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Will Biden’s 30 X 30 plan be A repeat of history?

I remember my dad saying, “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” But before we get to the history lesson, consider this:

• Under the 30 X 30 Plan, President Biden wants to add an additional 440 million acres to the 67 million acres of land managed in its “natural state” to preserve biodiversity and combat climate change. The federal government owns 563 million acres already, but the Biden Administration says only 12% of that land is managed in its “natural state” to protect us from the climate crisis.

• According to the Environmental Protection Agency, between livestock and crops, agriculture accounts for about 10.5% of all U.S. climate change emissions.

• The Biden Administration’s goal is to have net zero global emissions by mid-century.

• By 2030, the world’s human population will increase to 8.5 billion people. (It is estimated to be about 7.86 million currently)

• To feed all those people, the world needs farmers and ranchers. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the average American farm feeds 166 people, but with the increase in the world’s population, the world’s farmers will have to grow 70% more food than they did in 2019.

Now for the history lesson, anyone of driving age in 1974 — or who had a father who loudly complained when driving I-80 across Wyoming — remembers the 55 miles per hour speed limit. That was a time, based on the 1973 Arab Oil Crisis, that Congress mandated that states should “voluntarily” reduce their speed limits to 55 mph to lower gasoline consumption because the U.S. was not energy independent. The catch was that the receipt of federal highway funds was tied to the “voluntary” speed limit reduction. In other words, if a state reduced its speed limit to 55 mph, it would receive its share of federal highway funds; if a state didn’t comply, no federal highway funds would come its way. Most states complied and the few that didn’t, quickly took “voluntary” action once the checks stopped coming. The Supreme Court has ruled that the Congress can constitutionally use the power of the purse to “influence” decisions that are normally reserved to the states.

So why reminisce about the 55-mph speed limit when talking about Biden’s 30 X 30 Plan? It is because I worry about Biden’s requirement to “voluntarily” reduce agriculture’s carbon footprint by “us[ing] Department of Agriculture programs, funding, and financing capabilities, and other authorities, . . . to encourage voluntary adoption of climate-smart agricultural and forestry practices.” Sec. 216 (b)(i).

This administration is already making progress on its climate change goals. First, it has canceled its federal oil and gas lease sales mandated under the Mineral Leasing Act, on the theory that perhaps wind and solar can replace oil, gas and coal as our energy source. I have not found a lot of affordable commercial all-electric tractors that could be used on farming or ranching operations today.

Second, the Department of Agriculture has just significantly increased its “payment rates and financial incentives” to convince landowners to enroll additional acres into the Conservation Reserve Program. While landowners have the right to do with their land what they want, I worry about paying agriculturalists not to produce.

Third, there are those advocating that USDA use its other “financial tools” such as federal crop insurance programs, farm payment programs and increasing collaboration with federally backed agriculture lenders to encourage “voluntary” climate smart agriculture (CSA). There are plusses and minuses with all CSA, but the landowner needs to be able to consider those without the federal government tipping the scales by “voluntarily” withholding certain payments or getting between a landowner and his ag lender if the landowner does not pick the program chosen by the federal government.

And I also wonder this? How are farmers and ranchers going to feed 8.5 billion people in 2030 if there is no American oil and gas for tractors, we are paying landowners not to produce or to produce less, and multiple use on federal lands is curtailed or eliminated to reach the 30 X 30 Plan goals? And what I am really warning is that the history of the federal government’s “voluntary” 55 mph speed limit NOT be repeated today.

Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2022 contestants announced

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. — Four contestants from across the state will compete for the coveted title of Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2022. The Miss Rodeo Nebraska Association will host the annual pageant June 13–16, 2021 in North Platte during NebraskaLand DAYS. In addition to the Miss Pageant, the Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska Pageant will also be held with four contestants competing for the 2021 title.

The contestants will compete in the categories of horsemanship, appearance and personality. Three judges will review the performance and knowledge of each of the ladies. A full schedule of events can be found at www.missrodeonebraska.org

The 2022 Miss Rodeo Nebraska Contestants include:

Danielle Forster: Forster, of Smithfield, Neb., is the 21-year-old daughter of Kevin and Kim Forster. Forester is currently a junior at the University of Nebraska where she is a member of the Pre-vet Club, Rodeo Club, Equestrian Team, Horse Judging Team and a member of Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority. In her free time, she enjoys embroidery, collecting records and spending time with family and friends.

Jessica Lange’: Lange’, hailing from Crofton, Neb., is the 20-year-old daughter of Roger and Jeanine Lange’ of Smithfield, Neb. She currently attends the University of Wyoming where she is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in agriculture. Lange’ is a member of the University of Wyoming Ranch Rodeo Team and hopes to return to the family ranch and carry on the legacy and family traditions. Her love for agriculture and what it represents inspired her to pursue her degree path.

