Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
May 9, 2005
by WLJ

An answer to a six-letter bad word
Dear Editor:
I read with some amusement and a certain amount of amazement Mr. Scheifelbein’s comments in the April 25 issue of your paper. Our society has long accepted that our capitalistic economy should seek and attain a number of goals; efficiency, consumer sovereignty, stable prices, sufficient competition and economic equity to name a few. Many times these goals conflict with one another.
The reason the word packer is seen by some as undesirable is their behavior in the market place can and has violated the idea of economic fairness. Mr. Scheifelbein makes an effort to project packers as just “one of the boys” doing what all profit oriented businesses seek to do and therefore is just like an ordinary cattle producer is a questionable analogy. When "four" packers process 80 percent of all the fat cattle in the U.S. this places a tremendous amount of economic power in the hands of a few. Economics describe this market condition as an oligopoly, and businesses in oligopoly markets can and have behaved in a non-competitive manner.
Packers are not inherently evil, its just an aspect of capitalism, economic power concentrated in too few hands, like political power, can have a corrupting influence. We have long accepted a role for government to modify those elements of capitalism that can produce harm to the greater number. Unfortunately, many in high places of business will loudly tout the strengths of our free economic system but will just as quickly engage in actions which has the effect of endangering it.
Ken Martin
Tuscumbia, MO

Rights for vegetation?
Since animal rights activists are on the rampage these days, I feel that it is my duty to start my own activist group. My group will stand for the rights of all known vegetation from grass, to weeds, to trees, etc. I feel that it is my god given right to protect all vegetation from lawnmowers, chemicals and from the picking of its fruits and vegetables. Our organization will rise up against the farming of crops, vegetables and fruit trees. We will also be against confinement issues. If hogs or cattle are not supposed to be confined, why are people confining plants, fruits and vegetables to pots, greenhouses, gardens and fields? They should be able to prosper freely throughout the world without our intervention.
Our organization also has a problem with the way that people continually harm vegetation year after year. People run mowers over the grass slicing off their poor little leaves. People constantly trim hedges and trees of unwanted growth. People pull and pluck fruits and vegetables from its outstretched limbs and vines. People behead the cabbage and lettuce, spear the asparagus, uproot the carrots, beets, potatoes, radish, and disembowel the watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew. After this is done, people maliciously slice them into smaller pieces without even knowing if they are deceased, or worse. . .people eat them alive!
Then there is the warfare that is held annually on weeds. From fields to gardens to lawns, people constantly spray, hoe and pull these poor defenseless creatures. This has to disrupt the family of each weed that we kill so maliciously. Just think of how much tragedy that we bring to those families that worked so hard to raise their noxious little seeds. They just wanted a better life for their progeny and see them grow up and prosper in a beautiful pasture, field or lawn.. .not the shelterbelt, ditch or fenceline where they were raised.
With all that being said I will unveil my NEW vegetation activist organization name. From now on we will be known as RIDICULOUS (Rich Individuals Demonstrating Incompetence and Commonly Utilizing Lawyers to Outrageously Undermine Stewards of the land). I feel that this is great name for our organization as this is what we are about. If you feel that you would like to contribute funds to our organization, please do so immediately as my chemical bill for spraying pasture is due by the 10th of the month.
Corey Gall
South Dakota

A solution for everyone
Packers (Tyson and Cargill) are losing money in the U.S. because of a low volume of high priced cattle. Really. I wonder how bad they are taking advantage of the Canadians—oh, I mean—how much profit are they making off the Canadians because of a large volume of low priced cattle?
Japan says that the U.S. is curtailing the reopening of the border with Japan because we are not reopening the border with Canada. Really. Get this in writing. Let’s open the border, process all the Canadian beef at one plant, send all the meat to Japan, and label it North American (wouldn’t that be C.O.O.L.). That way the Canadians eliminate the surplus, packers are full and Japan is happy.
Smile, saddle up, and let’s ride.
Tony Cunha Jr.
Laton, CA

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