New Mexico Cattle Grower’s Association President’s Message
During the February Board Meeting in Santa Fe, I was sitting in the West Lobby on the third floor of the Roundhouse, visiting with members, keeping an eye out for one Legislator or another to discuss this bill or that, when Jose asked if I’d write another letter for the Stockman. So here goes…
The other day I was saddling a new young horse to go check heifers…something I’ve done for dang near 50 years and hope I get to do for several more. I led my bronc out of the saddle shed and looked around. Standing there in the middle of the corral was one of my ole pets that I thought I needed to retire to the grandkid raising a string. He was looking at me in anticipation of going but in hopes of not having to, and there I stood knowing if something needed to be done where experience would be required, I’d be throwing my loop at him, but also knowing this young horse wouldn’t ever get the experience my ole pet had if I didn’t give him the chance.
I’d compare that to the NMCGA today. We still have those ole ponies in the remuda to call on for wisdom and guidance. I feel as a little kid listening to those old hands swapping tales of their youth knowing that they as I learned a lot of wisdom from listening to their predecessors…Phillip Bidegain, Don Hofman, Linda Davis… Then there’s those seasoned caballos that are saddled up and used when needed…Bill Humphries, Phil Bidegain, Bebo Lee, Mike Cassabone, Rex Wilson, Alisa Ogden. They have been down the trails and been in a many tough spots, but have the experience to handle the job. The association has some good young broncs to make those big circles that keep our industry, businesses, livelihoods, and traditions alive too, and I must say we have some good ones…Boe Lopez, Dustin Johnson, Troy Sauble, John Diamond, Kendell Wilson, just to name a few. These broncs are making tracks and gaining experience every day and stay tied hard and fast.
It’s been over three years since I stepped down as President of the association and many of the problems I was on watch over are still there. There is the ever present Mexican wolf, water issues, private property rights, and so on. We probably will be in some kind of fight on these issues forever, it’s just that our opponents figure out new and different ways of attacking. We must keep our hats pulled down, our cinches tight, and be ready for them come what may.
Well I’d better close. I’ve got a heifer out there that was building a nest awhile ago and she might need some attention. So, I’ll saddle that colt and hope I show him something that gives him a little more experience in his job.