Bailey Lehr: Lehr, hailing from Columbus, Neb., is the 20-year-old daughter of Lance and Joan Lehr. She currently attends Central Community College where she will graduate in May with an associate’s degree in agricultural business. Lehr plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree in agriculture business at Kansas State University. She is a member of The American Quarter Horse Association, Nebraska Foundation Quarter Horse Association and the National Barrel Horse Association. She plans on competing in college rodeo while at Kansas State.

Megan Pendergast: Pendergast, of Brady, Neb., is the 21-year-old daughter of Matt and Rebecca Engels. Pendergast attended Mid Plains Community College and is a certified phlebotomist. She was a 4-H member for many years and enjoyed showing her ranch horses. Her previous titles include 2017 Logan County Rodeo Queen and the 2019-2020 Southwest Rodeo Queen. Pendergast is a current member of the Velvet Spurs Drill Team.

The contestants competing for the title for Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska 2021 include:

Brooke Lehr: Brooke Lehr, hailing from Columbus, Neb., is the 16-year-old daughter of Lance and Joan Lehr. Brooke Lehr attends Scotus Central Catholic High School where she participates in volleyball, basketball, track and cheerleading. She loves to participate in rodeo whether it be queening or barrel racing. Lehr is an active member of Saint Isidore Catholic Church. In her spare time, she likes to Kayak, go four-wheeling and a good country music concert.

Jaelyn Himmelberg: Himmelberg, of Lawrence, Neb., is the 15-year-old daughter of John and Cassandra Himmelberg. She attends Blue Hill High School as a freshman. Himmelberg is an avid dancer. She enjoys camping, fishing, playing violin, guitar and piano. She is an active member in many school activities and president of the freshman class.

Hannah Siwinski: Siwinski, from Central City Neb., is the 16-year-old daughter of Mike and Sherry Siwinski. She attends Palmer Public School. Siwinski is a 4-H ambassador and enjoys livestock and horse judging as well as horse quiz bowl. She likes to raise and show horses and participates in FFA, archery, band and track.

Calie Troyer: Troyer, from North Platte, Neb., is the 16-year-old daughter of Kyle and Yvette Troyer. She attends Hershey Public Schools where she participates in FBLA, One Act, Speech and Dance Team. Troyer is a member of 4-H and participates in the foster child program and their events. She attends and volunteers at church activities, loves board games and is also very competitive.

The reigning royalty will crown their successors on June 16. Joeli Walrath of Ashton, Neb., holds the title of Miss Rodeo Nebraska 2020–2021 and will compete for the title of Miss Rodeo America this December in Las Vegas, Nev. Brylee Thompson of Hershey, Neb., will also participate in the festivities as Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska 2019–2020. Many events will have meet and greet opportunities with current royalty, contestants and visiting royalty.

The STEAD School celebrates topping out of Colorado’s Nextgen Agriculture High School

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — The STEAD School board of directors, including Co-Founders Kelly Leid, Oakwood Homes community operations and Amy Schwartz, BuildStrong Education executive director, Cal Fulenwider, representatives from DLR Group and Saunders Construction, along with some STEAD students and founding family members celebrated the topping out of the first building on the STEAD School L.C. Fulenwider Campus, on Thursday, April 29, 2021. The school, a new Science, Technology, Environment, Agriculture and Design learning environment, will use a blended education model that integrates project-based learning and career and technical education to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurially driven problem solves around animal, plant, food and environmental sciences. The public charter high school, which is a part of the School District 27J, broke ground in January 2021 and is expected to be complete just in time for the inaugural freshman class in fall 2021.

BuildStrong Education, an Oakwood Homes Foundation, championed the STEAD School. The school will offer students experiential learning through the use of hands-on materials, interdependent projects, cooperative learning, individualized lessons, internships and community service. Located in the Reunion neighborhood of Commerce City, the land was donated by the Fulenwider family, for whom the high school campus is named after. Once completed this fall, STEAD will provide education for 175 new freshmen, with a total capacity of 700 for all high school grades at full build-out.

“The STEAD School sits at a nexus of rural, suburban and urban space. That means we can bring students together from all these geographic environments to collaborate and learn from their surroundings and each other,” said Kelly Leid, executive vice president at Oakwood Homes and STEAD School co-founder. “This exploration-type learning will result in problem-solving and innovations that drive solutions on how to keep our planet sustainable.”

As the first building on the nearly 10-acre site, which will be built out in phases, will feature an open space learning environment across multiple pre-engineered buildings, that look and feel like barns, along with auxiliary specialty workshops and labs in support of “learning made real” experiences — representing nearly 3,000 possible career options for exploration.

“Climate change, water stewardship, conservation, responsible agriculture and technology are critical as we move forward,” said Cal Fulenwider, chairman/CEO, L.C. Fulenwider Inc., whose family donated the land for STEAD. “That’s what this school is all about. This school is a prototype — we have goals to expand this nationally, because we think that’s the responsibility that this generation has to future generations.”

