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Nebraska ag producers pay nearly 50 percent more than the national average in property taxes

Nobody likes taxes, but Nebraska farmers and ranchers have even more to dislike than many others around the country.

According to a study by J. David Aiken, Nebraska agriculture property taxes are among the highest in the United States. Over the last three years, Nebraska farmers and ranchers have paid nearly 31 percent of their net farm income as property taxes (47 percent in 2017). Aiken, an agriculture and Water Law Specialist Department with the agricultural Economics University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said that when state and federal taxes are factored in, this represents an effective tax rate of more than 50 percent (over 60 percent in 2017.) Nebraska property taxes on agricultural land as a percentage of net farm income are 146 percent of the United States average (1950-2017 data). The twenty year average is 150 percent, the ten year average is 147 percent, the five year average is 164 percent and the three year average is 188 percent. Property taxes are the single largest tax paid in Nebraska accounting for 38 percent of total state and local tax collections.

The study revealed that sales taxes make up 29 percent of total taxes, and income taxes are 26 percent. Sixty percent of property taxes go to K-12 education funding. All property taxes fund local government—cities, counties, and local school districts. All income taxes and 84 percent of sales taxes are used to fund the state government. Currently with high ag land values across the state, 85 percent of state aid goes to non-agricultural areas and 15 percent is distributed across the board to all school districts. Two-thirds of Nebraska school districts (largely rural) receive little to no state aid.

In Nebraska in 2017, 42,502 farmers paid $686.5 million dollars in property taxes. On a per-farm basis, that breaks down to $16,151 each, second only to California with the average there being $17,229. The national average in 2017 was $4,902, according to data from the 2017 ag Census collected by Chris Clayton, DTN ag Policy Editor.

John O’Dea lives near McCook, Nebraska with his wife and sons. They are feeling the high tax rate, paying 9 dollars a year per acre of grass. More of his tax dollars are given to support Mid-Plains Community College than he can afford to give his own son, who is putting himself through Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. This for him was a cheaper option than Southeast Community College in Nebraska.

“My sons were talking the other day and they agreed “The expense of being a Nebraskan is getting too high,” O’Dea said. “The state has turned into two liberal cities that expect the rest of the state to support them. Folks are having to work off the place to support the ranch. Who will feed and pay the taxes if they force everyone out. It is having a ripple effect on small towns and communities. Every ag producer that has to take a job in town is taking that job away from someone else. I’m 43 years old and I’m paying more for property taxes now than I did for rent when I started. Land in Nebraska is a liability.”

O’Dea feels that there will be some major changes made as producers attempt to refinance land and cattle in the next few years especially with land values going down. The O’Dea family is seriously considering moving their base of operation to a more ag friendly state in the near future.

“The death losses in Nebraska alone will more than offset what USDA estimated what the calf crop was set to increase in 2019. If calf and yearling prices are not considerably higher this fall, our supply and demand market is broken beyond repair. The cow calf expansion phase was at or near its peak, so these losses will pull us back into a shrinking phase in the cow calf sector,” O’Dea said.

Another Nebraska rancher, Karina Jones, said that on top of weather-related disasters, her state’s property taxes are overwhelming.

“Property taxes are like a second mortgage,” said Karina Jones.

The Jones Ranch in Custer County Nebraska has been hit hard by nature and in a way kicked repeatedly while they were down.

“Our situation is unique. We endured the hailstorm in August of 2017 we had to wean calves immediately and start feeding cows on August 13. We didn’t have a blade of grass left on this ranch,” she remembers. By early December of that year, they were running out of feed, and they were forced to send all of the mother cows to be fed by someone off the ranch. “We fed cows from Aug 13, 2017 to June 1, 2018,” Jones said.

Jones believes the state is taking advantage of ranchers like herself and her husband.

“You would think the government would value people like us. We have a particular skill set that can not be taught in a classroom. You can not learn how to be a rancher from Google. It is generations of DNA intelligence. When they put us out of business, it is all lost. Society won’t be able to get that back. We have a particular skill set to feed the world and I can not think of a more noble profession than that,” Jones said. “It doesn’t matter if you own the ground or lease it. The cost of these high taxes is carried by the producer, the cow/calf man or the yearling guy. With the poor cattle markets the last few years we cannot support this tax burden. I do not know the last time I bought my girls a special sports drink at the supermarket line or convenience store. I cannot afford extras!”

The Jones are not a multi-generational operation. “We do not have the working capital of the generations before us to lean on. It all falls squarely on our shoulders, just like many other operators around us. It is a big load to carry,” Jones said.

The Jones’ had insurance on their home but hay loss from the hail storm was not covered because hail is a non-covered peril. The same with destroyed grass, trees lost, poor weaning weights on the calves that the cows had at side and poor performing calves that they had in utero. “We just want to raise cattle and kids. That’s all. We don’t want to take from anyone else. We want to give back and better our communities. We want to contribute fairly to our tax commitments. We want to feed our neighbors with a high quality product that we are proud to feed our own families.”

Jones would like to see some producer support meetings where others like her could share ideas. “We all need some good education and a place to be positive and focus on solutions. And yet we need a safe place to be heard. The bankers need us to stay in business,” said Leah Peterson of Custer County, Nebraska. “And none of us want easy; we just want a fair shot. Taxes take that away. As someone says, it’s like paying taxes on a 401K every year.”

Jim Scott, branch president of Bruning State Bank in Broken Bow, Nebraska said, “High property taxes are definitely a major issue due to the current ag economy and high expenses. There has been a depreciation of land values in the last 12 months, due to more land being sold and less profitability, people are looking to reduce debt load.”

“We need to even the tax burden on all citizens, like with a sales tax increase; we are waiting on the legislature to help. Producers need to get involved and pay attention to how money is spent,” Scott said.

2021 National High School Finals Rodeo Results – Final Team Standings

Girls Team Standings

1. TEXAS, 6,495.83
2. WYOMING, 3,085.00
3. OKLAHOMA, 2,957.50
4. UTAH, 2,910.00
5. IDAHO, 2,523.33
6. MONTANA, 2,250.00
7. ARIZONA, 2,095.00
8. LOUISIANA, 2,085.00
9. NORTH DAKOTA, 1,960.00
10. KANSAS, 1,900.00
11. NEVADA, 1,758.33
12. FLORIDA, 1,730.00
13. NEW MEXICO, 1,605.00
14. CALIFORNIA, 1,530.00
15. NEBRASKA, 1,335.00
16. ALBERTA, 1,270.00
17. COLORADO, 1,255.00
18. IOWA, 1,130.00
19. MISSISSIPPI, 1,055.00
20. OREGON, 990.00
21. MISSOURI, 975.00
22. SOUTH DAKOTA, 785.00
23. BRITISH COLUMBIA, 645.00
24. ARKANSAS, 608.33
25. KENTUCKY, 590.00
26. GEORGIA, 520.00
27. TENNESSEE, 340.00
28. SOUTH CAROLINA, 290.00
28. NORTH CAROLINA, 290.00
28. MINNESOTA, 290.00
31. HAWAII, 280.00
32. WISCONSIN, 270.00
32. PENNSYLVANIA, 270.00
34. WEST VIRGINIA, 240.00
35. WASHINGTON, 230.00
36. ALABAMA, 220.00
37. ILLINOIS, 180.00
38. SASKATCHEWAN, 160.00
38. INDIANA, 160.00
40. MEXICO, 10.00

