Column Archive

Well darn it! The newspaper archives are no longer online, so, these links are no longer fresh!

Most of them have been republished in Adventures in Agriculture Volume One or stay tuned for a new way to get your favorite ag/philosophy/humor articles delivered directly to you!


My Intro Column:

This is a little awkward

link Audra Brown Local columnist Audra Brown is more than a little awkward when writing an introduction about herself, which may be considered odd due to the fact that she considers herself handy at most things, including writing. She writes a lot, mostly fiction in the areas of not-romance.

An opinion on the rain:

Hallelujah for the rain

link Audra Brown Local columnist Rain, oiled leather and the smell of freshly turned earth have to rank as some of the best smells there are. First off, let’s all give a hearty hallelujah. It rained. I mean, it RAINED! And enough to do some good, even.

Some less known facts about longhorns:

An Introduction to Kow-rate, the art of punching and or kicking cows:

Some perspective on wheat harvest:

Hold your header up high

link Audra Brown Local columnist Just about the time it starts getting good and hot, it’s time to get to work. Now, farmers are plenty busy all year round, but they are especially overworked when it’s planting time or harvest time. This part of the world, June is one of those times.

How to get a 30′ header through a 20′ hole:

The stories that arise from encounters with rattlers:

Creativity kills the snake

link Audra Brown Local columnist Some of the most interesting stories you’ll hear told over a stiff cup of coffee are concerning the many and varied encounters a person has had with a rattlesnake. The first thing you need to understand about rattlers, is that there are plenty of ’em and being aware of that, folks generally come prepared.

The word “Varmint” according to my lexicon:

The new, most impressive feline, an introduction to E.C. (short for Evil Cat):

No cat more interesting than the new ol’ lady

link Audra Brown Local columnist When you’re dealing with large livestock, heavy equipment, and never enough manpower, excitement can get pretty exciting on the farm. But, sometimes all it takes is a new barn cat. I realize the term “barn cat” is a little redundant, seeing as how that’s where cats are supposed to be, but I also notice that…

How and where I have the time to learn things like Russian:

A few words on the awful, wonderful, life-saving slime of emergency rations, aka, the foodstuffs that live under the seat:

Emergency food should be just this side of edible

link Audra Brown Local columnist Now, there are some mighty tasty vittles in the world – and there are things that are edible in the technical sense only. Consider F-250s and El Caminos. Alike only in the broadest of technical definitions. Similarly, there is a wide range of substances that will sustain-life, some, more endurable than others.

What the farmer see when traveling:

Sometimes a farmer’s long hours are somewhat regular:

Dangerous games, the fine art of trailer loading:

Somebody has to work when the farmer is gone:

Plenty of cattle work to be done in the winter if you haven’t gotten around to it yet:

Turkey, Pie, and Trouble, A Farmer’s Holiday:

A Cowboy Cliffhanger, why ice and cliffs are always scary:

The Perks of Petroleum Products:

So much good to say about petroleum products

Local columnist link Audra Brown Petroleum products rule. They are awesome. Don’t try to argue. You won’t win. The author is quite familiar with the use of these marvels, and among their many qualities, they are frequently quite flammable. Fact. But let us take note of some less-exciting, but equally important uses.

On the critical skill of flammables identification.

Don’t spit into the wind, and chain the gate.

An example of some homemade fun in the winter.

Brown: Fun is where you find it

The snow falls, the water freezes, and there’s lots of ice to break. But the cold can bring more than just work and in between water tanks, it’s easy to run into a good time. Truth is, ground covered in snow (or mostly covered, it doesn’t take as much as you might think) is considerably more fun than ground not covered in snow.

All it takes if Coffee, a Barn, and some friends to make a party.

All it takes is coffee and a barn

I talk a lot about the trouble that comes along on the farm and out on the ranch. There’s a reason for it; trouble is interesting, and conflict is the core of any story, including the ones I get to tell here every week.

All Jacked Up, why a jack should be right next to the shovel and the chain in the back of the pickup.

Hay, I might be crazy, but, hey, hay, who cares?

