Friday, August 7, 2009

Waste Not Want Not?

Common Sense? I'm wondering if that term will soon be erased from our vocabulary. My eldest son just called and was sharing his thoughts on a trip to eastern Kansas he had taken with his granddad. They went to ship cattle. Have you heard of the Wild Horse Program? It's a very lucrative business. The government pays a land owner so much a head a day to run a wild horse for the duration of its life. Thanks to animal nurturing groups like the HSUS (Humane Society of the U.S.) laws were passed to stop horse slaughter. Animal activists won. Sadly the horses lost. Nature's perfect balance of supply and demand had, for years, kept old horses slaughtered and young horses utilized. Results of their supply and demand tampering: a horse market crash. Today you can barely give one away. For the past few years horse owners have been leaving their horses at sale barns, in ditches, in other people's yards and pastures, turning them out on Bureau of Land Management Land with no water etc. Emaciated horses have become a common sight around the country. Horse owners simply can't afford to feed them. Today my son witnessed absurdety. On one side of a country road tall, green lush grass a head tall covered a large pasture. That land belonged to the U.S. government. On the other side of the road a large track of privately owned land with around a thousand wild horses grazing on it. The government pays the owners of that land a daily fee to run a horse; an average of around $29,000.00/head/life of each horse. Go figure... someone better because the government isn't. And they want to manage our health care system and auto industry...and lives!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mama Mia...Make Me Over

Most of my life is spent in blue jeans, overalls, or running shorts and tennis shoes. I know, I should try to work a decent wardrobe into my daily routine here on the ranch, but it never fails that when I go to exceptional lengths to look nice, I end up having to drag around in a dirty pickup, drive a tractor, chase a horse or cow or whatever. It just doesn't work. So I'm definitely not a clothes horse. I never know exactly what to wear when I have to go to a special function with people from the outside world. I've had a terrible bone spur on my heel and yesterday bought some of those rocking orthopedic old people's white. I didn't care. At least maybe my foot wouldn't hurt. Today when I left for OKC to attend the MBA class I still didn't care what I looked like, my foot hurt so bad. I wore the white orthopedic old people's shoes that rock and some blue jeans and a T-shirt. I forgot it was Commencement for the MBA program...until I saw everyone else in nice slacks, suits, etc. To make matters worse we had to get up in front of everyone in attendance...mostly professionals, and be interviewed by another professional... while being filmed. Humiliation doesn't describe it. It wasn't until I got up to be interviewed that I became accutely aware of my lack of taste in clothing. I suddenly felt like Elly May and Granny Clampett, mixed with Daisy Duke and Ma Kettle. To top it off my knees started shaking which accelerated the rocking motion of my white orthopedic old people's shoes. Answers to the questions the interviewer asked in front of the pained crowd seemed as difficult for me to decipher as a calculus problem. All I could concentrate on was not getting sea sick in my shoes. The poor interviewer was as pained as I was.
Afterwards, I went to the mall and wondered around. I'm just not a shopper but decided it wouldn't hurt to look. As I passed a very nice clothing store I stopped to take a look at the $9 shirts they had on a sale kind of price. As I stepped inside, the owner, a small dark lady with an Italian accent began telling me that I needed a makeover. "Do's jeeeens must go, dey have been out of style fo yeers... and oh my "de hair neeeeds cut." Talk about adding insult to injury. Well, I stayed and let her make me over. I won't tell you what that cost. More than the white rocking orthopedic old people's shoes.

Summer Time and the Living is easy??!!...NOT.

Wow, a lot has happened in a month. The fire situation is still a priority, but we are almost finished moving the cattle around to new homes. I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about the FSA, NRCS, EMS, OSBI, OSFMA and didn't know there were so many ways you could figure a grass lease. It has been an unusual learning experience. I will say it again...God has a plan.

We lost a great friend this month. A.J. Smith, editor of the Oklahoma Cowman passed away at the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Convention. He was a very special person that will be missed by so many.

I just returned home from OKC. A group of us finished up the Master's of Beef Advocacy Program sponsored by the National Cattlemen's Association/Cattlemen's Beef Board. It's a great program focused on promoting the beef industry via the media.

Nothing New Under the Sun Including Sustainable Development

  I wrote the piece below last summer after listening to KrisAnne Hall speak at the CICA Convention.  As the Global and U.S. Roundtable fo...