Archive for January, 2010

Howdy friends and neighbors.  I think if I hear the word “recession” one more time, I’m going to spontaneously combust!  I’m not so sure that this country is in an economic recession as much as it is in a mental recession.  Crude Oil futures are $78 per barrel, natural gas is $5.70 MCF, the Dow Jones is over 10,500 and a plumber costs $80 per hour!   My own beef industry is right there with them as well.

The other day I reluctantly opened my January issue of BEEF magazine.  Well, the only thing on TV was Dallas getting whipped by a gray-headed quarterback (Favre).  On page 38 Wes Ishmael wrote about how we as beef producers need to increase our beef checkoff (the $1 per head fee collected each time a bovine is sold) because the Beef Board doesn’t have enough money.  “Fewer cattle, increased need and eroding buying power demand an increase in the national checkoff fee,” Wes writes.  OK, yeah stuff is going up.  Oh, Wes whines about how we need more money to keep the checkoff alive and thriving.  Next page please…  Page 40 of BEEF magazine, Steve Kay writes an article that tells me, “The overriding theme for 2010 is that each segment of the beef industry will have to do more with less.” (more…)


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Howdy friends and neighbors.  Cold!  That was the word around the country last week.  Just wait though; some global warming is on the way!

In all this EXTREME cold weather we have been having here on the rolling plains, I am still amazed at how domestic and wild animals can easily survive and in some cases thrive.  In the blizzard on Christmas Eve I had several calves that were totally covered with ice and they made it through just fine.  I took a picture of one 500 pound steer that was lying down behind a natural wind break, totally covered with snow and ice.  He looked like a snow drift.  My first thought was, “oh no,” but as I got closer I could tell he was still alive.  Not only was he alive, but he was fine and dandy.  He was content enough that he was chewing his cud.  Again, I’m no professor of animal enlightenment, I’ve just been around cattle all my life and experience tells me that stressed out cattle don’t chew their cud.  (Ruminants chew their cud as part of their normal digestive process.)  After he posed for my camera phone (I might as well just use it for a camera because you sure can’t make phone calls with it!) he hopped up and joined the rest of the herd for a high calorie snack complemented by a garnishment of cow biscuit (hay.)  I’m sure the cattle didn’t enjoy being stuck in a freezing cold blizzard with wind chills below zero, but they would have been way more stressed and uncomfortable if I had invited them into my living room; along with my wife! (more…)

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Howdy friends and neighbors, and happy New Year!  Okay, now the holiday season is over; may 2010 be a good un’.

 I’ve got a few short stories this week for you.  The first is a true story hot off the Sunny Point news wire.  I’ve got a neighbor down the road (let’s call him “Wes”) who has had another neighbor’s bull over visiting his cows the last few weeks.  Again, this is a true story.  It seems that this bull just can’t stay put with the cows he is supposed be with.  So, my neighbor (with the made up name of “Wes”) decides to call this roaming Romeo “Tiger.”  Oh wait, it gets better!  The owner of this bull… his last name is Woods!!!!  I wonder if the cows ol’ Tiger was supposed to be with were waiting with a #1.33 t-post when he came home??? (more…)

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