Sunday, March 18, 2018

Frank DuBois Bronc Riding & Calf Roping - March 30

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy (revisited)

The siren’s song of the West

By Julie Carter

It is a song not audible and yet it pierces the heart of men in every walk of life.

Like the music of the mythological being, the siren's song of the West pulls, tugs and creates within men an unexplainable desire.

It calls them to a way of life in place where renewed hope springs eternal and they believe for a better life in a less cluttered world.

The sirens of Greek mythology lived on a rocky island in the middle of the sea and sang melodies so beautiful that sailors passing by could not resist getting closer to them.

Following the sound of the music, the sailors would steer their boats towards them or jump in the water to get closer - both ending in disaster on the rocks.

Horace Greeley, has been credited for popularizing, 150 years ago, the idea of "Go West, young man, and grow up with the country." Today, the West is still a magnet to men and women of all ages.

A study of Western culture revealed three out of five men and nearly half of women would like to be cowboys for at least a day. Many have opted for complete lifestyle changes.

In droves, they have packed up their lives and moved to the West, finding a place in the open spaces much like the 100 years of homesteaders.

The 2000 census showed eight of the ten fastest growing states are in the West, led by Nevada.

Two weeks ago, 1,200 Michigan residents stood in long lines eager to head for Wyoming's rugged, cold terrain answering a call to a job fair.

The sheer numbers dictate that not everybody can be a cowboy. But a good number will take on the trappings of the trade, buy a 40-acre ranchette, and put a rocking chair on the wrap-around porch to watch the sun set over a small barn that houses two horses, a 4-wheeler and a couple of llamas.

It is a new West and is clearly an amalgamation of the many phases of an evolving genre.

While the West does not own the cowboy, it is the cowboy that epitomizes the West in the minds of those that seek him.

Some men are born to ride and some men were born to sit in traffic. Some come to live in the West as it is now with a more modern version of the cowboy wearing sponsorship tags on his shirt and making a few hundred thousand dollars a year riding bulls or roping calves in the rodeos.

It is a West where cattle are still king and four door pickups and aluminum trailers ferry the cowboy crew miles across ranches, counties and states - a West where ranchers hang on to an ever-changing way of life necessitating better practices in order to stay on the land.

There are those who come to feed their soul from the history created by those who came west to grow with a new country.

These were men who rode hard, shot straight and died young. Their ghosts walk the boardwalks of old towns in western territories and call to a breed of modern man who find themselves living a century past their time.

While the siren of the West may not lure man to disaster, the man that heeds the call will find today's cowboy life is not in the clothes he wears or the substance of his dreams.

To this day I have not ever seen the visiting pilgrim come to the ranch, dressed out in his version of cowboy clothes, begging the boss to let him drive the feed pickup.

Now there is a sign of a complete lack of understanding about how the West is really won in this new millennium.

