesses. Fund local schools. Maintain rural infrastructure.

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10 things farmers do when it rains

10 things farmers do when it rains

By Mike Barnett

And the rains came. And came. And came.

After months of speculation, weather experts announced El Niño is here. Last Friday. Ha! Texas farmers and ranchers could have made that announcement two months ago.

At least farmers and ranchers have a sense of humor. Because it’s a dire situation. One of my Facebook farmer friends posted a photo of him standing on the bow of a sailboat, scanning the horizon of a deep blue ocean. His caption: “Checking wheat this morning.”

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The pickup lover’s Top 10

The pickup lover’s Top 10

Editor’s Note: In celebration of Throwback Thursday, Mike Barnett is reviving an old blog.

By Mike Barnett

Texas farmers and ranchers love pickups.

Doesn’t matter what brand or color, everyone has one. They carry our dust on the outside and mud on the inside. They’re decorated with dings and scratches from errant fence posts and angry cows.

Pickups haul range cubes, firewood and kids to school. The inside often smells of cow manure and wet dogs. Look in the back of a pickup and you’ll likely find welders, torches and the tools of agriculture’s trade.

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