Livestock “The greatest homage we can pay to truth is to use it.” – JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL DECEMBER 15, 2010 •
www. aaalivestock . com
Volume 52 • No. 13
Some say that BIG is beautiful and that may certainly seem so. Until it turns out that big is also bad. by Lee Pitts
the rules you already have?
ere’s a short parable with a lesson for anyone who still thinks that big is always better. In 2008 corn growers were enjoying one of their best years ever, if not their best. Who could blame those corn growers who’d signed contracts with the largest ethanol producer, VeraSun Energy, or one of its 24 subsidiaries? Thanks to VeraSun and the ethanol boom those contract growers were anticipating a once-in-a-lifetime bonanza. And who better to pledge your crop to than the biggest in the business? But when VeraSun declared bankruptcy on October 31, 2008, it left farmers and grain elevators holding an empty sack of what-could-have-beens. Many of those corn growers had already delivered their crop and, anticipating a big check, bought new $400,000 combines. Instead of checks that reflected the highest corn price in history they got checks that bounced higher than Iowa corn stalks at harvest time. Even the lucky ones who cashed their checks while there was still some money in the VeraSun bank account were told that under state bankruptcy laws anyone who got paid during 90 days prior to the bankruptcy had
Not Too Big To Fail
NEWSPAPER PRIORITY HANDLING
by LEE PITTS
The First Dog
The Bigger They Are
“Responsibility is like a breakfast of ham and eggs. For the hen it's only a donation. For the hog it's total commitment.” to repay 80 percent of what VeraSun had already paid them. Payments made during those 90 days are known as preferential payments because a debtor “preferred” to pay one creditor over another. (Only recently the courts stopped going after those VeraSun preferred payments.) Why are we telling you all this about corn in a cattlemen’s newspaper. Such a mess could never hit the cattle business, right? Don’t look now but it just did!
While everyone was arguing over whether or not the new rules proposed by The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) were good for animal agriculture or not, the largest cattle broker in the country was going broke, accused of kiting checks, and leaving ranchers with the same empty sack that VeraSun left corn farmers with. All this causes us to wonder, what good do all these rules do if you don’t even enforce
When GIPSA and the Packers and Stockyards Administration finally got around to shutting Eastern Livestock Company down, most of the damage had already been done. At the time of this writing GIPSA estimated that Eastern owed more than $130 million to 743 sellers of cattle in 30 states across the land. Those 743 sellers received $81 million in worthless checks issued on Eastern’s account between November 3 and November 9. But even those numbers may be on the light side and at press time there seemed to be some confusion as to just how much money we’re really talking about. According to the Organization for Competitive Markets, “Eastern Livestock’s revenue tripled during the past year. But, this was because it was trading with itself — kiting checks so its continued on page two
Beef Cow Herd Smallest Since 1963 by DONALD STOTTS, Oklahoma State University ■ The U.S. beef cow herd has decreased 12 of the last 14 years, dropping from a cyclical peak of 35.3 million head in 1996 to the January 2010 level of 31.3 million head. This represents the smallest beef cow herd since 1963. ■ Total U.S. cattle inventory has decreased by almost 10 million head since 1996 to the January 2010 level of 93.7 million head, the smallest cattle inventory since 1959. Declining beef inventories are causing some in the U.S. cattle industry to wonder how beef production can be maintained. “The numbers tell the tale, which is that America’s cattle industry has effectively been turning fewer cattle into more pounds of beef,” said Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension livestock marketing specialist. The U.S. beef cow herd has decreased 12 of the last 14 years, dropping from a cyclical peak of 35.3 million head in 1996 to the January 2010 level of 31.3 million head. This represents the smallest beef cow herd since 1963.
Combined with smaller dairy cow numbers, Peel said the 2010 calf crop is expected to be 35.4 million head, the smallest U.S. calf crop since 1950. Total U.S. cattle inventory has decreased by almost 10 million head since 1996 to the January 2010 level of 93.7 million head, the smallest cattle inventory since 1959. In contrast, total beef production has not changed accordingly. In fact, 2010 beef production is projected at 25.9 billion pounds, slightly higher than the 1996 level of 25.4 billion pounds. “We have maintained production thus far in two primary ways,” Peel said. “First, decreasing inventories allows the industry to utilize that inventory as production while numbers are declining.” Second, between 1996 and 2006, cheap corn allowed the industry to feed animals to ever-increasing carcass weights and to feed lightweight calves for many days in feedlots. Feedlot inventories have thus been maintained by a slower rate of turnover. “In effect, the U.S. cattle industry has been continued on page three
fter his first 500 days in The White House we thought it was time to check in on Bo, the First Dog. Here’s a transcript of our recent chat with Obama’s dog.
Q. So Bo, how is life in The White House. A. Well, I’m not exactly livin’ like a dog. I don’t eat out of cans or sleep under the porch. Just last night I had a scrumptious fivecourse dinner leftover from the Peruvian Ambassador’s State Dinner. Although the Sea Bass was a little underdone for my tastes. And I’ve never been a big fan of arugula. Q. Being under the media microscope as you are, do you have a personal life? A. Not much. In the White House there is a constant stream of lobbyists, Congressmen and other undesirables traipsing through who always want to pet me. Sometimes I just want to reach out and take a big bite out of them. Know what I mean? Q. Yes, we do. How about companionship with other dogs? A. Well, I’m neutered, you know, so it’s not that big a deal. I have been given complete access to the President, although, I must say he’s not much of a dog person. Q. Can you tell us any dirty secrets of the Obama White House. A. That’s why the Obamas got a dog instead of a parrot . . . no talking. Listen, I had to sign a nondisclosure statement as part of the FBI vetting process before I came to the White House so you’re not going to hear me digging up anything on the President or his family. Q. Does the President play any games with you? A. He likes basketball but I can’t dribble. Occasioncontinued on page four
Livestock Market Digest
December 15, 2010
The Bigger They Are
Since 1916, we’ve been here for New Mexico’s ranchers and farmers. We don’t just offer financial services, we also get where you’re coming from. That’s why we can help you with loans, insurance and other services that fit your unique needs. At Farm Credit of New Mexico, we’re with you every step of the way.
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money movement looked like it was three times the true volume. The banks caught on, stopped the check kiting, and Eastern collapsed.” Suffice it to say, you really haven’t experienced raw anger until you get a hot check for your entire year’s worth of work. It’s even worse when it happens around the holidays and your kids wonder why the pickings are a little slim under the tree. Ranchers weren’t the only ones staring at a cash crunch. Auction yards throughout the East and Midwest were, according to Mark Mackey, CEO of the LMA, “working to recall feeder cattle sold to Eastern Livestock, turning around trucks set to deliver them.” Even though Eastern didn’t pay the auctions for many cattle they bought, those auction markets paid their customers anyway. But how much can they absorb? The auctions must now get in a long line of creditors to try and get the money owed them. Eastern was not only a major buyer in the country and at local auction markets, they were also a major player in video sales. For example, they were one of the biggest, if not the biggest, customer of Superior Livestock Auction, the largest video auction and livestock auction of any kind in the country. Much to their credit, so far the auction and video markets are digging deep into their pockets to get everyone paid, but it shouldn’t have to be this way. Why was the government willing to cover the huge losses of Goldman Sachs, General Motors and countless banks and not the losses of ranchers? After all, it was the government’s job to regulate and enforce the Packers and Stockyards rules to prevent things like this from happening. It happened on their watch. We all know why the feds will be offering low interest loans to ranchers cheated out of their money, instead of bailing them out. Even though Eastern was the biggest in the business it was deemed NOT “too big to fail,” unlike the broke banks, car companies and brokerages.
The Big Beast In The East Eastern Livestock was indeed, the big beast in the East. Typically they put together huge lots of cattle made up of many purchases, and then offered them in mass to a big feeder, like Five Rivers. Naturally, the big feeders need lots of cattle and prefer to buy them in big chunks. Eastern was an amalgamator and they wielded lots of power in the market. With fewer and fewer buyers, auction markets and video markets begged for Eastern’s order. And because Eastern represented several feeders, they bought the cattle cheaper than if those feeders had bid independently against each other. After all, Eastern would not bid against itself. Eastern was started in the 1950s when Thomas Gibson the grandfather and Thomas Gibson
continued from page one
the grandson started buying cattle together. They were good at buying cattle by the head and selling them by the pound. When Grandpa Gibson got sick he sent his grandson on his first cattle buying trip by himself. He was 15 years old. Next, John S. Gibson, Thomas Gibson’s brother, entered the family business after graduating from college and by 1982 they had formally become Eastern Livestock Company, headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. There were some bumps in the road on the way to becoming the biggest order buyer. When it was shut down by the feds Eastern Livestock Co., LLC was headquartered in New Albany, Indiana and had branch facilities in 11 states. They had customers in every cattle-producing state in the country. But as we all should know by now, the bigger they are . . . the harder they fall.
Important Dates In History When Eastern flamed out they did so faster than a a cowboy’s campfire in a gully washer. As far as we know, GIPSA received its first complaint about a bad check for livestock sold to Eastern on November 3. Give them credit, with what has to be considered a rapid reaction for a government agency, on November 4, GIPSA deployed investigators to Eastern’s headquarters to investigate the original complaint and many others that were now coming in droves. GIPSA says they immediately began deploying rapid response teams to auction markets nationwide that could be impacted by Eastern’s financial failure. GIPSA also began issuing letters to unpaid sellers encouraging affected producers to submit bond claims. According to an alert issued by the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, bond claims must be filed within 60 days from the date of the transaction on which the claim is based. The first time most cattlemen heard about Eastern’s demise was on November 9, when the USDA issued a news release titled, “Bond Information for Producers Who Sold Livestock to Eastern Livestock Company LLC.” In the letter the USDA explained how to file bond claims under the Packers and Stockyards Act. By November 17, GIPSA had issued 743 such letters. What they didn’t say was that Eastern’s bond with the Capital Indemnity Corporation was only for $875,000! LMA’s Livestock Board of Trade has always had as good a handle on what is happening in the livestock business as anybody. They know who the bad apples are and who is not paying for the livestock they buy at auction. That’s their job and they do it well. The LMA learned from the Des Moines, Iowa, office of the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration that Eastern had a total of $94 Million
December 15, 2010 in unpaid livestock transactions. We’ve never been too good at math but it would seem to us that $875,000 will not go far go in paying off 94 million. Oh, and Eastern owed the bank more than $30 million, too. Now who do you think is going to get first crack at whatever cash is left, the banker or some poor rancher in Crab Orchard, Kentucky?
A Good Question The LMA also learned from the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office that Eastern’s bank, Fifth Third Bank of Cincinnati, Ohio, claimed a security interest in all of Eastern’s assets. Fifth Third Bank filed a motion with the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas in Ohio requesting issuance of a temporary restraining order and the appointment of a receiver. The court then appointed Elizabeth Lynch, of Development Specialists Inc., of Cleveland, as receiver to work on behalf of Eastern’s creditors. The receiver’s job is to ensure that the secured creditor is paid. That would be Fifth Third Bank, who at the same time filed a legal complaint that accused Eastern of stealing at least $13 million from the bank in a sophisticated check-kiting scheme. The bank also said Eastern defaulted on a $32.5 million loan that was due last month. That should have served as a warning of what was to come. After the secured creditor, which in this case is the bank, is paid the unsecured creditors will be paid out of remaining funds. In other words, the bank gets theirs first, and then the cattle sellers and other unsecured debtors will get what’s left over. Cattle sellers will also get their percentage due from the bond proceeds. In other words, those sellers with no security and no way to attach funds will probably get pennies on the dollar. Which raises a very embarrassing question for the Packers and Stockyards Administration: In this world of big business where everything is as jumbo-sized as a fast food burger, how do you allow the biggest order buyer in the country to pack a bond worth only $875,000? When you are holding a check for one year’s work stamped in red with the words, “Insufficient Funds” or “Refer to Maker,” it’s little consolation that the government is now going after the ones who wrote that check. But they are. On November 19 the Packers and Stockyards Administration filed an administrative complaint charging Eastern Livestock Company LLC and Tommy P. Gibson of New Albany, Indiana, with failure to pay for livestock purchases, failure to pay timely for livestock purchases, and failure to maintain an adequate bond.
Economic Landmines “The American economy is now pockmarked with evidence of economic landmines — leaving huge craters after each and every “too big to fail” episode,”
“America’s Favorite Livestock Newspaper” said the Organization of Competitive Markets in response to Eastern’s demise. “Banks, auto manufacturers, airlines, and industries across the economy have been devastated largely because of concentration of market power in few firms and management arrogance that each is too big to fail.” According to OCM, ”GIPSA audited Eastern in 2010 and was trying to regulate the firm. But GIPSA’s authority is very limited. The maximum bond it could require to protect unpaid livestock sellers was $875,000 — less than one percent of the total estimated losses caused by Eastern’s demise.” Just in case westerners are feeling smug that most of the damage will be felt further east,
we would remind you that western ranchers dodged a huge bullet, awhile back. In 2007 Superior Livestock was sold to Dwight and Helen Mebane of Bakersfield, California. Dwight had risen through the ranks much the same way that the Gibson’s had. He owned nice ranches in California and Oregon and one of the larger auction markets in the west, Western Stockman’s in Famoso, California. Like the Gibsons, Dwight also put together big strings of cattle and sold them to big feeders. But Dwight also fed cattle himself, and in a big way, which proved to be his undoing. When he declared bankruptcy Farm Credit West took back Superior. (They have only recently resold it.) To the best of our knowledge
the custodial account of Superior was never breached or that could have made this debacle look tiny by comparison.
In The Aftermath As we all know, GIPSA is in the process of issuing new rules to regulate the livestock market place. OCM’s General Counsel, David A. Domina said: “Too big to fail is simply not working; too big to fail is a failure in and of itself. The collapse of this massive firm is going to be devastating to thousands of cattlemen, sale barns, truckers, ranch hands, and many others. It may take years to sort out the full scale of devastation. We cannot allow this kind of concentration to continue.”
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Beef Cowherd continued from page one
able to effectively turn fewer cattle into more pounds of beef,” Peel said. “However, the situation is now different.” Expensive corn forces the industry to feed heavy yearlings and move them through the feedlot faster. Carcass weights in 2010 have been below year-ago levels almost all year and high feed costs likely limits carcass weights to little or no trend in coming years. A faster feedlot turnover rate exposes the shortage of cattle quickly as feedlots scramble to find sufficient supplies of feeder cattle to place on feed and maintain feedlot inventories. “So far, we appear to have
been able to do that,” Peel said. “Total cattle slaughter for 2010 is running almost 2 percent above 2009 levels. Steer slaughter is up less than 1 percent this year. By contrast, heifer slaughter is up nearly 3 percent and cow slaughter is up 4 percent. It is clear we are maintaining slaughter rates, in the short-run, with our females.” Peel cautions this is not sustainable without accelerating herd liquidation. At some point, the U.S. cattle industry will try to stabilize the herd size and then expand a bit. “Given the current situation this implies a significant reduction in cattle slaughter in the short-term just to hold the cow herd size steady,” he said. “It seems likely this process will start in 2011.”
Roswell Brangus Bull & Female Sale Registered & Commercial Brangus Bulls and Females
Riding Herd ally he’d throw me a Republican and tell me to fetch it but there weren’t many of them around here the last couple years. Now that the elections are over maybe there’ll be a few more to chase around. Q. Bo, what are your goals of your administration? A. More dog parks and health care for pets. It’s a tragic fact but there are millions of dogs and cats in this country without any form of medical insurance. I plan to remedy that situation in the time we have remaining. Q. Since you brought it up, do you think you have two or six years
December 15, 2010
continued from page one
left on your run at The White House? A. The focus for the next two years will be on reelection because if we lose we’ll have to move back to Chicago. You ever been to Chicago in the winter with the wind howling off the lake? I’m hoping for legislation that will make me the permanent First Dog, so win or lose, I could stay in the House until I’m dead. Just like Congressmen. Q. Much was made of the fact, earlier this year, of your extravagant vacation. A. Which one, we took six this past year? I suppose you’re talk-
ing about the time I flew on my own jet with my handler, Reggie Love, who makes $102,000 a year. All I can say is that Reggie is a great guy and he does have other responsibilities. Q. Speaking of that, America’s dying to know, does Obama clean up after you? A. You don’t really expect the First Family to be pooper-scoopers, do you? Q. Much was made of the fact that you came from Ted Kennedy. A. I didn’t actually come from Ted, he gave me as a gift. Even though I’m a Portuguese Water Dog I don’t know how to swim, and I think you’ll agree, that wouldn’t have been wise to live with Ted without knowing how to swim. Q. Wasn’t your name really Charlie and didn’t you actually come from Texas before you came to the White House? And weren’t you rejected by the first family you went to live with because you were meant to be a companion dog for an older female but you kept trying to suckle her? A. Hey, I was a youngster. And even though I’m a PORTUGUESE Water Dog, yes I was born in the USA. And I can prove it. Let’s see, I have my papers here somewhere.
