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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

It Hurts

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Last week I stopped by my accountant’s office and wrote a check for my 2009 taxes. Going to the accountant’s office is similar to visiting the dentist — painful, but necessary. This year, like a lot of you, I am not very eager to send any money back to Washington, D.C.
I recently came across an article listing each past president’s cabinet and the percentage of them who worked in the private business sector prior to their White House appointment. Out of the last 18 presidents, Eisenhower ranked first with 57 percent of his cabinet having private sector experience. President Reagan was second at 56 percent, while George W. Bush was third at 55 percent.
Hang on – only eight percent of our current president’s cabinet has private industry experience. Despite that, they’re making decisions for the auto, insurance, banking and healthcare industries. As the report states: “How can the president of a major nation and society, the one with the most successful economic system in world history, stand and talk about business when he’s never worked for one or about jobs when he has never really had one?”
I just don’t feel my money should help bail out companies like General Motors or help pay some company executive a huge bonus. I could go on and on. I just tell myself that my tax dollars are going overseas to the troops. I feel better realizing that I may have purchased at least a couple bulletproof vests.
As I have said before, I try to stay positive in this column because agriculture has so much going for it, but lately we seem to be getting beat up. The challenge for everyone is staying on top of all the issues. We try to keep everyone informed through the Roundup, and all ag organizations have their means by which they work to keep you informed and they’re good at it. There’s also the old standby of neighbor visiting with neighbor.
At times it’s tempting to wrap my neck scarf around my ears and going about my work in silence, throwing the cell phone in the nearest washout along with my overshoes. We have to be careful, though, we might miss a good joke that’s making the rounds. It does, however, become overbearing at times.
This time of the year can be the all-time busiest on both livestock and farming operations. While the snows like we’ve recently seen can be a point of frustration, in Wyoming they often mean a better grass year ahead.
For the first time in many years you can find numerous classified ads in the “Pasture Available” section of the Roundup. That, along with the ads placed from those who are looking for pasture, is a good sign at this point in the spring season.
The Wyoming State FFA Convention and competitions in Laramie this past week are among the best news around. Some of Wyoming’s brightest youth were there, and they’ll someday be the leaders of the ag industry here in the state.

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