© Julie Carter 2006


The Bulls have It
All in a Day’s Work
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            The Bulls have it.
            We worked our bull battery Friday. Each of those red hided investments was subjected to the chute to be probed, pulsed, collected, and scraped. Evidence suggests not one of them appreciated it, but it went forth with a degree of uniformity and decorum.
            As in all circumstances where bulls are concentrated, there is an ongoing balance of chaos and structure. Chaos in the fact that rank is a condition of existence and it is constantly challenged and debated. Structure in the fact that when the group accepts a hierarchy it is revealed as if each is a magnet pushed and pulled until a universal balance is achieved. Conditional tranquility then results until any disruption occurs and the entire process can descend back into dramatic and spectacular conflict.
            As a kid, my grandfather always warned me to watch the bulls. It was normally never a real issue until tighter quarters were forced and then those horned Hereford bulls would fight. We were told repeatedly it wasn’t necessarily the winner that had to be watched. It was the defeated challenger that was most dangerous when he broke and ran.
            “He’ll run right over you or anything else that is in his way.”
            The power can be spectacular. Several years ago, we penned a bull “on the hook” in our Monterrey corral only to see him leave with fence draped across his chest. He hit the fence so hard it snapped like a crystalline figurine.
            It was indeed impressive.
            All in a Day’s Work
            So, it was in starts and stops as our day with the bulls proceeded.
We presorted and divided the entire group into four subgroups. That was done to get age groups lumped together and to separate dominant herd bulls into smaller drafts to avoid conflicts and wasted time. One bull was separated completely and then sorted off into a mix of cull cows after we trich tested him. He has increasingly become more dangerous and difficult to work and his status is now confirmed. He will leave the headquarter corral only in a truck bound for a terminal harvest appointment.
Bringing him into the alley and up to the runup to the chute was, as expected, eventful. We did it horseback as quietly as possible. When we got him in our Bud Box, he challenged the nearest horse only to find himself in a position we could get the gate shut. It was because of him we recently put another rail atop the runup to the chute. He tried to jump once before he turned and ran the runup and radius into the chute where BJ’s brother-in-law caught him.
“Bang!” was the sound of the jarring stop.
No theatrics and nobody or animal was hurt in the process, but that is the way it should happen. BJ stayed mounted for two more snorty bulls before he also tied his horse and went back to the ground to work the remaining bulls to the chute. For some time, our bulls have generally been gentle, that is what we demand, and that is the way it should be. Stewardship spans many things and that includes the management of each component of the cowherd.
It continued at the chute and the work table where Drrs. Wenzel (Senior and Junior) went through their fertility and health check routine. Their microscope was on the table and each semen sample was analyzed for viability. Seven percent of the bull battery was marked for sale in failure and or marginal results of that testing (even the little cowboys who had escaped school to be part of this greater and far more practical learning experience got to view the samples under the microscope and were taught what motility and morphology was). Another, similar number of bulls were tagged similarly for other subjective reasons.
By early afternoon, we were done. Order was again established in the bull pen where the occupants will now remain until the sexually transmitted lab test results are received and analyzed.
It was then time to go out and address the ongoing ranch demands. Water had to be checked, a calf with acute laryngitis had to be treated, and another calf with multiple abscesses had to be lanced and treated. The day was far from over before evening chores. It was just another ranch day.
It was all in a day’s work.
Of course, J.R. Williams was the best of all time depicting the life of a rancher in caricature form. Williams wasn’t born to the craft, but he learned it implicitly from his investment and its life style demands during his most cognizant years. He was supremely attuned to the nuances. His ability to recreate it all on a piece of paper was simply unparalleled. In that, he was a genius.
Most of the modern world has little or no idea what we actually do. At best, it is riding the range and punching those dogies, but that resembles nothing of truth and it never has.
 A little snippet of that was seen the day before we worked the bulls. We had been to another unavoidable meeting, and, following that, the three ranchers in the group wound up transferring a truck load of protein supplement tubs. The youngest was 60 and the oldest one wasn’t, but each knew what it took to move those 200 pound tubs at any age.
When it was all over, we shook hands and told each other how much we enjoyed being together. Indeed, it was just another day, but the respect we have for each other and what we do is breathtakingly special.
We thank our Lord for that honor, and … these few lasting friends.

Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “The older I get the less I have in common with most people. Most of my nearby world probably agrees with that.”

Baxter Black: A Time To Stay, A Time To Go (video)

 Saying goodbye is always difficult, whether it’s to someone you love, a place with fond memories, or something else. This week on U.S. Farm Report, cowboy poet Baxter Black shares the emotions of leaving the ranch.

Lee Pitts: Poco Not So Bueno

As we continue to unwind the double DNA helix, more and more genetic diseases like HYPP, GBED, HERDA and PSSM are popping up that can turn a valuable stud into horse meat for Frenchmen. For example, I used to think highly of the Quarter Horse Poco Bueno, but not after he was found to carry the recessive gene for HERDA, a genetic skin disease found in Quarter Horses. Researchers now think that Poco Bueno's sire line, going all the way back to the legendary foundation sire King, may be responsible for the genetic disorder. In other words, Poco is not so bueno any more. Whereas he used to be referred to in hushed, reverential tones by a pedigree reader at a horse sale, even if he was five generations back in a pedigree, now a reader or auctioneer doesn't dare mention Poco Bueno's name.

Genetic diseases have also popped up in previously valuable cattle which prompted a pedigree cleansing in which beautiful, high dollar cows ended up in someone's Big Mac. What we haven't realized yet is most of our politicians and bureaucrats have also been found to carry highly destructive genetic disorders. For example…

SICKO- This genetic disorder in politicians causes them to send nude photos of themselves to young interns. These career politicians can be found laying around and guzzling from the public trough. They are inefficient, eat more than their fair share, can't forage for themselves and originally crawled out of the quagmire of New York or California.

HERDA- This isn't the horse disease of the same name but is a human disorder in which the afflicted blindly follows the herd, always voting the party line. Upon being autopsied they are found to have no conscience. They are more than willing to lay down YOUR life for their country and the disease can last anywhere from two to 65 years. They are easily identified because they refer to their colleagues as "The Honorable So and So." Even if they are only honorable imbeciles.

