(printed with permission from the author. You can read more of Greg’s writing at


Learn to recognize the cow that’s

going blind early, give her extra time

and never separate her from the herd.


Get rid of the bull when he postures

sideways toward you, lowers his head

and froths while pawing the dirt.


Keep the herd away from the woodlot

during deer season.


When retrieving the herd develop

a fine cattle call, breathing from

the diaphragm, don’t be shy and

practice patience, the herd will

soon learn to follow the herdsman home.


When spreading manure always start

at the furthest point from the field

entrance and travel into the wind

whenever possible.


Choose a partner wisely, one

that can help birth a calf, help

with a midnight I.V. of calcium,

and work when it seems the rest

of the world is off. It will help

if she is an eternal optimist.


When faced with tough decisions

look for affirmation in nature,

the coyote’s call, a swirl of buntings,

the diminutive fruit fly that lands

on your hand while you ponder.


Look for the beauty around you

every day, even in stretches

of winter when the sun remains

behind a wall of impenetrable gray

for what seems like weeks.


Keep a hammer, safety knife, and

fencing pliers in each tractor along

with a pair of denim gloves.


Never say, “I can literally manage

my entire farm with my iphone.”


Be a bridge builder, not burner.


Don’t neglect your spiritual development.


Lastly, don’t let yourself become trapped

in a body that refuses to dance.