The agriculture industry remembers the legacy of Baxter Black

RFD-TV and the ag industry as a whole, lost a legend this weekend. A friend of RFD-TV since the very beginning, famous humorist and cowboy poet, Baxter Black.

He was a New Mexico native, who became a large animal veterinarian; first working in feedlots and later for a pharmaceutical company.
In that role, he often gave presentations to producers, but he refused to use slide shows, so he incorporated humor and storytelling to educate the crowd. Then he found fun in writing poetry.

That is the entertainer we know and love, with that mustached smile and his sparkly-eyed whit. He became a cowboy poet, whose ability to weave a story of hardworking cowboys and cowgirls the bovine, equine, and ‘out on the range’ experiences of mayhem. Throughout his career, Black was also a voice of support, strength, and education for American agriculture, always with a bit of humor.

“As early as the 1950s, pontificating pundits and chicken littles were posting dire warnings that the world population explosion would lead to massive starvation. They promoted panic in the streets and sold a million bucks. But they did not know about the tremendous potential of the American farmer and the army and science of engineering that rode up on his back. If the university and privateers could find a way to improve a crop, the farmers could grow it.”

His talent even took him, and the western lifestyle, to The Tonight Show, where Johnny Carson enjoyed a front row seat of “The Vegetarian’s Nightmare.”

“Celery I plucked! I twisted a squash! Tomatoes were wincing in fear!
I choked the Romaine; it screamed out in pain. Their anguish was filling my ears!
I finally came to the lettuce as it cringed at the top of the row.
With one wicked slice I beheaded it twice; as it writhed, I dealt a death blow!”

From 4-H kids to farmers, ranchers, and the late-night audience, Black touched lives, always with a bit of fun. He even had a long history as a friend and supporter of RFD TV. You have seen him on air with us, and out and about at several conventions.

RFD TV’s founder, Patrick Gottsch said it best, “God bless this great soul, who brought so much joy and laughter to farmers and ranchers and the rural lifestyle for so many years. His appearances on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson did so much to reconnect urban and rural America. Baxter will be remembered as the true comic genius of our time.”

Baxter Black, the cowboy poet, a connector of life with the American west, provides us with a comedic look in the mirror that keeps our boots on the ground. His loss leaves a gaping hole, but we are all forever blessed to have crossed trails.