Boys Team Standings

1. TEXAS, 8,042.50
2. IDAHO, 4,080.00
3. MONTANA, 3,845.00
4. UTAH, 3,690.00
5. ARIZONA, 3,368.33
6. NEBRASKA, 3,315.00
7. SOUTH DAKOTA, 3,207.50
8. OKLAHOMA, 2,785.00
9. MISSOURI, 2,135.00
10. WYOMING, 2,005.00
11. LOUISIANA, 1,945.00
12. CALIFORNIA, 1,920.00
13. OREGON, 1,747.50
14. NORTH DAKOTA, 1,740.00
15. FLORIDA, 1,660.00
16. IOWA, 1,460.00
17. MISSISSIPPI, 1,437.50
18. COLORADO, 1,303.33
19. NEW MEXICO, 1,275.00
20. HAWAII, 1,100.00
21. WASHINGTON, 1,000.00
22. KANSAS, 915.00
22. ALBERTA, 915.00
24. OHIO, 630.00
25. NORTH CAROLINA, 620.00
26. TENNESSEE, 570.00
27. ALABAMA, 560.00
28. NEVADA, 470.00
29. GEORGIA, 435.00
30. INDIANA, 360.00
31. ARKANSAS, 345.00
32. ILLINOIS, 330.00
33. KENTUCKY, 285.00
34. MEXICO, 250.00
35. NEW YORK, 165.00
36. SOUTH CAROLINA, 150.00
37. MINNESOTA, 135.00
38. MICHIGAN, 80.00

Team Standings

1. TEXAS, 14,538.33
2. IDAHO, 6,603.33
3. UTAH, 6,600.00
4. MONTANA, 6,095.00
5. OKLAHOMA, 5,742.50
6. WYOMING, 5,090.00
7. ARIZONA, 5,083.33
8. NEBRASKA, 4,650.00
9. LOUISIANA, 4,030.00
10. SOUTH DAKOTA, 3,992.50
11. NORTH DAKOTA, 3,650.00
12. CALIFORNIA, 3,450.00
13. FLORIDA, 3,380.00
14. MISSOURI, 3,110.00
15. KANSAS, 2,815.00
16. OREGON, 2,737.50
17. IOWA, 2,570.00
18. COLORADO, 2,558.33
19. MISSISSIPPI, 2,492.50
20. NEW MEXICO, 2,390.00
21. NEVADA, 2,228.33
22. ALBERTA, 2,185.00
23. HAWAII, 1,380.00
24. WASHINGTON, 1,230.00
25. ARKANSAS, 953.33
26. GEORGIA, 915.00
27. TENNESSEE, 910.00
27. NORTH CAROLINA, 910.00
29. ALABAMA, 780.00
30. BRITISH COLUMBIA, 645.00
31. OHIO, 630.00
32. KENTUCKY, 615.00
33. INDIANA, 520.00
34. ILLINOIS, 510.00
35. MINNESOTA, 425.00
36. SOUTH CAROLINA, 410.00
37. WISCONSIN, 270.00
37. PENNSYLVANIA, 270.00
39. MEXICO, 260.00
40. WEST VIRGINIA, 240.00
41. NEW YORK, 165.00
42. SASKATCHEWAN, 160.00
43. MICHIGAN, 80.00

2021 National High School Finals Rodeo Results

Average Winners — final top 20 placings for all events except the bull riding and girls’ cutting.
For full results go to https://nhsra.com/2021-nhsfr-results-by-average/

Barrel Racing Average

1. (FL) Ava Grayce Sanders, Vero Beach, Fla., 52.573
2. (AZ) Karsen Jackson, Cornville, Ariz., 52.574
3. (MO) Merrin Frost, Baldwin City, Kan., 52.772
4. (MT) Lacey Lawrence, Jordan, Mont., 52.777
5. (MT) Alexis McDonald, Gardiner, Mont., 52.788
6. (NV) Wylee Mitchell, Pioche, Nev., 53.105
7. (WY) Jordan Morman, Gillette, Wyo., 53.137
8. (ND) Kiarra Reiss, Dickinson, N.D., 53.175
9. (ND) Trista Hovde, Sidney, Mont., 53.179
10. (CA) Ashlyn Muto, Tustin, Calif., 53.7
11. (LA) Kylie Conner, Welsh, La., 53.787
12. (OK) Grace Gardiner, Whitesboro, Texas, 53.843
13. (AB) Sabrina Glazier, Cayley, Alberta, Can., 53.855
14. (SC) Keely Orr, Chester, S.C., 53.856
15. (SK) Ember Schira, Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Can., 54.787
16. (TX) Alissa Flores, Laredo, Texas, 57.606
17. (NM) Hadley Tidwell, La Luz, N.M., 58.414
18. (OK) Chaley Hext, Canadian, Texas, 58.462
19. (NM) Weslynn Reno, Las Cruces, N.M., 59.282
20. (WY) Maddie Fantaskey, Worland, Wyo., 59.435

Bareback Riding Average

1. (ID) Kelby Schneiter, Rexburg, Idaho, 233.5
2. (MT) Sam Petersen, Helena, Mont., 232.5
3. (MT) Kaleb Norstrom, East Helena, Mont., 231.5
4. (OR) Mason Stuller, Veneta, Ore., 224.5
5. (TX) Kade Berry, Poolville, Texas, 223
6. (AZ) Kooper Heimburg, San Tan Valley, Ariz., 221.5
7. (ID) Kelton Maxfield, Nampa, Idaho, 217.5
8. (ID) Cooper Cooke, Victor, Idaho, 216
8. (TX) Kash Martin, Lufkin, Texas, 216
10. (TX) Bradlee Miller, Huntsville, Texas, 215.5
11. (CA) Jacek Frost, Browns Valley, Calif., 214
12. (WY) Roedy Farrell, Thermopolis, Wyo., 213.5
12. (UT) Kade Madsen, Honeyville, Utah, 213.5
14. (OR) Clint Rutherford, Fossil, Ore., 211.5
15. (MT) Spur Owens, Helena, Mont., 211
16. (MO) Quintonn Lunsford, McCune, Kan., 204
17. (MS) Gavin Lee, Poplarville, Miss., 202
18. (SD) Devon Moore, Clear Lake, S.D., 149
19. (SD) Kashton Ford, Sturgis, S.D., 146
20. (CA) Erik Bettencourt, Modesto, Calif., 144

Boys Cutting Average

1. (TX) Jake Starns, Lovelady, Texas, 436
2. (UT) Cade Denton, Sterling, Utah, 432.5
3. (TX) Russell Bushaw, Weatherford, Texas, 429
4. (TX) Payden Rust, Gordon, Texas, 428.5
5. (UT) Porter Hales, Morgan, Utah, 428
6. (CA) Kerry Duvall, Farmington, Calif., 427
6. (TX) Jake Shelton, Krum, Texas, 427
8. (AZ) Cashton James Weidenbener, Payson, Ariz., 423.5
9. (ID) Joe ZeBarth, Kimberly, Idaho, 419
10. (HI) Daniel Miranda, Kula, Hawaii, 418
10. (MT) Ryatt Fraser, Fromberg, Mont., 418
12. (ID) Jett Brower, St. Anthony, Idaho, 417
12. (NE) Cody Miller, Broken Bow, Neb., 417
14. (NV) Daunte Ceresola, Fernley, Nev., 413
15. (ND) Colter Martin, Beulah, N.D., 410.5
16. (NM) Sterlin Mitchell, Lamy, N.M., 409.5
17. (IA) Will Hinck, Lime Springs, Iowa, 408.5
18. (CO) Jason Simmons, Parker, Colo., 403
19. (MS) Hunter Beason, Philadelphia, Miss., 347.5
20. (OH) Jeffrey Carver, Chardon, Ohio, 341.5