SPIDER- When I was in the club lamb business we bought a ewe one time to use for breeding only to find out later that she had spider syndrome, more formally known as ovine hereditary chondrodysplasia. This recessive disorder affects the growth of cartilage and bone in sheep and if you looked at the crooked front legs of our SPIDER ewe they looked like two parentheses: ( ). There are also glassy eyed, SPIDER politicians who are even more crooked. SPIDER politicians weave intricate financial webs and then spend most of their time trying not to get caught up in them.
SOB- These inbred SOB's care only about getting reelected and will do anything to keep his or her cushy job. They approach everything with an open mouth, speak stupidly and use wishy-washy words for hours on end without really saying anything.

Ranch Radio Song of the Day

Our gospel tune today is the 1959 recording of There's A Higher Power by the Louvin Brothers, Charlie and Ira

Friday, March 16, 2018

US reviews New Mexico land boss' concerns on border access

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is looking into concerns by New Mexico's top land manager about whether federal agents can access a milelong stretch of state land along the U.S.-Mexico border. Federal officials sent New Mexico Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn a letter this month about his concerns over the installation of a border wall, infrastructure and roads on state trust land years ago. The letter released Thursday says the agency is gathering records and plans to meet with Dunn in early April. Karl Calvo, an assistant commissioner that oversees Customs and Border Protection's facilities and assets, said in the letter that the agency values its relationship with the State Land Office. "An important part of CBP's strategy to successfully secure the nation's borders includes developing and leveraging partnerships and dialogue with state and local stakeholders to ensure that the unique operational needs of each region are effectively met," Calvo wrote. The letter was sent to Dunn, who is running for U.S. Senate, after he posted signs and cordoned off the land along the border. Dunn said his office was forced to take action in early March after the U.S. government failed to respond to his previous correspondence. Dunn contends the federal government never got the needed authorization to access the state land and has not compensated New Mexico for using the property. He has called it a state sovereignty issue and said revenue earned from development or use of state trust land helps fund public education. "I am confident we can agree upon terms that will enable us to collect revenue for New Mexico schoolchildren and them to manage their national security operations," Dunn said in a statement Thursday... more

  "An important part of CBP's strategy to successfully secure the nation's borders includes developing and leveraging partnerships and dialogue with state and local stakeholders to ensure that the unique operational needs of each region are effectively met," Calvo wrote.

And therein lies the issue I'm confident Dunn is bringing to the fore. Rather than recognizing the sovereignty of the State of NM, the feds are treating the state as simply another "stakeholder", like the Sierra Club or other entities. Homeland Security has paid millions of dollars to the Dept. of Interior for the use of their lands but, so far, is not compensating NM for the use of state lands. Congrats to Dunn for bringing this issue to the public's attention.     

The photograph was taken as President William Howard Taft signed the bill to make New Mexico a state on Jan 6, 1912.

Ranch Radio Song of the Day

TGIFF! Its Fiddle Friday and we bring you some Country Roots. In 1883 Theron Hale was born in Pikeville, Tenn. and originally gained recognition as a banjo player. He later took up the fiddle and formed a group with daughters (Elizabeth on the piano and Mamie Ruth on second fiddle or mandolin). They first appeared on the Grand Old Opry in 1926 and were regulars through the early thirties. On Oct. 3, 1928 they recorded several tunes including today's selections, Hale's Rag + Jolly Blacksmith. Both numbers are on the Document Records CD Nashville, 1928.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

NM, feds reach agreement on wolf releases; CBD says local concerns are "myopic, provincial"

Maddy Hayden

Relations between the state and the federal Fish and Wildlife Service appear to be warming, as the two reached an agreement this week on the release of endangered Mexican gray wolves into the wild. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife (FWS), New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and Arizona Game and Fish Department signed a memorandum of agreement to “clarify the commitment” of each entity in determining the circumstances of wolf releases. The agreement states that “decisions regarding the timing, location and circumstances” of Mexican wolf releases will be based on input from both the federal and state agencies. , 2018 at 9:31pm Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal A female Mexican gray wolf, seen upon her release in Arizona in 1998 as part of the federal reintroduction program, eventually died in captivity. (Source: Arizona Game And Fish Department) Relations between the state and the federal Fish and Wildlife Service appear to be warming, as the two reached an agreement this week on the release of endangered Mexican gray wolves into the wild. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife (FWS), New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and Arizona Game and Fish Department signed a memorandum of agreement to “clarify the commitment” of each entity in determining the circumstances of wolf releases. The agreement states that “decisions regarding the timing, location and circumstances” of Mexican wolf releases will be based on input from both the federal and state agencies. “In this act of good faith, we look forward to strengthening our partnership with the service,” New Mexico Game and Fish Director Alexandra Sandoval said in a news release. The new recovery plan stipulates that population levels reach an average of at least 320 in the U.S. over a four-year period to be taken off the endangered species list. Once the species has recovered, management will be transferred from Fish and Wildlife to the state. At last count, 114 Mexican gray wolves were roaming the U.S., a growth of just one since the prior year. At least 51 of those live in New Mexico...more

