“Cowboys Can Save the World”

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.

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Links with additional Content:

  1. Slide 9 link: https://nobull.mikecallicrate.com/2013/08/25/i-really-want-to-talk-about-zilmax/
  2. Slide 17 Link: https://nobull.mikecallicrate.com/2021/10/24/texas-am-and-other-land-grant-economists-lead-effort-to-end-competitive-livestock-markets/
  3. Slide 19 Link: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1990-04-22-fi-486-story.html
  4. 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
  5. Slide 30 Link: https://cowpool.org/
  6. 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.

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3 Responses to “Cowboys Can Save the World”

  1. Sandra Knauf says:

    I really loved the quoted material above. Spot on for the situation we now ourselves in. Deja vu.
    I looked it up and the first two lines are from the Declaration of Purposes of the National Grange in 1874.
    The rest of the excerpts, however, are from The Omaha Platform or National People’s Party Platform (Populist Party), from July 4, 1892.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great presentation and it is not bull S___. We changed our operation from a stocker/cowcalf/ breeding animals to a 100% retail over 11 years back. We were already a regenerative ranching operation but there simply was no money sufficient to grow and about every year there was something that took us back to the bank to borrow more money or renew the loan. That all ended once we made the decision to go retail. Every animal born at the ranch was raised and processed to our specifications and we started selling direct in 3 small towns around us. Literally one of the best moves of our lives, Unfortunately for over 30 years we had bought into all the hype of our land grant univeristies for useing chemicals and fertilizers and following everone else. The regenerative was a no no in our area and we were criticised often in open cattle meetings. However when the drought of 2011-2012 hit we added cattle when most everyone sold out. In addition we had made the investment in freezer trailers and was selling out own products. Took all the middlemen out of the way. Our ranch profits were off the charts and most importantly our income was stable every month. Not many have tried what we learned and are still struggling with the sale barns, chemicals and fertilizers, Just imagine not feeding hay adding fertilizer or having to spray a field how much money returns to the ranch.

    It was a move we should have done 35 years ago and my hat is off to all who are selling direct and yes we need more ranchers to realize what is really happening to them everytime they load us a set of calves or fats and going to the market.

    Regards:
    William Payne
    Destiny Ranch
    580 279 3482

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