Breakaway Roping Average

1. (AB) Kendal Pierson, Wardlow, Alberta, Can., 7.04
2. (LA) Claire Vincent, Sulphur, La., 7.3
3. (UT) Mecarti Martin, Evanston, Wyo., 7.88
4. (TX) Tylie McDonald, Bryan, Texas, 8.04
5. (MS) Molli Rae Kinchen, Tickfaw, La., 8.49
6. (IA) Cheyenne VandeStouwe, Inwood, Iowa, 8.63
7. (AR) Kenlie Raby, Mt. Vernon, Ark., 9.58
8. (AZ) Rayna Billingsley, Phoenix, Ariz., 10.09
9. (KY) Addey Lawson, Lancaster, Ky., 10.95
10. (UT) Braylee Shepherd, Nephi, Utah, 18.57
11. (GA) Sarah Toole, Rydal, Ga., 4.57
12. (NC) Emme Colvard, Crumpler, N.C., 5.19
13. (TX) Emilee Charlesworth, Marathon, Texas, 5.21
14. (FL) Leyton Watford, Okeechobee, Fla., 5.55
15. (NE) Jace Hurlburt, Arcadia, Neb., 5.69
16. (CA) Londyn Brazil, Turlock, Calif., 5.79
17. (SK) Cassidy Weber, Carlyle, Saskatchewan, Can., 5.9
18. (OK) Sage Griswold, Geary, Okla., 5.97
19. (ND) Kiarra Reiss, Dickinson, N.D., 6.08
20. (OR) Natalie Thompson, Yoncalla, Ore., 6.35

Goat Tying Average

1. (WY) Haiden Thompson, Yoder, Wyo., 23.67
2. (OR) Kennedy Buckner, Powell Butte, Ore., 23.68
3. (ID) Hailey Gibbs, Riverside, Utah, 23.87
4. (NE) Jessica Stevens, Creighton, Neb., 24.04
5. (LA) Meadow Raymond, Oak Grove, La., 24.84
6. (CO) Mackinzee Dermody, Eagle, Colo., 24.89
7. (MO) Karsyn Fuchs, Marshall, Mo., 25.49
8. (AB) Kyla Kelly, Red Deer County, Alberta, Can., 25.76
9. (NE) Wacey Day, Fleming, Colo., 25.78
10. (TX) Brooklyn Balch, Buckholts, Texas, 25.86
11. (CO) Makaylee Fischer, Eagle, Colo., 26.1
12. (WY) Tavy Leno, Sheridan, Wyo., 26.61
13. (MT) Murphy Gaasch, Dillon, Mont., 26.63
14. (OK) Hattie Haynes, Hydro, Okla., 26.84
15. (IN) Presley Haworth, Floyd Knobs, Ind., 27.25
16. (KS) Tally Wikum, Great Bend, Kan., 28.18
17. (NE) Kaci Wickersham, Verdigre, Neb., 34.76
18. (ND) Elli Rettinger, New England, N.D., 40.32
19. (NM) Rylee Grace Abel, Hobbs, N.M., 17.71
20. (ID) Laynee Gregersen, Malta, Idaho, 18.19

Pole Bending Average

1. (TX) Kiley Hargrave-Batten, Groveton, Texas, 60.718
2. (ND) Megan Larson, Hoople, N.D., 61.178
3. (TX) Katy Webb, Buffalo, Texas, 61.2
4. (TX) Rylee Hardin, Newcastle, Texas, 61.207
5. (WY) Ashlyn Goven, Rozet, Wyo., 61.275
6. (MT) Lexi Murer, Bigfork, Mont., 62.338
7. (FL) Ryla Bryant, Lakeland, Fla., 62.787
8. (OK) Camree Slavin, Canadian, Texas, 62.906
9. (PA) Alex Little, New Oxford, Pa., 63.149
10. (CO) Harley Ann Baas, Hudson, Colo., 63.253
11. (ND) Carlee Roshau, Bismarck, N.D., 63.348
12. (WA) Macy Brown, Kennewick, Wash., 63.904
13. (LA) Kylie Cliburn, Prairieville, La., 65.197
14. (KS) Marlee Quarles, Pampa, Texas, 67.868
15. (IA) Carli Stuva, Fontanelle, Iowa, 67.952
16. (UT) Kate Torgerson, Torrey, Utah, 68.08
17. (WV) Taylor Eastridge, Beckley, W.V., 68.412
18. (OK) Jaylee Young, Hugo, Okla., 83.307
19. (OK) Dessa Hext, Canadian, Texas, 41.34
20. (OK) Chaley Hext, Canadian, Texas, 42.075

Reined Cow Horse Average

1. (TX) Trevor Hale, Perryton, Texas, 890
2. (ID) Sierra Telford, Caldwell, Idaho, 874.5
3. (KS) Tylor Todd, Rexford, Kan., 869
4. (WY) Maddie Fantaskey, Worland, Wyo., 868.5
5. (CA) Pierce Wold, Wilton, Calif., 868
6. (NE) Tatum Olson, Bloomfield, Neb., 866
7. (IA) Will Jones, Allerton, Iowa, 865.5
7. (TX) Trail Townsend, Earth, Texas, 865.5
9. (NV) Ali Norcutt, Fallon, Nev., 864
10. (NV) Tylie Norcutt, Fallon, Nev., 863
10. (BC) Ryley Wilson, Chilliwack, British Columbia, Can., 863
12. (OK) Gage Gardiner, Whitesboro, Texas, 861.5
13. (TX) Emily Kent, Jacksboro, Texas, 860.5
14. (FL) Caroline Fletcher, Jupiter, Fla., 858
15. (NV) Isaac Mori, Paradise Valley, Nev., 856
16. (MT) Walker Story, Dillon, Mont., 855.5
17. (ID) Elizabeth Frisbee, Filer, Idaho, 855
18. (UT) Porter Hales, Morgan, Utah, 853
19. (AB) Jett Smith, Minburn, Alberta, Can., 851
20. (CO) Regan Wheatley, Calhan, Colo., 850.5

Saddle Bronc Average

1. (TX) TW Flowers, Old Glory, Texas, 227
2. (SD) Talon Elshere, Hereford, S.D., 225.5
3. (AZ) Slade Keith, Stanfield, Ariz., 224
4. (LA) Coy Hebert, Welsh, La., 212
5. (NE) Brody McAbee, Ansley, Neb., 204
6. (MT) Garrett Cunningham, Broadus, Mont., 193
7. (ID) Cooper Cooke, Victor, Idaho, 187
8. (UT) Byron Christiansen, Emery, Utah, 186
9. (CO) Coleman Shallbetter, Gunnison, Colo., 185
9. (ND) Colter Martin, Beulah, N.D., 185
11. (UT) Statler Wright, Beaver, Utah, 155
12. (MO) Larry Bennett, Lowndes, Mo., 142
13. (AB) Briley Scott, Sundre, Alberta, Can., 137
14. (MO) John Allen, Auxvasse, Mo., 131
15. (OK) Heston Harrison, Carnegie, Okla., 123
16. (MN) Cody Owens, Truman, Minn., 113
17. (OK) Dahlyn Thomas, Woodward, Okla., 110
18. (TX) Gus Gaillard, Morse, Texas, 78
19. (IA) Cauy Masters, Leon, Iowa, 75.5
20. (UT) Hayz Madsen, Morgan, Utah, 74

Steer Wrestling Average

1. (OK) Traden Anderson, Hanna, Okla., 15.16
2. (MT) Sam Petersen, Helena, Mont., 15.93
3. (ND) Parker Sandstrom, Ray, N.D., 17.21
4. (SD) Grey Gilbert, Buffalo, S.D., 17.27
5. (CO) Sam Gallagher, Brighton, Colo., 17.4
6. (MO) Clay Clayman, Highlandville, Mo., 17.6
7. (WA) Brier Selvidge, Omak, Wash., 18.07
8. (ID) Hunter Roche, Inkom, Idaho, 18.1
9. (AB) Chase Tkach, Coronation, Alberta, Can., 19.12
10. (MT) Cole Detton, Great Falls, Mont., 19.24
11. (HI) Cameron Haumea, Ewa Beach, Hawaii, 19.57
12. (KS) Kent Berkenmeier, Maple Hill, Kan., 23.37
13. (IN) Lucas Peterson, Lawrenceburg, Ky., 26.49
14. (IL) Garrett Leatherman, Newark, Ill., 29.28
15. (ID) Wes Shaw, Dietrich, Idaho, 33.67
16. (NE) Dane Pokorny, Stapleton, Neb., 40.88
17. (WA) Trav Johnson, Eltopia, Wash., 10.81
18. (SD) Denton Good, Long Valley, S.D., 10.86
19. (ND) Cael Hilzendeger, Baldwin, N.D., 11.26
20. (MI) Jered Howell, Osseo, Mich., 12.43

