I’m not really a farmer

The U.S. Department of Agriculture just came out with its estimate and a revised one, at that, showing that U.S. heads for the highest farm income in seven years. Well, I guess that proves it once and for all that I am not really a farmer.

And I guess that includes all the cattlemen and farmers in my area, which could cover quite a large area of farmers that I talk to. And I have not even heard one say that they have had a good year.

I did hear one 80-year-old man that said, “I don’t know why some say they are not making money on their cattle ’cause I have made money the last several years.”

I wanted to remind him that since he does not owe any money on his land or on his cattle either. So the only expense is his feed against his cattle sold. If it gets bad enough the feed for his cows is higher than his calf crop there will be a lot of broke cattlemen.

USDA said this great year was due to mostly larger livestock revenue and direct payments. Well I must be selling my cattle at the wrong sale ’cause I sure haven’t seen larger revenue. Perhaps USDA got mixed up and talked to the packer or retailer and they might have talked to organizations that forgot about the average cattleman. I wish USDA would ask any banker in the Midwest if that is true about larger cattle revenue.

No wonder cattlemen and farmers do not have faith in USDA. When our own Secretary of Agriculture for the U.S. asked for a study to see if there was collusion in the packing industry. He can’t be that dumb but he can look the other way like a lot of other bought off politicians do. The only farmers and cattlemen in this 200-mile area that have done well are those who have hit big oil wells. And that is in a few select areas. Not many. If farmers are doing so well why are land prices slipping. Figure that one out USDA.

I was driving to the sale barn this morning and was following a pickup that was going very slow. Then I noticed it was for sale. The number was on the back window. So I decided to call it. I said I am calling about the pickup you have for sale. The man answered and said, “Yes, it is for sale.” I said, “Does it run good?” He said, “Yes, it runs very good.” Then I said, “Well step on the gas and get the heck out of the way.”

I get so tired of people who complain about the price of everything—$2 for a cup of coffee; $3 for coat check. Or they complain about being charged $4 an hour for parking. I’m just going to quit inviting them to my house.

Editor’s note: Jerry Nine, Woodward, Oklahoma, is a lifetime cattleman who grew up on his family’s ranch near Slapout, Oklahoma.