Allen G. Squire
Many of us attended the Joint Stockmen’s Convention in Albuquerque December 11-12. In spite of the many issues that we in agriculture must contend with on a daily, almost hourly, basis, it’s comforting to know that we are all in these battles together with many other strong and principled farm and ranch families. When times get a little tough, I am reassured to know that in most cases the farmers, ranchers and dairymen have been able to organize their like-minded efforts through cooperation while leaving their differences aside. All of us in agriculture are stronger because of that approach.
USDA’s TB Listening Session on December 11 was a good example of this. I felt everyone brought many good points to the table for USDA to ponder.
At this point, I need to clarify a point I’ve made several times in the past. Although the DNA fingerprint of many of the TB cases in the Southwest (including many human cases of Bovine TB) appears to match the strain of TB from Mexican origin cattle, we must not lose sight of the fact that once the TB is established here, it’s our TB. In other words, the disease can be brought in to your herd just as easily by infected or exposed Holstein 4-H heifers or exposed replacement heifers from some other state as it could from exposure to Mexican origin cattle. New evidence is also surfacing questioning whether people infected with Bovine TB could also possibly spread the disease. Biosecurity is becoming more important every day.
As we head off into another new year, as always there are challenges facing our industry and our country. High feed costs, the stock market, the housing crises, low milk prices and bull calf prices will probably all cure themselves eventually. I have a concern about the state and federal new administrations and their various “global warming” initiatives. According to more than one source of information, there are a number of scientists (and thermometers) that disagree with the basic tenet of Al Gore’s campaign. The world has not warmed over the last 10 years and appears to be the same temperature as it was in 1940. The world’s cycles of warming and cooling appear to coincide more with solar activity and sunspots than with human activity. In fact, our temperature changes seem to mirror those of our celestial neighbors Mars, Venus and Jupiter. (Not many coal fired power plants or cows emitting greenhouse gases there!) Hopefully businesses in this country will not be strangled by regulation before sound science prevails.
Close to home, looking at our immediate future in New Mexico, the legislature’s 60-day session will be upon us shortly. I am so very thankful and appreciative for the efforts put forth by Sharon, Kaye, Susan and Beverly on behalf of Dairy Producers of New Mexico. If you see them, say thanks! Make sure you understand what DPNM does for you.