Here is what the enviros think of this agreement 

Bryan Bird, director of Defenders of Wildlife’s Southwest Program, said the agreement will likely put an end to the lawsuit. “If it (the agreement) does anything, it may increase communications,” Bird said. “There’s no harm in better communication between the parties.” While he believes the improved communication may be beneficial, Bird said the language needs to make it clear that Fish and Wildlife has the final say in releases.  Defenders of Wildlife and other groups sued Fish and Wildlife over the final Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, which used similar language to the agreement. “It’s intentionally mushy,” Bird said. “The state has a role to play but ultimately, Fish and Wildlife has the final say.”

Just like when we had Kings, the King's men will control wildlife. Its as if there was no revolution. 

And here is what the CBD has to say: 

Michael Robinson with the Center for Biological Diversity, also party to the lawsuit, said there should be cooperation between states and the federal agency, but New Mexico’s past impediments to wolf releases constitute an exception. “… One of the impetuses for passage of the Endangered Species Act back in 1973 was to ensure that the long-term public interest in conservation would not be thwarted by myopic, provincial considerations …,” Robinson wrote in an email.

Myopic, as in shortsided, narrow-minded, or lacking imagination, foresight or intellectual insight.
Provincial, defined as "of or concerning the regions outside the capital city of a country, especially when regarded as unsophisticated or narrow-minded."

This is King worship on steroids. How dare we "thwart"the King.  Also a nice insight into what  CBD thinks of the rural inhabitants of this state.  We are simply peons who must do the King's bidding.

The King rules! The Wolf rules! A complete subversion of this nation's founding. 

Surplus or Deficit? Trump Quarrels With Canada Over Trade Numbers

The Trump administration is fighting a war of numbers with Canada, further escalating economic tensions with one of the biggest U.S. trading partners. President Donald Trump insisted on Thursday that the U.S. is at a trade disadvantage, while Canada denies anything of the sort. The complexity of the statistics measuring U.S.-Canadian trade flows allows each side the ability to support its claim by choosing from an array of data. The trade balance is Mr. Trump’s preferred yardstick for measuring whether the U.S. is gaining or losing from economic relationships with its partners. Trump administration officials typically focus on merchandise trade balances with other countries, which don’t account for trade in services such as insurance or tourism. The U.S. Census Bureau’s basic tally of merchandise trade with Canada lists U.S. exports at $282.4 billion and imports from Canada at $300 billion, indicating a deficit of $17.6 billion. The Trump administration also uses U.S. trade deficits with China, Mexico and other countries as the rationale for overhauling the trading relationships. That differs from the views of many economists, who say countries benefit from imports as well as exports and that a country’s overall trade balance is based on broad economic factors including investment and savings rates. Canadian officials prefer to include services trade as well as merchandise. That method, which gives highly competitive American services industries credit, gives the U.S. a small surplus of $2.8 billion in 2017, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. The stakes in this dispute are high, as the Trump administration continues to push its northern neighbor and Mexico to renegotiate the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement to address what the U.S. says are inequities in the trade flows between the two countries...more

Fixing the "grain glitch" in the tax bill (Section 199A)