The Bigger They Are continued from page three
Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011
Roswell Livestock Auction, Roswell, New Mexico ACCEPTING FEMALE BRANGUS AND FEMALE BRANGUSINFLUENCED CONSIGNMENTS
In the aftermath of Eastern’s demise we have a pretty good idea of what will happen. The P & S will step up their harassment of auction markets who had nothing whatsoever to do with Eastern’s shenanigans, while they let the meat packers and the big cattle feeders who provide them captive supplies run roughshod over the industry. With all that has transpired in the past couple years in this country we simply must ask . . . do you still really think that bigger is always better? We know at least 743 cattlemen who no longer think that big is so beautiful.
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“America’s Favorite Livestock Newspaper”
December 15, 2010
Bringing the best together…
BRANGUS by CALLIE GNATKOWSKI-GIBSON
rangus cattle, known for their hardiness and disease and heat resistance are a good match for the southwestern United States, where hot weather and infrequent rainfall are often the norm. The breed was developed to bring together the best traits of the Angus and Brahman breeds, resulting in cattle that produce and thrive wherever they are found.
Twenty Years Promoting the Breed For almost twenty years, western cattlemen needing quality Brangus bulls and females to incorporate into their operation have looked to the Roswell Brangus Bull and Female Sale. The upcoming sale, scheduled for February 26, 2011, at the Roswell Livestock Auction Barn will mark the 20th anniversary of the annual sale. Gayland Townsend, who has been involved in and spokesman for the sale since its inception in 1992 said that the idea for the sale was born after Diamond A Brangus, one of the biggest bull suppliers in the world at that time, dispersed its entire cow herd in 1990. The dispersal left a big void in the west-
ern United States for Brangus bulls. “A group of smaller breeders met at the old Roswell Inn in 1991 to see if we could put together enough bulls and females to have our own sale,” Gayland said. “Of the 20 Brangus breeders who attended the first meeting, only six or eight were willing to take a chance to put up the money and the work to start the bull sale.” That first year, sale organizers hoped to sell 100 Brangus bulls and 750 females in the first sale, and invited all of the Brangus breeders in the Southwest to join us in the sale. As it turned out, eleven breeders from New Mexico and Arizona sent bulls and females came from all over, he explained. “It took a lot of phone calls to talk producers into sending animals to our sale.” The group hired Sammy Pierce of Texas, who was the biggest Brangus sale manager at that time, to help get the sale started. “He worked with us for the first two years and did a great job,” Gayland noted. Gayland became spokesman for that first sale, but said he was only supposed to hold that position for one year. “They were supposed to fire me as soon as the sale was over but they haven't fired me yet. They just
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might this year, after the twentieth sale.” The first sale grossed a total of $604,860. Eighty eight bulls sold for a total of $187,700, averaging $2,157 per bull. A total of 623 females sold, grossing $417,160. “Needless to say, we decided to try it another year,” he said. After all these years only two of the sale’s founders remain, Gayland Townsend of Townsend Brangus, Milburn, Oklahoma, and Troy Floyd of Floyd Brangus near Roswell. “Since then,” Gayland said, “we have added two very good breeders to join us as partners — Bill Morrison and Joe Paul Lack of Lack-Morrison Brangus, Clovis and Larry Parker of Parker Brangus, San Simon, Arizona. Together, we four breeders have more than 120 years breeding Brangus cattle. We have served more than 24 years on the
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Board of Directors of the International Brangus Breeders of America (IBBA), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.” Gayland and the other sale organizers would like to thank the Wooten family, who own and operate the sale barn where the sale is held, for their contributions over the years. “Without their help and support, we could not have put this sale on for this many years. Over the nineteen year history, 1,729 Brangus bulls have gone through the sale, averaging $1,989 for a gross total of $3,440,406. Females have grossed $9,594,784, for a grand total of $13,035,140, he said. Cattle have been sold into Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Arizona,
Nevada, Utah, Arkansas and California. “We have the best customers in the world and we want them to know it,” Gayland said. “Some of them have not missed a sale in nineteen years.” This year, the sale is expanding onto the internet and will be carried by DV Auction. Potential customers will be able to view and/or bid on the cattle via the internet. “Come join us on February 26 and help us celebrate our 20th year of selling Brangus cattle.” The Townsend family has been raising Brangus cattle since Gayland and his brother Henry bought the old Cotton Wood continued on page six
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Livestock Market Digest
Bringing the Best Together Ranch and the cattle on it, including about 50 head of Trigg registered Brangus, near Roswell in 1966. “We saw how the Brangus outdid our other cattle, and just fell in love with them,” Gayland said. He and his wife Patti raised commercial Brangus cattle until their three sons started wanting to show cattle. Instead of buying show steers, the Townsends bought registered Brangus heifers that could go back into the herd, he explained, and in 1982, started raising registered cattle.
continued from page five
Today, the operation focuses on purebred bulls and females for sale to other producers. “Most of the cattle are registered, although we don’t register them all like we used to,” he noted. Six years ago this fall, the family moved their operation to Milburn, Oklahoma. “We were born and raised in New Mexico, and will always consider New Mexico our home. But, we always wanted to live somewhere with green grass all year and plenty of rain.” Gayland and Patti’s son, Steve, moved to Oklahoma with
them and helps run the ranch. Their son Charles is a veterinarian in Kentucky, and son Phillip is a contractor and fishing guide on Lake Texhoma.
A history of success Southern Arizona Brangus producer R.L. Robbs and his wife Sally, of Robbs Brangus, focus on raising registered Brangus bulls for commercial cattle producers. According to R.L., Brangus cattle, which combine the genetics of the Brahman and Angus breeds, are uniquely suited for the Southwest for several reasons. “It doesn’t make much difference what kind of cows you breed to a Brangus bull, you are
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December 15, 2010 going to see the benefits of hybrid vigor in their calves. The touch of Brahman blood in Brangus bulls produces healthy, hardy calves,” he said. “The Brangus cow is second to none. She is very adaptable, and does well in our hot, dry climate,” he said. The Robbs family has been raising Brangus cattle on the south side of the Dos Cabezas Mountains for 45 years in Kansas Settlement, 15 miles south of Willcox, Ariz. They got their start with the breed in the 1960s, after buying a herd of registered Angus cattle in west Texas and talking to a friend who was using Brangus bulls on his commercial cattle. They bought their first three-quarter blood Brangus bull from Floyd Newcomer in Yuma, and one of their first registered Brangus bulls came from the Windland family in Sealy, Texas. “Through the years that have followed, we tried and have stayed with Brinks genetics.” In the early years, the Robbs partnered with friend and fellow Brangus breeder Garth Lunt of Pima, Ariz. on several herd sires. “He started out in the business at about the same time we did, and together, we could afford higher end bulls,” R.L. said. In later years, the Robbs started using artificial insemination in their herd. Showing cattle was a big part of the operation for many years, with the Robbs participating in cattle shows in Phoenix, Tucson and Albuquerque, primarily. R.L. and Sally have tried many different ways of market-
ing their cattle through the years, and now sell most of their bulls by private treaty at the ranch. They market their heifers a little differently each year, depending on what and where the demand is. “Sally and I have participated in the Willcox All-Breeds bull sale for the past thirty or thirtyfive years,” he said. “Back when the Mexican market was strong, we participated in a sale held annually in Tucson, and always did very well. For the last few years, the Southwest Brangus Breeders Association (SBBA) has held the Best of the West sale in Tucson, and we try to support that with a few heifers and bulls every year, as well. We take our cattle wherever we need to.” This past spring, the Robbs sold a large portion of their cattle herd to Ray Westall in Arabela, New Mexico. “We needed to sell some cows, we just hadn’t had any rain, in fact it had been several years since we’d had any good rains, and we were drougthed out,” R.L. said. “We will partner up on the cattle and bring some bulls back over here for sale to the customers that have been with us for years,” he continued. “We have a lot of friends and customers, and nearly all are commercial cattlemen.” R.L. and Sally have been actively involved in the SBBA since getting into the Brangus business. He is a past president of the Association, and has served as secretary/treasurer for the last 15 years. He currently serves on the International Brancontinued on page seven
Pacelle going after Missouri Farm Bureau by JULIE HARKER, Brownfieldagnews.com
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fter the narrow passage of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)-backed dog breeding measure in Missouri, Proposition B, HSUS President Wayne Pacelle published an “open letter” on his blog criticizing the Missouri Farm Bureau’s campaign against the measure. “This agreement should not provide a liscense for gross misrepresentations of fact. And that’s exactly what the Missouri Farm Bureau was responsible for during this campaign.” Pacelle complained to Brownfield that the Missouri Farm Bureau falsely claimed that existing state regulations on dog breeding are sufficient, that the HSUS wants to eliminate pet ownership, and, that HSUS wants to end animal agriculture. Missouri Farm Bureau Public Affairs Director Estill Fretwell calls Pacelle’s complaints a publicity stunt. “If you look at their agenda this is simply the first step of HSUS and Mr. Pacelle to try to regulate animal agriculture in the state. It’s his spin on what he wants to try to put out, but again
this is just a tactic on his part to get publicity.” Most troubling, says Pacelle, are the claims from agriculture groups that HSUS spends less than one-percent of its funds on pet care. “If these are are honorable people at the Missouri Farm Bureau they will cease and desist making false statements. HSUS is the largest animal care provider in the United States. No other group cares for more animals than HSUS.” Fretwell says it’s a well known tactic of Pacelle to demonize ag groups. He says Missouri Farm Bureau stands up for and defends legitimate farmers and dog breeders who treat their animals humanely. “Mr. Pacelle (and HSUS) has an agenda as we have seen in other states to go far beyond that and try to regulate animal agriculture in a way we have problems with.” Fretwell says the Missouri Farm Bureau hopes lawmakers take a look at what changes can be made to Proposition B to protect the state’s legitimate dog breeders from going out of business under the measure’s strict requirements.
“America’s Favorite Livestock Newspaper”
December 15, 2010
Joint venture to open small meat processing plant in N.M. by RITA JANE GABBETT / meatingplace.com
joint venture between Blue Mountain Meats of Monticello, Utah, and the Navajo Nation’s Ramah Chapter in western New Mexico plans to open a small lamb and mutton processing plant and distribution center near Gallup, N.M. The joint venture, Ramah Navajo Foods, expects to process meat products from 2,000 animals annually and will initially employ 12 people, Blue Mountain Meats President Scott Frost told Meatingplace. He said animals will be slaughtered at the Blue Mountain plant in Monticello, then trucked (about 180 miles) to the new plant for further processing. The project is being supported by the New Mexico Economic Development Department, USDA and the city of Gallup, N.M. Frost estimated the cost of the plant at about $500,000. Land has been purchased for the plant about three miles from Gallup. Ramah Navajo Foods plans to begin building the processing plant by next spring, according Frost. Initially, the plant will focus on fresh lamb and mutton products for foodservice, including Navajo Nation entities. The distribution center will purchase and distribute canned goods.
Brangus: Bringing the Best Together gus Breeders Association (IBBA) Board of Directors, and Sally is a member of the IBBA Auxiliary scholarship committee. They were instrumental in starting the SBBA’s Junior Heifer program to help junior members purchase a quality animal, then compete with other members throughout the year. “We set it up as a drawpot program, getting commitments from breeders to make heifers available for as many kids as were interested,” he explained. “The kids drew for the heifers to make sure that everyone had a fair shot, bought their heifers, then showed competitively. For several current producers who started out as juniors, those heifers are still part of their herds.”
Beating the heat The breed is a good fit for the Bridle Bit Ranch, a partnership between Brad
continued from page five
and Donna DeSpain, Ted and Sandra DeSpain and Raul and Rhonda Pina, who raise Brangus cattle near Marana, Arizona. Brad likes the breed’s color and hardiness, among other traits. “They are good hustlers, and seem to be a little more disease and insect resistant than other breeds,” he said. “Their hide is a little tougher, and they have a little more size and leg that lets them travel if they need to out on the range to feed or water.” Heat tolerance is another important trait for these cattle, located on a ranch twenty miles north of Tucson. “I just like their body confirmation, they have long and deep bodies and are very muscular,” Brad said. “They do well in the heat, and find the shade quickly when they need to. The calves seem to do well, and the buyers like them. In talking with feeders, Brangus calves tend to grade just as well as Angus,
but don’t have as much back fat.” The partnership places a big emphasis on the cattle’s disposition. “We cull hard on disposition,” he pointed out. “We want something we can be around and handle easily, and if they’re a little huffy, they’re gone. They are good domestic cattle if you treat them right and don’t stir them up.” The cattle on the Bridle Bit Ranch were put together by the ranch’s previous owner, Bob Honea, and came from the University of Arizona’s liquidated Brangus and Angus herds, Brad explained. The ranch rotates between Stevenson Basin Angus and Brangus bulls on their herd every three years. Heifer calves go to partner Raul Pina’s El Sonador Ranch between St. John’s, Arizona, and Quemado, New Mexico, where they are bred to an Angus bull for their first calves, then to Hereford bulls in later years. “Cattle feeders really like those white faced, black calves,” Brad said. Steer calves are sold on the commercial market. The partnership markets the cattle as Angus Plus or Brangus, according to Brad, and is not involved in the registered side of the Brangus business. “We sell several bulls each year by private treaty to commercial producers who know us and know our cattle. In past years, our heifers have topped the sale held here in Marana.” The ranch includes ten miles of the Santa Cruz River, which irrigates 450 acres of permanent pasture. “The water in the river is knee-deep on a horse most of the year, we think this is the best ranch in southern Arizona,” Brad explained. People just like Brangus cattle, he concluded. “They tend to calve easier, and make a better range cow. They have enough Brahman blood to keep the benefits that breed provides, like pinkeye resistance, along with a little ear.”
TCFA Names Officers, Board he Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA), during its 2010 Annual Convention in Oklahoma City, named its officers and directors for the coming year. Bo Kizziar of Amarillo is chairman of the board; Jim Peters of Quemado is chairmanelect; and Walt Olson of Turpin is vice chairman. Cattle feeders elected to oneyear terms on the board of directors are Sammy Brown of Friona, Dave DeLaney of Kingsville, Robby Kirkland of Vega, Bo Kizziar of Amarillo, Pete Scarmardo of Caldwelland Dale Smith of Amarillo. Directors chosen for two-year terms are Kevin Buse of Hereford, Chris Hitch of Guymon, Jim Peters of Quemado, Pat Schwab of Bovina, Mike Thoren of Greeleyand Monty Wheeler of Pampa. Elected to three-year terms as directors are Ed Attebury of Amarillo, Kevin Bunch of Hereford, Jim Lovell of Canyon, Rex McCloy of Morse, Walt Olson of Turpin and Dal Reid of Amarillo. Also serving on the TCFA Board are the Association’s two immediate past chairmen: Monte Cluck of Boerne and Mike Engler of Amarillo.
