...with regard to the Kansas investigation of the "FMD scare" here, there is now a Federal investigation underway...and contrary to the information contained in the TBO article you've posted on warmwell, the cattle market is reeling back down this past week.

I attended a meeting in Hutchinson, Ks. last week and met Mr. Callicrate (Callicrate Feedyard, St. Francis, Ks) and Mr. Mike Schultz, Exec. Director of the new Kansas Cattlemen's Association...(has 150-cow herd). These guys are both very sharp people. With as much e-mail as we've shared with one another (through my computer to you and from SG or Warmwell to them) over the course of the last year, all I had to do was extend a handshake and tell them "Hi, I'm Gary Burkholder".

The reaction was immediate and quite gratifying for me, personally. They were really glad to finally meet me. Mr. Callicrate is our age...50...and he has often been considered a "radical"...but he has initiated some very positive changes for the cattle industry...and will continue to be a spokesman for the smaller farm operations that remain.

It's farm sale season here now...and the auctioneers are busy....more farmers are going out of business every day.

I went to a major farm show, here, two weeks ago....attendance was way down. Attitudes of those I spoke with....not optimistic...."guarded" would be a better term...."worried" was another word I heard.....and this was before the situation in Israel broke out.

The livestock price quotes I heard this week are things just aren't working here, very well, right now. And to make matters worse, the Kansas State Budget has a $6,000,000.00 budget deficit to contend with, and they are wringing their hands on where to come up with the money. So far, the answer has been to artificially inflate the value of land and property, but we are losing our rural populations all over the state, and new owner's first reaction to acquisition of a farm is to get a bull-dozer out and demolish all the buildings...they don't want to be charged taxes on old buildings. Hence, you can go to some counties now and not see any buildings for miles.

It's such a shame...even schools closing ...

We have our share of problems, here, too....