Outside Circle by Jan Swan Wood: Miracles, horse processing update, coming events
December 2, 2013
We'll have sold our calves by the time you read this. I'm anticipating getting more for them than we ever have, so I hope I'm right. I'll let you know next week.
I needed to set up the portable corrals, therefore needed to get the stock trailer off the creek bottom where it had been used as a windbreak for some horses during the blizzard and then got caught in the big flood when the snow went off. It was just barely firm enough to get in and get it, but I got it out. The flood had lifted the planks on the floor of the trailer and the mats were all bulged up with the planks askew beneath them. I concluded I could load panels in it with them that way so would wait until I had more time to fix the floor. When I got up to where the panels were, the rough, axle-busting stretch of road on the creek had bounced the trailer around until the floorboards were once again in place and the mats flat. I was so amazed. I'm sure I did a little dance. As they say, even an old, blind sow finds an acorn once in a while.
I got word about an unbelievable event this past week from a very reliable source. If it had been someone less reliable, I'd have never believed it. He said that the wind was not blowing in Casper, Wyo. Yep. You read that right. On Nov. 4, 2013, the wind was NOT blowing in Casper. Totally amazing.
I tip my hat to Judge Christine Armijo, Albuquerque, N.M., for following the letter of the law and interpreting said law the way it was intended. She said the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) and APA (Administrative Procedures Act) were not relevant in the case of processing plants for horses. HSUS had filed for that temporary injunction which had prevented processing plants from opening months ago on those grounds, and the case had dragged on and on. HSUS was just sure they had won, but Armijo said that the USDA had a job to do and they needed to do it, so the injunction was lifted. Essentially, HSUS got spanked on the deal. So, the plants were on track to start processing this past week. Naturally, HSUS filed another injunction in Denver in the 10th Circuit Court and stopped it again. They will no doubt get the same treatment there and it will be lifted. They'll then file somewhere else.
The thing is folks, if they keep it up long enough, Washington, D.C. may finally get a farm bill through that could prevent the slaughter of horses or the shipment thereof (S.A.F.E. Act). So, first, you need to call, write, email or smoke signal your reps in D.C. and tell them that you do NOT want the S.A.F.E. Act passed and the USDA inspections of horses in slaughter plants needs to be allowed, as is law now. The current administration is against horse processing (not that he would know beans about it, but when has that stopped him before?) and would like to see it ended. Our voices have got to be heard.
Secondly, there are people in D.C. fighting for our private property rights (one of which is to process livestock of all kinds) and it takes money to do so. "Our" lawyers are mostly working for free because it's the right thing to do. It would be nice to be able to raise enough money to help them though. If you can spare anything ($25 on up), the United Horsemen is a 501(3)c non-profit organization that is working hard for all of us. You can mail your membership ($25) or a donation to:
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P.O. Box 454
Hermiston, OR, 87838.
You can also find them on Facebook and donate on-line.
Everyone's been so busy with fall work and cleanup from the storm that the deadline for stallion breeder reports might have been forgotten. The AQHA reports are due by Nov. 30. Also, be sure you get your foals registered before they get past the first deadline. Way cheaper that way. It's sure worth registering them, just in case we ever get a horse business back like we used to have.
Don't forget the All About Livestock concert and cowboy gathering at the Lead Opera House in Lead, S.D., on Nov. 24, 2-4 p.m. I got my tickets for it this morning and am sure looking forward to it. There will be great entertainment and all proceeds go to the Rancher Relief Fund. Go to http://www.leadoperahouse.org and you can click on the page and it takes you right through the process, easy as pie.
Well, I've about made my circle for the week. It must be time to get off this windy ridge and go do something different. Send me your fundsraisers, news items, etc… I'd love to share them here.