Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sale Day

Yesterday was the sale over at my friend's ranch. There was a pretty good turn-out but maybe not as many as he had hoped. One fellow flew in for it and landed in the pasture. They sold three tractors, a truck, many implements, saddles, household effects, some antiques, lots of tools, and of course a world-class collection of nuts, bolts, nails, screws, and miscellaneous stuph. It took three big flatbeds to hold all the small items.

Despite being his decision, it was a sad day for all. It took six hours to sell the accumulation of four generations of a ranch family's life. How could that not be wrenching? At least they are going to a comfortable retirement life not too far away.

I can't help but feel we have our priorities screwed up in this country. It's hard for farm and ranch people to make it at the best of times. Right now the wealthy and the wannabes -- often the same folks -- are buying up land at two to three times the going rate. Much more if it being sold for hunting. Of course, that immediately becomes the new 'going rate' and the real ranchers, the old timers, are squeezed. The new land values drive up the tax rates which are already high, especially in the light of the relative paucity of services actually received by the taxpayer. We just don't treat our primary ag folks very well.

We'll ship cattle in a week or so, and that will be it. That will be another tough couple of days. Most ranchers, like dairymen, really like their critters. This fellow has always treated his cattle very well, as he has a deep streak of kindness for them. Anyone that shows up to help move them and likes to whoop and holler and poke 'em with prods is asked to desist. He won't put up with that sort of behavior around his stock.

The world is always changing. Sometimes it's hard to see that the change is for the good. And sometimes it's easy to see that it isn't.


Anonymous said...

It's that way here, too. Rich people from Florida and Atlanta come up, and buy the mountain tops. Then they cut the top off the mountain and build huge glass and chrome monstrosities that everybody has to look at. The beautiful sky line is destroyed. That gives our corrupt tax assessor the opportunity to run up the property taxes on everyone else. Lots of families have had to sell off land they couldn't pay the tax on, and guess who buys it? The wealthy people in the county, who control the country government. Then they sell it to developers and start all over again.

Tmagnum62 said...

I sincerely believe that the strength of our nation, of us as a people and culture is due to our agrarian roots.
Our ability to procure and raise our own food. You have hit the nail on the head it is indeed sad when it is hard for those folks, our strength, our political foundation, our faith all stem from those folks. Now they are looked down upon for the most part. I believe it is the start of our undoing

theotherryan said...

That is sad all around. Unfortunately it is just about impossible to get into Ag unless you are rich and it is a hobby or you are born into the land. Even then a small guy can't compete with agribusiness. Having a few acres to grow a bit of beef and some wheat would be nice eventually.

Rio Arriba said...

TOR, you are right. A young man wanting to ranch or farm hasn't a chance unless he in one of the categories you mention. This is one of the great modern American tragedies, for there are many fine young people who like to make their contribution to the world in that way.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful saddles. Sad situation. I will pray for the family.

Does seem to be rare when someone can get into farming without inheriting the farm or being extremely well off to start with.

May God bless that family with victory and abundance.