Team Roping Average

1. (MO) Clay Clayman, Highlandville, Mo., Cooper Freeman, Carthage, Mo., 19.2
2. (NM) Weslynn Reno, Las Cruces, N.M., Luis Mendiaz, Santa Fe, N.M., 22.34
3. (WY) Mason Trollinger, Casper, Wyo., Teagan Bentley, Casper, Wyo., 25
4. (IA) Trey Frank, Sioux City, Iowa, Houston Stephens, Pacific Junction, Iowa, 25.51
5. (AL) Colton Allen, Dadeville, Ala., Wyatt Allen, Dadeville, Ala., 26.49
6. (AZ) Kenzie Kelton, Mayer, Ariz., Ketch Kelton, Mayer, Ariz., 27
7. (GA) Joey Denney, Carrollton, Ga., Luke Denney, Carrollton, Ga., 28.04
8. (SD) Tegan Fite, Hermosa, S.D., Rio Nutter, Rapid City, S.D., 28.25
9. (CO) Colby Runner, Wellington, Colo., Joe Autry, Branson, Colo., 29.57
10. (KY) Addey Lawson, Lancaster, Ky., Trevor Thomas, Morganfield, Ky., 31.09
11. (FL) Brock McKendree, Dade City, Fla., Clayton Culligan, Okeechobee, Fla., 36.84
12. (NE) Cooper Bass, Brewster, Neb., Dane Pokorny, Stapleton, Neb., 37.08
13. (LA) Luke Dubois, Church Point, La., Corey Reid, Liberty, Miss., 48.24
14. (MS) Tanner Brown, Florence, Miss., Brody Smith, Hazlehurst, Miss., 57.3
15. (LA) Bray Aymond, Pine Prairie, La., Ty Aymond, Pine Prairie, La., 14.28
16. (KS) Brandt Walton, Trinidad, Colo., Cale Morris, Balko, Okla., 15.07
17. (WY) Jade Espenscheid, Big Piney, Wyo., Coy Johnson, Buffalo, Wyo., 19.13
18. (GA) Riley Green, Roanoke, Ala., Sarah Toole, Rydal, Ga., 21.06
19. (WY) Jase Longwell, Thermopolis, Wyo., McCoy Longwell, Thermopolis, Wyo., 21.34
20. (FL) Courtney Carbajal, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Samuel Mack, Christmas, Fla., 22.74

Tie-Down Roping Average

1. (FL) Cole Clemons, Okeechobee, Fla., 29.35
2. (FL) Travis Staley, Nashville, Ga., 29.75
3. (TX) Tyler Calhoun, Anderson, Texas, 31.98
4. (MS) Justin Plaisance, Cut Off, La., 32.02
5. (OK) Levi Sechrist, Mountain View, Okla., 34.65
6. (OR) Justin Reno, Springfield, Ore., 34.72
7. (LA) Jayden Broussard, Broussard, La., 35.03
8. (SD) Linkyn Petersek, Colome, S.D., 35.16
9. (OH) Evan Corzatt, Leesburg, Ohio, 36.96
10. (NE) Trace Travnicek, Minatare, Neb., 37.17
11. (NE) Matthew Miller, Callaway, Neb., 38.36
12. (LA) Dom Broussard, New Iberia, La., 39.55
13. (TX) Koby Douch, Huntsville, Texas, 44.71
14. (NM) Dontae Pacheco, Bloomfield, N.M., 21.07
15. (WY) Will Albrecht, Sheridan, Wyo., 23.61
16. (OK) Blake Tatham, Pryor, Okla., 24.26
17. (TN) Lane Webb, Byrdstown, Tenn., 25.26
18. (HI) Daniel Miranda, Kula, Hawaii, 25.65
19. (MS) Mason Theriot, Poplarville, Miss., 25.85
20. (MS) Tanner Brown, Florence, Miss., 26.6

National High School Rodeo Finals Short-Go Qualifiers

Top 20 qualifiers going into the short-go on Saturday, July 24, 2021

Barrel Racing

  1. (FL) Ava Grayce Sanders, Vero Beach, Fla., 35.026
  2. (NM) Hadley Tidwell, La Luz, N.M., 35.137
  3. (MT) Lacey Lawrence, Jordan, Mont., 35.194
  4. (AZ) Karsen Jackson, Cornville, Ariz., 35.263
  5. (MT) Alexis McDonald, Gardiner, Mont., 35.265
  6. (ND) Trista Hovde, Sidney, Mont., 35.288
  7. (NV) Wylee Mitchell, Pioche, Nev., 35.377
  8. (OK) Chaley Hext, Canadian, Texas, 35.419
  9. (MO) Merrin Frost, Baldwin City, Kan., 35.437
  10. (TX) Alissa Flores, Laredo, Texas, 35.482
  11. (WY) Jordan Morman, Gillette, Wyo., 35.498
  12. (CA) Ashlyn Muto, Tustin, Calif., 35.682
  13. (ND) Kiarra Reiss, Dickinson, N.D., 35.76
  14. (NM) Weslynn Reno, Las Cruces, N.M., 35.78
  15. (WY) Maddie Fantaskey, Worland, Wyo., 35.799
  16. (SC) Keely Orr, Chester, S.C., 35.835
  17. (OK) Grace Gardiner, Whitesboro, Texas, 35.869
  18. (SK) Ember Schira, Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Can., 35.908
  19. (LA) Kylie Conner, Welsh, La., 35.916
  20. (AB) Sabrina Glazier, Cayley, Alberta, Can., 35.926

Bareback Riding

  1. (MT) Kaleb Norstrom, East Helena, Mont., 154
  2. (MT) Sam Petersen, Helena, Mont., 153
  3. (ID) Kelby Schneiter, Rexburg, Idaho, 152.5
  4. (SD) Devon Moore, Clear Lake, S.D., 149
  5. (AZ) Kooper Heimburg, San Tan Valley, Ariz., 148
  6. (TX) Kade Berry, Poolville, Texas, 147
  7. (OR) Mason Stuller, Veneta, Ore., 146.5
  8. (SD) Kashton Ford, Sturgis, S.D., 146
  9. (WY) Roedy Farrell, Thermopolis, Wyo., 144
  10. (CA) Erik Bettencourt, Modesto, Calif., 144
  11. (MT) Spur Owens, Helena, Mont., 142.5
  12. (TX) Kash Martin, Lufkin, Texas, 142
  13. (CA) Jacek Frost, Browns Valley, Calif., 141
  14. (TX) Bradlee Miller, Huntsville, Texas, 141
  15. (ID) Cooper Cooke, Victor, Idaho, 139
  16. (OR) Clint Rutherford, Fossil, Ore., 138
  17. (MS) Gavin Lee, Poplarville, Miss., 137
  18. (MO) Quintonn Lunsford, McCune, Kan., 136
  19. (OR) Wyatt Wood, Prineville, Ore., 135
  20. (MX) Edgar Garcia, Ensenada, Baja California, Mex., 133

Boys Cutting Average

1. (TX) Jake Starns, Lovelady, Texas, 292
2. (ID) Joe ZeBarth, Kimberly, Idaho, 289
3. (UT) Cade Denton, Sterling, Utah, 288.5
4. (HI) Daniel Miranda, Kula, Hawaii, 288
4. (TX) Jake Shelton, Krum, Texas, 288
6. (MS) Hunter Beason, Philadelphia, Miss., 286.5
6. (AZ) Cashton James Weidenbener, Payson, Ariz., 286.5
8. (UT) Porter Hales, Morgan, Utah, 286
9. (TX) Payden Rust, Gordon, Texas, 285.5
10. (NE) Cody Miller, Broken Bow, Neb., 284
11. (TX) Russell Bushaw, Weatherford, Texas, 283
12. (CA) Kerry Duvall, Farmington, Calif., 282
13. (NM) Sterlin Mitchell, Lamy, N.M., 281.5
13. (IA) Will Hinck, Lime Springs, Iowa, 281.5
15. (MT) Ryatt Fraser, Fromberg, Mont., 280
15. (ID) Jett Brower, St. Anthony, Idaho, 280
17. (NV) Daunte Ceresola, Fernley, Nev., 279
17. (CO) Jason Simmons, Parker, Colo., 279
19. (OH) Jeffrey Carver, Chardon, Ohio, 278.5
19. (ND) Colter Martin, Beulah, N.D., 278.5

