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Like so many in southeast and south-central Missouri, agriculture has always been an important part of my life. I’ll never forget the memories I have as a young kid spending time at, and working on, my grandparents’ farm — the very same one I own, operate, and live on today. The experience and skills I gained were very valuable, but nothing made me better prepared to run my cattle ranch — or serve in Congress — than my local FFA chapter. That’s because FFA is about much more than growing crops and raising animals; It’s about growing leaders. more
Dear Readers, more
March 2 is the birthday of a world-famous American children's author and cartoonist. more
I’ve never depended on farming for my bread and butter, but I can thank FFA —Future Farmers of America, in my day — for launching my career as a journalist. more
Since I wrote a column detailing who Silas Claiborne Turnbo was and why his writings were important in the history of the Ozarks, I thought I’d add a sample of his work. more
Ah, the Ozarks. The land where weather forecasters must feel like they're crafting a particularly unpredictable narrative every single day. It's a place where you might wake up contemplating whether today's outfit leans more towards "beach-ready" or "bundled up like an Arctic explorer." As I sit here, tapping away at my keyboard, I'm decked out in a t-shirt, and I kid you not, considering swapping my khakis for shorts. And yes, the air conditioner in my car was my best friend during lunch. But as you're reading this, chances are you're wrapped up in a coat, wondering if I'm living in a parallel universe. By the time the weekend hits, we'll be riding another temperature rollercoaster back to the sunny, cheerful 70s. more
Dear Readers, more
Suddenly, I hear dogs barking across a farmer’s barren field, where cattle wait for their winter ration. The day is cold and cloudy, the dampness chilling to the bone. more
It is the fourth subzero day of January as I put pen to paper, every day of which I have devoted to mining for inspiration for my February columns. more
Change, that ever-constant presence in our lives, seems to be a concept we have a love-hate relationship with. On one hand, we're creatures of habit, seeking comfort in the familiar, the routine, the "way it's always been." On the other hand, there's this innate hunger for growth, improvement, and the thrill of something new. This duality within us makes navigating change a complex, often emotionally charged process, even when the change in question is something we thought we wanted. more
Dear Readers, more
When my colleagues selected me to lead the Ways and Means Committee in Congress, which has responsibility for writing our tax laws, I promised that my number one priority would be looking out for the interests of working-class Americans, small businesses, and family farmers. From day one in my role as chairman, I have worked around the clock to write legislation that would deliver on that promise. The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act, a pro-worker, pro-family, and pro-American tax cuts package will directly benefit thousands of hardworking families in southeast and south-central Missouri. Having passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming support on Jan. 31, this bill is one step closer to becoming law. more
Lately, I've been struck with an undeniable urge, a call of the wild that's been impossible to ignore. It's this deep-seated yearning to just ditch everything and get lost in the woods for a while. And by "woods," I mean the breathtaking expanse of the Ozarks, with its sprawling landscapes that have a magical way of making all the world's noise fade away. You see, I've been neglecting my outdoor adventures in the Ozarks for far too long. Life has a funny way of sweeping you up in a whirlwind of responsibilities, deadlines, and whatnot. But let's rewind a bit. more
I was at the Zizzers boys basketball game vs. Waynesville, a week-ago Tues night. more
I was at the Zizzers boys basketball game vs. Waynesville, a week-ago Tues night. more
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