Cattle people

Cattle people
Roy Rutledge. - 2, 2007

The most common question I get asked these days is “How are your anger management classes coming along?” Actually they started out fine, but now they are starting to really piss me off. If anything I say or write angers you please come to classes with me. Maybe we could get a volume discount or better yet a government grant. I submit this stuff mainly for entertainment value, albeit my own.

Now let’s get started with what my supporters refer to as the “Truth Hurts” column. By the time you read this there will probably have been more specific announcements about the Agriculture Marketing Programs Act (APMA) cash advance program for livestock. In the good old days Will Rogers said” We are lucky we don’t get all the government we pay for.” So, what is the catch?

The government wants to give us livestock producers a cash advance of up to four hundred thousand dollars with the first one hundred thousand of it interest free. The details are sketchy at time of writing this in mid January. No doubt as usual, not everyone will qualify but for those who usually figure out how to beat the system, this could be as good as wining the lottery. They will never pay it back. For those who usually play by the rules this could be a good source of credit. I remember my father saying” one shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” However, this whole thing reminds me of that “hands in your pockets” ad on television. When I first saw that ad I thought it was a gay marriage promo so I didn’t really pay attention. They didn’t have to convince me. I think that those guys should all have to get married. Why should they go through life all gleeful and happy and gay while the rest of us risk giving away half the farm just by saying “I do”?

With government money there always comes more government involvement and control. When the national I.D. system was first proposed, the Livestock Markets Association of Canada basically said “ We will go along with it as long as we don’t have to install any tags or police the program” Due to government involvement, that is exactly what they have to do now. Deja vu.

When B.S.E. happened in 2003, some industry spokesmen ran straight to the federal government with a hastily put together plan for assistance. The government threw money at them immediately. Was anybody happy? As usual some were not eligible. The people that were, said it wasn’t enough. As usual, I wasn’t eligible.

However, anyone could buy subsidized yearlings or calves (those with the purple or red RFID tags in their ears) at any sale in the land for at least a hundred dollars less than non subsidized calves or yearlings for a while. I bought lots of them and I don’t feel guilty about it at all, because they would have sold for even less if I hadn’t been bidding. Besides, the people who were selling them had been paid government money and I had to shake the cob webs and mould off of my own money to buy them. I took the risk and grassed the cattle. When I sold them the subsidy was off and the market was back to normal. Indirectly, I ended up with some of that government money anyway (tee hee) but I had to depend on skill, guts, and the luck of the Irish to get it.

Now there is the “Green Cover” program whereby the government will pay a portion of your seeding cost to seed marginal cultivated land back to grass. No doubt, it should be kept from blowing around. It is a giant step in the right direction, a little late. However, why was that land ripped up to start with? Not all of it, but a lot of it was ripped up because governments some years ago were paying out farm subsidies in the form of acreage payments. Only cultivated land was eligible. What to do? We won’t be eligible for our subsidy unless we fire up the farm equipment and rip that grass up, was the solution. Now, after most of it has blown into North Dakota, there is a new subsidy to restore what is left.

Is the green cover program fair to all? Most of my land had all ready been seeded back to grass shortly after I bought it but I applied for the “free gift” on the rest of the land. As usual, I didn’t qualify. This time it was because my land wasn’t marginal enough. Not to worry, I would rather have the better land anyway. What about those who looked after their grass and didn’t torture their land to death, to begin with? I was told that “they don’t need government help because they properly managed their grass throughout the years”. It is hard to argue with that, but doesn’t that imply that only marginal managers require subsidization? I identify with the confused philosopher on Air Farce.

For every action there is an equal reaction or cause and effect. What sounds too good to be true, usually isn’t. Nothing worth while comes easy and all that stuff. What are the bureaucrats up to with the livestock cash advance program? It is hardly a re-election ploy since the current government already has overwhelming support in agricultural areas. Is it just the Vaseline needed to slide their new proposed Full Animal Movement Reporting plan into place? This one is going to hurt. The only way to hedge on this one would be to buy shares in the Preparation H Company

Remember those people who were opposed to national I.D when it was first proposed. Many of the same people are reluctant to age verify their cattle too. It was suggested that they were a little paranoid about the government getting too involved in their business. What they questioned is now happening. It turns out they weren’t paranoid at all, they were realists.

Times have changed since Will Rogers’s era. If we don’t learn to run our own businesses and quit asking the government to help, we are going to get more governmental involvement, interference and control than we can possibly imagine. We are well on our way to being serfs on our own land.

I do not believe every thing I am told any more. I don’t believe in Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny. Even though I wouldn’t doubt that there are genetically modified rabbits seducing the hens somewhere right now. My mind can be changed though. I am starting to believe in the Tooth Fairy, after watching the way my dentist walks.

Yeah. Yeah. I know. Now I am picking on dentists. May your teeth rot in hell, Roy!