Cattle market debate hits Congress

There were several individuals allowed to testify before the U.S. Senate ag committee, which is examining markets, transparency and prices from cattle producer to consumer.

I have had several phone calls from various farmers, ranchers and feedlot operators that felt like some of them only looked at the angle that they were doing fine.

One said that this is a complicated issue but said what caused the most recent turmoil in our marketplace is not complicated. He said the big disruption was the slaughter plant fire then a pandemic and then the software attack on the one packer.

In my opinion all of these are issues but none of them should allow the packers to take our cattle and sell the end product at an extreme high and give us what they want.

If we do not get something down I’m afraid the individual cattlemen will soon be a thing of the past. When the packer is making $1,100 per head and you still can’t see this is a problem then it is because you choose not to see there is a problem.

There are some cattlemen who are getting rich throughout this deal and choose not to care about anyone else but themselves.

Call it what you want. I think it is un-Christian to say I am doing fine so I don’t care about my neighbors. The Bible tells you to love your neighbors as yourself.

That’s pretty strong language. It would be like me saying the sale barn is doing good so whatever happens to everyone else—oh well.

Stay after this problem. Do not give up but all of us have to push the government to do something. You know as well as I do that they may come back and say we could not find any problem.

Another comment another individual made was don’t rock the boat meaning we might lose our deal with foreign countries. If we don’t rock the boat we may lose our ranches.

I saw a sign at the furniture store that said turn your ordinary sofa into a sofa bed simply by forgetting your wife’s birthday.

Falling in love makes you do stupid things. One time I even got married.

Today after the cow sale, a 4-year old cowboy came in to the restaurant with his mom. He said, “Will you buy a ticket?” I said, “What are you selling and what is it for?”

He handed me the tickets and said it was fundraiser for the Round Up Club. So I wrote him a check for $20 and gave it to him. Then he said to me, “Well are you going to give me any money?”

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