WESTERN wanderings

Mar 13, 2009

It’s interesting to get other people’s impressions on different things, espe ci al l y from folks who don’t necessarily have a background in our industry. Sometimes you can explain something to them and they still don’t have the foggiest idea of what you are talking about.

Oftentimes, the kids have a better perspective on things than anybody else. Their thoughts and perceptions are those that are untarnished by any prejudices that someone older might have. Recently, I was at the Northwest Livestock Auction Market in Hermiston, OR, for the Northwest Hereford Breeders Bull sale, which by the way was pretty good, and I saw a poster sent to the market by a group of first and second graders who had visited the market on a field trip. These kids were pretty perceptive about things that happen or that you see at any local auction market. Just take a look at the photo of the poster. Rattling Paddles, Fast Talker, Old Men, Ice Cream, Slamming Gates. The poster just made me laugh because those of us that go to the markets all of the time just gloss over all of the things that the kids saw and appreciated.

Next time you go to your livestock market, take a look around. Those kids were right on target. Wander, wander … The spring bull sale season in my area is on the downhill pull and, for the most part, the sales have been very good in spite of all the negatives that are out there. The livestock industry seems to be the bright spot in our economy and rightfully so, and well deserved. If some of our hotshot politicians had to roll out of their warm beds in the wee hours to check on the heifers, or spend a day hauling hay and chopping ice, they might not be so free with other peoples’ money. You don’t see ranchers walking around with their hands out wanting someone to bail them out, instead they bear down, work smarter and harder to make ends meet doing what they have to. Visiting with the ranchers at the bull sales will give you a good idea of how our government is viewed and right now, it ain’t good! More wandering … The WLJ Arizona Tour is filling up fast and promises to be a good trip. It will be kind of a culture shock for those who went on the Kentucky trip, but we will be visiting some real honest cow outfits and seeing some absolutely beautiful country. In addition to that, we will also be checking out some great horse outfits with stops at the Babbitt Ranch, Mike

Oden’s Freeman Ranch, and some great reining and cutting demonstrations at World Champion Trainer Al Dunning’s place. And yes, there will be plenty of time for shopping in places like Sedona. We have several new tour members signed up and have room for more, so pack your bags and head for Phoenix. — JERRY YORK