Breakaway Roping Average

1. (GA) Sarah Toole, Rydal, Ga., 4.57
2. (LA) Claire Vincent, Sulphur, La., 4.69
3. (AB) Kendal Pierson, Wardlow, Alberta, Can., 4.91
4. (NC) Emme Colvard, Crumpler, N.C., 5.19
5. (TX) Emilee Charlesworth, Marathon, Texas, 5.21
6. (UT) Mecarti Martin, Evanston, Wyo., 5.44
7. (TX) Tylie McDonald, Bryan, Texas, 5.53
8. (FL) Leyton Watford, Okeechobee, Fla., 5.55
9. (NE) Jace Hurlburt, Arcadia, Neb., 5.69
10. (CA) Londyn Brazil, Turlock, Calif., 5.79
11. (MS) Molli Rae Kinchen, Tickfaw, La., 5.87
12. (SK) Cassidy Weber, Carlyle, Saskatchewan, Can., 5.9
13. (OK) Sage Griswold, Geary, Okla., 5.97
14. (AZ) Rayna Billingsley, Phoenix, Ariz., 6.03
15. (ND) Kiarra Reiss, Dickinson, N.D., 6.08
16. (UT) Braylee Shepherd, Nephi, Utah, 6.21
17. (IA) Cheyenne VandeStouwe, Inwood, Iowa, 6.25
18. (OR) Natalie Thompson, Yoncalla, Ore., 6.35
19. (KY) Addey Lawson, Lancaster, Ky., 6.5
20. (AR) Kenlie Raby, Mt. Vernon, Ark., 6.62

Bull Riding Average

1. (MX) Edgar Garcia, Ensenada, Baja California, Mex., 89
2. (NC) Clay Guiton, Cherryville, N.C., 87
3. (TX) John Crimber, Decatur, Texas, 85.5
4. (ID) Cooper Cooke, Victor, Idaho, 85
5. (WY) Brody Hasenack, Jackson, Wyo., 83
5. (ID) Rawley Johnson, Ririe, Idaho, 83
7. (CA) Andy Guzman, Oakdale, Calif., 80
8. (NM) Marco Juarez, Anthony, N.M., 76
8. (WA) Kelleigh Purdy, Zillah, Wash., 76
8. (ND) Brody Nelson, Minot, N.D., 76
8. (AZ) Brad Moreno, Casa Grande, Ariz., 76
8. (MT) Caden Fitzpatrick, Polson, Mont., 76
13. (KS) Tate Pollmeier, Fort Scott, Kan., 75
13. (WA) Blake Masden, Goldendale, Wash., 75
15. (LA) Trevor Hebert, Prairieville, La., 74
15. (OK) Ty Parnell, Edmond, Okla., 74
17. (MI) Lane Nelson, Chase, Mich., 73
17. (TX) Canyon Bass, Wimberley, Texas, 73
17. (SD) Thayne Elshere, Hereford, S.D., 73

Girls’ Cutting Average

1. (TX) Faith Farris, Midway, Texas, 303
2. (UT) Taylor Porter, Morgan, Utah, 296
3. (KS) Tylor Todd, Rexford, Kan., 291
3. (BC) Ryley Wilson, Chilliwack, British Columbia, Can., 291
5. (OK) Sadie Mendenhall, Edmond, Okla., 290.5
6. (NM) Abby Morris, Farmington, N.M., 289
6. (ID) Claire Sterling, Parma, Idaho, 289
6. (TX) AnnaMarie Schreck, Murphy, Texas, 289
9. (HI) Emily Coflin, Pukalani, Hawaii, 288.5
9. (ID) Brenna Brown, Melba, Idaho, 288.5
11. (NV) Ali Norcutt, Fallon, Nev., 288
11. (CA) Maddie Biglow, Clements, Calif., 288
11. (TX) Hannah King, Cisco, Texas, 288
14. (AZ) Tayler Kent, Casa Grande, Ariz., 287.5
14. (TX) Jade Mitchell, Weatherford, Texas, 287.5
16. (MS) Karrigan Cagley, Kentwood, La., 287
16. (OK) Shayla Boyce, Marietta, Okla., 287
16. (UT) Kate Fitzgerald, Heber City, Utah, 287
19. (CA) Gracie-Beth Sutton, Cherry Valley, Calif., 286
20. (OR) Kylie Siddoway, Durkee, Ore., 285

Goat Tying Average

1. (TX) Brooklyn Balch, Buckholts, Texas, 14.81
2. (WY) Haiden Thompson, Yoder, Wyo., 15.76
3. (ID) Hailey Gibbs, Riverside, Utah, 16.2
4. (OR) Kennedy Buckner, Powell Butte, Ore., 16.29
5. (MO) Karsyn Fuchs, Marshall, Mo., 16.44
6. (OK) Hattie Haynes, Hydro, Okla., 16.45
7. (LA) Meadow Raymond, Oak Grove, La., 16.73
8. (NE) Jessica Stevens, Creighton, Neb., 16.79
9. (CO) Mackinzee Dermody, Eagle, Colo., 17.19
10. (WY) Tavy Leno, Sheridan, Wyo., 17.34
11. (NM) Rylee Grace Abel, Hobbs, N.M., 17.71
12. (NE) Wacey Day, Fleming, Colo., 17.72
13. (CO) Makaylee Fischer, Eagle, Colo., 17.76
14. (AB) Kyla Kelly, Red Deer County, Alberta, Can., 18.08
15. (NE) Kaci Wickersham, Verdigre, Neb., 18.09
16. (KS) Tally Wikum, Great Bend, Kan., 18.14
17. (ND) Elli Rettinger, New England, N.D., 18.15
18. (ID) Laynee Gregersen, Malta, Idaho, 18.19
19. (IN) Presley Haworth, Floyd Knobs, Ind., 18.25
20. (MT) Murphy Gaasch, Dillon, Mont., 18.29

Pole Bending Average

1. (LA) Kylie Cliburn, Prairieville, La., 40.201
2. (TX) Kiley Hargrave-Batten, Groveton, Texas, 40.215
3. (WY) Ashlyn Goven, Rozet, Wyo., 40.611
4. (TX) Katy Webb, Buffalo, Texas, 40.991
5. (ND) Megan Larson, Hoople, N.D., 41.066
6. (TX) Rylee Hardin, Newcastle, Texas, 41.07
7. (MT) Lexi Murer, Bigfork, Mont., 41.197
8. (OK) Dessa Hext, Canadian, Texas, 41.34
9. (KS) Marlee Quarles, Pampa, Texas, 41.407
10. (OK) Jaylee Young, Hugo, Okla., 41.663
11. (IA) Carli Stuva, Fontanelle, Iowa, 41.836
12. (OK) Camree Slavin, Canadian, Texas, 41.965
13. (FL) Ryla Bryant, Lakeland, Fla., 42.022
14. (ND) Carlee Roshau, Bismarck, N.D., 42.028
14. (UT) Kate Torgerson, Torrey, Utah, 42.028
16. (WA) Macy Brown, Kennewick, Wash., 42.055
17. (OK) Chaley Hext, Canadian, Texas, 42.075
18. (PA) Alex Little, New Oxford, Pa., 42.114
19. (CO) Harley Ann Baas, Hudson, Colo., 42.124
20. (WV) Taylor Eastridge, Beckley, W.V., 42.161

