The bred cow and heifer market will more than likely set the pace on replacements between now and the end of December. Everywhere we get the reports, from any and all auctions across America, the same thing is happening: demand for young cows with a history... they seems to be topping most all sales. The top bred heifers -- the kind weighing 1,100 or better and calving for the first time come early spring -- seem to be in demand more than the summer calvers, at least for right now.
We're seeing reports in the high $2,000 range with $3,600 being the best I've seen come across my desk. Yessirree, the really good kind are in great demand, and that's the way it's been forever. The best and most successful breeders of registered and/or commercial females or bulls are those that are willing to give the most to buy the best of all kinds of animals.
Irrespective of what business you might be engaged in, it is the successes in that particular endeavor that will draw the interest from the most buyers or customers. In the cattle business, your best buyers are looking to unify themselves with the best producers and breeders. Your best buyers of bulls are coming from the most successful breeders, both commercial and registered, around the land.
Guess who has worked for Pat for 50 years?
Bonnie Zieske, that's who! Only she wasn't Bonnie Zieske when she started working for Pat. She was Bonnie Raidiger. We'll let her tell her own story as it appears in Pat's biography AS I SAW IT:
"I started work at the Western Livestock Reporter on November 30, 1964. Clark Schenkenberger, editor at the time, hired me not only for the position of Pat's secretary but also as the display advertising coordinator between the Billings office and the out-of-state field representatives. I was to answer the phone and do whatever else needed to be done to produce the weekly newspaper. Fresh out of business college, I was barely 18 years old, and this was my first full-time job. I was nervous. I knew absolutely nothing about the livestock business and nothing about the print publishing business. I could type, take shorthand, answer the phones, and be friendly - that was about it.
"Pat was not present my first day on the job as he was the acting tour guide on the annual trip to the Chicago International Livestock Show and would be out of the office for two weeks. We 'met' on the phone that first day; he sounded quite nice and not too intimidating. I thought it was my good fortune that I would have a couple weeks of experience under my belt before I actually met the man who was my boss.
"On a cold December Monday morning a couple weeks later, the front door of the office literally flew open, and in strode this commandingly tall, massive man in a white cowboy hat and wearing a brown coat that made him look like a grizzly bear. As he looked like he was going to barge through the office, which was not allowed, I jumped up from my desk and stopped him right there at the door, saying: 'Hello. Can I help you?'
"He said, 'Hi, my name is PAT GOGGINS!'
Cattle imports from Canada & Mexico on the rise...
According to the latest statistics released by the USDA, U.S. cattle imports from both Canada and Mexico have increased substantially in 2014, totaling 1.413 million head through the month of August. Imports from Mexico are up 14% while imports from Canada are up 12%. Analysts say the jump is due to an increasing demand for feeder cattle in the U.S., and they say, strong U.S. prices are pulling cattle across the border. Interestingly, imports during the summer, which is historically the slowest season, were substantially higher than last year's levels. Forecasters say the U.S. will import 2.2 million head of cattle in 2014. How this correlates with Canada's and Mexico's claims of "harm" due to country of origin labeling (COOL) is a head-scratcher.
Livestock 840 tags mandatory in 2015...
Starting March 11, 2015, livestock tags that start with 840 will be required for interstate movement. Tags with a 900 prefix will NOT be accepted for interstate movement of cattle unless that animal was tagged before March 11, 2015. For animals born on March 10, 2015, and tagged with a 900 series tag, that tag will be valid for the rest of that animal's life. However, if it is tagged with a 900 series after March 11, the health certificate will be invalid for interstate movement. Federal animal health officials say producers who have questions about the Animal Disease Traceability rule should contact their state animal health authorities.
Columbia River's Wanapum Dam is under repair
By Erika Bentsen
Spillway repair is underway on Wanapum Dam, six miles downstream from the city of Vantage in central Washington state and 415 miles above the mouth of the Columbia River. On February 24, 2014, a worker noticed that part of the dam's spillway deck was out of place. An underwater inspection led to the discovery of a 65-foot long fracture on the upstream side of Monolith No. 4, one of 13 supporting piers along the 820-foot spillway. The fracture ran the entire length of the compromised monolith.
Completed in 1963 with an original price tag of over $93 million, the 185-foot tall and 8,320-foot long Wanapum Dam is rated to generate 1,092 megawatts of electricity (enough for 900,000 homes) with its 10 turbines. Following approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Grant County Public Utility District (PUD), which manages the dam, began lowering the 796,000-acre-foot Wanapum Reservoir to relieve pressure on the damaged monolith in order to save the structure. By March 4, after a 26-foot drop in the water level, an engineering survey determined that the fracture had closed and that the monolith was stable.
Greater sage grouse becomes next conservation battle
Federal officials say their decision to protect dwindling Gunnison sage grouse populations in Colorado and Utah has no bearing on next year's highly anticipated ruling on the far more widespread species of greater sage grouse, but advocates on both sides already are placing their bets. "I think that this does not bode well for the greater sage grouse," said Amy Atwood, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity. Atwood said she hopes the greater sage grouse will be protected, but she fears the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) will succumb to pressure from industries that oppose the land-use restrictions such protections would bring.
U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, the Republican chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, came to the opposite conclusion. He called the wildlife agency's decision to protect Gunnison grouse drastic and wrong. It "foreshadows the intentions of the Obama administration" as it considers protections for greater sage grouse in portions of 11 Western states, Hastings said.
Perry Livingston elected to 10th term as WY Farm Bureau President
Perry Livingston, of Sundance, was elected to his 10th term as President of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB) at the organization's 95th annual meeting in Sheridan. Livingston and his family run a cow/calf operation in Crook and Weston Counties. "Agriculture continues to be one of the economic forces that drives the private industry in Wyoming," Livingston said. "It is a real privilege to serve Farm Bureau members and to represent the ag industry."
Voting delegates elected Todd Fornstrom to his second term as WyFB Vice President. Todd and his family farm in Laramie County. He and his wife Laura have four kids. Fornstrom has served in many different leadership positions within the organization. "It is a privilege to serve as a leader in the organization," Fornstrom said. "I am grateful to be entrusted with the responsibility of being a WyFB representative. It is very important to be a spokesperson for agriculture, and being a member of the Farm Bureau enables me to represent our members as we work to keep agriculture strong."
CSKT Compact Water Administration Plan violates Article IX of Montana's Constitution
By Catherine Vandemoer, Ph.D.
The legislature's Water Policy Interim Committee finished its work for 2014 on October 30 by recommending no substantive changes to the proposed CSKT Compact. After nearly a year of studies, the WPIC gave the illusion of responding to the public and legislators' concerns, but in the end, Montana taxpayers were not served well.
Left untouched are many significant issues, including (1) the quantity of water belonging to the Tribes as their federal reserved water right, (2) the legality and validity of off-reservation claims to water, and (3) the transfer of title of non-Tribal irrigation water rights to the CSKT. All of these are substantive issues that the interim committee failed to address. As a consequence, legislators have no more information about the CSKT Compact entering the 2015 legislative session than they did in 2013. And the Compact that will face legislators is the same one that was defeated in 2013.
The failure of the WPIC committee to address these issues and the "rubber stamp" given to the proposed CSKT Compact by the "work" of this Committee are precisely the reasons why the Montana Land & Water Alliance was formed. If the people's concerns have no merit, then perhaps the viewpoint of extremely qualified water lawyers will make a difference. Below is the text of a letter written by the MLWA lead attorney, Richard Simms, to Attorney General Tim Fox. The letter was sent to all legislators, the WPIC, members of the Compact Commission, and John Tubbs, the director of the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.