Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Another day, another agency, another meeting

Once in awhile I meet these outstanding people who actually want to do good.  Today, I was blessed by being in a meeting with two of these people and DRUMROLL PLEASE- they were from Fish and Wildlife!  Outstanding biologists who understand that we (agencies and agriculture) to continue to do good things.

Some of the snippets of the conversation included-
"I have to get my manager to understand we can't mess with this guy's livlihood. "
"We aren't in the business of raising cows but if we can move towards our own habitat goals while incorporating cows, I am game!"
"There are two ways we are going to get this refuge's habitat changed cows and fire.  We see what happened after fire had its go. AND we know what it was before when we grazed cows.  I think it is time to go back to the cows.  It was better habitat."

It was such a breath of fresh air.  To actually have people want to work with you in achieving a common goal.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Took a chance

I tend to be a cynic.  I am not sure where it came from but maybe working in a government job with government agencies with people that are cynics.  But, I did take a chance... I was at the grocery store in our little rural town which used to thrive on logging and agriculture.  Thanks to the environmental spotted owl bleeding hearts... We now limp along with agriculture.

Anyways, back to my story.  I have decided, I no longer want those awful plastic bags.  They are made out of petroleum.  Oil prices are high enough without taking more petrol out of the production of gas and putting it into making bags, I know that is a simplified version of the process but HEY it works in my little mind.  So, when asked paper or plastic- I said "Paper!"  The young man checking, was taken aback by my enthusiasm for paper.  He is one of those metrosexual, just stepped out of Abercrombie and Fitch, it is trendy to be environmentally savvy types.  He said- Why?

I calmly told him, I want people to cut down more trees so, I choose paper.  I do not want to see our natural resources wasted on rotting.  He was quiet.  Then, "It makes sense, I guess"  I then went into my monologue... About petrol, logging, etc.

I hope he understood a little bit of it.  Or maybe even went and tried to read up on logging or something.  I figure every little bit helps.  Maybe he will figure out rotting forests produce WAY more greenhouse gasses than managed forest?  I don't know but I tried!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

5 Non-profits to leave out of your holiday donations | Celeste Harned

5 Non-profits to leave out of your holiday donations Celeste Harned

This is a great blog on some bad characters who are saying they are doing things but not actually doing them. I have posted it before but will do it again! Give locally if you really want to accomplish something. The overhead and bueracracy will eat up your donantion if you don't.

Monday, December 12, 2011


It is the season for being thankful, so here is a list of things I am thankful for this year!

I am thankful for cattle- in the field, at the end of a rope, or on the grill- you are making life better for someone.

I am thankful for choices- traditionally raised, organic, natural, cage-free, free-range, grass-finished and many more. Well, that is partially true, in California, aren’t we only allowed cage-free eggs? I guess I can still choose whether or not I want organic or natural eggs.

I am thankful for the new Ag Appropriations bill does not contain any language regulatory or otherwise banning the harvesting of horses, putting the issue back to pre-2007.

I am thankful that my children may have a chance to continue working in agriculture unless the Federal Department of Labor gets its way. Then, they will have to be almost adults before they could legal assist in the operations of a farm or ranch. By the way, have you sent your comments in? Comment period ends December 1st.

I am thankful that people are becoming informed about HSUS. The Humane Society of the United States is not your local humane society. It is a lobbying, animal rights organization, which spends less than 1% of its donations on the actual care of animals, even though the commercials may lead you to think something different.

I am thankful for advocates and agricultural activists like Trent Loos. Trent has an inspiring message for many people. One of my favorite quotes from Trent is~ The 2 most important people to our country are the farmer and the soldier...and the general public knows the least about them.

I am thankful that wolves aren’t officially in our county, yet. Though, a wolf has been tracked through Lake and Klamath counties, so that may not be on the list for long.

I am thankful for youth organizations like 4-H and FFA which allow young people an opportunities in leadership and citizenship along with animal agriculture.

I am thankful that the Surprise Valley BLM had a successful feral horse gather and I am hopeful for a solution to the problem.

I am thankful for having a safe, wholesome, cheap food supply and for those who work without holidays, without overtime pay, and in adverse conditions to provide it.

I am thankful for being able to write this column for the last two years!

Here is to another year of being educated, informed and involved.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Humane Society for Shelter Pets

Finally an umbrella group for local humane societies and for educating the public on the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).  The Humane Society for Shelter Pets' motto is to help local shelters with overpopulation etc.  They also educate the public on the FACT that HSUS is giving less than 1% of the donations recieved to local animal shelters, while using cats in dogs in 85% of their propaganda.  Hmmm...  I think there is some tricky marketing going on here.

Anyway back to HSSP.  They are an organization that is educating people to donate locally if they want to help local shelters and humane societies.  It makes sense in many areas of your life.  The larger the organization- the more overhead, the less money spent on actually doing something.  The smaller the organization, the more focused they are on fixing a local problem.

The real kicker on HSSP- that has makes me somewhat reserved is a Co-director Diana Culp.  She WAS the director of education for HSUS.  Yep, she has flipped over to a lighter side.  Still against puppy mills- not exactly sure what that is but, hey it is the word of the day. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Busy Weekend

Here is how I spent my weekend.  We started on Friday, gathering and working the neighbors cows.  They had some escapees who had to rounded up and sorted off their mothers.
Then, we had to move them to their new pastures after being vaccinated and pregnancy checked.  Here is my partener in crime for Saturday and Sunday.  This is Waymore.  He is a doll.  This gentle giant will get with a cow when needed and then bring it back down to kids speed.  He is one of a kind. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Wolves seem to be an ever-growing topic in the western United States.  Since their reintroduction in to Yellowstone Park in 1997, the populations have boomed.  The problem with wolves?  Well, there are several:
1)  They have no natural predators thus humans must manage them.
2)  They tend to not stay in their specified area because they have no natural predators and so the populations boom, and they start to move.
3) They feed on livestock and PETS because they start to move because they have no natural predators and the populations boom.
4)  In addition to feeding on livestock they also feed on the big game populations in the area- elk, deer, etc. but because they have no natural predators and the population has boomed, they are starting to decimate the big game populations, moving out of their intended area and feeding on livestock and PETS.

You can see how this builds into a HUGE problem which all starts with the issue that they have no natural predators and must be managed by humans.  The problem, said humans are usually managed by emotions instead of fact.  These emotions have been tainted by not being close to their food source and Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks.

It is a vicious circle.  Most people do not want wolves extirpated like they were in the 1900s they prefer that they were managed like any game or predator species.