I am writing in response to a recent article in the graham Leader that was located on the front page, dated Aug. 3, 2014.
In this article, several eating establishments and one individual were quoted complaining about rising beef prices and their effect on their businesses.
My response is, I agree ... prices have gone up on beef and it's about time ranchers and farmers are getting a break!
Economics tells us the economy works on supply and demand. Due to the freezing weather in the northwestern part of the united states, thousands of cattle froze to death this year. In other parts of the country the drought hit hard and many ranchers had to sell out. For these folks to re-stock their herds, it has become almost impossible. I was in the ranching business all of my life and many times, if i hadn't done extra jobs like welding, oil and gas leasing, construction, etc., I would have gone belly up.
Ranchers and farmers work long and hard and were the very backbone of the raising up of communities all over the country. The success of their crops and livestock sales depends on the grace of Mother Nature, and I know of no other industry that is that dependent on Mother Nature.
Yes, prices have gone up in the beef industry, as well as the operating costs such as feed, land, fuel, machinery, water well drilling and on and on. If for one minute anyone thinks it is an easy, high profit business, I suggest that you go buy some land or lease it, buy some cattle, figure in feed costs, vet costs, machinery costs, etc., and, of course, your cattle loss margin .... and see how easy it is. Don't depend on an eight-hour day, it is going to take a lot more than that.
Then, pray for rain and pray you don't have hard winters.
Maybe then you would have a little more respect for the job of farmers and ranchers and a little less whining about your situation.
In general, over the last 40-plus years prices have gone up. I used to be able to buy a coke for 5 cents, 20 cents for a hamburger and 16 cents for a gallon of gas. In 1959 you could by a new car for $1,700.
This is a competitive world and a world based on supply and demand.
If your product is good, consumers will pay. And sometimes, one might just have to do as the farmers and ranchers and get a side job to subsidize their income.
Interest rates are at a substantial low .... compared to when I have borrowed money at 18 percent, so it might be a great time to Invest in something different. What about medical costs ....med1cations and such? If your boat is sinking, do something or else it is sure to go down. But don't point fingers at one particular other industry for the cause.
I dare say that graham would not be the great community it is today without the farming, ranching and oil industries.
And, there have been highs and lows. When there are lows, the American rancher or farmer digs in deep and works hard to make it. Sometimes it works .... sometimes it does not.
Heaven forbid when the farmers and ranchers are gone .... people will sure be longing for a nice quality steak or some fresh vegetables instead of a little meat with lots of additives!
The businesses that are complaining may need to look around at how many of their customers are in the farming and ranching communities, and shake their hand!