All that was missing was a single-action Colt .45 revolver when I visited Rite Aid early this morning, my hands slathered in hand sanitizer entering and exiting the drug store. With few customers and all employees wearing facemasks behind Plexiglas shields, and me with my bandana—my hearing aids picked up some distant chuckles, but I felt safe enough.

In our culture of comfort and convenience, Covid-19 is teaching us all how things really work. I caught snippets of USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue’s address to the nation yesterday. No preppie politician, Perdue’s Southern drawl appeared to have a rural, hands-on appeal when he says that there is plenty of food for all and that bare-shelved grocery stores are a result of a demand problem, not a supply problem, as dairymen dump milk and farmers plow their crops. $15.5 billion has been earmarked to purchase ‘milk and other protein products’ to help bolster the Ag markets. An obvious question is whether or not the USDA will take possession of these commodities. Beef and pork producers, and the USDA, have nowhere to go with the livestock as feedlots are backed-up because packing plants for both have been shuttered due to the Coronavirus.

The cattle market has been in a tailspin since the Trump Administration’s trade wars with China and other countries. Now touting billions of taxpayer dollars to bail out American farmers, $62 million has already gone to Brazil’s JBS SA, the largest meatpacker in the world whose owners, the Batista brothers, have spent time in jail for corruption and are currently under Justice Department probes. JBS SA Just how this will shake out is anyone’s guess.

We’ve been busy gathering our Wagyu calves for a second round of vaccinations as required by our contract with Snake River Farms. Normally, this is the time of year that we lock-in a price for the calves we are contracted to sell to Snake River, to be weighed and shipped at least two weeks after their vaccinations. Our calves will be lighter than last year after virtually no rain in January and February. Normally, our feed year ends around the 15th of May, leaving us 30 days to agree on a price. We’re watching the market with nowhere else to go, but nothing is normal, the deck has been shuffled.


4 responses to “SHUFFLING THE DECK

  1. Dagny Corcoran

    Greetings from “confinement” in Paris! My brother, Peter, has 1500 calves awaiting the sales in Idaho…wanna trade??? How are you? That’s a handsome face mask! Love to you and Robbin, XDagny


    Liked by 1 person

    • We’re doing well, adjusting. My guess is that Peter’s calves won’t need to go until fall, hopefully by that time the pipeline will be unplugged. Politics, weather and the market, those are the variables cattlemen must live with.


  2. My brother, Peter, has 1500 calves awaiting the sales in Idaho…wanna trade??? How are you? That’s a handsome face mask! Greetings from “confinement” in Paris! Love to you and Robbin, Dagny



  3. Evelynne Matsumoto (Watanabe)

    Bandana! so cooool!!!! —
    We wore them in camp in Arizona to play “cowboys and ___” and when the dust storms came to keep dirt, dust out–also used them on the farm!!!!
    Same thing as “tenugui”, just different shape, designs—

    Liked by 1 person

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