Jan Swan Wood: Plant passes inspection, McLaury clinic, fundraiser for Tom Cardwell, governmental brain leaks
May 6, 2013
It's a windy spring day here with mud everywhere! I can take the wind okay if it's not blowing dirt into my eyes. This moisture sure has been a blessing. I still hear of some areas that are in pretty tough shape, but hopefully the pattern has shifted for more normal precipitation this year. The little calves are a bit muddy, but without the mud there wouldn't be grass, so their future wasn't very good without it.
Exciting news from New Mexico! Valley Meats at Roswell passed the USDA inspection without a single suggested "fix" to the plant. The crew there is hoping to be hiring right away but will be waiting until the inspectors have been granted. By law, there is nothing the USDA can do but grant them, but then, the law doesn't mean much to some in Washington. This is sure good news for the horse industry and hopefully, better news will be in next week's column.
The National Circuit Finals Steer Roping was held in Torrington, WY, last weekend. Winning it was Oklahoma's JP Wicket, with Troy Tillard, Douglas, WY, second, Chance Kelton, AZ, third and Rapid City, SD's Ora Taton fourth.
Don't forget to get your deposit in for the Buster McLaury Clinic that's coming up May 17-20 at Red Owl, SD. The opportunity to work with Buster is worth every penny and every mile driven, so call Brad Andrews at 605-515-0088 or Beca Andrews at 605-515-0027 for more information. It's only $475 for colts or horsemanship.
There will be two separate fundraisers for a nice family near Lusk, WY, in May. They will raise funds for cancer treatment for Tom Cardwell, who was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma recently. He had one surgery to remove the tumor but they were unable to get it all due to it's location. He needs to undergo therapy in Colorado to shrink the tumor so a second surgery can hopefully remove the remainder. Tom is only 32 years old, a rancher, husband and Daddy, so let's all do what we can to help these folks out. The first fundraiser will be in Lusk on May 11 and the second will be in Casper (he grew up in that area) on May 24. There's also a saddle raffle being held which will go until August 15 or so. For more information you can go to http://www.saddleupwithtom.wordpress.com. You can also call Peggy Price at 307-267-2818, Kim Furnival at 307-234-7834, Jamie Harkins at 307-267-4944 or Casey Price at 307-267-1505.
Oregon's horse tripping bill (SB 835) has advanced through the senate on a 22-6 floor vote and moves on to the House. This is practically a kiss of death for the Jordan Valley Big Loup in eastern Oregon besides being a burden for the ranchers and others who need to be able to handle wild horses and roping them is the only way. The western populace once again held sway in this deal, with the majority of the senators being from the urban population on the western half of the state. They haven't a clue what horse roping is but some doctored film footage from the anti's sure convinced them that it is an evil practice so they have to make a state law against it. Supposedly, there's a rider on this bill that protects rodeo in Oregon, but who knows how long that will last after this apparent victory. Look out folks, they'll be moving in on something you hold near and dear next, like rodeo, horse shows, 4-H/FFA shows, dragging calves to the branding fire, etc … Don't think for a minute that a bill in Oregon doesn't have any effect on you.
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Speaking of stupid human tricks, the budget proposed by our illustrious president would cause lots of big problems for regular working folks with the addition of $1 trillion dollars in new taxes, and some of the increases are just absurd. One of them would be the increase in grazing fees on federal land. About 22,000 ranchers in the west rely on federal grazing lands to operate and have cared for and maintained that land for decades (since it was originally taken away from them by the government way back when). They take care of all the fences, the water and the grass that also supports wildlife and feral horses/burros.
A raise in those fees could put many out of business and make their deeded ranches without value.
That same budget proposal would also return estate taxes to their 2009 levels starting in 2018. That would be the death knell for many more family ranches and farms as the death tax at that level is not payable for most operations. I'd say get on the phone with your state's Washington reps and make sure they're riding for the brand that sent them there. They work for US, or are supposed to.
Well, that's my circle for the week. I hope by the time you read this that Sprinter is over and Spring has begun in earnest. I'm going to get off this windy ridge and call it a circle.