Reined Cow Horse Average

1. (TX) Trevor Hale, Perryton, Texas, 890
2. (ID) Sierra Telford, Caldwell, Idaho, 874.5
3. (KS) Tylor Todd, Rexford, Kan., 869
4. (WY) Maddie Fantaskey, Worland, Wyo., 868.5
5. (CA) Pierce Wold, Wilton, Calif., 868
6. (NE) Tatum Olson, Bloomfield, Neb., 866
7. (IA) Will Jones, Allerton, Iowa, 865.5
7. (TX) Trail Townsend, Earth, Texas, 865.5
9. (NV) Ali Norcutt, Fallon, Nev., 864
10. (NV) Tylie Norcutt, Fallon, Nev., 863
10. (BC) Ryley Wilson, Chilliwack, British Columbia, Can., 863
12. (OK) Gage Gardiner, Whitesboro, Texas, 861.5
13. (TX) Emily Kent, Jacksboro, Texas, 860.5
14. (FL) Caroline Fletcher, Jupiter, Fla., 858
15. (NV) Isaac Mori, Paradise Valley, Nev., 856
16. (MT) Walker Story, Dillon, Mont., 855.5
17. (ID) Elizabeth Frisbee, Filer, Idaho, 855
18. (UT) Porter Hales, Morgan, Utah, 853
19. (AB) Jett Smith, Minburn, Alberta, Can., 851
20. (CO) Regan Wheatley, Calhan, Colo., 850.5

Saddle Bronc Riding Average

1. (AZ) Slade Keith, Stanfield, Ariz., 152.5
2. (SD) Talon Elshere, Hereford, S.D., 150.5
3. (TX) TW Flowers, Old Glory, Texas, 147.5
4. (MO) Larry Bennett, Lowndes, Mo., 142
5. (NE) Brody McAbee, Ansley, Neb., 138
6. (LA) Coy Hebert, Welsh, La., 137
7. (ID) Cooper Cooke, Victor, Idaho, 133
8. (MO) John Allen, Auxvasse, Mo., 131
9. (MT) Garrett Cunningham, Broadus, Mont., 124
10. (OK) Heston Harrison, Carnegie, Okla., 123
10. (UT) Byron Christiansen, Emery, Utah, 123
12. (CO) Coleman Shallbetter, Gunnison, Colo., 122
13. (ND) Colter Martin, Beulah, N.D., 116
14. (MN) Cody Owens, Truman, Minn., 113
15. (OK) Dahlyn Thomas, Woodward, Okla., 110
16. (TX) Gus Gaillard, Morse, Texas, 78
17. (UT) Statler Wright, Beaver, Utah, 77
18. (IA) Cauy Masters, Leon, Iowa, 75.5
19. (UT) Hayz Madsen, Morgan, Utah, 74
20. (AB) Briley Scott, Sundre, Alberta, Can., 69
20. (TX) Landon Cook, Alto, Texas, 69

Steer Wrestling Average

1. (AB) Chase Tkach, Coronation, Alberta, Can., 10.14
2. (ID) Hunter Roche, Inkom, Idaho, 10.56
3. (WA) Trav Johnson, Eltopia, Wash., 10.81
4. (SD) Denton Good, Long Valley, S.D., 10.86
5. (OK) Traden Anderson, Hanna, Okla., 10.89
6. (MO) Clay Clayman, Highlandville, Mo., 10.95
7. (MT) Sam Petersen, Helena, Mont., 11.08
8. (HI) Cameron Haumea, Ewa Beach, Hawaii, 11.14
9. (ND) Cael Hilzendeger, Baldwin, N.D., 11.26
10. (WA) Brier Selvidge, Omak, Wash., 11.53
11. (SD) Grey Gilbert, Buffalo, S.D., 11.6
12. (IN) Lucas Peterson, Lawrenceburg, Ky., 12.02
13. (NE) Dane Pokorny, Stapleton, Neb., 12.41
14. (CO) Sam Gallagher, Brighton, Colo., 12.42
15. (MI) Jered Howell, Osseo, Mich., 12.43
16. (ND) Parker Sandstrom, Ray, N.D., 12.71
17. (KS) Kent Berkenmeier, Maple Hill, Kan., 12.84
18. (MT) Cole Detton, Great Falls, Mont., 13.19
19. (ID) Wes Shaw, Dietrich, Idaho, 13.3
20. (IL) Garrett Leatherman, Newark, Ill., 13.94

Team Roping Average

1. (MO) Clay Clayman, Highlandville, Mo., Cooper Freeman, Carthage, Mo., 13.53
2. (LA) Bray Aymond, Pine Prairie, La., Ty Aymond, Pine Prairie, La., 14.28
3. (KS) Brandt Walton, Trinidad, Colo., Cale Morris, Balko, Okla., 15.07
4. (NM) Weslynn Reno, Las Cruces, N.M., Luis Mendiaz, Santa Fe, N.M., 15.15
5. (GA) Joey Denney, Carrollton, Ga., Luke Denney, Carrollton, Ga., 15.92
6. (KY) Addey Lawson, Lancaster, Ky., Trevor Thomas, Morganfield, Ky., 17.14
6. (IA) Trey Frank, Sioux City, Iowa, Houston Stephens, Pacific Junction, Iowa, 17.14
8. (CO) Colby Runner, Wellington, Colo., Joe Autry, Branson, Colo., 17.32
9. (LA) Luke Dubois, Church Point, La., Corey Reid, Liberty, Miss., 18.3
10. (WY) Mason Trollinger, Casper, Wyo., Teagan Bentley, Casper, Wyo., 19.39
11. (MS) Tanner Brown, Florence, Miss., Brody Smith, Hazlehurst, Miss., 19.55
12. (FL) Brock McKendree, Dade City, Fla., Clayton Culligan, Okeechobee, Fla., 21.21
13. (WY) Jase Longwell, Thermopolis, Wyo., McCoy Longwell, Thermopolis, Wyo., 21.34
14. (AZ) Kenzie Kelton, Mayer, Ariz., Ketch Kelton, Mayer, Ariz., 21.42
15. (AL) Colton Allen, Dadeville, Ala., Wyatt Allen, Dadeville, Ala., 22.25
16. (SD) Tegan Fite, Hermosa, S.D., Rio Nutter, Rapid City, S.D., 22.53
17. (FL) Courtney Carbajal, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Samuel Mack, Christmas, Fla., 22.74
18. (CA) Blake VanStavern, Lincoln, Calif., Noah Williams, Schurz, Nev., 23.9
19. (OK) Brodee Snow, Bentonville, Ark., Jordan Lovins, Canadian, Texas, 23.94
20. (IL) Kade Foster, Sherrard, Ill., Preston Fox, Thompsonville, Ill., 5.93

Tie-Down Roping Average

1. (FL) Travis Staley, Nashville, Ga., 18.63
2. (MS) Justin Plaisance, Cut Off, La., 20.37
3. (FL) Cole Clemons, Okeechobee, Fla., 20.5
4. (NM) Dontae Pacheco, Bloomfield, N.M., 21.07
5. (NE) Matthew Miller, Callaway, Neb., 21.19
6. (OR) Justin Reno, Springfield, Ore., 22.18
7. (TX) Tyler Calhoun, Anderson, Texas, 22.79
8. (WY) Will Albrecht, Sheridan, Wyo., 23.61
9. (OK) Blake Tatham, Pryor, Okla., 24.26
10. (TX) Koby Douch, Huntsville, Texas, 25
11. (TN) Lane Webb, Byrdstown, Tenn., 25.26
12. (SD) Linkyn Petersek, Colome, S.D., 25.48
13. (HI) Daniel Miranda, Kula, Hawaii, 25.65
14. (LA) Dom Broussard, New Iberia, La., 25.77
15. (MS) Mason Theriot, Poplarville, Miss., 25.85
16. (OH) Evan Corzatt, Leesburg, Ohio, 26.22
17. (LA) Jayden Broussard, Broussard, La., 26.33
18. (OK) Levi Sechrist, Mountain View, Okla., 26.57
19. (MS) Tanner Brown, Florence, Miss., 26.6
20. (NE) Trace Travnicek, Minatare, Neb., 27.34

Obituary: WILLIAM “BILL” POPPEN

WILLIAM “BILL” POPPEN, 76

June 2, 1945 – July 14, 2021

De Smet, South Dakota

William “Bill” Poppen, age 76, of De Smet, SD, was called home on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, at his family farm.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, July 19, 2021, at De Smet Community Church, De Smet, SD. Pastor Jim Millman will officiate. Burial will be at the De Smet Cemetery.

