The Outside Circle: Thanksgiving year-round, President signs bill; Steer Roping Finals & comment deadline
November 24, 2011
We got snow this past week and cold temperatures, but nice days and a sweet southwest breeze took care of most of it. November can sure be a month of extremes in the northern plains country. I’ve lived other places but came back to within six miles of where I grew up, so I must like the climate well enough.
Thanksgiving always makes folks think of what they’re thankful for. If it doesn’t, it should. I’m thankful for so much and sometimes forget just how blessed we are here in the U.S. Of all the places on the planet to be born, I was born here on the rolling prairie of western South Dakota. I could have been born in the Sudan, Hungary, Chile, Siberia, or Fiji. God chose to place me right here in this country, therefore I am blessed.
I was born to ranching parents with a strong work ethic, morals, a Christian faith, and a sense of family that ties us all together with love and respect for each other. The thought of growing up anywhere else but Jug Creek always gave me the willies. I never longed to be somewhere else or to be someone else. I think that speaks strongly of being thankful for who and where I was. I still feel that way. Oh, sometimes I wish I was somewhere else for a little while, just to visit, but I’m always drawn back here.
Thankfulness also swells my heart for the opportunity I have to “visit” with all of you every week. When this column was turned over to me almost two years ago, I hoped to do a good job and not disappoint anyone. I still feel that way and I want the readers to know that I appreciate you taking the time to read this column and to visit with me about it. You all are a blessing to me and I’m so glad I have this “job” to do for all of you. It is truly a privilege.
Great news for the horse industry! The senate bill that we have all been following so closely that would allow USDA inspectors to once again inspect horses at processing plants in the U.S. has passed and was signed by the President. It’s going to take some time, I’m sure, to get plants up and running, but when they are, we can finally have some balance back in the industry and the unwanted horses in our country can finally have a place to go. Thanks again to all who worked so hard on this.
Congratulations to Jesse Tierney, Hermosa, SD! He qualified for the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping in Guthrie, OK, on Nov. 11-12. Jesse went into it in 14th place and brought home a check for his fourth place run in the ninth round. The toughest steer ropers in the nation were there and in a field dominated by Texas and Oklahoma ropers, it was great to have a South Dakota roper there. I hope Jesse has a great season in 2012 too!
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The Animal Traceability Rule Proposal comment period ends Dec. 9. It does include horses, so get up to speed on it and make sure you comment on it. You can do so at the South Dakota Stockgrowers Web site, or go straight to the aphis site at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail. You can also write a letter and mail it to: Docket No. APHIS-2009-0091, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Rd Unit 118, Riverdale MD 20737-1238. I encourage you to get involved in this and make your voice heard. Remember, when you say that somebody ought to do something, that somebody is you.
If you have friends in Iowa, tell them to be careful of who they vote for in the primaries. Rick Santorum (R-PA) supports PETA and HSUS. Both of those animal rights organizations love him, too. The animals rights political action committee, HumaneUSA, gave $5,000 to Santorum’s 2006 re-election bid and has promised to campaign aggressively for him in a presidential bid. HSUS’s President and CEO, Wayne Pacelle, has nothing but praise for Santorum as well. Always best to see who candidates are “sleeping” with, so to speak.
Wyoming Downs racetrack at Evanston, WY, sold at auction and is once again owned by Eric Nelson who owned it from 1998-2006. He was reportedly the only one to meet the $400,000 minimum bid. No word yet on what he plans to do with the property.
The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) is set to start on Dec. 1 and run through Dec. 10. For all of you going to Vegas – have a safe trip; to the contestants – have a great Finals. There are 22 northern plains contestants headed to the WNFR and we’re sure proud of all of them.
The news is all about the protestors in the Occupy Wall Street movement getting pepper sprayed and “abused” by the police who are doing the job that taxpaying citizens of the various cities are paying them to do. The protestors were advised to disburse and when they didn’t, advised that they would be pepper sprayed. Well, they got pepper sprayed. Makes me think of someone standing behind a nervous cow and not moving when her tail goes up and then belly-aching because she painted them green. Perhaps the people involved have never experienced consequences for things before. I was never handicapped by my parents in that way. Isn’t it a shame that they were?
Well, you folks have a great week and I’ll be talking to you on our circle next week. Send me your information and results so I can share them with everyone else.