NOTE FROM JACE:
Dear Mr. President,
I’m writing this on the behalf of myself, my family, the majority of my customers at La Junta Livestock, and cow/calf ranchers throughout the United States. The steak that you are beginning to eat, started with one of us farmer/ranchers in America. (unless its imported beef…) I would like to tell you how it gets from us to you and how this can stimulate the market in all the red states and some of the blue states. (This is where a majority of the farmers & ranchers live and work their farms and ranches.) Let’s start at the very beginning… We have a cow and a bull raise a calf in the spring, which is sold in the fall weighing from 500 to 600 lbs. This sounds pretty simple and easy so far, but a lot of us are 2nd, 3rd & 4th generation farmers & ranchers. We have spent years and years being stewards of the land and collecting the best genetics and proper vaccinations to raise the cattle to sell in the fall to wheat farmers or feedlots. Our whole year could be determined by the weather (rain, drought, snow, etc.). If these calves do go to the wheat, they start at the 500 to 600 lbs and grow to 800 to 900 lbs before they go to your public feedlots. They are then revaccinated, placed in pens, and fed American raised corn and hay. When they reach an estimated weight of 1300 to1400 lbs, they will be purchased by an American packing house which is owned by Americans, Brazilians, and Chinese. Then the livestock is butchered/ processed and sold to grocery stores, retailers, restaurants or exported. That’s the path of the beef itself. Now let’s follow the dollar… It takes an estimated $500.00 to $600.00 per cow to raise the calf due to land payments, land taxes, water, interest, hay and feed for the winter, leased pasture, bull purchase, etc. We are one of the few businesses in America that buy retail and sell wholesale. This year’s calf crop is probably (estimated) at between $650.00 and $750.00 per calf at market value when it is sold to the wheat farmers. The wheat farmers have an estimated $300.00 to $400.00 expense in trucking, equipment, medicine, pasture, hired help, interest, and death loss, etc. Next it goes to the feedlot at an estimated value of $1000.00 to $1300.00. The feedlot then feeds that animal to a value of $1400.00 to $1700.00 with an expense of $400.00 to $600.00 (corn, hay, silage, medicine, death loss, interest, trucking charges, yardage, etc.). The Corporate packinghouses are listed on the NY stock exchange and that information/pricing is available to the public. Mostly what I heard this year was that the packing houses were netting $300.00 to $500.00 per head. Mr. President, You ran your campaign on fair trade with foreign countries. This industry’s money is not staying in America. If the cow/calf farmer/rancher, the wheat farmer, and the feedlot all made a mere $100.00 to $200.00 more per head, then this would stimulate our own communities and our own economy. People would buy more vehicles, more tractors, more products, etc… and FOR PETE’S SAKE, if there just happened to be ANY left over, we might even be able to take time off and go on a vacation! At the end of the day, the money manufactured by the farmer and rancher product is leaving the country. Mr. President, if you have any idea on how to make our livelihood better and balanced, PLEASE let me know!
La Junta Livestock Commission Inc.
President & General Manager
The only locally owned and operated Livestock auction
Proud American wanting fair trade in the Livestock industry
(IF I were to write a letter to the President, it might sound like this… I’d be interested to hear if you have additional insights concerning the livestock market that you would also like to share with our President. (keeping the conversation light and clean of course… J))