Jump to page 24, Coffee Time, for the full press release, but basically our industry has been granted a one-year extension to the current livestock transporter exemption on being fitted with ELD units. Of course, the bill still has to make it through the House before it becomes law, but industry leaders and legislators that understand this grassroots issue are confident it will. This extension was a surprise for some of us, and a welcome one. Collectively, as an industry, and as individuals that all have a role to play, we really needed to address the sustainable transportation of our live animals. This issue brought it out of the shadows and on stage where it could be seen and examined by all.
Personally, I’m glad the facts are out there in the open. We care for our livestock. Our cattle are transported a lot. Pretty much every critter gets a couple of truck rides in its lifetime, and our industry is totally dependent on road transport to keep it humming along. That adds up to a lot of loaded miles. We care about those loaded miles. We’ve made great positive headway towards understanding how stressful it is too move a load of calves, and how to mitigate that stress. Everyone became involved, from trailer designers who provided air-ride suspension and state-of-the-art ventilation to academia who researched endlessly how transport stress affected animals and how it could be minimized, to the trucking companies and drivers themselves who filled us in on what really goes on out there and where we needed to focus our efforts and training. Many of us have known for years that livestock transportation was a big deal and it needed some serious attention if we wanted it to remain sustainable. This ELD bronc may have been the catalyst to give that concern some wheels. (Thanks to all the great folks that made this happen, and continue to make it happen, and special thanks to Steve Hilker for his foresight three years ago and stellar commitment to making a difference)
Winning a Cowboy Trade
We all love a good ol’ ‘cowboy trade’, but nobody wants to be hosed, either (Paul H, if you’re reading this I want my Garcia spurs back, you no good…). When I found out that anybody wanting to trade with the Chinese crew had to hand over the plans to their tech products I almost spit out my morning coffee (Bloomberg, Editorial Board, March 11, 2008 – In this case, the U.S. alleges — with reason — that China has been stealing U.S. trade secrets, forcing American companies to hand over proprietary technology as a condition of doing business on the mainland, and providing state support for Chinese firms to acquire critical technology abroad). I’d be watching the cavvy around those guys.
So now we are firmly on the ‘Trade War’ path to wherever that leads, and it was with quiet resolve that rural America accepted it, sort off. Or was it? To be more precise, I just thought everybody in the countryside accepted it because I didn’t really hear too much negative save for a few rumblings and murmurings here and there and the obligatory prodding from mainstream media to see how much we were bleeding. So I thought I’d better check and make sure. Google maps, satellite view, let’s see…look for a small town in the Heartland surrounded by pivots, some grass in the draws, and for sure a sale barn. Got it! Colby, Kansas. Now to make contact with the Mayor, Mr. Gary L. Adrian.
(phone rings, Mr. Mayor picks up on ring #2 from his home office, greets me warmly even though he doesn’t know me from a Kansas City Uber driver, pleasant music plays in the background)
WR Mayor Adrian, thanks for taking my call (to hear the entire interview tune in to an upcoming episode of the WR Radio Show). My question is, we know there’s a $12 Billion USDA aid package coming to the rural areas affected by President Trump’s trade tariff strategy, do you think any of that money will actually make it to Colby, Kansas?
Mayor Adrian A little bit, yes, because in previous times when they did this, it did show up. And it was always a big help. I’ll tell you one thing, the farmers around here know that [the current aggressive tariff strategy] is suppressing maybe the grain prices and the cow prices and livestock prices for awhile, but they also realize the United States has been getting taken to the cleaners for years in trade, and they [our farmers] think in the long run they’ll buckle under because they need our business. We’ve to change it or nothing will get better. It might be a hard pill to swallow for awhile, but I think it’ll be a big benefit because I think it’ll open up markets for all our livestock and grain production.
WR So, that’s basically the sale barn coffee shop talk, we’re gonna have to stick to our guns and wait this thing out?
Mayor Adrian You never know what’s going to happen, but people are very optimistic here, they think good things will happen (he related conversations between folks at the town BBQ a week before reflecting these observations). Soybean prices are starting to come up, and wheat prices in the last three weeks (July 30, 2018 interview) have gone up $.75 cents a bushel, so obviously the commodities people think things are going to get better or that wouldn’t be happening. And we have two really powerful senators in Washington on our side, and that always helps. In the last month both senators, our congressman and our Governor have been out the northwest Kansas and they’re optimistic. Our two senators said just be patient and there’ll be big dividends ahead. I really think it makes sense, what’s happening.
WR Thank you very much Mayor Adrian for filling us in, we’ll check back with you in six months to see if that money really did trickle down to your community, and we’ll be watching this trade strategy closely. Best of luck.
Mayor Adrian Thank you, I hope I’ve been helpful.
We Work For You
‘Your Ranch…Your Magazine’
That’s been our slogan ever since I dreamed it up back in 2006 (I hope Drew Lawler isn’t reading this). OK, I admit, it was his idea, and it is a great slogan to live by. We’re here for you. You want to share what you’re doing on Facebook Friday…we’re there. You want to send in a photo of your grinning toddler destroying a copy of Working Ranch magazine…it’s going to press. You’ve got a cool new product or service that is gonna help the industry in a sustainable way…we’ll help by getting out in the field and doing a Tim’s Test and/or inviting you as a guest on Tigger’s WR Radio Show heard coast to coast every weekend and downloaded over 200 times a day in over 60 countries.
So it was in this vein that I attended a very informative session at the St. Joseph, Missouri, headquarters and manufacturing facility of BioZyme® Inc. this summer. I’m a hands-on kind of guy, and curious to a fault, and it’s my job to channel those traits and gather the information, ruminate on it for a bit, and do my best to impart it to you, dear reader, in a way that guys like us can understand it. No, I’m not making light of anyone’s IQ out there, so don’t start emailing me, I’m just saying that a lot of readers are like me. I stared at a cow’s behind for 25 years, and savvying the genome to the 50,000th degree just isn’t my strong suit. Give me the WR Junior version and I’ll be fine.
Basically, BioZyme® Inc. has (among many other nutritional supplement products for animals) a prebiotic product called Amaferm®, which is produced from a proprietary strain of Aspergillus oriyzae that promotes feed intake, increases feed digestibility, and maximizes nutrient absorption. The plant tour commenced in the morning. We started out in the lab, where a small beaker of the live filamentous fungi, the same type used for generations to make soy sauce and sake, was carefully cultured. Our guide walked us through the process all the way to the bagging stage. Was it easy to savvy? I got most of it, but it really sunk in that afternoon in the training room where we heard testimonials and posed questions to the guest panel, Superior Livestock Auction’s Jason Barber, Ed Creason from GENEX, and Doug Slattery, COO of 44 Farms in Cameron, TX. I wanted to know the same thing you do, reader. Why should I take a chance on technology or products I don’t really understand, and is your product suitable for delivery to a 500 head cow outfit with a 1500 head backgrounding lot down at the in-law’s place? These gentlemen told us the product worked for them, translating into one of the most important savings beef producers can achieve – getting the most out of converting feedstuffs into healthy cattle and high quality beef. And my job is to pass that information along to you. �