By Jim Sartwelle
If you and your family own cattle in Texas, I ask you to strongly consider voting YES for the future of the Texas beef industry by going to any county Extension office in Texas THIS WEEK and voting YES.
The past five-plus years have been tough on all our operations. Drought, high feed costs, high diesel and gasoline, and increased input costs have sucked a lot of the fun we’d otherwise be having from $1.75+ calves. With my sons Brock and JD being just 10 and 5 years old right now, it’s easy for Beth and I to question whether there will be much of a beef industry left for them to participate in as adults. I know the odds are a lot better if we take an active role in building a future. I’d like for us to continue to develop foreign markets, unearth new products from our carcasses, and continue to defend those of us who do it right from the animal rights activists and those who would take away antibiotics and other scientifically-accepted production practices. The time for us to act is now.
One thing I can do, as a relatively small beef producer, is to vote YES in this week’s Texas Beef Checkoff Referendum. We’ll gladly trade another $1 per head at the time of sale to strengthen the cow business through the efforts of the Texas Beef Council. That first $1 was approved nearly three decades ago. Inflation, reduced cattle numbers, and the reduced number of times cattle change hands have reduced the effectiveness of what we can collectively do to promote beef. We can sit back and hope things stay good forever, or we can be proactive and put our money where our hopes are.
Let’s do the things we can do to make sure this industry grows numbers and remains profitable.
Beth, JD and I are voting YES. We hope you will join us.
P.S. If you need more information, you can go to www.texasbeefcheckoff.com and get as much as you can handle—including who is eligible to vote, voting locations, and the hours each Extension office is open.
Jim Sartwelle is director of Public Policy with Texas Farm Bureau. He and his father operate Sartwelle Brahman Ranch, a family-owned seedstock and commercial cow-calf operation founded in 1914.