Internationally known veterinarian, columnist and poet, Dr. Baxter Black, center, was a special guest at the Elmore County Cattlemen’s Association meeting Thursday. Photo by David D. Goodwin
Internationally known veterinarian, columnist and poet, Dr. Baxter Black, center, was a special guest at the Elmore County Cattlemen’s Association meeting Thursday. Photo by David D. Goodwin

‘Desperado poet’ shares his story, prose

Published 7:49pm Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Elmore County Cattlemen Association got a visit from the “desperado poet,” Dr. Baxter Black, thanks to one lucky member.

Joe Womble, who runs a cattle ranch in the Holtville/Slapout area, won a contest with the Sweetlix livestock supplement. His prize was a visit from the internationally known veterinarian, columnist and “desperado poet.”

But before enjoying a steak dinner at his Slapout spread with the humorous old cowpoke, Womble decided to share the prize with his friends at the county Cattlemen’s Association on Thursday.

Black, whose home is in Benson, Ariz., tours the country sharing his experience and wit at livestock and agricultural banquets and conferences. His column, “On the Edge of Common Sense,” is published in state and national agricultural magazines nationwide.

Black talked about the importance of agriculture to the American way of life. He noted how technology has made it possible for a swiftly shrinking segment of the population — just 2 percent are employed in farm-related jobs — to feed the vast majority of the country.

The tall, lean man with a wide-brimmed cowboy hat and a full moustache also recited a bit of his humorous poetry.One detailed the life of a farmer’s off-season who is still conditioned to rise at the crack of dawn but chooses long phone calls when there’s nothing to do. Another piece described how a prize steer came to drive a farmer’s pickup through the pasture, and his final verse described an unfortunate encounter with the rear end of a herd of grass-fed cattle.

Cattleman’s Association President Chet Matthews thanked Womble for sharing his sweepstakes prize with the group and welcomed the Sweetlix representatives to their meeting.

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