The two largest general farm organizations have a different take on what should happen with the Section 199A tax provision, but 77 separate businesses in 28 states also have written a letter to Congress calling on lawmakers to fix the problems created by the "grain glitch." The letter includes companies as small as a local grain elevator on up to grain-trading giants such as Archer Daniels Midlands Co., Bunge North America, Cargill Inc., Tyson Foods and even Anheuser-Busch. The companies, writing to the four main leaders in the House and Senate, stated, "We are concerned that language in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has fundamentally disrupted the agricultural economy by giving farmers, ranchers and dairy producers a substantial tax incentive not to sell their products to thousands of independent companies across the American heartland." The tax language would eliminate a 20% deduction on all gross sales to farmer cooperatives that was included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. No sooner was the tax bill signed than the grain industry determined it was leading to "unintended consequences" in the sale of farmer commodities. Lawmakers said they did not intend to distort the commodity markets when they drafted the tax break. The American Farm Bureau Federation also wrote a brief letter to congressional leaders supporting the tax change and supporting its inclusion in the 2018 omnibus spending bill, which could be approved by Congress next week. Farm Bureau noted the benefits farmers receive in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but added, "Unfortunately, Section 199A had the unintended consequence of distorting commodity markets and treating farm and ranch businesses differently depending on where they sold their commodities." Farm Bureau added in its letter, "The proposed solution restores the balance of competition within the marketplace and provides fairness in the tax treatment of farm and ranch businesses. The need for swift passage is critical to provide certainty to farmers and ranchers as they sell stored commodities and make marketing decisions for this year's crop." Countering Farm Bureau, and much of the agricultural industry, the National Farmers Union is asking Congress not to repeal the tax break and to reject the new draft language released earlier this week. NFU passed a "special order of business" defending the Section 199A deduction "due to its value in improving the livelihood of farm families and in strengthening rural communities."...more

Who owns water? NM and US landowners putting barbed wire across rivers

New Mexico is a battleground in the fight over once public waterways, sparking fears it could set a national precedent

Cassidy Randall

As Scott Carpenter and a few friends paddled down the Pecos river in New Mexico last May, taking advantage of spring run-off, the lead boater yelled out and made a swirling hand motion over his head in the universal signal to pull over to shore. The paddlers eddied out in time to avoid running straight through three strings of barbed wire obstructing the river. Swinging in the wind, the sign hanging from the fence read “PRIVATE PROPERTY: No Trespassing”. One member of their party waded into the swift water to lift the wire with a paddle for the others to float under. As they continued downstream, Carpenter, a recreational boater from Albuquerque, looked over his shoulder a see a figure standing outside the big ranch house up the hill. He offered a wave, but received nothing in return. It’s a scene playing out with increasing frequency in New Mexico, where a recent bid to legally privatize streams has public users like Carpenter more than a little alarmed, not least for the precedent it might set beyond the borders of this western state. While the fight over US public lands has reached a fever pitch unlike anything seen in recent decades, and the Trump interior department seeks to lease out vast areas to private interests for mining and drilling, the fate of public waterways has largely flown under the radar. Now New Mexico has become a battleground for that very issue, with the state government, landowners, and outfitters on one side of the fight and anglers, boaters, recreationalists and heritage users on the other. At the heart of the argument: who owns the water that has long been considered the lifeblood of the arid west. But in the last hours of 2015, efforts to bar public access received official sanction, when New Mexico’s state government quickly and quietly passed a bill that implies private ownership of public waters that run through private land. It was a response to a statement from New Mexico’s then attorney general, Gary King, that the public can wade and fish in streams running through private property, as long as they remain in the stream, which is in line with common doctrine in many states. Landowners and outfitters protested. The rule remained mostly dormant until late December, when in a special meeting with only 10 days’ notice – just a third of the 30-day standard – the state began a process to allow landowners to certify streambeds as private property... more

California doesn't want this towering water project. Trump administration may build it anyway

The Trump administration is pushing forward with a colossal public works project in Northern California — heightening the towering Shasta Dam the equivalent of nearly two stories. The problem is that California is dead-set against the plan, and state law prohibits the 602-foot New Deal-era structure from getting any taller. But in these times of unprecedented tension between Washington and California, the state's objection to this $1.3-billion project near the Sacramento River is hardly proving a deterrent. The Trump administration is pursuing the project with gusto, even as it seeks to make deep cuts in popular conservation programs aimed at California's water shortages...The sudden momentum behind heightening the dam — a plan the federal government only a few years ago put on the shelf amid concerns it was incompatible with state environmental laws — threatens to trigger a constitutional conflict that tests the state's authority over what gets built on federal land within its borders. "Under California law, this is an illegal project," said Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael). "The Trump administration would have to abrogate a century of federal deference to state laws on California water to go ahead with this." California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird wrote to congressional leaders this week, urging them to reject the Trump administration's plan to spend $20 million in 2019 on design and other "preconstruction" activities at Shasta Dam...more

Ranch Radio Song of the Day

Today we have Ferlin Husky, recording as Terry Preston, and his 1950 recording of Heart of Stone.