I went to Rome and got two black eyes … and a gold medal (The Resolution of Cliffhangers Introduced in my Introduction)

Brown: Not everybody suited to be legen-dairy

An example of common irrationality.

One Man’s Scrap is Another’s Invention. (Or, the story of my life)

Audra Brown: Junk matter of opinion

link Audra Brown Local Columnist Even though it’s still snowing, people are already getting into the “spring cleaning” state of mind. There’s a lot of decluttering advice finding its way onto my computer screen and there are some folks already in the midst of yet another round of cleanup.

The rest of that story…

Some jobs stink, but they stink less when it’s cold.

Some jobs know no season

There are a lot of jobs that are just not fun to do in the winter cold. There are a lot of jobs that are just about impossible to do in the freezing weather. There are also jobs that are just the thing that I want to be doing in the months between spring and fall.

Songs you hear during harvest are forever linked.

Three big nights, one reason why the Floyd Jamboree has been going for 65 years.

Floyd Jamboree worth your money

Local columnist link Audra Brown Three big nights, once a year, every year. For sixty-five years, the rural community surrounding Floyd has ponied up an impressive roster of talented musicians, singers, poets, and a few unclassifiable acts of entertainment. Not all the members of the Country Jamboree are from Floyd, in the strictest since, but most…

Spring arrives on the winds of a sandstorm.

No doubting sand storm when I see one

Local columnist link Audra Brown When it rains, the proper and reasonable course of action is to immediately call your friends, family and neighbors to ask them a critical question: “Hey, it’s raining where I’m at. Is it raining there?” The person whom you are querying might only be a short distance away, yet the question is still meant in…

What I really do on the tractor.

A view from the alley, sorting cattle.

Spring sorting has begun

Local columnist link Audra Brown “Heifer!” The sorter at the far end of the alley yells with confidence. As the hand running the gate of the pen, which has been designated the sorted destination of such young female bovines, you scramble to open the gate as the heifer runs your way.


An ode and a eulogy to the great Avon lady.

Avon Lady looked good working

Down on the farm link Audra Brown Country girls can get work done and look good doing it. Now, I’m about the furthest thing from an expert on the subject. (My version of that motto would end with “and read a book while doing it.”) But, there are more than a few ladies who do it all and do it right.

On the conundrum of gate-getting minimization.

Gates come in all sizes and shapes, but the best gates know how to swing.

The world will not end in fire or ice, but tumbleweeds. Or at least that is how an electric fence would see it. || A.K.A. The gates of fire.

A flatlander reflects on the green, green ranges of Alabama.

There are work clothes, and there there are work clothes.

Pairing cattle, another use for a common word.

What I call, “tea-party” cows. Slow, polite, but plenty dangerous.

Auctions, the favorite vice of the imaginative farmer.

The pros and cons of a harvest birthday.

The equipment takes a break, but the farmer just has to fix it.

Goat milk, and other stories.

A life of chain. The story of a tool that never gets the glory.

Another chapter in the book of Kow-Rate. The green way.

Many methods for moving moo-generators.

When you pay for a haircut, your paying to leave the goats out of it.

Knobby-tired steeds are easier to feed than real horses.

Brown: Two-legged horse better than four

A horse is a horse, of course, of course – but sometimes it has more wheels than hooves. link Audra Brown Now, I love a good equine-driven cattle gathering. I love riding, but the thing about horses is that you have to catch ’em.

Wheeled horses easier to catch

Local columnist A horse is a horse, of course, of course – but sometimes it has more wheels than hooves. Now, I love a good equine-driven cattle gathering. I love riding, but the thing about horses is that you have to catch ’em.

Weather isn’t trivial and that’s why we are always talking about it.

Brown: Weather no small talk for farmers

How’s the weather been? link Audra Brown Many a conversation has begun with this question and many mistake it for inconsequential small talk. For one involved in agriculture, it is a serious and important question. Walking around the fair, running into friends and acquaintances, most of the conversations started with a “Hey, how are you?”

There was an engine-starting party, and it was good.

A story about why it’s good to know people in various places.

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