Selecting a Maternal Sire by HEATHER SMITH THOMAS
here are several important factors that should be considered when selecting a bull to sire replacement females. The bull makes a lasting contribution to the herd (good or bad), since the quickest way to change the genetics of a herd is through sire selection. You want that contribution to be beneficial to your purposes, moving your heifers in the best direction to meet the goals of your breeding program. Seedstock producers are finding that maternal qualities are as important to most of their bull buyers as weaning and yearling weight, and some of these maternal qualities cannot be measured with EPDs. EPDs do not measure some of the most important traits you need to evaluate when selecting breeding stock — things like conformation, disposition, udder shape and teat size, for instance. Mark and Della Ehlke raise purebred Herefords near Townsend Montana, along with a small herd of purebred Angus
to raise crossbred replacement heifers for their commercial herd. “Selecting a bull is a twofold situation for us,” says Mark. “Any bull that we bred ourselves is an easy selection process; we simply look at past production on that cow family.” Their operation has a lot of history behind any bull that they raise. “If we buy a bull from someone else’s herd, we try to do as much research as possible, using the internet and checking production records on the cow and grand-dam, etc. I want to see the animals, also. Over the course of time, we’ve narrowed down to a couple of cow families that we really like. We have purchased sons and grandsons, etc. from those cow families,” he says. These bloodlines have worked very well for their breeding program. “There may be a generation or two of something else in there, so it’s not quite line breeding, but we do like to use proven cow families,” says Ehlke. When looking at the dam of a potential sire, in some ways it can be easier to evaluate her critically
if she’s an older cow rather than a two or three year old. Then you get a better idea about how her udder, feet and legs, etc. hold up. “It’s good to also review all the data you can get your hands on, including EPDs, actual carcass, etc. but keep in mind that all of these are just tools. We don’t recommend that someone go out and select for a single trait. Everything needs to be weighed and balanced. Keep it middle of the road. Milk is definitely something that I select against. You have to be careful, with some of the family lines, that you don’t bring in too much additional milk. You have to match this with your resources,” he explains. Some people have selected for so much milk that the cows cannot keep their body condition — putting too much energy into milk production — and they don’t rebreed on time in a real world environment. “This brings it’s own set of problems. Longevity is important. You don’t want poor udder attachments or the udder will go downhill rapidly,” he says. Even
if a cow raises a good calf, if she can’t breed back on time, or her udder goes bad, she won’t last very long in your herd. Some cows can milk well and still have a good udder in their old age, while others will sag and the udder becomes a problem. “Once that happens, there’s never any improvement. If you start out with a bad udder, it’s never going to get any better. You need better-than-average udders to start with. Udder continued on page fourteen
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y hat is off to parents who have a job in town but insist on raising their kids in a “rural lifestyle.” 50 or so thousand young people were at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis last year. I would bet at least 3.4 of them come from rural lifestyle families. The relationship between kids and their livestock, including rabbits and horses, is an intimate one. The animals are all named, the facilities are often muchrepaired, and responsibilities are shared. Samantha’s older brother was going to junior college in their Idaho hometown. He still kept a small herd of four Longhorn cows and a bull that had been his high school FFA project. The Bull-of-The-Woods was named Braveheart. That fateful morning Samantha didn’t have class and had slept in. Upon rising she peeked out her window to see the light blue sky, high stratus clouds, and brother’s cows strung out along the paved road that went by their house! She pulled on her boots and a hoody over her colorful pajamas and marched out the door muttering technicolor threats to the cows, her brother and Braveheart! She didn’t even have time
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to put in her contacts and sharpen her claws! Tromping down the inside of the fence she was singing curses to all involved! Several civilians drove by and waved at her cheerfully. They never stopped to help, thinking maybe she was a Swiss milkmaid out to gather her cows on an Alpine hillside. Once past the cows she crawled under the fence and chased them back to the home lot. Then she returned to pick up the trash can the cows had knocked over, and looked back to see that the cows had turned around and were escaping again!
Bravely standing in front of the charging herd, she yelled and waved an empty COB sack in their faces! Braveheart snorted, ran by her and crashed through the neighbor’s fence wherein four sheep, three Bohr goats, two llama, a burro and several ducks watched with interest. Back to the house she raced, she’d forgotten her cell phone, of course, and called her brother who was in class. He got excused. With a little alfalfa bait, some clever sorting maneuvers, and his collector ’72 Chevy pickup, they finally managed to get the traveling herd back in their own lot. That evening after chores, they had a “rural lifestyle family meeting” and voted. The result was one to three. Braveheart is now in the freezer and his head is curing on the roof of the shed. Brother is considering an ostrich project and Samantha was awarded the American Farmer degree. Congratulations to you both and don’t forget to thank your ag teacher and your mom.
Richard McDonald Leader Institute Announced o honor Richard McDonald’s legacy of leadership, a new program has been established. The Richard McDonald Leadership Institute, will provide leadership training for cattle industry organizations throughout the country. McDonald passed away Oct. 29. McDonald spent 32 years with the Texas Cattle Feeders’ Association (TCFA), initially joining TCFA in 1974 and being appointed as CEO in 1988. He
retired in 2006 after a distinguished career of service to the cattle industry. McDonald was involved in planning the program, and at his recommendation, the Institute will include a comprehensive curriculum covering volunteer and staff leadership for cattle associations. Donations may be sent to: The Richard McDonald Leadership Institute, The Amarillo Area Foundation, 801 S. Fillmore St., Ste. 700, Amarillo, TX 79101.
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“America’s Favorite Livestock Newspaper”
December 15, 2010
The Truth Emerges: Environmentalism Trumps National Security by STEPHEN L. WILMETH
epeated attempts have been made to locate the word environment in the Constitution of the United States . . . Long before Rob Krentz’ murder became the marker that introduced the nation to the Bootheel of New Mexico, the rural community of the New Mexico border land knew the influence of the environmental community had grown much stronger than any influence they could maintain. In dealings with the federal land agencies, the environmental agenda had become the elephant in the room. That elephant had often been silent, but, its presence, just like any elephant’s presence in a closed room, was distinct and undeniable. The Krentz murder was the dreaded eventuality that sparked an expanded debate that had all the features of pent up outrage. Finally, there was a degree of national inquiry into the problems the border citizens had been facing for years. The responses were so predictable that a featured story should have been an assessment of the obligatory glad handing and demonstrative anger that elected officials set in motion. Arizona Senator John McCain took an abrupt turn away from unfettered immigration. Southeastern Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) rushed to Apache, Arizona and conducted a public forum to get input. New Mexico District 2 Representative Harry Teague (D-NM) fired off a letter announcing he was going to secure more funding. New Mexico Senators Jeff Bingaman (DNM) and Tom Udall (D-NM) called for expediting construction of Forward Operating Bases (FOB) so the Border Patrol could be closer to the border in order to reduce the concern of cross border violence. Fast forward to the last few weeks of 2010, and an updated assessment of all the Congressional gnashing of teeth reveals exactly what most locals expected would happen . . . a lot of words, but certainly nothing regarding the promised FOB.
The Heartland Mandate Those in the Bootheel who must live by their wits and attend to their duties, responsibilities, and investments, though, view the midterm elections with a degree of hope. Can newly elected Steve Pearce (R-NM) join with heartland Congressional leaders and awaken border state leadership to the realities of the drug war, the First Mexican Revolution of the 21st Century? Can Congress finally start separating their actions from those of hyper liberal special interest groups
who have been complicit in the outgrowth of the danger on the border? There is border citizen hope, but it is couched in distrust of politicians and the historical failures to secure the border. The place to start is with the FOB. Let that discussion begin with the pronouncement to the world that the United States Border Patrol evaluated a number of possibilities including sites at seven miles, 10.5 miles, and 20 miles from the border. The ownership of those particular alternatives was federal, private, and private, respectively. As any common sense security expert would have guessed, the current preference for the location is . . . the site furthest away from the border! If this is the site selected, the FOB will be nestled in the bottom of a canyon and the only clear view from a distance would be that from Animas Mountain. Animas Mountain is private land that lies behind locked gates to the east. The idea for the FOB to project a physical reminder to illegals not to enter the United States would be discarded. Its location cannot be seen from any county roads, but that may be exactly the plan by the political power base in the area.
to them as long term protection measures for the land. Payments were made to the ranchers for the permanent pledge to give up any right to adjust the course of the future management and development of those lands. The conservation easements which are now in place disallow any obtrusive reminders of mankind. Mankind, at least the environmentally challenged among the ranks, is not welcome. Who holds title to the conservation easements and what does a simple life estate promise have to do with long-term agendas? The life of a single rancher is but a blip on the horizon of a long term plan. The real players in the
Malpai movement center on the Nature Conservancy and the current owner of the Gray Ranch. In both cases, the spectre of a foreboding, powerful force is much larger than the stewards who have created the historical character of those lands.
To Rewilding Every indication seems to be that the larger open borders, Rewilding Project is the real agenda. When the Nature Conservancy originally purchased the Gray, there were no Forest Service allotments in the transaction. The Gray was a superb cattle ranch dominated by private ownership. It was also an island in a
sea of checker boarded landscape with federal, state and private land. Today, the Gray controls four of the six historical grazing allotments on the south end of the New Mexico extension of the Coronado National Forest against the Mexican border. These four allotments remain unstocked raising the concern that the real plan is to retire these allotments that have historically contributed to the existence of many ranch families, enhanced health of these ranching units, and the well being of the local economy. continued on page ten
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The Bootheel Project The seven mile location is a 40-acre parcel of land already owned by the federal government. It has nearby electricity and it commands a sweeping view of the border to the south. Its location projects its presence to the horizons and it would become a constant reminder to all illegals that they are being watched, and they will be hunted down and removed from sovereign American territory if they try to cross the border. Its location with a full view of the border and the ability to be seen by the modern world, however, is exactly what prompts the elephant to stir and start to flex. The Gray/ Diamond A Ranch, the dominating feature of the area, and the Malpai Borderland Group, a collection of local ranchers, have created a union dedicated to the long term preservation of the ecological integrity of the area. To anybody who stands in the immensity of the Bootheel with its physical features of breathtaking proportions, few could disagree with this intent. But, there is gnawing and growing concern that the long term agenda may not be all that supportive of traditional ranching values that make up the social fabric of the land. Even participants within the Malpai group are having second thoughts of the real agenda and the dilemma in which they may find themselves. At the heart of the Malpai movement are conservation easements that the members have signed for what was represented
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The Forest Service is fully involved in the process. In fact, the latest NEPA required that the stocking rate of the allotments be dropped nearly 30 percent. The Gray Ranch did not contest the results. This would lead all who know what is going on to recognize that the Forest Service is once again systematically destocking wilderness, only this time it is de facto wilderness and the powerful elephant that is pulling the bus is the newest owner of the majority of the forest allotments.
The Arizona Class Human and Drug Smuggling Corridors (ACHDSC) At a recent meeting of key participants in the FOB discussion, a Border Patrol representative admitted that environmental concerns have made it necessary to back away from the best strategic location for that facility. But, wait . . . if it is a wildlife concern, shouldn’t the same wildlife be a concern 13 miles north in the same ecosystem? If it is a flood plain issue, shouldn’t the same concern exist 13 miles north in the bottom of a canyon, and why is the Border Patrol elevating itself into a position of first determining what is best for the environment. Their mission must be to secure the border and contribute to the safety of the American people. The agenda is becoming too difficult to hide from public scrutiny, and, in the Bootheel, it is not just the federal land agencies that are complicit in creating national security dangers on the border. This time the Border Patrol must be added to the list. In work done in New Mexico in opposition to S.1689, The Organ Mountains — Desert Peaks Wilderness Act, it was learned that Arizona Class Human and Drug Smuggling Corridors (ACHDSC) are an outgrowth of conditions that included the following: ■ The corridors have wilderness/de facto wilderness safe havens. ■ They have east /west highway access north and south of the corridors. ■ They have rugged and complex north/south mountain and drainage orientation which provides channels of movement. ■ They are almost entirely or heavily dominated by federal land agency management. ■ The concentration of American private property rights at risk is limited as is the presence of resident American habitation. ■ All corridors have high, strategically located points of observation. What the Bootheel model of ACHDSC teaches is that characteristic #4 must be modified. In the Bootheel of New Mexico, the presence of a private property environmental enterprise and a constrained Border Patrol are as dangerous to national security as any governmental land agency when the environmental enterprise alters the unencumbered activity of the Border Patrol! This phenomenon becomes a
December 15, 2010 proxy for all the conditions of designated Wilderness in terms of access limitations. As such, it is de facto wilderness. In fact, in the Bootheel up until recent days, the statutory authority of Border Patrol to access any private property, at any time, and under any conditions within 25 miles of the border has not occurred. Much of the border, from just west of San Luis Pass in New Mexico to the Arizona line, has been locked and the Border Patrol has not aggressively challenged those locked gates. The limited access ties directly to the San Bernardino Wildlife Refuge where Border Patrol continues to have the same conditional access existing on the day Rob Krentz was murdered. That day, the murderer escaped back through the refuge into Mexico. By conditions set forth by USFWS Regional Director, Benjamin Tuggle, the Border Patrol would not have been allowed mechanical entry even if they had known the exact location of the murderer.
The Bootheel ACHDSC The only ACHDSC outside of Arizona exists in the New Mexico Bootheel. It is a smuggling corridor that has the potential of being as dangerous as any of the Arizona corridors. That is why the FOB being discussed is so important. That is also why it is so perplexing that the Border Patrol seems too often to acquiesce to the preferences of the environmental community. The question must be asked, “What is driving the decisions? If it stems from arraying environmental priorities over those
of national security, it runs the risk of exposing America to ever expanding dangers from the drug war and the consequences of an uncontrolled border. It will also continue to accelerate the degradation of the very resources that the environmental agenda pledges to protect. Whatever the forces are that have supported the expansion of wilderness safe havens and contributed to the smuggling corridors that have decimated natural resources along the border, one thing has clearly emerged. The rules of engagement for national security are softened and dampened when the environmental agenda is present. Thus, Americans are left with no alternative but to believe that environmentalism trumps national security. At this point, Rob Krentz’ death remains a tragedy of the worst imagined proportions. His government hopes the memories of this travesty simply fade away. The collective actions of his government have not changed at all since that fateful day in March of 2010. His government has demonstrated its real priority on the border, and it isn’t the constitutional mandate to make sure that the border is secure in order to protect the lives of those for which it was written . . . men like Rob Krentz. Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher in southern New Mexico. He respects leaders like CBP El Paso Sector Chief Randy Hill and Tucson Sector Chief Victor Manjarrez and the difficulty they face. Given the authority and the backing of the federal bureaucracy, these men and their Patrol force can gain control of America’s southern border. If Congress fails to give them the tools, support, and full authority to operate, or if the Administration and Congressional leadership waiver on a united national security priority, no sector leadership can prevail in its mission to secure the border.
