Lee Pitts: Don’t Bet On It
People are betting on everything these days. If I was a bookmaker here are the odds I’d give for random events happening in the cattle business.
A trillion to one: The odds of cow farts causing hurricanes on the gulf coast, windswept fires in California, polar bears to die or crops to fail in Africa.
One Billion to One: The likelihood that the CME will voluntarily investigate shenanigans in the futures market.
One million to 1: The probability that fake meat will replace real meat in the American diet.
500,000 to 1: The possibility that no one will ever shoot holes in your water troughs.
100,000 to 1: If you’re a public lands rancher these are the odds against the BLM or the Forest Service ever increasing your AUM’s. (The only raise you’ll ever get is in your grazing fees.)
10,000 to 1: The odds your wife will understand that you need a break from the ranch and grant you permission to go on a week-long, drunken trail drive with your buddies.
1,000 to 1: The chances that your new pickup will go a year without getting a huge dent.
1,000 to 1: The probability that you’ll get lots of rain and a good calf market in the same year. (I’ve heard this can actually happen but I don’t believe it.)
800 to 1: The odds that the two heifers that will require C-sections this year will happen at the same time so it it will only require one visit by your veterinarian.
800 to 1: The possibility that a range bull you bought will turn out to be an EPD trait leader and you get one half of all semen sales.
800 to 1: These are the same odds you have of having a range bull you bought being a carrier for a deadly genetic defect like calves being born with an extra leg where the tail should be.
700 to 1: If you’re a purebred breeder these are the odds I’ll give that the macaroni salad or beans you serve at your bull sale lunch will result in giving food poisoning to all of your good buyers but the one yahoo who never bid a single time and who ate half your donuts will sue you for a million bucks. (I’ve only seen this happen once.)
600 to 1: Chance that the best cow dog you ever had gets run over by the propane truck driver.
100 to 1: The possibility that your new horse will break your arm, your wife’s leg and the hired man’s pelvis and the day after you shot him a big time rodeo company will call wanting to buy the newly-deceased knothead for $25,000.
2 to 1: The probability that the day your ex-wife chooses as the day for your daughter to be married happens to fall on the same day your supplement salesman gave you tickets for front row seats at the NFR and an all expense trip to Vegas for you and your significant other.
2 to 1: The odds that you’ll get three inches of rain two days after you cut your hay.
2 to 1: The likelihood that on the day you trucked your calves to be sold at the sale barn a major disaster will occur like the Chinese giving us the first COVID Cow. Of course, the futures market will go down the limit and buyers will be as scarce as egg foo yung at Olive Garden.
2 to 1: Odds your full hay barn will burn down when alfalfa is at its highest price ever.
2 to 1: Odds that the range bull you spent $10,000 on will spend the breeding season breeding your neighbor’s cows.
Even odds: The probability your cows will find an all-new hole in the fence bordering a major freeway on the morning the two of you had planned to start your first vacation in 45 years.
Even odds: Odds that the package the postman would not deliver and had to be picked up in town an hour away will be the wrong part you ordered to fix the baler.
Even odds: One year after you sell your starve-out outfit for peanuts, oil will be discovered on it, or an energy company will buy the place for ten million bucks to erect windmills or solar panels.
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