Jan Swan Wood: Miss Wyoming, PRCA news, snakes of many kinds, D.C. cabinet update | TSLN.com

Jan Swan Wood: Miss Wyoming, PRCA news, snakes of many kinds, D.C. cabinet update

We've had a rollercoaster ride with the weather and temps. The big storm produced just a skiff of snow but terrible wind and below zero temps. A little of that will go a long way. As I write this, a chinook is blowing and our rock hard snow is melting. It's baring off some grass, which is welcome by all grazing critters including our cows.

Congrats are in order for the lovely Miss Wyoming, Lexie Madden. She was named third runner up in the Miss America pageant. I know that that's not really ranching news, but she comes from a ranching/livestock family of note in the Torrington, WY, area and I know they're all super proud of her. She's not only beautiful, but she's smart and articulate. Well done, Lexie!

In the more ruggedly handsome realm, Seth Glause, Cheyenne, WY, bull rider, had shoulder surgery Jan. 9, and he'll be sidelined for four months or so. He placed second in the average and earned over $98,000 at the WNFR in December, which is where he sustained a broken nose, dislocated shoulder and torn knee cartilage.

The PRCA season is going hard again and some area hands did really well at Odessa, TX. In the barebacks, Ty Breuer, Mandan, ND, placed fourth, Todd Suhn, Hermosa, SD, won the steer wrestling and Jace Melvin, Ft. Pierre, SD, placed fourth, Cort Scheer, Elsmere, NE, Jesse Bail, Camp Crook, SD, and Troy Crowser, Whitewood, SD, all tied for second in the saddle broncs, Dane Kissack, Spearfish, SD, placed third in the average in the tie down roping, and Bobby Welsh, Gillette, WY, was second in the bulls. I'm especially excited over Dane placing in the tie down roping, partly because he's a super nice young man who I've known for years and partly because I hardly ever get to mention a northern plains cowboy in the same breath as the tie down roping!

At Waco, TX, Todd Suhn won the average in the steer wrestling. At Topeka, KS, Ty Thompson, Wanblee, SD, won the saddle broncs, Justin Scofield, St. Lawrence, SD, placed fourth in the tie down roping (wow, another one from the northern plains!), and Jeff Johnston, Seneca, NE, placed third in the steer wrestling.

Sankey Rodeo Company has retired their great saddle bronc "Turtle Dove" after a 20 year career in the arena. This grand horse will live out his days on their ranch at Joliet, MT. He was a six time WNFR bronc and was in the "eliminator pen" on those trips because he was super rank and always bucked hard.

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I suppose you've all heard about the big snake hunt in the Florida Everglades? There are a lot of people out there looking for those big pythons and hoping to not only kill as many as possible but to kill the biggest. Well hair on ya! You wouldn't catch me down there slogging around in that thick cover amongst the native critters trying to find one of those creepy boogers! I don't want to deal with any snake longer than a sorting stick, poisonous or not. I notice there's been no keening from the animal rights faction about them "cruelly" hunting down those "innocent" creatures. Yep. They're creeped out by them too.

Speaking of snakes, a recent posting on Humane Watch has a map that shows how much HSUS supports animal shelters through grants and funding in the U.S. The figures are a percentage of their total budget annually. It goes as follows: South Dakota got .002 percent (that's two one/thousandths of one percent I believe), North Dakota got .0039 percent, Montana .0035 percent, Wyoming .0008 percent, and Nebraska .0039 percent. States that received absolutely no funding or grants from HSUS are: Hawaii, Alaska, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, and Connecticut. Overall, only one fourth of 1 percent of their money goes to help shelters at all. So, in case you didn't realize it, our local shelters need help all of the time. It's expensive to house and care for so many animals, so if you have a little extra dinero, send it to the shelter. They can always use dog and cat food (find out which kind is best), blankets, kitty litter, etc. … too. Some shelters are also caring for horses these days, so, call and found out what they need and how you can help.

News from Washington, DC is that Tom Vilsack will remain in the cabinet as Ag Secretary for Obama's second term (gosh it hurts to type that second term part). The head of the USDA, Vilsack was formerly governor of Iowa and is very pro corn based ethanol. I guess it good in that we can keep gigging the same horse in the ribs until we can get the horse processing plants outfitted with inspectors at last.

The Interior Secretary, however, is going to step down after training his replacement. Ken Salazar will head home to Colorado in March.

That's my circle for this week. Send me your news, events and clever ideas and I'll share them here. I hope to see you at the stock show!

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