John Knipe nominated “Land Realtor of America” ohn Knipe, President of Knipe Land Company, Inc., headquartered in Boise, Idaho, has been nominated as Land Realtor of America. The Land Realtor of America Award recognizes members of the National Association of Realtors – Realtors Land Institute for their effort and work expended in the interest of their fellow Institute members, their profession, and their community. Knipe Land Company, Inc., is a nearly 70-year-old, Boise Idaho, real estate company. It markets development land, commercial farms, cattle ranches, timberland, hunting and recreation property in Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington and Nevada State with agents and brokers licensed in multiple States. Eligibility and nomination for the Land Realtor of America Award is based on recognized business accomplishments such as good business conduct, service to clients, imaginative and creative marketing programs, rehabilitation work, land utilization, civic activities on a local, state and national level such as service clubs, holding a national
Realtor Land Institute office, participation and outstanding service to the organization. Earlier this year, John Knipe won and was awarded as 2010 “Idaho Land Realtor of the year,” Knipe was also awarded the 2010 — “Distinguished Service Realtor” award for outstanding service, service to charity, and good business conduct and for exceptional service to his clients. John Knipe holds the office of Past National Regional Vice President of the National Association of Realtors – Realtors Land Institute. Knipe also holds the position of Past President of the Idaho Chapter of the Realtors Land Institute. Knipe has also served as Governor on the National Board of Governors — with the National Association of Realtors — Realtors Land Institute and he has served on several national and Idaho State committees. John Knipe is one of only six Realtor professionals in Idaho who’s earned the prestigious Accredited Land Consultant designation. The Accredited continued on page sixteen
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December 15, 2010
New Mexico’s Iconic Bell Ranch Changes Hands by BURT RUTHERFORD / BEEF Magazine
he face of ranching in the West is changing. Ranches that have been the lockstitch in the fabric of Western culture, tradition and economy for generations continue to disappear as they’re sold for recreational property, subdivided into ranchettes, and overtaken by a multitude of uses, few of which include a cow. It was into this changing Western landscape, then, that the iconic Bell Ranch in northeastern New Mexico came up for sale several years ago. That’s notable because, at nearly 300,000 acres, the Bell Ranch could well be the largest working ranch to be offered for sale for the next several generations. Earlier this year, the Silver Spur Ranch, headquartered at Encampment, WY, purchased the Bell, bringing to a close years of speculation about the future of the historic ranch. To the relief of many, the Silver Spur plans to operate the Bell Ranch much as it has been managed for the 186 years of its existence. “Silver Spur’s goal is this will remain a working, productive cattle ranch with conservation and stewardship as the foremost of our goals,” says Cheramie Viator, who handles genetics and marketing for Silver Spur. “Our company mantra is creating ranch traditions for tomorrow’s generations. That’s what the core values of our operation are about
— creating and maintaining sustainable ranches for the future,” she says. “This ranch appealed to us from both the historic standpoint and the cow-calf opportunity here,” she adds. “It’s an incredible ranch in terms of grass, in terms of the infrastructure. But the iconic appeal had a lot to do with it.” To that end, Silver Spur management intends to maintain many of the working traditions on the Bell Ranch. “The commitment to the community, to the beef industry, those things are very important,” she says. In fact, many people have had a brush with Bell Ranch history and not realized it. For many years, a black-and-white photo adorned every Stetson hat box. The picture, taken in the 1940s, showed a cowboy heeling a calf just prior to its introduction to the branding fire. The cowboy in the picture was Mark Woods, long-time Bell Ranch wagon boss. The Bell Ranch was created by a Mexican land grant in 1824, just three years after Mexico gained its independence from Spain, says Don Hofman, who retired as Bell Ranch general manager in 1987. Hofman became general manager in 1970 when Bill Lane, patriarch of the family that previously owned the operation, bought the headquarters. The distinctive Bell Ranch brand was registered in 1875, Hofman says, and is still used today. The ranch has had only a
few owners since a group of Englishmen bought the ranch from the Juan Pablo Montoya family in the 1870s. The original grant was around 656,000 acres, says Hofman, and the British owners purchased the adjoining Baca grant, putting the Bell Ranch at around 700,000 acres at one time. In 1947, the Bell Ranch was divided into six tracts and sold. When Lane bought the headquarters in 1970, he became owner of around 138,000 acres of Western history. A few years later, he was able to buy additional acreage once part of the original land grant, bringing the Bell Ranch to its current 292,100 acres, every inch deeded land. The ranch can comfortably run 5,000 pairs, with room left for replacement heifers and summertime stockers. However, because of long and enduring drought, the pastures have been stocked much more conservatively in recent years. That stewardship ethic shows. Even in the face of withering drought, the ranch’s large pastures are still abundant with grass. “It’s one of the best mother cow ranches in New Mexico and maybe the Southwest,” Hofman says. “It doesn’t take an awful lot of supplemental feed.” The Silver Spur Ranch, which began operations in the 1950s, consists of the headquarters ranch in Encampment, as well as ranches in Walden and Kiowa, CO, and the TO Ranch and now the Bell Ranch in northern New Mexico. The Silver Spur runs about 12,000 commercial cows as well as produces registered Charolais, Angus, Red Angus and Hereford bulls, and a com-
posite they call Rangefire, which is a cross between Charolais and Red Angus. While Silver Spur management has great respect for the Bell Ranch’s historic past and iconic status, some changes are in store. The Silver Spur runs a black-based commercial cowherd, but plans to keep a red-hided genetic base on the Bell Ranch. Under new manager Kris Wilson, previously with the Matador Ranch in Texas, they’ll shift away from the Bell Red composite, grow their Red Angus commercial numbers in coming years, and eventually move into their Rangefire genetics as a terminal cross. As they tweak the genetics, they’ll continue to be very sensitive, as they are on all their ranches, to matching females to the environment. “It’s incredibly beautiful, the ranch is,” Viator says. “For all the beauty the ranch has, I think when it’s dry, it can be equally as cruel. It will be important to understand and manage around what moisture and environment dictate.” For the Bell Ranch, they’re shooting for a 1,150- to 1,200-lb. cow that can wean 50 percent of her body weight every year. In the good grass years, the cows will be expected to come in with a heavier calf, while in the dry times, bring a calf that’s a similar percent of her bodyweight and still rebreed. Silver Spur retains ownership in the majority of its calves, feeding them in commercial feedyards and marketing fed cattle as natural or non-hormone treated cattle (NHTC).Their goal for a steer going to harvest is first a
Page 11 calf that will make money. To help accomplish that, they’re looking for 85 percent Choice, YG 3 or better and a mid-60s dressing percent. Silver Spur has a large historical database of harvest information on its cattle, but tying the feedyard and carcass data back to the ranch has been a challenge. So they’re working to build a system to track from cow to carcass and back to cow, using visual tags on the cows and electronic ID tags on the calves. The goal is to gain efficiency by eliminating the bottom-producing cows across the entire operation. “When we get through, everything will be individually identified. So we’ll incorporate technology with tradition in order to create profitability for the ranch,” Viator says. “We have a lot of respect for the traditions and the culture of each area where our ranches are,” Viator says. “I think it’s important going forward that we maintain that. Silver Spur is very family-oriented and the core values of the company are things I think we need to see in our country — integrity, family, God. Those things are what we’re about.” Those who care about the ranching tradition of the West find comfort in that. “It’s one of the last great places on earth,” Caren Cowan, New Mexico Cattle Growers Association executive director, says of the Bell Ranch. “It’s the foundation of the custom and culture of the West. It’s part of what you think is always going to be there. It always has been and we look forward to it always being there.”
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December 15, 2010
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early thirty persons, representing four states, a variety of professions, and a strong common interest in managing rangelands, met near Cimarron, N.M. for a Society for Range Management (SRM) tour of the Express UU Bar ranch. Once part of the legendary Maxwell land grant, the original UU Bar was by the 1920s part of the holding of Waite Phillips who established the neighboring Philmont Scout ranch. In 2006, Oklahoman Bob Funk acquired the UU Bar and soon three additional neighboring ranches ranging in elevation from 6,000 to 10,000 feet and totaling upwards of 160,000 acres. The New Mexico commercial cattle operation was acquired to complement the Express seedstock and other enterprises in Oklahoma. The day before closing on the ranch, a hot rapidly-moving wildfire, started by downed transmission lines on a windy spring day, burned up large portion of the plains country. “The sale still proceeded,” said Mike Hobbs, ranch general manager, but from day one, with countless smokey hot spots threatening to ignite anew, the new management had to hit the ground running. The present UU Bar encompasses three previous operations ranging over a wide range of terrain, range types, and income producing enterprises. Finding the appropriate management approach for each, and integrating them into a productive and sustainable whole was a theme of the tour. The 9,000' high coun-
try, dappled with beautiful parks and ponds, edged by thick stands of spruce and aspen, provides summer season grazing for up to 12,000 Mexican sourced yearlings. A line camp crew spends the summer looking after them (death loss less than two percent; gains around 280 pounds) and managing grazing distribution. The yearlings are trailed up in June and down by September. A classic example of a “high intensity, short duration” grazing unit was a mid-way “rest stop” used during these transits. The vigor and diversity of forage plants was impressive, especially considering that it “usually looks like a parking lot” after the steers move on. Management issues in the high country include an overabundance of wild iris, a native forb. Unpalatable to cattle and elk, the iris is competing with the cool season grasses in the open parks. Some suggested bringing in forb eaters such as sheep and goats, but because of predators and economics, that is easy to promote in theory but harder to put into practice. Elk, here as elsewhere, are also a challenge in grazing management, as they will often trail behind the cattle in the grazing circuits, eating the tender vegetative regrowth and frustrating the opportunities for these areas to rest and recover from the managed grazing of cattle. Monitoring of exclosure cages have established that the elk herds consume roughly 40 percent of the produced annual forage, leaving significantly less for the cattle operation. While elk hunting does indeed provide significant income opportunities for the UU Bar (as do also fishing, game birds, deer
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and antelope), both economics and land management would be improved if there were fewer elk and more cattle. A stop in the middle elevation country showcased a valley bottom that had been mechanically cleared of juniper to enhance forage production and improve watershed function. Removal of the root balls and burning of brush piles were stressed as important practices to insure success and minimize reinvasion. Plans are in place to turn the problem of the overabundant woody species (including overgrown high country stands) into an asset by harvesting it for a bio-mass electricity generation project that is to be situated at the north end of the ranch; the electricity created will then provide power to the town of Angel Fire. A number of small pit ponds caught run-off in the valley bottom to help regulate snowmelt and gulley-washers. Much of the middle country consists of table lands that are also utilized by the yearling operation; the strong blue gramma here provides the best gains (up to 325 lbs.). The 6,000' “low country” is home to 1,000 commercial Black and Red Angus cows, a 600-head commercial replacement heifer enterprise, a cutting horse training facility (which utilizes the replacement heifers), hay meadows and pivots, and an impressive lodge and headquarters across the road from Kit Carson’s original ranch at Rayado. Besides being a base camp offering excellent cuisine and hospitality, the UU Bar lodge is a stunning showcase for sculpture and taxidermy featuring regional wildlife. Below the HQ are all the necessary ranch facilities, including a very stout 10-foot-tall game trap (installed by a previous owner) in a sub-irrigated meadow that makes for an impenetrable barrier for acrossthe-fence weaning. Wagon ruts from the old Santa Fe trail are still clearly visible on the plains near the path of that fire from a few years ago. Expanding cholla and prickly brownish range caterpillars are a concern here. There are many control approaches, but which ones are cost effective? Then there is the great who-dunnit mystery that followed the fire. Cattle were dying mysteriously for little apparent reason, and no one could figure out why. The culprit? It turned out to be kochia, the non-native annual that colonizes bare spots and often thought of as “pretty good feed.” It was exceptionally thick where fly-ash from the fire had collected and windrowed; nitrates were then taken up by the plant to toxic levels. The cattle were kept off of it for a year to let the concentrations dissipate.
December 15, 2010
“America’s Favorite Livestock Newspaper”
Will Water Rights Be on the Legislature’s Agenda? by KATE GALBRAITH / The Texas Tribune
he next Texas legislative session, during the few minutes not taken up with the budget, redistricting and immigration, an old stand-by of an issue could creep onto the agenda: water. Observers say legislative proposals on groundwater rights are probable, given that Texas is just wrapping up a controversial process for planning the allocation of water from aquifers, while environmentalists will be pushing more measures for water conservation. The discussions will be amplified because the Texas Water Development Board, which finances water and wastewater infrastructure projects around the state, is up for review by the Sunset Advisory Commission, as is the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which regulates water pollution. Water “should be an important issue in this next session,” says Russell Johnson, a water law expert with the McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore law firm who has done work for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and the Texas Wildlife Association on groundwater-related matters. Last session, one of few notable water-related bills to pass was was a bill carried by state Rep. Allan Ritter, D-Nederland, that tightened water-efficiency requirements for toilets sold in Texas, as well as for faucets or shower heads. (The only other state to enact similar requirements for toilets is California.) The biggest water issue before the Legislature is likely to be balancing the long-term health of Texas’ aquifers with property rights. The state has just completed an intensive planning process, established by the Legislature in 2005, in which local authorities decide how much they will allow their aquifers to be depleted in 50 years (the resultant numbers are called the “desired future conditions” of the aquifers). The Texas Water Development Board is processing these aquifer-depletion numbers and will soon send back to local authorities calculations on how much water per year they can draw down, given their 50year outlooks. But some groups are unhappy about the planning process and may well urge legislation amending it. In particular, water marketers — entities seeking to gather groundwater rights and sell water in bulk to thirsty municipalities — say their property rights have been abridged, because their potential use of the aquifers was not taken into account in the 50-year plans. Existing legislation “does not provide for a dispute resolution process,” says Joel Katz, a manager of End-Op, a water-marketing firm that wants to sell water to the fast-growing Interstate 35 and Highway 130 corridors. End-
Op is currently battling the Lost Pines groundwater conservation district around Bastrop for the right to do so. (Johnson also represents End-Op’s interests.) The Sunset Advisory Commission’s report on the Water Development Board, released this month, seems to agree that a remedy is needed. As it stands, the groundwater planning process “does not provide for a complete administrative process that ensures the basic elements of due process,” the report states. Currently, Katz says, the only option for filing an objection is the relatively mild step of complaining to the Water Development Board, which can then ask local authorities to reconsider their plans. Legislation on other aspects of the groundwater-planning process could also be forthcoming. A group called the Texas Water Conservation Association has been working to bring together a range of water interests — cities, river authorities, industry consultants — to reach consensus on desired improvements to the groundwater management process. Several areas
of agreement have been reached, according to Dean Robbins, the group's assistant general manager — including how the process gets published. The Sunset Commission staff report also calls for better coordination among various authorities involved in the groundwaterplanning process. And other possible groundwater-related legislation hinges on the long-awaited outcome of Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Day, currently pending at the Texas Supreme Court, which will weigh the balance between landowners’ rights to water beneath their land and the authority of groundwater authorities to regulate it. Besides groundwater planning, conservationists will also be putting forward proposals next session. Among them: remedying municipal water-conservation reporting requirements, which currently do not adhere to a common standard, thus making it hard for the state to judge the success of conservation efforts. State Sen. Florence Shapiro, RPlano, has already filed a bill on on the subject, and the Sunset
report recommends making this change. Another bill would require most water utilities to audit their water losses (from leaky pipelines or other glitches) each year, as opposed to the current requirement of every five years. A bill to do this was pushed last session by state Rep. Tara RiosYbarra, D-Padre Island. But it “got lost in muddle,” says Carole Baker, the Texas-based chairwoman of the national Alliance for Water Efficiency (Rios-Ybarra was beaten in the March primary). Legislation to encourage rainwater harvesting was also introduced last session by Rep. Doug Miller, R-New Braunfels, and defeated state Rep. Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs; rainwater’s backers could try again. Then there is Sunset. Unlike other agencies subject to Sunset review, the Texas Water Development Board will not be automatically abolished if Sunset legislation is not passed. But the Sunset process will increase scrutiny of the agency, which, as the report notes, is “not accustomed to being square in the eye of controversy” but is currently in the crossfire of concerns about its groundwater-planning process.
The Water Development Board also badly needs up to $6 billion in bond-issuance authority for projects like fixing sewer systems or keeping tap water safe, as well as assisting small rural water utilities. The board generally has to request the money (not its only source of funding, but its largest) every few years, and current bond money “may be exhausted as soon as the end of fiscal year 2011,” according to the Sunset report. Any bonding authority must also be approved by voters and will presumably be on the ballot next November. But getting bonding authority approval is “going to be semi-controversial,” says Ken Kramer, the Texas director of the Sierra Club. Because the Water Development Board is requesting up to $6 billion in permanent, or “evergreen” authority — meaning that, unlike in the past, it will not need to keep going back to the voters unless truly vast sums are needed. “That is something that many of us have a problem with because it takes away one layer of accountability,” Kramer says. The environmental community, he says, is “probably going to be in opposition to the evergreen provision.”
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Selecting a Maternal Sire attachment, teat length, etc. are very important in our selection process. We udder score all our cattle at calving time every year, and cull the ones that don’t measure up,” says Ehlke. Calving time is the best time to assess udders, because with
continued from page fourteen
else’s herd as replacements. You want cows that are easy to handle. “We feel there is a hereditary factor in disposition and temperament,” he says. It’s partly heritable and partly the way they are handled, but some animals are just a lot easier to train for
People are finally realizing that there’s a definite benefit to having quiet cattle. some cows the teats will shrink up again after the calf has suckled for a few weeks and the udder may look pretty good, and you forget how big and ballooned the teats can get, until the next calving season. “I just don’t want to be milking cows or having to assist a calf in getting on a teat. That’s not what my goal was, in raising beef cows.” Disposition is also a very important part of the mix. It may not be as crucial if a steer is a little flighty, but you certainly don’t want heifers that are hard to manage, if they will be staying in your herd or going to someone
ease of handling than others. “We notice this, especially in our black cattle. With years of work, they are not much different in their ease of handling than our Hereford cattle, but we are very strict about how they are handled,” says Ehlke. A person can easily ruin them if they are handled wrong. “That’s the thing about a black cow. She’s not going to let you make very many mistakes, like the Hereford will. The Herefords are more forgiving,” he says. Careful selection, and good handling, are all part of the process for developing a herd of
nice cattle. Some individuals don’t train as readily as others. “I see there is some research data coming out now in regard to disposition, and the profitability of quiet cattle. People are finally realizing that there’s a definite benefit to having quiet cattle. This is very good for those of us who have Hereford cattle. Most of them are more mellow, to start with, than Angus, for instance,” he says. When selecting a sire, Ehlke says that the bull also has to fit
December 15, 2010 the bill in looks. “Phenotype is important, and these animals have to be correct. We like females with a lot of ribcage and capacity. It’s a complicated selection process, to put it all together.” Most breeders have a picture in the back of their minds, regarding what the ideal female should look like. There may not be an ideal cow, but some cattle come a lot closer than others. Then you have to put this together with performance. You want everything in
that cow’s favor, for performance and longevity. “This is what we are trying to do — breed a herd of ideal cows,” says Ehlke. That’s the exciting challenge of a breeding program, and it certainly keeps your interest, when you can see things that do work, or can see you are making progress in certain directions. It’s always a work in progress, and we keep learning more and more about breeding and cattle selection, and the cattle themselves are always teaching us.
