By Horace McQueen
After a 2018 drouth, then massive rains, 2019 has to be better. Closing out the old year, a whopping 60.1 inches of rain in 2018 in Latexo—and most of East Texas is in the mud. It’s the sloppy kind that bogs pickups and farm equipment. Cattle are consuming high priced, and hard to find hay, at record rates. For those folks who will run out of hay before early March, it may be time to formulate a game plan that requires different feedstuffs than what most have been feeding.
A number of studies on what the grocery shopper demands show, without exception, they want to know where their food comes from. And, who grew the beans, the potatoes, the cows and the hogs. At least with “truth in labeling” for most fruits and vegetables the consumer has facts in front of them. But when it comes to the beef we consume, who knows? Especially when buying ground meats, the origins could be from many different countries—the U.S., Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, Canada, Argentine and we really don’t know the real story. The big meat packers—there are only three major ones left—darn sure don’t want us to know.
Then there’s the greedy so-called farm organizations, TSCRA and Farm Bureau are two come to mind. Both have fallen in bed with the meat conglomerates. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association paid for by our dollar and two dollar a head mandatory tax when we sell a cow, calf or bull is the biggest culprit. NCBA continues to cost the beef raiser over $100 million a year in checkoff dollars from our pockets. Like the other “farm groups”, NCBA refuses to endorse efforts to efforts to identify beef (and pork and lamb) with a label that shows where the product came from. If a robber showed up at our farms and ranches and demanded the owner pay the criminal $2 a head, cash, for each beef or dairy cow on the farm, we would call the law. But the $2 we are paying with the “beef tax” seems to be something we can’t get stopped. Until our politicians at the state and national levels get some backbone, the robbery of our dollars will continue.
The increasing frenzy to produce electricity from “green” sources is just another costly endeavor to raid our pocketbooks. In the last few years, electric companies—both stockholder-owned and the electric co-ops—have spent many millions of dollars to generate power from odd investments. There are several wood-fired power plants that have been built at tremendous cost in East Texas. All proved a failure? Some of these companies have invested lots of dollars in plants fueled by hay, manure and other ill-timed plans to generate electricity. All failed big time. Now, some of the same power companies are on a roll to build solar-powered generating plants. What a bunch of nonsense. We have more natural gas than we can use in this country. It’s readily available, clean burning and provides safe, abundant energy. So, you high rollers—and your board of directors—get off the “green” kick! Build plants fueled by local natural gas and give your customers a bill they can pay and at the same time keep our oil and gas industry thriving. Is that too much to ask? “You can fool some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all the people every time”. That’s –30—Horace McQueen