Gypsy Wagon Dec. 2019/Jan. 2020

By Betty Jo Gigot, Publisher

As I sit down to write this column, I feel like I could have just pulled out my Gypsy Wagon column from 2016 and reprinted it. The more things change the more they stay the same. We are in the middle of another presidential election, or for some, still in the middle of the last one, and issues like China and USMCA trade deals wait to be settled – certainly to the benefit of agriculture. Our politicians spend more time looking behind them than forward, and not much seems to get settled for good. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead as a doornail, thank heavens, but we are still not much closer to Peace on Earth, good will toward men.

My heart breaks for the families of the women and children who were slaughtered just a few hundred miles from my back door here in Phoenix. Mexico is certainly a prime example of a society out of control. All the memories of long trips across Mexico to meet ranchers and take delivery on cattle are colored by the state of the nation down there right now. My late husband, Dean, and I drove the F-150 pickup hundreds of miles on the same highways that now, it seems, are death traps. Thank heavens Mexico has put troops on their southern and northern borders to stop the massive influx of migrants into the United States, but until something can be done to tighten up our southern border, there will never be peace on Earth, good will toward men.

Industry-wise, what can I say? We are back to a circular firing squad, fighting with our neighbors and our suppliers and our industry counterparts, blaming everyone in sight, while expending time, money and energy on exactly the same issues over and over again. As the best producers of protein in the world in a country blessed with every resource imaginable, one would think common sense would reign and reasonable people could come to some understanding of each other’s needs. How about some peace on Earth, good will toward men.

What a marvelous summer I had, sharing good steaks and expensive scotch with many of you on my fourth, living-off-the-land tour of the countryside. I will have to admit that I was relieved to arrive back to my warm, sunny condo in Arizona after a few cold snowy days in Colorado. I stayed up north so long I had to borrow boots, long-sleeved shirts and socks those last few days. I must admit, my college and NFL football teams proved iffy this fall and made for some stress, but Shawn Spicer is still on Dancing with the Stars and my NASCAR driver made the finals, so all is not lost … yet. I am looking forward to a bright, shiny New Year.

By the time that you and I and copies of CALF News get to San Antonio for the Cattle Feeder’s Hall of Fame and the Cattle Industry Annual Convention, we will all have celebrated the holidays and enjoyed time with those we love. All of us here at CALF News want to wish you the happiest of times and a quiet prayer for peace on Earth, good will toward men.