Tips for Evaluating Fertility in Bulls by HEATHER SMITH THOMAS
hape and circumference of a bull’s scrotum/testes can be an indication of fertility. Size can be measured, and the stockman needs to make sure the bull’s testes are of adequate size for optimum sperm production. Shape is also important. The bull must be able to easily raise or lower the testicles for temperature regulation. They should hang down, well away from the body, especially on a hot day. There should be an
obvious neck at the top, with testicles hanging down large and pear-shaped. A bull with a straight-sided or V-shaped scrotum may not be as fertile as a bull with more normal shape. A straight-sided scrotum may be an indication of too much fat around and above the testicles, which can hinder temperature regulation and make the bull less fertile. Also be wary of selecting bulls with oddshaped testicles such as one smaller than the other. Scabby, thickened skin on the lower part
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of the backside of the scrotum may be a sign of earlier frostbite, which can cause temporary or permanent infertility. When evaluating a bull’s scrotum, do it on a warm day when the cremaster muscle (that raises and lowers the testicles, for optimum temperature control) is relaxed and the testicles are hanging down. They will be much easier to see, evaluate, or measure. Circumference is easily measured, and bulls measured at a year of age should have scrotal circumference of at least 32 centimeters and preferably 34 to 36. There is a significant correlation between scrotal circumference and sperm cell volume, and percentage of normal sperm cells. It’s usually best to choose a bull with average or above circumference, rather than settling for the acceptable minimum. Bulls with small testes not only have lower sperm production but may also have incomplete testicle development or testicular degeneration. Bulls with circumference of 29 centimeters or less may produce no sperm at all. Bulls with smaller than average testicles may be fertile for a year or two and then become less fertile or even sterile. There’s more abnormal sperm in their semen, possibly due to early degeneration. Regarding scrotal circumference, keep in mind that there are breed differences, with certain breeds having larger (and some having smaller) average circumference than other breeds. Some, like the traditional Salers cattle, had smaller circumference but longer testicles, and high fertility — since the added length probably increased the total mass enough to make up for the smaller circumference. Some research was done on trying to measure/ evaluate length as well as circumference, but this is a much harder characteristic to accurately measure. Some breeds with small testicles, such as Limousin, tend to be lower in fertility than the average of certain other breeds. When evaluating any individual bull, take breed differences into account, but also be wary of using any bull with scrotal circumference less than 34 centimeters (as a yearling). Bulls with a yearling circumference of less than 32 centimeters should never be used for breeding.
December 15, 2010
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Chisholm Honored by Wool Growers by CALLIE GNATKOWSKI-GIBSON
“Best cotton candy” “The fair will never be the same” “We miss you” “Nooo!! We come every year just for you guys!” hese were just some of the comments written by disappointed fair-goers on the sign hanging on the closed concession stand in the Dairy Barn at the 2010 New Mexico State Fair that for many years housed the Sheepherder’s Café. Proprietor Alex Chisholm and his crew retired at the end of the 2009 New Mexico State Fair, after 30 years of serving a variety of lamb dishes that always included lamb burgers and huge cotton candy to the public. At the recent Joint Stockmen’s Convention, the New Mexico Wool Growers, Inc. (NMWGI) presented Chisholm with the Amigo Award in recognition of his contributions to the sheep and lamb industry. “Alex has introduced more people in this state to lamb than anyone else has,” said Ancho rancher Pete Gnatkowski. “He spent all of those years at the State Fair, serving lamb stew, lamb burgers and other dishes. As a result, many people tried lamb that never would have otherwise been exposed to our product.” Chisholm estimates that on average, the Sheeperder’s Café sold 600 pounds of lamb during each year’s seventeen-day state fair, for a total of at least 18,000 pounds of lamb sold during their 30-year tenure. “The first few years, it wasn’t that much, but in our heyday, we would go through at around 1,000 pounds each year.” Chisholm, who grew up following the racetrack circuit in New Mexico and Arizona, said he got the idea to sell lamb out of a sheep wagon during a season spent herding sheep in Wyoming after college. After importing a wagon from northern Utah and renovating it to include a kitchen and electricity, Chisholm took his idea to State Fair Manager Bill Humphries in 1980. I told him what I wanted to do — promote agriculture and sell lamb,” Chisholm explained. “He said it sounded like a good idea but that there just wasn’t room at the fair the coming year. I had brought a thermos of my grandmother’s lamb stew with me, and gave him a bowl. After he tried the stew, he said, “We’ll find a place for you.” The Sheepherder’s Café operated out of that sheep wagon for several years, and eventually moved out of the wagon and into two different concession stands. He said he chose lamb because he always liked lamb, and liked that it was a healthy meat. “The economics of the sheep industry dictate that the meat is healthier. You don’t have to worry about producers pumping animals full of hormones or slaughtering unhealthy animals — it’s just not
worth it for that producer. Plus, I just like the flavor of lamb better.” The majority of the lamb for the concession came directly from the slaughterhouse, Mountain Meadow’s Lamb Corporation, which was eventually bought out by Superior. Meat was then processed at different USDA certified shops in town. For the first couple of years, Chisholm also used some lamb raised by New Mexico producers which was processed by the last USDA slaughterhouse in Albuquerque. Before the slaughterhouse provided different cuts of meat, Chisholm cut carcasses for many years. Because ground lamb was not available for purchase in the early years, he ground the lamb for the lamb burgers for several years. This led him to develop a ground lamb product, marketed under the Sheepherder’s Café label — the first USDA-approved label for a ground lamb product — at Safeway and Price Club. “New Mexico producers always wanted to know why I wasn’t selling New Mexico lamb, but for years there wasn’t a USDA-certified slaughterhouse
in the state. When there was, the price of the product just wasn’t competitive,” Chisholm said. The final two years, however, he purchased his lamb from Heritage Meats, a slaughterhouse in Mountainair that buys and processes lamb grown in-state, and was finally able to sell New Mexico product at the fair. The fun and adrenaline rush of the fair is what kept them coming back year after year, he noted. “It was fun because it was so intense — seventeen days of being right on the edge of chaos but still keeping things together. We all loved being there, loved the experience, and loved the people.” “We always looked forward to seeing the 4-H and FFA kids, the first week of the fair was always the most fun,” he continued. “The kids were hugely polite, and it was fun to watch them grow up from year to year. It was a combination of the kids, the rush of the crowd, just a lot of things that we really enjoyed.” And it wasn’t just Chisholm who enjoyed the experience, his crew members returned year after year, sometimes from out of
state, to help out. “It was never about the money. There are easier ways to make money, but not many more fun ways to make money. It took a certain kind of person to work there. You had to have endurance and the kind of mind that could constantly make small transactions quickly.”
herder’s Café sponsored an essay contest on natural resources issues to encourage high school students to develop ideas and further their education. In addition to the State Fair concession, Chisholm operated a restaurant, also called the Sheepherder’s Café for ten years, from
“. . . MANY PEOPLE TRIED LAMB THAT NEVER WOULD HAVE OTHERWISE BEEN EXPOSED TO OUR PRODUCT.” “When I first met Alex, I was impressed with his attitude. He was eager, energetic and enthusiastic about his business,” said Jim Sachse, Las Cruces. “He was always very fair with his customers. The Sheepherders’ Café was one of the most reasonably priced places at the fair, and certainly the best place on the fairgrounds to eat.” “Alex is just a hard working, honest, sincere kind of guy,” agreed Dan Liesner, Las Cruces. “One thing that impressed me was that he was always looking for solutions to problems, for how to make things work, and was never critical. It was disappointing to a lot of people when he wasn’t at the fair this year.” For three years, the Sheep-
fall 1983 to fall 1993 in the university area of Albuquerque, where the fare included lamb and other dishes. He attended law school as a result of a dispute concerning his son’s health care, and has developed a successful business and contract law career. He also operates a construction business, Chisholm Construction, which is managed by his partner of twenty years, Carolyn Murphy. He has one son, John. “Alex had the conviction that lamb was a good product, and made that into a successful venture that was a great benefit to our industry,” concluded Gnatkowski. “He has been a good friend to our family, and a good friend to and ambassador for the sheep and wool industry.”
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his is a tale within a tale. Four young Texas cowboys, working on a ranch in central New Mexico — three hundred sections extending from the Rio Grande to “the mountains on the far east side up above the valley” — test their cowboying mettle against a gnarly old bull in modern times. Along the way they learn a number of valuable lessons. Readers are lead to believe that these are experienced ranch hands so this is no litany of dude misfortunes on the cactus covered New Mexico range. That does not mean, though, that they really knew what they were doing when it came to limiting the freedom of the old bull. They soon learned, for instance, that the big bovine was not in the least intimidated by the pickup truck they drove. The mighty mammal stood in the road as if daring the vehicle to try and pass. Then they learned that a single tranquilizer dart had no effect whatever upon the behavior of el toro, nor did two darts, or even three. In fact it became
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Review by Jeamie Burris-Awalt / Silver City Daily Press harlie McCarty titled his book Trouble in a Green Pickup for a reason. The book has come to life by the shared efforts of the McCarty couple and their family. Charlie wrote the stories down on paper and his wife, Thelma, typed. Their family is helping with promotion. It has not been
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December 15, 2010
The Proud Bull: A Tale of Catching Wild Cattle . . . With a Twist! by Jim Olson • 134 pages O Slash O, 2009
clear that three jolts of joy juice only made the bull mad; mad enough that he charged the truck with a vengeance. Darts four and five also left the bull unbothered and his onrush continued. “The bull now had more darts planted into him,” readers are told, “than any other bovine in the history of the tranquilize and tie down method of wild cattle catching.” The cowboys were obliged to retreat, as the bull pursued them. The remainder of the book recounts the further adventures of the four cowboys as the chase goes on, and on. This is a fun book and should be a quick and easy read for ranch folks as well as those who have never enjoyed the smell of a manure pile. The ending will please the latter group, but I fear that those who have spent some
Trouble in a Green Pickup by Charlie McCarty Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc., 2010
easy for McCarty to get his book published, but he is serious about getting his story told. The setting for the book is western New Mexico with Charlie McCarty being born in February 1940. The book begins by sharing experiences of ranch life, which generations of the McCarty family has faced. He has lived his life in the general area as many of his ancestors did. When reading the book it becomes apparent that McCarty is an American and proud of it. He has the courage and the backbone required to survive in living in rural New Mexico. McCarty knows first-hand the situations cattlemen experience
time on the range will have heard different versions of the story before. The book might have benefited by the services of a proofreader. Misplaced punctionation does not, however, take the fun out of the book. And, readers will not find sex, mayhem or bad language on these pages. Author Jim Olson was raised on a ranch on the high plains of Eastern New Mexico. In addition to his duties as a ranch hand and equipment operator, he became a proficient calf roper and competed at the PRCA level. He continues to enjoy team roping with his family and participates in several events per year. His first book was My Cowboy Heroes Volume I. He is a member of Western Writers of America. He is also the owner of Arizona and New Mexico Ranch Real Estate. He is a regular contributor to the New Mexico Stockman and resides near Stanfield, Arizona. This and other Olson works can be purchased at: http://www. mycowboyheroes.com/.
concerning droughts, floods, cold winters and the people who can affect the business because he has lived that life. He shares accounts of family ranches adn businesses being controlled and ruined by federal government interference. Charlie and Thelma are business owners and have seen many changes over the years in their hometown of Reserve. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has affected not only McCarty, but also the lives of his family and countless others in New Mexico. He sheds light on the practices used by the USFS over the past 100 years and the situations created for those involved. The books is worth reading to get the viewpoint and the feelings that many old-timers in rural New Mexico carry toward the USFS. Copies can be purchased on Amazon.com.
continued from page ten
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BOOK REVIEW Review by Lee Pitts rescott, Arizona is cowboy country. Some of the largest ranches in the United States are within a day’s circle on the back of a horse. And Prescott claims to be home to the world’s oldest rodeo. We know, other places also make that claim but let’s just say that since 1888 they’ve been putting on a rodeo in this town. Match that. Kathy McCraine was born in Texas, but after about 50 years the Arizona folks have stopped holding that against her. Her folks moved to Walnut Grove, Arizona, where Kathy was ranchraised. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arizona in Journalism and Art and has spent her professional career putting her education to good use. You’ve probably seen her writing, photography and/or artwork if you read Western Horseman, Range, Arizona Highways, Thunderbird Magazine, or American Cowboy. If you haven’t seen her byline in any of those places perhaps you’ve read one of her three successful cookbooks, (soon to be four) including Camouflage Cuisine, which has been in print for 26 years. Having such traditional and historic ranches in the neighbor-
Cow Country Cooking — Recipes and Tales from Northern Arizona’s Historic Ranches by Kathy McCraine • 192 pages Toppan Printing, 2010
hood like the O RO, the Diamond A, and Babbitt Ranches inspired Kathy to put together a cookbook featuring recipes and stories used in the bunkhouse, out in cow camps and around the chuck wagon. Without meaning to offend any other writers, let us just say that Kathy’s latest book, Cow Country Cooking, is about the best we’ve ever laid eyes on. Needless to say, these aren’t recipes that start out, “Open a can of Campbell’s mushroom soup.” This is the food of real ranch cooks, not celebrity chefs. “Northern Arizona cowboys,” says Kathy, “have a distinctive style that sets them apart from those in other states, and even southern Arizona. Ranch cooks, however, come in a variety of models. Meat, beans, and potatoes are the staples here, but with such an influx of people from all areas of the country and the world, you’ll find endless ethnic variety, even sophistication, in our ranch cooking. Over the decades many cultures have migrated here. Our neighbors to the south in Sonora brought a style of Mexican cooking that differs from that of Texas or California. The Basque people of France and Spain, who came
here to herd sheep in the nineteenth century, brought their own rustic cooking style. Greeks, Germans, and Italians have also added their influence to the rich fusion of ranch cooking. “Many of the cooks I visited at ranch houses, wagons and cow camps were kind enough to write down their recipes. In other cases, I had to sit down and watch them cook, or pry a somewhat rough account of ingredients and cooking directions from them. Then I went home and cooked the dish, figuring out how to duplicate what I had just tasted.” Cow Country Cookbook features two dozen beautiful watercolor paintings by Texas artist, Mark Kohler, and a veritable feast of witty stories and sayings from some top hands on northern Arizona ranches that are as tasty as the recipes. For example, Joe St. Clair, the Diamond A cook said, “When I was growing up things were tough. It was potatoes one day and peelings the next.” And my personal favorite from Wayne Word, the O RO ranch manager: “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” That’s what Kathy’s latest offering is, a great big heaping helping of the West that goes down easy and will leave you begging for seconds. ‘The cookbook is $30 plus $4 shipping and handling ($1.25 for each additional book). Send check or money order to Kathy McCraine, 7765 Williamson Valley Rd., Prescott, AZ 86305. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preliminary cattle-vaccine results show promise: Cargill by TOM JOHNSTON, meatingplace.com
argill will enter a second stage of testing vaccines intended to reduce E. coli O157:H7 occurrence in cattle, following promising results in the project’s first round. Dan Schaefer, Cargill assistant vice president for beef research and development, told the food and feed safety committee of the United States Animal Health Association in Minneapolis on Sunday that researchers saw a favorable immune-system response to the vaccine and the cattle had no adverse reaction. “[We] believe there is enough evidence to move forward with a second vaccine trial and anticipate doing so in summer 2011 at a Midwest beef processing facility supplied by mid-size feedlots in the region,” Schaefer said, according to a Cargill news release. “We’re determining the best way to proceed with this science-based, evolutionary process, which we hope will lead to validating the potential value of vaccine as another food safety tool for beef production.” The first trial in 2010, at a cost of $1 million, entailed vaccination of the entire cattle supply from 10 feedlots dedicated to slaughter at the company’s Fort
Morgan, Colo., plant from May through August. Of the 85,000 head of cattle, nearly 60,000 head received two doses of the vaccine, one upon arrival at the feedlot and one about 90 days before harvesting. The remaining cattle received a single dose and served as buffers before and after those cycling through the feedlots and that had received two doses.
