Wild weather, NRCA finals, N.D. brands due, dumb and dumber, Happy Thanksgiving

The weather sure has been a roller coaster ride, hasn’t it? Last week I saw shingles go by my house that I’m sure had Montana plates on them. A cousin of mine in Colorado has had some alfalfa down for months hoping for enough dew so he could finally get it baled. I suspect the blizzard that went through there took care of the “too dry to bale” problem he was having. A friend in the Oklahoma panhandle had torrential rain, hail and tornados in their area one day and a winter storm the next. Our truck driving son was in Missouri during 36 hours of steady rain and had his loaded cattle pot hydroplane several times and he’s carrying 63,000 pounds! It all kind of makes me wonder what I did with my summer’s wages…

The N.R.C.A. rodeo finals are coming right up the weekend after Thanksgiving. They run Nov. 27-29, Friday through Sunday, with Friday and Saturday performances at 7 p.m. and the Sunday performance at 1 p.m. There’s also a 4D barrel race on Sunday with exhibitions at 7:45-9:45 (limited to 100) and the 4D at 10. There will be no youth barrels. Call Amanda Richardson at 605-490-7661. Also, on Saturday there will be a team roping and open and senior men’s breakaway roping. Enter at 8 and rope at 9. Call Jim Tiltrum at 605-209-8064. On Friday there will be a mixed team roping at 1 p.m. I don’t have any details on that though Jim Tiltrum might be able to fill you in. There’s also dances on both Friday and Saturday nights, plus a Cowboy Christmas Mall trade show all three days. All of this is happening at the James Kjerstad Event Center, Rapid City, S.D.

The Event Center has posted its winter riding schedules for November through April. Monday, Nov. 30 will be roping, Dec. 7 is youth riding, the rest of December’s Mondays are for roping. On Tuesday nights there will be barrels and on Wednesdays open riding, except on Dec. 23 and 30. I know, it confused me too, but just read it again and it’ll be clear as mud.

For all you North Dakota friends, your brand renewals are due by Dec. 31. All brands will expire on Jan. 1, 2016 if not renewed and it’s only $25 for five years, so well worth the moment it will take to get that check written. They sent out over 23,000 renewal forms and just over half of them have been renewed. They always get some back due to people moving and suchlike, so if you didn’t get one and have a North Dakota brand, you need to call the office right away and talk to them. The number is 701-223-2522 and you can also go to to get the form and to find out about other questions you have.

This is early, but you need to get your deposits in to get into these clinics, as they will fill very fast. On April 2-3 there will be a J.P. Bell Cutting Clinic at the Bar T Arena, Hartford, S.D. J.P. is a top 10 cutter, plus a national director and judge in the NCHA. The clinic is $300. For more info or to register for the clinic, call Tami at 605-929-3792.

Mary Walker and Nikki Steffes will be teaching a clinic for the barrel racers on April 16-17 at the Hippodrome, Huron, S.D. Clinic cost is $600/$200 deposit and $100 to audit for the whole clinic. You can email April at, to hold your spot and to get the address for the deposit.

Just when we all think things can’t get any dumber, the dumb of the world surprise us. A website called recently posted a picture of a toy semi tractor/trailer cattle hauling rig and said “Seriously Walmart?” because Walmart is selling these darling little Ertl bull racks for kids to play with. Some responders from among the dumbest are saying that it’s a “toy slaughter truck” and that is showcases the reality of the violence in agriculture. A petition has even been circulating which demands that the toy be pulled from Walmart’s shelves and over 4,000 of the dumb have signed it so far. I think we should all rush to Walmart, even if we don’t usually shop there, and buy one of those cute little Peterbilts for our little cowboy kids to play with. I think my grandboys need one each.

It’s a strange, strange world we live in. Too many people are so far removed from the reality of what it takes to eat and wear clothes that they believe the hype that the anti-everything people spew forth. As an ag producer, I try at every opportunity to educate the uneducated and to promote the positives of the ranching and farming industries. We have to keep fighting for our lifestyle and don’t think for a minute that someone else will do it for us. We are someone and had better act like it.

I hope that you have wonderful plans to spend Thanksgiving with those you love. I’m going to be with family enjoying the bounty of our land and thanking God for placing me where I am in the world.