I just got off the phone with a man in his 30s. He and his wife run 300 cows and both of their parents have a ranch that run about the same.
He said so easily in a few years we more than likely will have the opportunity to run 900 cows. But he said, “I never thought I would say this but I am not positive that I will stay in agriculture.”
He said it is pretty bad with that much opportunity that a person would not have enough faith in what is going on in the cattle business that he would even consider not staying with something he loves. “I love and I always wanted to raise my family in the country living on a ranch.”
And he said it is all due to the fact of the packer and retailer completely stealing his product. He asked me what should he do?
I said, “I agree with you 100% but don’t give up yet. There seems to be a lot of cattlemen that are fed up and willing to try to make a change. It’s high time we quit talking about it and start doing something about it.” If you know an honest group that would like to head up this endeavor please give me a call.
Every cattle organization, if it is not screaming at the top of its lungs now, is not working for you. I challenge every one of you to see if your cattle organization is speaking out against packer and retailer control. If it isn’t, call and cancel your membership until it does.
A friend and cattleman said he was at the big agriculture facility on a tour with a lot of farmers and ranchers. After they had showed off their new way of manufacturing farm tools and machinery. They asked if anyone in the crowd had any questions, so one farmer spoke up and said, “How many people work here?” The manager responded by saying, “About half.”
One cowboy was a good guy but definitely had a reputation for sometimes forgetting he was married. He had told his wife that he was going pheasant hunting and would be gone for the weekend. He frantically called a buddy who was just as ornery and said, “I have to take some pheasants home tonight. Would you please shoot some and put them in a sack and I’ll be by in a few hours to get them.”
But the only mistake he made was he forgot to check the sack. When he picked up from his buddy, his wife opened it up and it was full of ducks instead.
Editor’s note: Jerry Nine, Woodward, Oklahoma, is a lifetime cattleman who grew up on his family’s ranch near Slapout, Oklahoma.