Of the 85,000 head of cattle, nearly 60,000 head received two doses of the vaccine. Buffers allowed Cargill to establish scientific controls to test the effect of whole-feedlot vaccination under commercial conditions. Replicating the first trial will be a challenge given the number of factors that can potentially influence the effectiveness of a vaccine for reducing E. coli in beef cattle. Among them are weather, geography, seasonality, animal and herd care and management and vaccine dosage. Moreover, Cargill noted a low level of E. coli O157:H7 in the
beef produced at Fort Morgan from the non-vaccinated cattle while vaccinated cattle were being harvested. That, Schaefer said, might influence the significance of the data now being analyzed by independent researchers at Kansas State and Texas Tech universities, the USDA’s Meat Animal Research Center and the Beef Checkoff, results of which will likely be available early next year. They’re trying to better understand the meaning and value of the reduction in E. coli in beef from the vaccinated cattle, compared with beef from non-vaccinated animals. This vaccine trial marked the first completed preharvest intervention trial that monitored activity from the time of vaccination through measurements in meat. “The low level of E. coli O157:H7 in the beef from control cattle is something we need to take into consideration when we analyze the data to determine the vaccine’s true impact and potential,” Schaefer said. “The scientist in me tells me much more research remains to be conducted before we can draw any meaningful conclusions about the long-term efficacy of vaccine use to reduce any strain of bacteria potentially found in beef that could pose health risks to consumers.”
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December 15, 2010
Are Wolves Saving Yellowstone’s Aspen Trees from Elk? from SCIENCEDAILY
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research has revious claimed that the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park in 1995 is helping restore quaking aspen in risky areas where wolves prowl. But apparently elk hungry for winter food had a different idea. They did not know they were supposed to be responding to a “landscape of fear.” According to a study set to be published in Ecology, a journal of the Ecological Society of America, the fear of wolf predation may not be discouraging elk from eating aspen trees after all. Previous thinking went like this: Aspen are not regenerating well in Yellowstone National Park. Elk eat young aspen. But wolves eat elk. Elk will learn to avoid high-risk areas that wolves frequent. Plants in those areas — such as aspen — will then get a chance to grow big enough so that elk cannot kill them. Eventually, an entire habitat is restored because of a landscape of fear. Over the last 15 years, the reintroduction of wolves in Yellowstone was heralded as a great success, not only because it reestablished the species, but also because wolves were expected to help restore a healthier ecosystem through such cascading indirect effects on other species. But this recent study led by Matthew Kauffman, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist, suggests that aspen are not benefitting from the landscape of fear created by wolves, and that claims of an ecosystem-wide recovery of aspen are premature. “This study not only confirms that elk are responsible for the decline of aspen in Yellowstone beginning in the 1890s, but also that none of the aspen groves studied after wolf restoration appear to be regenerating, even in areas risky to elk,” said Kauffman. Because the fear of wolves does not appear to be benefiting aspen, the authors conclude that if the Northern Range elk population does not continue to decline — their numbers are 40 percent of what they were before wolves — many of Yellowstone’s aspen stands are unlikely to recover. “A landscape-level aspen recovery is likely only to occur if wolves, in combination with other predators and climate factors, further reduce the elk population,” Kauffman said. Predators play an important role in ecosystems, said Kauffman, and can influence plants by altering how many herbivores there are (by eating the herbivores) or by changing the behavior of herbivores (deterring them from areas where predators lurk). He adds, however, that considerable scientific debate exists regarding the importance of these two ways in which pred-
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ators influence their prey. And this is especially true for large carnivores. To complicate matters, predators use different hunting strategies — there is the sit-and-wait strategy (as with a spider in a web, or a rattlesnake waiting for a mouse to leave its burrow) and the more active, go get ‘em strategy (think cheetahs and wolves). “So, given that it takes a lot of energy to avoid a predator — energy that could be used to stave off winter starvation — we wanted to find out whether the prey of active-hunting predators such as wolves demonstrated risk-induced changes in areas where they foraged for food,” Kauffman said. To do this, the authors analyzed tree rings to discern when, in the last century, aspen stands stopped regenerating, examined whether aspen stands have begun to regenerate now that wolves have been reintroduced to the park and tested whether any differences in aspen regeneration were occurring in areas considered safe or risky for foraging elk. They used a landscapewide risk map of elk killed by wolves over the first 10 years of wolf recovery. Finally, the authors experimentally fenced in young aspen suckers to compare the protection afforded to them by wolves versus that of a physical barrier that prevented elk browsing. “The results were surprising and have led us to refute several previous claims regarding interactions among wolves, elk and aspen in Yellowstone,” Kauffman said. The tree rings showed that the period when aspen failed to regenerate (1892 to 1956) lasted more than 60 years, spanning periods with and without wolves by several decades. “We concluded from this that the failure of aspen to regenerate was caused by an increase in the number of elk following the disappearance of wolves in the 1920s rather than by a rapid behavioral shift to more browsing on aspen once wolves were gone from the park,” said Kauffman. Surveys of current conditions indicated that aspen in study stands exposed to elk browsing were not growing to heights necessary to make them invulnerable to elk. The only places where suckers survived to reach a height sufficient to avoid browsing were in the fenced-in areas. In addition, aspen stands identified as risky from the predation risk map were browsed just as often as aspen growing in less risky areas. “This work is consistent with much of what researchers have learned from studying wolves and elk in Yellowstone,” Kauffman continued on page nineteen
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Veterans, Ranchers Working Together to Help Returning Soldiers orses for Heroes — Cowboy UP!, a Santa Febased program to help veterans returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan by using horses and horseback riding, is bringing New Mexico ranchers and veterans together. Free to veterans and active military, returning soldiers learn to care for and ride horses, then learn other ranch tasks, including working cattle, and eventually assist with work at participating ranches. Program founder Rick Iannucci, former Green Beret and retired U.S. Marshal and now a rancher himself set up the initiative based on similarities between military and ranching cultures that he felt could help his fellow veterans. “The values of the ranching community are almost an overlay of military values,” he said. “The no-nonsense attitude and work ethic are exactly the kind of atmosphere our veterans are used to. It’s something you just don’t get hanging at the mall or working at any many other jobs.” Veterans suffering from both post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or physical combat injuries from service in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom — Afghanistan (OEF) are welcomed into the program but there are participants who have seen combat in Bosnia and Somalia too. “I saw a big need — soldiers are coming home in droves, and there are few outlets to help them,” Rick said. “We take regular people, send them over to Iraq and Afghanistan and train them how to fight. Then, we bring them home, sometimes without even a thank you, and expect them to turn it off and reintegrate automatically. It’s not happening.” Today’s veterans see an average of 1,500 days of combat, going directly into combat when they land on the ground. In comparison, soldiers serving in World War II saw an average of 120 days of combat, and Vietnam Veterans saw an average of 240-
Aspen Trees continued from page eighteen
said. “Elk certainly respond behaviorally to the predation risk posed by wolves, but those small alterations to feeding and moving across the landscape don’t seem to add up to long-term benefits for aspen growing in areas risky to elk.” The paper, “Are wolves saving Yellowstone’s aspen? A landscape-level test of a behaviorally mediated trophic cascade,” will be published online in Ecology. Co-authors on the study are Matthew Kauffman (USGS), Jedediah Brodie (University of Montana) and Erik Jules (Humboldt State University).
260 days of combat. Horses for Heroes — Cowboy UP! helps meet some of those returning soldiers’ needs, giving them an opportunity to spend time with others who have had similar experiences. “Our veterans come back from the military, where everything is mission oriented, into the civilian world. They miss having a mission, and they miss the camaraderie of their military brothers,” he explained. “When they come to us, they get a new mission. As soon as they start learning we have them start teaching too, because as you teach someone what you’ve just learned, it reinforces the lesson.” “We basically show them how to apply their military background and training to something new, while most people are telling them to suppress their military skills,” he continued. “I help them relate those skills to what we are trying to do with the horses and the cattle.” Rick says he started working on the idea for this program in 2007. Initially, he did therapeutic riding work with one soldier suffering from severe PTSD. “When we saw the transformation in this man, and how working with the horses and coming out with us for spring branding and such benefitted him, we knew we wanted to do more.” Rick also partnered with Pete Comstock, Commander of the New Mexico Military order of the Purple Heart establishing the Warrior Mentor Program. Through this program, returning veterans are paired with combat veterans from the same service and generally the same MOS (Military Occupational Specialty), to the benefit of both, he said. The Cowboy UP! program consists of twelve objectives, which include specific tasks and skills taking them from basic horsemanship to working cattle horseback. Graduates receive a purple wild rag, which symbolizes their partnership with the Military Order of the Purple Heart as well as being very practical on cold frosty mornings. Horses for Heroes — Cowboy UP! is the only program of this type nationally that is endorsed by the Military Order of the Purple Heart. “There are various horse therapy programs around the United States but we are the only ones doing what we are doing,” he noted. “It’s a different focus — we do help participants bond with horses but take it to the next level if they want to. It is all up to them, the sky’s the limit.” Rick says that the program focuses on what is possible, rather than what is probable, and that attitude is evident in the program’s first graduate, Sterling Bucholz, U.S.M.C./Ret. who received his wild rag in October. Bucholz served in Iraq as a
Machine Gunner with the 2nd Battalion 1st Marines, and was struck in the head and severely wounded by enemy sniper fire receiving the Purple Heart and a Navy–Marine Commendation Medal. He returned home in 2005, and suffers from severe PTSD in addition to brain trauma. After completing the program, he was offered a position with the San Cristobal Ranch. “We train to standard, not to time. It is a completely self-paced program, and doesn’t matter how long it takes for a veteran to make it through those twelve objectives,” Rick said. “Sterling rocketed through the program in less than a year. Some others just come out and groom the horses and enjoy cowboy coffee and conversation around the fire, and that’s okay, too.”
Horses for Heroes — Cowboy UP! receives no funding from any government or any other source Quantifying participation in the program is difficult because it is relaxed and self-paced, but Rick said dozens of veterans have taken part. “We have some who come a few times, and some who get very involved. Right now, we probably have a dozen participants at various stages — from the guy who comes out every day to the guy who comes once a month.” “We are very proud of all our guys,” he continued. “When we have new veterans coming out for the first time, a number of our current participants are always there because they want to help their brothers.” Horses for Heroes — Cowboy UP! is staffed and operated by volunteers, most of whom are also veterans as well as cowboys or accomplished horseman. “Several of our staff who help instruct and support this effort were veterans that remember coming home from Vietnam and being greeted by protesters. It was a terrible time to be a service member, and we were often treated very poorly by the public,” he explained. “At the ranch, we do all we can to welcome new veterans and to let them know they are coming home.” None of this would have been possible without the support of the ranching community, Rick said, and he is blessed and thankful for program partners including Mike Hobbs, Express UU Bar Ranch, Cimarron; Steve Price, Bonanza Creek Ranch, Santa Fe; Henry McKinley, Staple Cross Ranch, Santa Fe; Bob Frost, Caprock Creek Ranch, San Jon; Grant and Connie Jo Mitchell, San Cristobal Ranch, Santa Fe; and the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association. New program participants are referred through the New Mexico Military Order of the Purple Heart, different groups and units of the Veterans Administration Hospital, the U.S. Army’s
Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) for combat wounded soldiers just coming off of active duty and the New Mexico Workforce Solutions Veterans department. Occasionally, a veteran who has heard about the program through other channels also seeks them out, he noted. Another important aspect is the program’s close relationship with the Turquoise Trail Wranglers 4-H Club, which Rick and his fiancée, Nancy Contact Horses for Heroes, a program DeSantis, a primary Cowfor our combat warriors, at boy UP! instructor and 505/798-2535 or email co-founder, also founded email@example.com and used as a model for Horses for Heroes — Cowboy ranch and additional corrals for UP! “Our two groups are more program horses. Horses for like a family — all of my veterans Heroes — Cowboy UP! receives show up to help out with the no funding from any government kids’ events, like the ranch rodeo or any other source so they will we put on every October. The hold their first benefit dinner veterans want to give back, and December 9 at Vanessie’s to help out, and spending time Restaurant in Santa Fe. To help together is good for the kids and support or learn more about the the veterans.” program, visit their website at Future plans include con- www.horsesforheroes.org or call struction of a bunkhouse at the Rick at 505/670-2059.
Waddle LIMOUSIN RANCH
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Available in 6', 8' 9', 10', 11', 12' 13' Lane Thompson • 806/662-5937 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Livestock Market Digest
December 15, 2010
Figure 4 The Need for Formalized Business Plans Cattle Co. by JOHN ALAN COHAN, Attorney at Law
Private Treaty Grass Genetics Bull Special • Roughage Developed Bulls and Females • Salers, Angus Composites and Aubrac Hybreds • Proven from birth to rail for performance and quality for 30 years FIGURE 4 CATTLE CO. 14131 Harts Basin Rd. Eckert, CO 81418 970/835-3944 • 970/216-8748 cell email: email@example.com
To place your ad here, call Debbie Cisneros, N.M. Office: 505/243-9515, ext. 30; Colo. Office: 720/242-8032; or at firstname.lastname@example.org
fter about 30 years handling tax audits, appeals and U.S. Tax Court cases, it seems to me that the IRS is taking a more aggressive approach against people in various industries — including livestock and horse activities. If you are audited by the IRS and you have a history of losses with little or no profits, the following advice pertains to you. At an initial interview with the IRS you likely will be asked the following questions, based on protocol followed by agents under IRS Audit Technique Guide governing audits for cattle and horse activities. Of particular importance are questions concerning whether you have a formal business plan. On that point, the revenue agent will ask the following: Do you have a written business plan? How was this business plan prepared? When was this business plan formalized into writing? (At the commencement of the activity or for the purpose of the examination?) Who assisted with the preparation of the business plan? Does the business plan
Artists n New Mexico, Sue’s poetry and art products are available in Pleasanton at the Running Horse Gallery on Highway 180. They are open 10 to 5 on Fri-Sat-Sun. You can preview some of Sue’s poetry at CowboyPoetry.com or contact her via email or telephone. She will have a website soon with additional paintings offering a choice of framed/unframed prints, note cards, framed/unframed poetry prints, mouse pads, coffee cups with picture/verse, and, of course, CD’s and books.
SUE JONES COWBOY COMPANY CREATIONS P.O. Box 593, Camp Verde, AZ 86322 928/567-3785 email@example.com
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cover all years of the activity’s history as well as forecasting into future years? Does the business plan allow for any contingencies due to unforeseen circumstances? How does the business plan determine gross receipts for each year? Is the gross receipts computation reasonable? How were the expenses determined or estimated for use in the forecast? What justifies the reasonableness of the forecasted expenses? During what specific year does the economic forecast show the activity will turn around and become profitable? What events and circumstances will cause the activity to be profitable in that particular year? If the business plan does not present any form of an economic forecast, when do you foresee the activity becoming profitable? What specific event will have occurred to enable this turnaround? Why have you not abandoned the activity in light of the history of losses? If this activity should never be likely to generate a net profit, would you abandon the activity? In addition, the agent will want to know if you relied upon any experts or advisers prior to entering the venture, and to cite
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POWDER RIVER LIVESTOCK EQUIPMENT. Best prices with delivery available. CONLIN SUPPLY CO. INC., Oakdale, CA. 209/847-8977. NEW HOLLAND pull type bale wagons: 1033, 104 bales, $5,100; 1034, 104 bales, unloads both ways, $4,400; 1044, 120 bales, $3,700; 1063, 160 bales, $10,800; 1010, 56 bales, $1,200. Also have self propelled wagons. Delivery available. 785/ 336-6103, www.roederimp.com.
