Market availability for fat Holsteins
By Jerry Nine
(July 24)—Lately several of the packers have backed out of buying the fat Holstein steers with only one packer still willing to kill them. It’s almost like they are unmerchantable simply because they are black and white. I realize they will not yield as well as the English bred cattle but perhaps 2 percent less and their cutability isn’t suppose to be as good, making some difference.
But I know of some instances on feeder cattle where they brought 65 cents a pound less than good English bred cattle. To me I question why some packers do not want to kill them but I’m sure they know more about their business than I do. It reminds me a lot like 15 or 20 years ago when the packer got on a Hereford kick and all they would talk about is how they would not grade. I think it was somewhat a bunch of bull or perhaps a way to cheapen up a class of cattle. Now we sell the Herefords well and I do not hear anything about how they will not grade. On the fat Holstein, at least the one packer will not kill them at their regular facility if they are over 58 inches tall. I understand if they are that tall they would drag on the kill floor and I also understand if they slow that process on the kill floor that animal could cost them way more than the value of that animal.
But it is frustrating on the Holstein deal. I would like to suggest whoever buys beef for all the schools to consider fat Holsteins. They would get a very good product at a discounted price. I don’t suppose the government is interested in that kind of logic.
One of the waitresses at the coffee shop I go to is not known to be the happiest person in the world. And now that she is pregnant she has an excuse to be gripy. This morning she asked one man if he wanted anything to eat. He jokingly said, “No, I went to McDonald’s this morning,” which would be 40 miles out the way.
As the waitress walked away another cowboy said, “Maybe you should have brought her a Happy Meal back.”
I have a cousin who came back to farm about 20 years ago. She put a rain gauge up along the road. For orneriness another neighbor poured 2 1/2 inches of rain in her gauge. She came up to the Quick Stop that morning and said, “I was going to farm this morning, but I guess I’m going to wait as I’m sure it is too wet.”
And you are right both of these ornery farmers got a good laugh. Kids will be kids no matter how old we get.
Editor’s note: Jerry Nine, Woodward, Okla., is a lifetime cattleman who grew up on his family’s ranch near Laverne, Okla.