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The shutdown fallout

By Holly Martin

You’ll notice in this week’s paper that we are missing many of our regular features. You can thank Congress and the president.

The government shutdown has closed the national monuments and national parks and now it’s reached the High Plains. The service that we all use to help us make financial decisions in risky commodity markets has been shut down.

For us that means no access to USDA reported livestock sales, area hay markets, crop reports or grain markets. And while we know that those sales are continuing—because it appears that everyone but Congress is still working—we don’t have access to the reporters that typically report the prices of those sales.

Some of the markets are state-reported, but even those offices typically use the USDA website to distribute their reports. We’ve been able to get a few of them via the old-fashioned method of fax machines.

Please bear with us as we try to deliver you as much information as possible without access to the normal resources. We know knowledge is the key to success and that’s even more true when working to try to maximize your profits in markets that can change quickly.

In the meantime, if you would like to get in touch with your representatives and senators and tell them exactly how this government shutdown is affecting you, by all means, do so.

To me, the whole mess is just downright infuriating. We have no farm bill. The government is not functioning. And don’t even get me started on the debt limit debate.

A friend of mine suggested that we send a group of 4-Hers to Washington to settle this whole mess. They know how to run a meeting, resolve conflict and get things done. Amen.

A co-worker recently made her quarrelling sons hold hands until they could get along. Think of transferring this philosophy to Washington. What if Boehner and Obama had to sit on the steps of the Capitol until they came to some agreement? That thought will make you smile.

Seriously, people. You don’t have to like each other. You don’t have to agree on everything. You do have to do what’s best for this nation and that’s not an extended fight that damages the people you were elected to serve.

Someone—I suggest the nation’s highest leader—needs to start showing some leadership and working with the two sides and finding a compromise. This name calling, pointing and saying, “HE did it!” doesn’t get us anywhere.

And if you can’t get it done, we’ll call the 4-H or FFA kids—or better yet, their moms—to help you find a way to work out a compromise.

But I suggest you figure it out on your own, because you don’t want me to come up there. Trust me.

Holly Martin can be reached by phone at 1-800-452-7171 ext. 1806, or by email at

Date: 10/14/2013


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