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instances where you have chosen to implement your advisers’ recommendations. Also, the agent will want to know how the advisers’ recommendations impacted the performance of the activity, and for you to describe any instances when you have chosen not to heed the advice and why. If you are already undergoing an audit, it is too late to implement a business plan for the current audit. The IRS wants to see business records that are maintained in the ordinary course of your activity, not those that you might decide to prepare once you have been notified that you are being audited. The major red flags that indicate an unbusinesslike business plan are: (1) failure to utilize an expert in preparing the plan; (2) failure to have any economic forecast; (3) failure to forecast when the activity will become profitable; and (4) unreasonable computation of gross receipts. Whom should you engage to prepare a business plan and
financial projections for a cattle or horse activity? It is important to have the plan prepared by someone familiar with the industry, and for cost projections to be realistic. Be aware that there are Internet services offering to prepare plans, and these are generally not a good choice. The reason why the IRS is auditing more cattle and horse farms is that often taxpayers incur losses that they utilize to offset sizable income from other sources, and this provides an obvious tax benefit. And the IRS is looking to raise revenue so as to help the Federal deficit. The best way to help withstand IRS scrutiny, in case you are unlucky enough to be audited, is to take a pro-active approach beforehand. John Alan Cohan is a lawyer who has worked in the livestock, horse and farming industries since l98l. He serves clients in all 50 states, and can be reached at: 3l0/278-0203 or by e-mail at JohnAlanCohan@aol.com. The website is: www.JohnAlanCohan.com.
China Hungry For U.S. Alfalfa by RICK MOONEY, Editor, eHay Weekly
rowing demand for highquality feedstuffs by China’s burgeoning dairy industry has the potential to translate into a major boom for U.S. alfalfa exporting firms. Chinese imports of U.S. alfalfa, currently the only hay product permitted to enter China from the U.S., soared from less than 2,000 metric tons in 2007 to 76,000 metric tons in 2009, according to a recent market development report from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Between 2008 and 2009, the dollar value of those export sales quadrupled, going from $4.4 million to $18.4 million. “It’s pretty incredible when you think about it,” says John Szczepanski, executive director of the National Hay Association’s Export Processors Council. “Just a few years ago, we were basically sending nothing to China.” What’s more, the recent sales spurt may be just the tip of the iceberg. In the first six months of 2010, China had already imported 95,000 metric tons of alfalfa, nearly all of it from the U.S., the FAS report notes. If Chinese imports continued at that pace, U.S. alfalfa exports for the entire year would top out at around 180,000 tons. That would make China an export market comparable in size to South Korea, traditionally one of the biggest importers of U.S. hay. The growing reputation of the U.S. as a reliable supplier of high-quality forages among Chinese dairy farmers has been a key factor behind the sales increases. There is a domestic alfalfa production industry in northern China. But while that
hay is often favorably priced compared to alfalfa coming in from the U.S., the quality can be variable. “There’s a greater understanding on the part of Chinese dairy producers about the value that good forages play in their rations,” says Szczepanski. “Now we’re starting to see a kind of ‘me-too’ factor at work. As milk production improves on Chinese dairies that are feeding highquality U.S. hay, neighboring dairies that are buying lowerquality, domestically produced hay see the benefits of U.S. alfalfa. They want in on the action.” While there is potential for even more growth in sales of U.S. alfalfa to China, there are also several potential hurdles, according to FAS. The Chinese dairy industry suffered a major setback in 2008 when milk products were found to be contaminated with melamine. At the height of the ensuing scandal, dairy product consumption in China dropped off by 15 percent. “While the (Chinese) dairy industry is much more vigilant than in the past,” note FAS report authors, “new food safety scandals could further erode consumer confidence in the safety of Chinese dairy products. Should consumption decline again, raw milk prices would drop, and some dairies would likely be unwilling to continue importing alfalfa.” They add that developments in the U.S. dairy industry will also play a role in the pace at which the Chinese import U.S. hay. “Price sensitivity is the largest threat to long-term import growth. It is possible that a strong recovery in the U.S. dairy market, with a consequent rise in (forage) prices, could price-out many Chinese dairy farmers.”
“America’s Favorite Livestock Newspaper”
December 15, 2010
New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s Director/Secretary Announces Retirement
received his doctorate from Pennsylvania State University. In addition to working at NMSU, he also worked at other landgrant universities including University of Arizona, Pennsylvania State, and Iowa State. Furthermore, Dr. Gonzalez directed international educational projects in more than fifteen countries. Dr. Gonzalez has been recognized with many awards during this tenure including the 2008 Governor’s Distinguished Service Award and named as a member of the Top 100 Most Influential Hispanics by the National Hispanic Business Magazine in 1999. “My professional career supporting the agricultural industry has spanned nearly forty-two
Miley Gonzalez, PhD, New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture 2002 - 2010
years. I will continue to be engaged from my farm in Arizona, recruiting and training a new crop of professionals — my grandkids,” Dr. Gonzalez added.
We Were the First Hydraulic Tub . . . Since 1929
www.mightygiant.com 1486 12th Rd. • P.O. Box 38 Beemer, NE 68716-0038
Dan Wendt All Breeds
PerformanceTested Bulls SPRING AND FALL Jeff Schmidt
g•u•i•d•e To list your herd here, contact Debbie Cisneros: 505/243-9515, x30 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
A SOURCE FOR PROVEN SUPERIOR RED ANGUS GENETICS
Bell Key Angus
14298 N. Atkins Rd., Lodi, CA 95240
R.L. Robbs The director of NMDA serves as the secretary of agriculture on the Governor’s Cabinet, but the position is filled by the Board of Regents at NMSU and reports to the board and university president. “Dr. Miley Gonzalez has been a valuable member of our team representing NMSU at national organizations, building important partnerships throughout the state, and working tirelessly to support the needs of the agricultural industry. We are proud to have the secretary for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture on our land-grant campus and wish Miley all the best in his retirement,” said Dr. Barbara Couture, NMSU President. Since 1991, Dr. Gonzalez has also served as the head of NMSU’s Department of Agriculture and Extension Education; associate dean and deputy director of the Cooperative Extension Service for the College of Agriculture and Home Economics, associate dean and director of Academic Programs; associate dean and director for NMSU’s Agricultural Experiment Station,
HIGH-DURABILITY TUB GRINDERS “Often Imitated” INNOVATION BEGINS WITH JONES MFG.
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BRANGUS DEES BROTHERS BRANGUS Yuma, Arizona High-Quality Brangus Breeding Stock Available ALEX DEES • 760/572-5261 • Cell. 928/920-3800 www.deesbrothersbrangus.com
Call: 979/245-5100 • Fax 979/244-4383 5473 FM 457, Bay City, Texas 77414 email@example.com
Santa Gertrudis Breeders International Red & Tender By Design
P.O. Box 1257 Kingsville, Texas 78364 361/592-9357 361/592-8572 fax
Washington’s Oldest Source of Herefords
“SINCE 1938” Selling Range Bulls in Volume (Top Replacement Heifers)
SCHUSTER CLAY SCHUSTER 509/773-5089 Home 541/980-7464 Cell
Spring & Yearlings For Sale At Snyder Livestock
March 13, 2011
8288 HASKELL ST., OMAHA, NE 68124 W W W. SHORTHORN. ORG I NFO@ SHORTHORN. ORG
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CECIL PHILLIPS • 209/274-4338 5500 BUENA VISTA RD. • LONE, CA 95640
Foundation Herd of the Beefmaster Breed
The Lasater Ranch, Matheson, CO 80830 719/541-BULL (2855) • (F) 719/541-2888 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.lasaterranch.com
HERD ESTABLISHED 1953
Dennis Boehlke 208/467-2747 Cell. 208/989-1612
A few Choice Bulls Available at Private Treaty. NAMPA, IDAHO
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Dr. Miley Gonzalez has been a valuable member New Mexico's agriculture representing the state and the industry internationally as well as at national organizations, building important partnerships throughout the state.
and interim vice provost for Research. He was also the undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. “Dr. Gonzalez has served the agricultural industry in New Mexico and NMSU with distinction. He has provided great leadership both nationally and internationally. It has been a great privilege to have worked with him at NMDA and at the College of Agriculture and Home Economics at NMSU,” said Tom Bagwell, NMDA deputy director. Dr. Gonzalez earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural education from the University of Arizona and
Miley Gonzalez r. announced he will retire December 31, 2010. He has served as director/secretary for New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) for nearly eight years and has more than four decades of service to the agricultural industry. “It has been an honor and privilege to serve the agricultural industry in our state and work with a dedicated staff in the department. Our efforts were guided by a strategic direction established by a variety of stakeholders; and any accomplishments can be credited to those individuals both in the department and in the industry who understood the priorities for agriculture,” said Dr. Gonzalez. “I want to thank Miley Gonzalez for his many years of service to the people of New Mexico, particularly the invaluable role he played in my administration,” Governor Bill Richardson said. “Secretary Gonzalez has always been a powerful advocate for not only maintaining New Mexico’s rich agricultural traditions but also expanding the reach of our homegrown products and goods across the world.”
JOE FREUND 303/840-1850 (H) 303/341-9311 JOEY FREUND 303/841-7901 PAT KELLEY 303/840-1848
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Annual Production Sale in December. Private Treaty • Semen See my ad in the 2010 Fall Marketing Edition with Production Sale Information 406/264-5889 or 406/799-5889 email@example.com
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Livestock Market Digest
EVENTS January 2011 6-22 – National Western Stock Show – Denver 14- Feb. 5 – Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo 18-19 – Southwest Beef Symposium, Amarillo 20-23 – American Sheep Industry Assn Convention, Reno, NV 25-29 – Red Bluff All Breeds Bull & Gelding Sale, CA
February 2011 2 - 5 – National Cattlemen's Beef Association Convention, Denver 12 – Bradley 3 Ranch Annual Bull Sale, Estelline TX 12 – Best in the West Brangus Sale, Marana, AZ 19 – Nev. Cattlemen’s Assn., 45th Annual All Breed Bull Sale, Fallon, NV 21 – Weaver Ranch Annual Sale, Ft. Collins, CO 25 – 20th Annual Pot of Gold Bull Sale, Olathe, CO 26 – 20th Annual Roswell Brangus Bull & Female Sale, Roswell, NM
March 2011 16 – Wagonhammer Ranches Production Sale, Albion, NE
18-19 – Cattlemen’s Weekend, Prescott Livestock Auction, Prescott, AZ 19 – Annual Hales Angus Farms Sale, Canyon, TX 20 – 16th Annual Bull & Heifer Sale, Hales Angus Farm, Canyon, TX
December 15, 2010
Important Advertising Deadlines Ad copy deadline for the Livestock Market Digest January Issue . . . . . . February Issue . . . . . March Issue . . . . . . . . April Issue . . . . . . . . . May Issue . . . . . . . . . .
April 2011 2 – 27th Annual DeBruycker Charolais Sale, Dutton, MT 10 – Redd Ranches High Altitude Bull Sale, Paradox, CO 28-30 – New Mexico Women’s Ag Leadership Conference, American National Cattlewomen's Region VI Meeting, Albuqueruque, NM TBA – Beckton Stock Farm Annual Production Sale, Sheridan, WY
JOE STUBBLEFIELD & ASSOCIATES 13830 Western St., Amarillo, TX 806/622-3482 • cell 806/674-2062 Drew Perez Assocs. Nara Visa, NM • 806/392-1788
January Issue . . . . . . February Issue . . . . . March Issue . . . . . . . . April Issue . . . . . . . . . May Issue . . . . . . . . . .
Ranchers Serving Ranchers Texas and New Mexico
LEE, LEE & PUCKITT ASSOCIATES INC.
RANCH SALES & APPRAISALS Office: 325/655-6989 Cell: 915/491-9053
1002 Koenigheim, San Angelo, TX 76903 • www.llptexasranchland.com • email@example.com
LINSON CREEK: 400/500 HD. WINTER (11/5 – 5/1) with less than 1/2-ton on normal years – 1,938 deeded plus BLM – great stock water – UPLAND GAME BIRDS, MULE DEER, ELK, FISHING – Washington/ Payette Counties, ID – modest improvements – $1,475,000 with SELLER FINANCE. LANDRETH: Malheur County, OR – 780 deeded acres with 180± irrigated – 1/2-MILE RIVER – quality improvements – upland game birds, water fowl, mule deer, bass ponds – PRICE REDUCED – $980,000. FARM/FEEDLOT: 500± deeded acres with 280 irrigated row crop – CAFO at 850-1,000 hd. – good improvements – great stocker and/or dairy hfrs. – $1,580,000. QUARTER CIRCLE DIAMOND: Gilliam County, OR – 6,148 deeded acres with 1,078 dry farm – in addition running 125 mother cows year long – includes 40% interest in potential power generation – siting for 17 TURBINES – mule deer, elk, chukar, quail – $1,750,000 Rae at 208/761-9553 Jack at 541/473-3100.
AGRILANDS Real Estate www.agrilandsrealestate.com Vale, Oregon • 541/473-3100 • firstname.lastname@example.org
DEBBIE CISNEROS ★
• New Mexico Office: 505/243-9515, ext. 30 • Colorado Office: 720/242-8032 • Email: email@example.com
For general advertising in the New Mexico Stockman, contact Chris Martinez at 505/243-9515, ext. 28, or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
To place your ad here, contact Debbie Cisneros, New Mexico Office: 505/243-9515, ext. 30; Colorado Office: 720/242-8032; or email@example.com
MOATS RANCH – 20,565 Total acres, 12,025 deeded. Thirty miles north of Roswell, N.M. along and on both sides of U.S. Highway 285. 400± Animal Units Yearlong. Three wells and pipelines. DEGANAHL RANCH – 5,635 Total acres, 960 deeded. BLM grazing permit for 164 Animal Units Yearlong. 40 miles northwest of Roswell, NM north of State Highway 246. New improvements, three wells and pipelines.
Missouri Land Sales 5-acre Horse Set-up: Location-location, only 2+ miles north of Mountain Grove on Girlstown Rd. New fencing, 20x40 new 3-stall horse barn/shop/1car garage, 1,300 sq. ft. , 3-br., 2-ba. manufactured home, wrap around deck ( 2 sides), nestled down your private drive. MLS #1010102 675 Acres Grass Runway, Land your own plane: Major Price Reduction. 3 BR, 2 BA home down 1 mile private land. New 40x42 shop, 40x60 livestock barn, over 450 acres in grass. (Owner runs over 150 cow/calves, 2 springs, 20 ponds, 2 lakes, consisting of 3.5 & 2 acres. Both stocked with fish. Excellent fencing. A must farm to see. MLS #1010371 483 Acres, Hunter Mania: Nature at her best. Don’t miss out on this one. Live water (two creeks). 70+ acres open in bottom hayfields and upland grazing. Lots of timber (marketable and young) for the best hunting and fishing (Table Rock,Taney Como and Bull Shoals Lake) Really cute 3-bd., 1-ba stone home. Secluded yes, but easy access to Forsyth-Branson, Ozark and Springfield. Property joins Nat’l. Forest. MLS#908571 See all my listings at: paulmcgilliard.murney.com
PAUL McGILLIARD Cell: 417/839-5096 • 1-800/743-0336
Contact: SCOTT MCNALLY, Qualifying Broker, C: 575/420-1237
P. O . BO X 428 • RO SW ELL, N. M . 8820 2 •
P BAR RANCH: Rates at 1,350 AU’s including 900 mother cows outside year round – WINTER RANGE – 11,750 deeded acres plus BLM, 300 irrigated – background lot for calves – 3 homes – good improvements – CAN SPLIT – $6,000,000. LYMAN RANCH: Rated at approximately 225 hd. year long – MEADOW RANCH – 850± deeded with 670± irrigated – FREE WATER – several interior pastures for easy management of cattle – over 1-1/2 MILE RIVER THRU RANCH – would make great stocker operation for about 800 hd. – modest improvements including great shipping facilities and scales – asking $1,530,000 Rae at 208/761-9553.