Visitation will be at the church on Sunday, July 18, 2021, from 4-7 p.m.

Bill was born to Arthur and Irene (Tidemann) Poppen on June 2, 1945, in Huron, SD. He graduated from De Smet High School in 1963, then graduated from Huron College and the University of South Dakota School of Law. Upon graduation, Bill became general manager and an agent of De Smet Farm Mutual Insurance Company, serving in both capacities until his retirement in 2018.

Bill married Roxana Hull on July 21, 1979. They raised their three children, Beth, Brett, and Amy, on their farm near De Smet. Bill thoroughly enjoyed agricultural life: raising and showing sheep for over sixty years, visiting with farmers and ranchers, gardening, and attending fairs and rodeos. He loved the Lord, his church, family, friends, and community.

Bill is survived by his wife, Roxana, and his three children: Beth Poppen of De Smet, SD, Brett (Megan) Poppen of Rapid City, SD, and Amy (Brad) Beardt of Rapid City, SD; one sister: Mary (Walt) Ricker; step-siblings: Glennis (Barry) Lundberg and David (Kay) Nelson; four grandchildren: Pearl and Penny Poppen and Jaxon and Reagan Beardt; four nephews: Danny, Garrick, and Ethan Nicols, and Alexis Hull; four nieces: Jenny Berg, Kari Rich, Gina Favaro, and Jamila Gilbert; six step nephews: Chris and Greg Lundberg, Craig, Doug, and Charles Johnson, and Eric Nelson; and four step nieces: Dawn Larsen, Glenda Odegaard, Teresa Jung, and Annie Erwin.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Irene, his step-father, Charlie Nelson, his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Vernon and Millie Hull, his step-sister, Judy Johnson, his nephew, Joey Nicols, his step-great-nephew, Richie Gates, and his great-nephew, Nathan Berg.

Arrangements by Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel Watertown, Hayti, De Smet, Bryant

www.crawfordosthus.com

Drought forcing cattle sales

After hail, flooding, a severe drought and a depressed market – all within months – Mike Kertzman says his days of ranching might be numbered.

“I live in hail alley, I’m used to tough weather, I get it all,” he said. A 10-inch rain and numerous rounds of hail stressed his corn this spring. But ironically the biggest stressor he’s dealing with is drought on his rented pasture just 25 miles away.

He puts up hay and plants corn for silage on his home place, near Hazelton, North Dakota which is about 50 miles south east of Bismark. He pastures his cattle on rented ground 25 miles to the south and 25 miles to the west. Much of his alfalfa was killed by the flooding, and the low-lying hayfield is covered with cornstalks and other material he said, but he is putting up the available grass for hay.

Trying to preserve his grass and keep his cattle in good shape, Kertzman sold his younger cows with calves at side before turnout.

“I sold about 200 pairs. We dried up last summer, so our pastures were pretty bad to begin with. I didn’t want to overload everything. I started off selling all my replacements,” he said. Then, soon, he hauled his 2-6 year old cows as pairs. The market was tough, in large part because the drought is so wide-spread. “This drought is so wide and has hit so big of an area, that’s the worst,” he said.

“I sold them all. I took a devastating hit. I don’t think I’ll ever recover from this one, this will be the end of it,” he said, fearing that he won’t be able to afford to buy cows when the rain comes.

“I’m already financially hurting from the pressure of years with high prices, and then all of the sudden, prices went way down.”

Mike Kerzman proactively sold all of his younger cows in an effort to protect his grass and keep his older cows healthy. He said the past several years of tough market conditions have taken a toll on his profitability. Photo by Mike Kertzman

Kertzman bought cows in 2014 when the market was high, hoping to capitalize on what many experts predicted would be a multi-year run of strong cattle prices. “There was talk that the market was supposed to hang in there for a while. I was doing fine, everything was working, then all of the sudden the market fell out from under us, and there you are. You can’t do this stuff without equipment. I run pretty hard, it’s just me, I do a lot of all day and all night work, I need good equipment.”

With less hay than usual, and limited and expensive hay availability on the market, the future looks tough, he said.

 

“Who knows what’s going to happen. I don’t think there will be enough feed. What do we do next year? If we don’t get a bunch of snow or rain or something, there ain’t going to be grass next year either. Basically, we’re in a two year drought right now,” Kertzman said.

McHenry County, North Dakota, in the north central part of the state, is considered to be in “exceptional drought,” the worst drought rating.

A representative for the USDA Farm Service Agency in that county said some of their producers have signed up for the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, which is only available to producers in a qualifying drought area. The program is intended to provide assistance to producers whose grass or other forage is significantly reduced due to drought. The payment depends upon the severity and length of the drought as reported by USDA.


Rick Bostyan, the Vice President of First State Bank of Beach and Golva, North Dakota, which are on the far west side of the state, said he hopes ranchers take advantage of that USDA program. He also fears some ranchers who have sold significant numbers of cows won’t be able to buy back in anytime soon.

“Things are tight already. The sad thing is, some of these producers, they were borrowing money from the time they sold their last calf crop. There are going to be some hard decisions made as far as what you will spend to keep your cattle on your place,” he said.

“Where we’re sitting right now, we’re very, very dry. No one believes the pastures are going to last long enough to get the calves to weaning, a lot of them are making plans now to either wean early to hopefully get some pressure off the cows.

“As far as culling cows, they’ve done some already but I think we’ll see an increased cull rate once the calves are off, too,” he said.

 

Buying enough hay to winter cows, without selling down to reduce numbers, might be risky, he said, but he hopes to see some government assistance so that ranchers can buy enough hay to at least keep their foundation herds intact.

As for government price support for the cattle being sold, he fears a program like that could be difficult to administer fairly.

“By the time it (hay) is shipped out here, it’s going to be well over $200 per ton and I don’t think most of the ranches can support that kind of price. It would help if we got assistance like we got a few years ago where they covered trucking for this hay,” he said, referencing a state program spearheaded by the Secretary of Agriculture, Doug Goehring. He also said a boost to the existing Livestock Forage Disaster Program under FSA could be helpful. “If they could possibly increase that amount, I think that would be a fairer way to do it,” he said.

Independent Beef Association of North Dakota President Kerry Dockter said he would like to see some additional assistance for producers buying more feed than usual, and he stressed the need for the assistance to come quickly.

He mentioned that some ranchers are asking neighboring farmers if they can put up droughted out wheat for hay. “That wheat is starting to turn, soon there is going to be nothing but straw and there is very little in the heads. There is a short window of time to get it up,” he said.

“The point is if they are going to make it available, they need to make it available fast,” he said.

Dockter said, with feed assistance, maybe more producers could secure the hay needed to hold onto the nucleus of their cowherds.

Perhaps through the infrastructure support bill being discussed in Congress, financial help should be offered to ranchers selling cows, he said. “Maybe make something available as strictly cow-calf producers that they will be able to get funding to get back into the business and hopefully the business will be profitable like it’s supposed to be.” Dockter said some kind of price support for those ranchers who sold cows this spring, or will sell producing (not cull) cows this fall could prop them up so they are in a position to buy cows back when they get moisture. One idea would be for the federal government to kick in the difference between the actual price of the cow, and profitable price. If it is determined that pairs should have been worth $2,100 this spring, and a producer sold pairs for $1,200, he or she would get the price difference in the form of a federal subsidy.

Because the cattle market has been strained for several years, a long-term solution to the market woes would help take pressure off producers, said Dockter.

