Thankful for the rain
By Jerry Nine
(Aug. 21)—It is a good sign when even that negative, more gripy category of ranchers says the grass sure looks a lot better than they thought it could. That is definitely a good sign. I do see a few pastures where the grass is headed out. I also see some pastures where it was overgrazed so it looks fair. And the reason I saw that pasture is because it is mine. Another pasture of mine looks green but when you get close it is covered with a weed. I have heard a lot of ranchers say that they have never seen devil’s claws so thick. And they are huge like a bush. But all in all, we are thankful for that month of rain.
I just gathered some yearlings off of a wheat field where I left them after grazing the wheat to eat the weeds that were there. It is sure nice to see their manure green, which is a sign of getting enough protein.
I just heard on the radio that Smithville Foods is possibly going to sell to a Chinese company. Does this not sound all too familiar? I do not think it is in the U.S. consumer’s best interest nor a U.S. farmer or rancher’s best interest to be owned by an outside country. We could wake up someday and realize that other countries do not have to bomb us or defeat us in battle to control us. I also do not think we want the Chinese deciding our food prices. I look for this to happen a lot more if the government allows it.
Cattle prices are extremely good. We sold 2-year-old pairs this week with 300- to 400-pound calves for $2,025 to $2,125. A heifer weighing 500 to 550 pounds brought $160 to $170 per hundredweight with a few weaned steer calves weighing 294 bringing $253.40 cwt. The market is very good all the way through with killing cows topping at $98.50 cwt.
This week at the coffee shop early in the morning was an ole cowboy who I tease a lot. Another cowboy said to this older cowboy, “Could you help him?” They were referring to me. The older one said, “Yes, I would like to help him—that is, right out the door.”
Another group of cowboys was gathering cattle and working the calves. And of course one ole cowboy brought his dog. I wasn’t there, but I would bet the dog was in the way. His dog’s name was Stacy. There were four or five cowboys and each brought their kids. Every time they roped one of the calves, the ole cowboy would holler, “Stacy, get back,” or “Stacy, get out of the way!” Finally, his words were, “Stacy, you ole mutt.” The ole cowboy looked down at this 13-year-old girl, who was glaring at him up on his horse. He said, “What is the matter?” She said, “I am not in the way,” in a very frustrated tone. Soon the ole cowboy got acquainted with the daughter of one of the other cowboys—Stacy.
Editor’s note: Jerry Nine, Woodward, Okla., is a lifetime cattleman who grew up on his family’s ranch near Laverne, Okl.