December 15, 2010 January 15, 2011 February 15, 2011 March 15, 2011 April 15, 2011
Southeastern N.M. Ranches For Sale
KEVIN C. REED
To advertise in the New Mexico Stockman or the Livestock Market Digest REAL ESTATE GUIDE, contact:
Ad copy deadline for the New Mexico Stockman
T HE L I V E S T O C K M A R K E T D I G E S T INTEREST RATES AS LOW AS 3%. PAYMENTS SCHEDULED ON 25 YEARS
January 1, 2011 February 1, 2011 March 1, 2011 April 1, 2011 May 1, 2011
OREGON OPPORTUNITIES Real Estate
~ SOUTHERN OREGON ~ Farm/Ranch ~ Rural ~ Timber Recreational Properties Additional properties available at: www.orop.com
Huge Price Reduction! Remarkable investment opportunity! 2,024.62 acres, views, expansive meadows, 5 dwellings, old water rights for 225 acres. $5,000,000. Livestock ranch on 1,038 acres w/irrigation, dryland pasture and feed lots. 4 homes, 5 barns, a shop, 2 sets of working corrals. $3,700,000. 3,196.75 acres! Multiple tax lots. Large acreage for grazing and multiple recreational opportunities. Spring on the property. Great hunting opportunities! $4,000,000. 39.79 acres. irrigated, view property. Possible additional 2 home sites. 20+ gpm well per owner. Deck, covered front porch, barn and round pen. Gently sloped, nice combination of irrigated pasture and dry pasture. Cross fenced. $800,000. 54 acres of Agricultural investment property. Beautifully scenic setting. Prime farm ground for vineyard, row crops or livestock and hay. Class 1 soils with irrigation out of the Roque River for 41.54 acres. Three existing dwellings. Older dairy structures could be rehabilitated. Includes irrigation equipment. $765,000. Tom Harrison, CCIM • 800/772-7284 • firstname.lastname@example.org
MURNEY ASSOC., REALTORS SPRINGFIELD, MO 65804
TEXAS & OKLA. FARMS & RANCHES • Magnificent 90 Hunting – Cattle/Horse Ranch 50 miles E. of Dallas, 35 miles W. of Tyler, White pipe fence along FM Hwy. 3,700 sq. ft. elaborate home, flowing waterway, lake. Has it all. • 532-acre CATTLE & HUNTING, NE TX ranch, elaborate home, one-mile highway frontage. OWNER FINANCE at $2,150/ac. • 274 acres in the shadow of Dallas. Secluded lakes, trees, excellent grass. Hunting & fishing, dream home sites. $3,850/ac. • 1,700-acre classic NE TX cattle & hunting ranch. $2,750/ac. Some mineral production. • Texas Jewel, 7,000 ac. – 1,000 per ac., run cow to 10 ac. • 256 Acre Texas Jewel – Deep sandy soil, highrolling hills, scattered good quality trees, & excellent improved grasses. Water line on 2 sides rd., frontage on 2 sides, fenced into 5 pastures, 5 spring fed tanks and lakes, deer, hogs & ducks. Near Tyler & Athens. Price $1,920,000. • 146 horse, hunting cattle ranch N. of Clarksville, TX. Red River Co. nice brick home, 2 barns, pipe fences, good deer, hogs, ducks, hunting priced at $395,000. • 535 ac. Limestone, Fallas, & Robertson counties, fronts on Hwy. 14 and has rail frontage water line, to ranch, fenced into 5 pastures, 2 sets, cattle pens, loamy soil, good quality trees, hogs, & deer hunting. Priced at $2,300 per ac.
Joe Priest Real Estate 1205 N. Hwy 175, Seagoville, TX 75159
972/287-4548 • 214/676-6973 1-800/671-4548 www.joepriest.com email@example.com
“America’s Favorite Livestock Newspaper”
December 15, 2010
THE LIVESTOCK MARKET DIGEST
Real Estate Guide Idaho-Oregon
NEVADA RANCHES and FARMS
Call 208/345-3163 for catalog.
MASON MOUNTAIN RANCH
KNIPE LAND CO. RANCHES FARMS COMMERCIAL Established 1944
Nothern Elko County ranch with 3700 deeded acres and a small BLM permit. Great summer pasture with free water from springs, creeks and seeps. No power but land line phone. The ranch received 1 landowner Elk Tag this year. The irrigation reservior on Mason Creek is stocked with Red Band trout. Several useful buildings including home with gravity flow water and propane lights, water heater and refrigerator. The ranch should run 300 pair for the season. Price: $1,575,000.
We advertise with DEBBIE CISNEROS and the Livestock Market Digest because we get service and great results.
Bottari Realty Out West Realty Network Affiliate
PAUL D. BOTTARI, BROKER www.bottarirealty.com • firstname.lastname@example.org
Ofc.: 775/752-3040 Res: 775/752-3809 • Fax: 775/752-3021
THE RANCH FINDER presents . . .
Escondida Land & Cattle Co. A great ranch located in the foothills of the Capitan Mountain of Lincoln County, N.M., near Arabela, just eight miles above the Hondo Valley from Tinnie. 45 miles west of Roswell, and 25 miles east of Ruidoso, Escondida Ranch consists of 9931 deeded acres plus 6,551 U.S. Forest Service Lease w/an additional 490 New Mexico State Lease acres, 27 being sections of rolling foothills and open valleys of grama grass pastures at an altitude of 5,000 ft. A four-season cattle ranch w/an established grazing capacity of 500 animal units or 750 yearlings on a six-month grazing rotation system. This grazing program is also tied in with 130 acres of water rights applied to sprinkler irrigated grass pastures, w/irrigation wells capable of pumping up to a 900 gallon-per-minute at less than a 100' depth. Escondida Ranch is improved with a full service modern headquarters complex w/new barns, corrals and shipping pens w/scales. This area of Lincoln County is noted for its big game habitat and the ranch is annually issued eleven elk permits along w/topline mule-deer, black bear, mountain lion and barbary sheep hunting, and lots of turkey. A turn-key offering — everything goes.
Bailey Family Ranch, LLC. A year long cow/calf grazing unit located six miles north of Cuero in Guadalupe County, N.M., just off I-40, and 20 miles east of Santa Rosa — a trade center for this area and east 45 miles to Tucumcari, the Hub City for this quadrant in New Mexico. The Bailey Ranch consists of 7,587 deeded acres along with 1,160 New Mexico State Lease for a total of 8,747 grazing acres. This 14-section cow/calf or yearling ranch is located in some of the better grazing country in eastern New Mexico. Under normal range conditions this area receives 1416 inches of moisture a year and can support up to a 200-day growing season, at an elevation of around 4,300 ft. This ranch has an ideal habitat for deer, antelope and game birds. The design of the ranch is divided into six pastures and one trap 160+ acres of free grazing on vacant land, supported by six windmills and five surface tanks. In a fenced design seven miles long and two wide, north to south, Walker Road is an all weather county road running north along the west boundary. A basic headquarter complex with full services, a good tenant house, two-car garage and livestock working and shipping pens.
The Ranch Finder – Ronald H. Mayer P. O. Box 2391, Roswell, NM 88202 575/623-5658 • www.ranchfinder.com
R.G. DAVIS, BROKER Cell: 530/949-1985
19855 S. Main St., P.O. Box 1020 Cottonwood, CA 96022 Ofc.: 530/347-9455 • F: 530/347-4640 email@example.com
——— CALIFORNIA RANCHES ——— Lassen County: 11,725 acres, all deeded. 970 acres irrigated, flood and 4 pivots. Alfalfa, grain, grass. BLM permits, 500 cows, organic hay. Lots of potential for more farm ground. Priced at $5,375,000. Tehama County, Cottonwood, Calif.: 1,850 acres, winter range. Large barn, 1 bdrm. apt., horse stalls, tie stalls, tack room, shop. Deluxe 400x200 ft. roping arena. All new fences and steel corrals. Hunting and fishing. Priced at $2,200,000. Tehama County, Cottonwood, Calif.: 556 acres, winter range, two small houses, corrals, chute, small barn. Good hunting and fishing. Price reduced — $775,000. Tehama County, Cottonwood, Calif.: 80 acres, winter range and a custom built appx. 3,000 sq. ft. beautiful home. Large barn, tack room, shop roping arena, round-pen — a real crown jewel. Many amenities. A roper’s dream. Priced at $1,400,000.
Ben G. Scott, Krystal M. Nelson, Brokers 1301 Front St., Dimmitt, TX 79027 • 1-800/933-9698 day/night www.scottlandcompany.com
RANCH & FARM REAL ESTATE
—— TEXAS AND NEW MEXICO —— This ad is just a small sample of the properties that we currently have for sale. Please check our website: scottlandcompany.com and give us a call! We need your listings both large and small, all types of ag properties (ESP. RANCHES).
LONE WOLF RANCH - EASTERN, NM: Approx. 30 sections mostly deeded some BLM and State, employee housing and two sets of steel pens, county maintained, all weather road. Mild climate year round. HARTLEY/MOORE COUNTY LINE: Corn, wheat, cotton, cattle with all the perks, 992 acres, sprinkler irrigated with some improved pasture, large brick home, large set of state of the art steel working pens with concrete feed bunks and covered working area, on pavement. House, shop and horse barn on 2 acres may be bought separately.
WAHOO RANCH: Approximately 40,976 acres: ± 11,600 deeded, 6,984 BLM, 912 state, 40 uncontrolled and 21,440 forest. Beautiful cattle ranch located on the east slope of the Black Range Mountains north of Winston, N.M., on State Road 52. Three hours from either Albuquerque or El Paso.The ranch is bounded on the east by the Alamosa Creek Valley and on the west by the Wahoo Mountains ranging in elevation from 6,000' to 8,796'. There are 3 houses/cabins, 2 sets of working corrals (1 with scales) and numerous shops and outbuildings. It is very well watered with many wells, springs, dirt tanks and pipelines. The topography and vegetation is a combination of grass covered hills (primarily gramma grasses), with many cedar, piñon and live oak covered canyons as well as the forested Wahoo Mountains. There are plentiful elk and deer as well as antelope, turkey, bear, mountain lion and javelina (46 elk tags in 2009). Absolutely one of the nicest combination cattle/hunting ranches to be found in the SW. Price reduced to $5,500,000. SAN JUAN RANCH: Located 10 miles south of Deming off Hwy. 11 (Columbus Hwy) approximately 26,484 total acres consisting of ± 3,484 deeded, ± 3,800 state lease, ± 14,360 BLM and ±4,840 Uncontrolled. The allotment is for 216 head (AUYL). 9 solar-powered stock wells and metal storage tanks and approx. 6½ miles pipeline. The ranch begins on the north end at the beautiful Mahoney Park high up in the Florida mountains and runs 5½ miles down the mountains to their south end. It continues another 7½ miles south across their foothills and onto the flats. The ranch has a very diverse landscape with plentiful wildlife including quail, dove, rabbits, deer and ibex. Lots of potential & a good buy at $1,000,000. 46 ACRE FARM
LOCATED IN SAN MIGUEL: Full EBID irrigation and supplemental well. Bounded by Highway 28 on the east, County Road B-041 on the south and County Road B-010 on the west. Priced at $14,000/acre – $644,000 – CONTRACT PENDING.
212 ACRE FARM BETWEEN LAS CRUCES, N.M. AND EL PASO, TEXAS: Hwy. 28 frontage with 132 acres irrigated, 80 acres sandhills, full EBID (surface water) plus a supplemental irrigation well, cement ditches and large equipment warehouse. Priced at $1,868,000. 50.47-ACRE FARM: Located on Afton Road south of La Mesa, NM. Paved road frontage, full EBID (surface water) plus a supplemental irrigation well with cement ditches. Priced at $13,000/acre ($660,400).
±37-ACRE FARM – WEST OF ANTHONY, N.M.: Located 20 minutes from Sunland Park Race Track on Haasville Road (paved) just north of Gadsden High School and west of Highway 28. EBID, irrigation well and cement ditches. Beautiful farm with many possibilities. Call for aerial and location maps. Sign on property. Priced at $13,900/acre ($514,300).
OTHER FARMS FOR SALE: In Doña Ana County. All located near Las Cruces, N.M. 8, 11, and 27.5 acres. $15,000/acre to $17,000/acre. All have EBID (surface water rights from the Rio Grande River) and several have supplemental irrigation wells. If you are interested in farm land in Doña Ana County, give me a call.
DAN DELANEY R E A L E S TAT E , L L C www.zianet.com/nmlandman
318 W. Amador Ave. Las Cruces, N.M. 88005 (O) 575/647-5041 (C) 575/644-0776 firstname.lastname@example.org
Livestock Market Digest
Beef sales help insulate Colorado agriculture REVENUE UP $350 MILLION LAST YEAR OVER 2004 TOTAL. by PATRICK MALONE | Pueblo Chieftain
olorado’s diverse agricultural economy — led by its strong position in the beef market — has been relatively insulated from the economic downturn. “We’re somewhat recessionresistant,” John Stulp, the state’s agriculture commissioner, told the Colorado State Legislature Joint Budget Committee in mid November. He said while manufacturers can scale back production to maintain their bottom lines, farmers persist to till the soil and feed livestock. “That’s just part of the ethic of agriculture, whether you’re taking care of a field or a mother cow,” Stulp said. But that doesn’t mean the agricultural landscape in Colorado isn’t undergoing changes. Stulp said contemporary developments continue to shape the challenges and opportunities facing farmers and ranchers. Overwhelmingly (37 of 88), farmers surveyed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture identified water as their foremost concern. Environmental policy finished a distant sec-
ond, with 10 farmers citing it as their top worry. Farm economics (input costs and prices received for their wares) and increased regulation (including taxes and fees) also rated highly. Despite the gripes on the survey about regulation, Stulp said farmers and ranchers haven’t given the department of agriculture any direction about which the state could eliminate to improve their lot. “I have yet to have any bona fide suggestions,” he said, because most originate from industry or consumer suggestions. He cited the drastic decline in beef consumptions that trailed a BSE scare in 2004 — when the state’s beef exports topped out around $100 million compared with about $450 million last year — as an example of how healthy regulation keeps Colorado’s agricultural produce appealing by assuring good quality. It’s the advantage the state holds over Australia (despite its geographic advantage) in competition for the Asian beef market. That’s an area where Colorado’s agriculture industry has concentrated its efforts because a huge projected payday is possible. Other opportunities identified
by farmers surveyed included generating renewable energy on agricultural land, capitalizing on consumers’ growing affinity for locally grown foods — including hops for the state’s burgeoning brewing industry. Stulp said Colorado is the nation’s foremost beer-producing state thanks to large-scale breweries and the growing presence of craft-brewing entrepreneurs. He said farmers are just beginning to tap into that market, and hops are becoming an emerging crop in the state. Increasingly less land is available for agricultural uses because more is being devoured by development, and while the most recent census figures show Colorado has 5,000 more farms than it did a decade ago, Stulp attributed the phenomenon more to changes in the federal definition of a farm than to a true emergence of more agricultural activity. In the census conducted this year, any agricultural enterprise that generated at least $1,000 qualified as a farm, when in past census reports acreage and the presence of a residence were qualifiers. He said the reality is the average age of farmers in Colorado went from 55 10 years ago to 57
December 15, 2010 during the latest census, suggesting that there isn’t a new generation venturing into agriculture like the explosion in numbers might suggest. Furthermore, Stulp said, the mid-size farm is disappearing while large and small operations are becoming more prevalent. Farmers also are challenged by rising pesticide costs driven by state-imposed taxes, and they are at the mercy of the prices they are paid for their products
so it’s difficult to adjust to economic changes. But overall, Stulp was optimistic that agriculture in Colorado will adjust to embrace its new opportunities and overcome its challenges. “Probably the single best means for economic recovery in this country is agriculture,” remarked JBC member Sen.elect Kent Lamber, R-Colorado Springs.
If state again manages wolves, Otter doesn’t want sportsmen to fund it by JAY PATRICK / idahoreporter.com
daho sportsmen chipped in more than a half-million dollars for wolf management in fiscal year 2010. Altogether the state spent $1.7 million during that span — license fees covered $558,000 while the federal government put in $1.2 million. The figures were presented to the commission of the Department of Fish and Game at a meeting in Jerome recently. Most of the license money — $309,000 — paid for research of wolf predation of elk. With Idaho no longer managing wolves on behalf of the federal government, “Idaho will refocus
on protecting ungulates (hoofed animals) and ensure Idaho sportsmen dollars will not be spent on managing wolves until the species is delisted,” read a report prepared for commissioners by department wildlife chief Jeff Gould. In his Oct. 18 letter to Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar announcing that Idaho would no longer manage wolves, Gov. Butch Otter said he doesn’t want license fees to pay for wolf management. “My concern is that the Department of Interior will not fund the program at levels that completely eliminate the need to use sportsmen funds for any portion of wolf management,” wrote Otter.
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