Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
May 22, 2006
by WLJ

What about Mexico?

Dear Pete:
First to congratulate you on taking over the Cattlemen’s Tour from your Dad and Barbara. It is a great program and the trip to Africa I took with them was fantastic.

Pete, the amount of print on the Japan Beef Ban is overwhelming. You can not open an Internet site or a trade journal without it being the presiding factor. However, there are other export markets that are important to seedstock producers and the rank and file of the cattle industry, that are totally ignored.

We have not been able to export seedstock to Mexico in two and a half years! The pre-ban levels, in a down market, was around 30,000 head, give or take. It was the livelihood of the small purebred breeder in the Southwest and of the supporting marketers like myself.

It is not only detrimental to us, but also to the beef industry of Mexico. In this fast changing industry they need the influx of breeding stock that possesses the desired traits to make the Mexican cattle more suitable to the American market.

Anecdotal conversations with feedlot managers points out that the recent imports from Mexico are not performing up to previous levels. The percentage of cattle that “look the part” (breed character) but do not perform to satisfactory standards is getting higher. We are still receiving upwards of 1.2 million head of Mexican feeder cattle per annum.

Inquiries to U.S. and Mexican authorities as to the status of the ban result in the same answer. Quien sabe! (Who knows!)

It would be a great service if you could get us some answers.
Su amigo;
Ray Rodriguez PhD
R&R Agrotech, Inc.,
Tucson, AZ

Speak up against death taxes

Dear Editor,
The two things in life that are certain, are taxes and death. What a 1-2 punch for family ranchers when you put these two things together. According to the Joint Economic Committee Study on the Death Tax, it is the number one reason why families are losing their businesses.

Ranchers across the country are being faced with liquidating their assets to pay off this tax. That is thousands of dollars per year being taking away from the ranch that could go towards cattle, equipment and other ranch expenses. Yes, estate planning is an option for limiting the death tax, but what happens when a family member suddenly dies without any precautions?

Fortunately, when my dad passed away last December, my family was prepared for such a loss. I can’t imagine going through such an ordeal and being faced with losing your livelihood as well. Isn’t it enough that ranchers are being faced with trade issues, markets, drought, and animal disease every day? To me, ranchers are one of the hardest working groups in the U.S., so why are those precious pennies going to an unjust tax?

Even if you haven’t been hit by a family loss and think the death tax doesn’t affect you, one day it just might. I ask you to look closely at the death tax. The people’s voice is a strong one, so let your voice be heard and contact your Senator and let them know what you feel about the death tax. As a fifth generation rancher, I will not let my voice be unheard.
Rose Malisani
Cascade, MT