“At the national level, we’re trying to limit packer concentration and allow feeders and producers to capture some of that profit that is stuck on the packers’ side,” he said, referencing packer profit margins of over $1,000 per head for the past several months.

“You spend a lifetime working on a herd that works for you in your geographical location and that you’re proud of. You can’t build that back in a couple years’ time,” said Dockter.

Mike Kertzman of Hazelton, North Dakota, says he enjoys hard work, but he believes ranchers ought to be paid a fair price for their cattle in order to keep American ranchers viable. Photo courtesy Kertzman

Kertzman echoed the challenges of tough markets.

“As long as they let the packers do what they want, this price is never going to get better,” he said.

“It’s legalized crime. The anti-competitive pricing. They (elected officials) aren’t doing anything about it. They don’t think they need us (ranchers.) They need grain farmers, that is where this country’s main borrowing power is,” Kertzman said.

“For what they are paying us for our cattle, beef should be affordable, people should be eating beef every day.”

Kertzman has been involved in value-added programs to capture the worth of his calves, and he has retained ownership on his steers, finishing them through a Kansas feeder, but still, the low market combined with the drought has strained him to a breaking point.

“It takes too many years to rebound when you have a bad ond in the cattle industry,” he said.

“Just pay us for what we do. I just want a fair price. I don’t want government help, I’m not a big fan of that stuff,” Kertzman said. “Why do we take a 25- 30 percent increase in groceries or parts and we’re taking a 25-30 percent decrease in the product we sell? That’s not right.”

“Basically, all I have left is my older cows, my foundation herd,” Kertzman said.

“It’s not the bank’s fault, it’s just the way it is. I thank God that I had an awesome bank to work with. They are awesome, they tried to help, but nothing worked. That’s the worst thing, nothing worked,” said Kertzman.

Mike Kertzman, wife Kristy and sons Colton and Brently. Kertzman wonders if there is hope for his sons to make a living ranching someday. Photo courtesy Mike Kertzman

Bostyan reminds producers that the drought is no fault of theirs. “I’m a rancher myself. I tell our producers, This is something that isn’t their fault. It’s not a management issue, it’s weather. We don’t have to fine tune their management, just give them some options and decide what works best for them.”

“We’re just to the edge of this, we’ll see in another month, if a lot of cattle are going to market,” he said. •

 

 

State Board of Animal Health grants summer grazing exemption due to drought

BISMARCK – The North Dakota State Board of Animal Health granted a summer grazing exemption at their recent board meeting due to the widespread drought in North Dakota.

The exemption reads as follows:

Cattle are allowed to move out of state for grazing to another state of destination with an Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (ICVI), with official identifications (IDs) listed on the ICVI and a statement on the ICVI that the cattle will not be comingled with other out of state cattle and will return to North Dakota after the summer.

To return to North Dakota, a new ICVI is needed, and the original ICVI number must be referenced as well, which included the head count and individual official IDs.

The state of destination’s import requirements must be met. All brand inspection requirements must also be met.

The exemption will help producers avoid having to make their cattle go through the chute and have the tags read prior to returning, when not comingled and out of state for summer grazing. To return to North Dakota, a new certificate is needed but cattle do not need to be individually handled to read ID. Concerns or questions should be directed to the North Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health Division at 701-328-2655.

–North Dakota Department of Agriculture

ND Secretary of Agriculture Doug Goehring addresses drought issues

BISMARCK, N.D. – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has requested the early release of emergency haying on acres enrolled in all Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contract types from United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack due to the drought. No response has been received.

Emergency haying on acres enrolled in CRP typically does not open until after Primary Nesting Season (PNS) ends. North Dakota’s PNS ends Aug. 1, while Montana’s ends July 15, which is why some confusion has arisen due to Montana producers being able to conduct emergency haying.

“We have been receiving daily calls asking about the early release of emergency haying on CRP lands. I have requested that USDA allow emergency haying on CRP lands enrolled in all contract types starting as soon as possible to maintain some of the nutritional quality of the hay that is harvested,” Goehring said. “In order for our livestock producers to make it through this disaster, it is necessary to marshal every available resource.”

Goehring has also been exploring options for a program to assist eligible producers with feed transportation expenses.

–ND Secretary of Agriculture

Earl cartoon by Big Dry Syndicate

Earl cartoon by Big Dry Syndicate for the July 24, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News


Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood

Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the July 24, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News


No triggers tripped in negotiated trade volume, some packers still slow to cooperate

According to a letter to members from NCBA president Jerry Bohn, there were no triggers tripped in the negotiated trade volume silo during the second quarter, meaning there will be no regulatory or legislative solutions at this time. Even so, Bohn said some packers have been slow to participate.

“Using data collected under Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) and published by the Agricultural Marketing Service at USDA, the subgroup found that no minor triggers were tripped in the negotiated trade volume silo during the second quarter. Thus far, we have fallen short of our goal to complete the packer participation silo. However, I am pleased to report that we have now finalized agreements with the four major packers to analyze their participation in the negotiated market from the third quarter onward. The completion of the packer participation silo brings the total number of minor triggers in our program to eight — one for each of the four cattle feeding regions analyzing negotiated trade volumes and one for each of those regions analyzing negotiated packer procurements. Resolving this critical piece of our voluntary effort will help ensure that both buyers and sellers of live cattle bear mutual responsibility for achieving robust price discovery.”

When Q1 negotiated trade data was evaluated, a major trigger was tripped. According to the member-approved framework, if another major trigger is tripped in another quarterly evaluation, legislative or regulatory action will be pursued.

According to NCBA, under the “Negotiated Trade” silo of the 75% Plan, one minor trigger is assigned to each of the regions. The subgroup evaluated the weekly negotiated trade volumes for each cattle feeding region and determined that the Iowa-Minnesota and Nebraska-Colorado regions exceeded their thresholds under the 75% Plan during all of the reporting weeks – therefore, passing their negotiated trade threshold for this quarter. They also found that the Texas-Oklahoma-New Mexico and Kansas regions each fell short of the threshold during five of the Q1 reporting weeks. One of those weeks occurred during Winter Storm Uri and another coincided with mandatory maintenance at a major packing plant which resulted in a lengthy closure. Both events disrupted normal cattle flows and brought critical packing capacity to a grinding halt. The data from the weeks surrounding both events justified invoking the force majeure provisions of the framework, though a major trigger was still tripped due to a lack of packer participation.

Bohn said the second quarter saw a striking level of buy-in from cattle producers and, due primarily to cattle feeders, especially in the Southern Plains, the second quarter saw more negotiated market participation than the first. Some packers, he said, have shown a desire to work alongside us to increase their procurements of negotiated cattle, and seem to recognize the importance of price discovery to the entire industry.

“That said, NCBA has been frustrated by the apparent lack of urgency demonstrated by some of the largest purchasers of fed cattle,” Bohn said. “The subgroup believes that completing the packer participation silo will encourage all major meatpackers to be part of the solution to this problem.”

The subgroup met in Denver on July 6 and discussed the findings and some of the lessons learned, including how cattle marketing varies so substantially from region to region, notably in terms of whether quality grades or dressing percentages drive marketing.

“Second, it is important to remember that price discovery and price determination are different things,” Bohn said. “For example, in four trading weeks during the second quarter, negotiated trade volumes exceeded robust price discovery levels in all regions. Nevertheless, cattle prices did not make significant gains in the same period. High cattle supplies and a shortage of adequate beef packing capacity have helped create a current market dynamic where leverage in negotiations resides with the packers.”

Additionally, he said the use of non-value-added formulas, such as weighted averages, “cash plus” transactions, and “top of the market” trades, neither contribute to price discovery nor further our objective to increase genuine negotiated trade in the market. The subgroup also noted the need for additional research and academic literature to better understand the role of competition, or packer participation, in price discovery and the industry-wide cost of reduced negotiated volumes.

He admits there remains no silver bullet, but the work continues to ensure every segment of the industry can be profitable.​