Where’s the Rain Gauge?
It’s about six in the morning and late in the week. I’m trying to get my column in before deadline, well maybe a little past deadline. By yesterday evening I was getting those looks from the editorial team…the ones that say I can’t go out and play today until my column is done.
It’s been raining in Casper for the past 14 hours with some areas receiving close to an inch so far. I find myself just staring out the window watching it rain. I even tried to find my rain gauge last night, something I’d long considered “obsolete equipment.” It hasn’t been the best week – after I chipped a tooth landing myself at the dentist office for an unplanned visit, it occurred to me that stop might be the best part of my day. It is true that a good rain in the spring, or anytime, can sure make everything better. The best part – no cost, it’s one of God’s free gifts.
In some counties this morning there are flood warnings, a caution we haven’t heard for a long time. I sure hope there isn’t too much damage and that the flowing water stays where it’s supposed to, helping replenish the state’s storage facilities.
I have been reading reports coming in about the farm bill being passed by Congress, then the President vetoing it, then the House overriding the veto only to discover that they didn’t have the whole bill. One of the best results we’ve seen from this farm bill is the agricultural organizations and associations joining together to support the bill. It also passed Congress with a big non-partisan vote, something that we haven’t seen on The Hill in a long time. So, through the farm bill, we’ve proven Congress can still work across the aisle to get things done.
And, for the most part, it is a good bill for Wyoming. Generally speaking, until the late Senator Thomas got on the Agriculture Committee, the farm bill programs never helped Wyoming much. Now, if you choose to participate, there are some programs to enhance and improve our rangelands. Some of these programs can really assist Wyoming in sage grouse habitat improvement. It’s also worth remembering that those improvements that help wildlife also help livestock.
One of the best parts about the farm bill is seeing Country of Origin Labeling, a hard-fought battle for our industry, finally implemented. As always the “devil’s in the details,” but this lets us showcase our products individually as raised in the U.S.A.
Other new parts of the farm bill will help livestock producers by mandating price reporting online by the packers and protection from being forced into mandatory arbitration.
We seem to be chipping away and gaining ground as livestock producers every now and then, but two or three days of rain is the best gift there is to lift our spirits. It makes us realize that politicians are not the only answer.