Jan Swan Wood: Ride on Rod, hay hauling, estate tax, joining the circus | TSLN.com

Jan Swan Wood: Ride on Rod, hay hauling, estate tax, joining the circus

It's sure a blustery booger today. It's moving the snow that's been laying there in wait for a week or so. I'm relieved to have it finally blow it into piles. It's the waiting that gets me.

The cowboy crew that the Lord's been putting together this past year had a fine buckaroo added to it on Dec. 29. Our friend, Rod McQueary, recent years of the Bitter Creek area near Recluse, WY, but born and raised in the Ruby Valley of northeastern Nevada, rode over the divide after a health struggle we all thought he was going to win. Rod, 61, was one of the kindest, most caring people, I have ever known. He was the devoted, adoring and loving husband of Sue Wallis, beloved Dad and Boppa to his kids, step-kids and grandkids, and loved and respected by his vast group of friends. Rod was a battle-worn Marine veteran of the Vietnam war who returned to the beautiful Ruby Valley and the ranch country he loved, to try to heal. A horse wreck on the ranch in Wyoming in 1999, crushed his pelvis and he was not able to ride again, which grieved him greatly. He poured his heart into his poetry and writing, leaving a vast store of both humor and serious works. He could make you laugh until you fell off of your chair (actually witnessed that) with one poem, then have the tears streaming in the next. A more talented person would be hard to find. His articulate sense of humor was present despite his physical pain and personal hurts, bringing joy to all who met him. Besides his wife, he's survived by his Mom, Eloise McQueary, brothers Lyle and Neil, and children Porter, Cecile, Ian, and Justine of Nevada; Sue's children Isaac Wallis, Megan Kruse and Rys Martin, Wyoming, and grandkids Ezra, Cora and Maddox Kruse. He was preceded in death by his Dad, Howard McQueary. Services were held Jan. 2, 2013 at Elko, NV, with memorial services to be held in July in the Ruby Valley and at Bitter Creek. Rod will be missed by all who knew and loved him. I like to think that he is horseback, free of pain, with nothing but good memories to ponder on. Rest in Peace, Rod. No one ever deserved it more.

South Dakota governor Dennis Daugaard has extended the over-width bale restrictions for shipment of hay until Feb. 21. The executive order allows truckers to move loads of hay 12 feet wide by 15 feet high for two hours after sunset and two hours before sunrise. Those restrictions usually require the trucks to be parked at sunrise. Some highways are still off limits due to construction or structures, so check that out when you're hauling hay.

I was relieved to hear that the USDA is going to accept hot iron brands as official animal identification for interstate movement of livestock. Now my wish list includes all of S.D. having the same brand inspection regulations statewide instead of just west river. I think that might curtail the in-state shipment of stolen livestock for sale east of the river. I can dream, anyway.

According to what I glean from the agreement made in Washington, DC, concerning the Estate Tax, a compromise of sorts was reached with the 2012 rate of 35% being increased to 40%, based on the first five million dollar individual estate or ten million dollar family estate. You still need to get that estate planning done folks, so your family can keep the farm or ranch in the family instead of in a realtor's ad.

The Jockey Club will be increasing the registry-related transactions by $25, including foal registrations. The increase will be used to fund the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), the accredited body for after care facilities that provide care for Thoroughbred horses after their career on the track has ended. Foal registrations will now cost $225 instead of $200, and 2012 foals will still be eligible for the old price if they're registered within the one year from the foal's birth date.

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Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus owners have received $9.3 million of the settlement of a lawsuit against ASPCA and several other animal rights groups, including HSUS. This part of the settlement only involved ASPCA. The lawsuit involved Ringling Brothers suing ASPCA under the Rackateering Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act and said that ASPCA and its lawyers paid a former circus employee $190,000 to join them in suing the circus company in 2000. I'm glad to hear of this as everyone has had to just roll over when these groups have manufactured film footage and yelled like Chicken Little over the animal industry in general. Maybe the tide will change now.

Well, I'm going to get in and shake the snow off my shoulders and call this circle ridden. As my friend Rod always said at the close of every visit, be well and make lots of money. Mostly, make lots of friends, like he did.

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