Soapweed's Ranch Ramblings
The writings of a Nebraska Sandhills cattle rancher!

Captive Supply
Feb 18, 2004

Ranching is the name of my game. I raise cattle; cattle eat grass. Our ranch has about two thirds enough grass and hay for the amount of cattle we run. Therefore, I lease grass from neighbors. Should the neighbors be offended because I have a "captive supply" of my own grass? It makes their grass worth less to me because of this "captive supply" of my own grass.

At weaning time, I sell calves through a sale barn. A farmer-feeder buys these calves. Calves eat corn. The farmer-feeder feeds some of his own corn and some additional corn that he buys from someone else who raises only corn. Should this corn producer be offended because the farmer-feeder has a "captive supply" of his own corn and doesn't need to buy all of his corn from the person whose only crop is corn?

When the cattle are fat, they are sold to a packing plant. The packing plant buys cattle from feeders, but they also own some cattle so they don't have to buy all of their cattle from feedlot operators. Should the feedlot operators feel offended because the packing plant owns some of their own cattle and therefore doesn't have to buy all the cattle they process from feedlot operators?

I really don't think it should matter. This is America, and it is supposedly a free country. It is a country founded on the "free enterprise system" as our form of commerce, and we all should be able to exercise this option.






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