Texan to judge Colorado’s junior Breed Bash

BRUSH, Colo. — Cheramie Viator of Texas will officiate the show and showmanship portion of the 2021 Breed Bash, a new multi-breed state field day to be June 5 and 6 in Brush.

Viator is a Louisiana native, who served on national junior Angus and Brangus boards growing up. She was a national showmanship champion and a member of the livestock judging team at Texas A&M.

Her background also includes working for large ranches, including Silver Spur Ranch where she was responsible for genetics, bull development, registered cattle marketing and all natural/age and source audits for the 15,000-head cowherd at ranch locations in Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and Nebraska. Annually, she coordinated their AI program for 2,000 to 3,000 heifers and bull development for 250-plus bulls.

Today, Viator works for Westway Feed Products as their national marketing manager. She also owns multiple breeds of cattle. She and her mother operate a small cow/calf operation together near College Station, Texas.

Viator will judge the showmanship and breed shows on June 6 at the Morgan County Fairgrounds in Brush.

Breed Bash is an effort by junior advisors from Colorado’s Angus, Hereford, Limousin, Red Angus, Shorthorn and Simmental associations, and Colorado Cattlemen’s Association. The collaborative state field day includes educational contests, showmanship, and breed shows. It is geared for youth owning registered cattle.

Animal check-in and some competitions will be Saturday, June 5. Entries for beef quiz bowl, salesmanship, speech, and photography contests are found on the same entry form with showmanship and cattle show. The educational contests are free and open to any youth, with a first-come first serve signup in some competitions. An informal awards ceremony and junior breed association meetings will wrap up the day.

On Sunday, June 6, the Blow-n-Go shows will start at 8 a.m. with showmanship, followed by individual breed shows and culminate with a Supreme Champion. Showman must be members of their respective Colorado junior breed association. The cattle shows are $20 per head. Entry deadline is May 15.

Google forms are available on https://www.facebook.com/Colorado-Breed-Bash. A schedule and entry forms also may be found on https://ColoradoSimmental.com/juniors.html or on http://www.coloradoangusassociation.com/juniors.html websites.

For more information, potential sponsors and exhibitors may contact breedbash@gmail.com.

Summer’s coming — time to volunteer

South Dakota may well be the leader in volunteers per capita of any state. (For those of you who want facts, figures, and statistics you may as well quit reading now, as you won’t find any proof of the first statement.) I just know that in South Dakota volunteers make the world work.

We are so used to volunteering, and so many of us do it, that we may not notice the workers nor the work that gets done. A core group of paid employees may be the ones who keep things running smoothly and plan the overall operation of a facility but it is the volunteers who do much of the work.

Among the volunteers at a museum may be those who staff the admission desk. They are the museum ambassadors who greet people and set the tone for their visit. Customer service is the name of the game and it is uplifting to see it in action.

Museum volunteers are a special type of people. They interact with visitors, find out where they come from and inform them of the exhibits. The hospitality continues with maps and answers to requests for information. It is important to let the public know they are appreciated and welcome.

Nearly every town has some type of museum and they all need volunteers. Especially in smaller towns, the museums are open seasonally and that is when the extra help is so needed.

Custer, S.D.’s, 1880 Courthouse Museum needs 40 volunteers for their seven-day per week schedule that includes evening hours. Hot Springs, S.D., has the Pioneer Museum and Edgemont, S.D., is home to the Trails, Trains and Pioneers Museum. Even people who are new to the areas are welcomed, in fact that would be a great way to learn about a new community’s history and meet its residents.

Not all volunteers are frontline; master gardeners who take on the responsibility of planting, nurturing and labeling plants that thrive in this climate and removing the weeds that sneak in, are valued. Such groups often label the plants and wandering through the grounds encourages individuals to try new plants in home landscaping or just learn about them.

The Civilian Conservation Corps Museum of South Dakota, located inside the Hill City Visitor Center is in need of volunteers. One of the best things for volunteers is they can set their own schedule, one shift a week or a month or anything in between. Any help is appreciated.

These museums are run by volunteer boards, which seek new members. Some people find volunteerism suits them so well that they do it their entire lives; others have already burned out. Many people who did not have time to volunteer when they were working full-time and caring for their families full-time, are now retired or at least slowed down to the point where they can ‘give back,’ as they call it.

All of these volunteers — and indeed volunteers anywhere — have one major thing in common: they are passionate about their cause. Look around and see if you can help in your community.

Things you’ll never hear

Here’s some dialogue you’ll never hear on a real working cow ranch.

• “Well boys, shall we retire to the plush confines of the bunkhouse and partake of a bottle or two of Dom Perignon? I find the red summer fruit excites the palate, expresses the fruit, finesse, poise and mineralogy like no other champagne.”

