Saturday, I spent the day with a group of Montana ranchers at the Beartooth Stock Association annual meeting. They ventured out in minus 20 degree weather, many just finishing cow chores.
Cattlemen and women represent the literal heart and soul of our country, often unaware of their cows value beyond feeding us. They go to work everyday, rain, shine, or blizzard, as the stewards of our grasslands and rural communities, creating the wealth for the very base of our economy. These Montana ranch families, like many other independent family operations across America, are constantly improving the environment with their ruminant animals, while feeding us the healthiest, best quality meat in the world. So why are we making their lives so difficult?
At the Fremont County Fair last summer in Florence, Colorado, cowboy singer, Michael Martin Murphey said, “Cowboys can save the world.” The following presentation makes the case for why he’s 100% right.
Click arrows on right and left edges of slides to advance.
Links with additional Content:
- Slide 9 link: https://nobull.mikecallicrate.com/2013/08/25/i-really-want-to-talk-about-zilmax/
- Slide 17 Link: https://nobull.mikecallicrate.com/2021/10/24/texas-am-and-other-land-grant-economists-lead-effort-to-end-competitive-livestock-markets/
- Slide 19 Link: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1990-04-22-fi-486-story.html
- Slide 29 Link: https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/meat-price-spreads/ and by-product value – https://www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/ams_2829.pdf
- Slide 30 Link: https://cowpool.org/
- Kansas cowboy Jim Gray shares some wisdom on Rural America
From Robert Taylor, economist and long-time advocate for the family farmer, rancher, worker, and independent businessman:
Deja Vu all over again:
The “Farmers Revolt” against the “Robber Barons” led to formation of the Grange. The platform of the Grange was simple:
“We are opposed to such spirit and management of any corporation or enterprise as tends to oppress the people and rob them of their just profits. We are not enemies to capital, but we oppose the tyranny of monopolies. … We meet in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political and material ruin. … Corruption dominates the ballot box, the Legislatures, the Congress, and touches even the ermine of the Bench. The people are demoralized…the newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled, public opinion silenced, business prostrated, our homes covered with mortgages, labor impoverished, and the land concentrating in the hands of the capitalists. … The urban workmen are denied the right of organization for self-protection; imported pauperized labor beats down their wages … The fruits of the toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes, unprecedented in the history of the world, while their possessors despise the republic and endanger liberty. … The land, including all the natural sources of wealth, is the heritage of the people and should not be monopolized for speculative purposes, and alien ownership of land should be prohibited.”
The Granger’s declaration of 1874.