• “Why don’t you drive and I’ll open all the gates?”

• “Oh boy, I just got promoted to be on the fencing crew. Who knows, if I perform well there in 20 years or so I might be promoted to the windmill team.”

• “I suppose you have a valid point,” said the husband to the wife.

• “Remind me to send a thank-you note to all the Big Four packers for not bidding on my over-ripe steers in the feedlot once again this week. They seem like such nice people.”

• Ranch owner talking to a new hire: “The job comes with a new pick-up, a 72-inch television and your choice of either a new Lazy Boy or sectional sofa for the media room in your 3,000-square-foot personal bunkhouse.”

• “I don’t care what our calves sell for at the auction this week as long as they go to a nice person.”

• “Great news honey, our banker just called and said they’re making so much money this year buying Bitcoin stock they aren’t going to charge interest on our loans for the rest of the year.”

• “Honey, you’ve worked so hard on the ranch this year, single handedly raising the kids, keeping house along with your full-time job in town. Why don’t we spend our stimulus money from Uncle Joe and take a two month vacation to Monaco and Paris.”

• Ranch owner to possible buyer: “We’re selling because this ranch never made any money, we’ve spent all my wife’s inheritance and a cow has to graze 30 miles per hour just to survive.”

• “Thank you Lord for this beef we’re about to eat and the neighbor who unknowingly provided it.”

• “Sure, I’ll give you a 4% shrink, keep them off of feed and water and put a hard work on them before we weigh my calves. And I trust you to read the scale as I bring them up the alley.”

• “I’d be glad to pay for all the fencing costs to fix the broken down fence between us.”

• “That $400 a ton hay sure is a lot better than I thought it would be and is a real bargain.”

• “That knothead of a horse may look as harmless as a pet rabbit but he is a real man-killer. Why the heck do you think we’re selling it?”

• “I’d never knowingly put too much weight on your cattle truck. Should we take a couple off so you won’t get an overload ticket.”

• “I’ve already got enough free hats and jackets. Why don’t you give these to someone else?”

• “Range bulls sure are cheap this year. I think I’ll buy a few extra just to be on the safe side.”

• “I’m thinking about trading my trusty 4 X 4 Cummins for one of them new Tesla triangle truck thingies.”

• “Our new BLM gal says we’ll be able to run more cows this year than we ever have.”

• “There’s nothing quite as thrilling as the howl of wolves in the calving pasture.”

• “I’m sure you’ll like the calves out of our main herd sire. He has the distinction of being the only bull in history to finish dead last in his class in Denver, Fort Worth, Houston, Rapid City and San Antonio.”

• “Dear, I know I forgot your birthday yesterday and also our anniversary last month. To make up for it why don’t you take the rest of the afternoon off and I’ll cook dinner and wash the dishes. Just show me where the kitchen is.”

• “Can I have another Beyond Beef burger?”

• “I sure wish it would stop raining.”

Loose Cow Party

“It’s for you,” his darlin’ told him as he lay back in the chair

For a well deserved siesta. Ugh, it wasn’t really fair.

It was Chuck, his nearest neighbor – did he have to call right now?

Millard took the phone and listened, “Are you sure that it’s my cow?”

As if he’d changed his brand last week or something equally absurd

Like the F.B.I. was posing as a member of his herd

Or an alien invasion took possession of his place

And planned to infiltrate the earth as cows from outer space.

But no easy explanation seemed to ease his heavy load

Chuck said, “Better come and get her, she’s a’grazin’ on the road.”

Saddled up, he hit the highway and broke into a jog

With his wife not far behind him in the pickup with the dog.

He could spot the cow’s location from within a half a mile

Cars were backed up to the corner, everybody wore a smile.

Helpful tourists waved and hollered, horsemen galloped to and fro

Swingin’ ropes like polo players, someone takin’ video.

Millard rode into the melee as the cow turned up the lane.

She trompled through the clothesline draggin’ laundry like a train

Through the hogwire to the garden, through the hotwire to the corn,

‘Cross the rows with corn stalks flyin’, laundry hangin’ off her horn

There were fifteen mounted riders rattlin’ through the stubble field,

Millard got a rope around her but he knew his fate was sealed

When he felt the horn knot grabbin’ and the saddle slip an inch…

He remembered he’d forgotten to retighten up his cinch.

He was still there in the saddle but it now sat on the neck.

We should pause and take reflection while we visualize the wreck

(pause)

Millard peeled off the equine like a dirty undershirt

He was still tall in the saddle when his boot heel’s hit the dirt

You could think of water skiing. You could think of Roto-Till

But when fifteen mounted riders mash you flat, it’s all downhill

Millard watched from his position in the furrow that he’d plowed

While the cow crashed through the hotwire, disappearin’ in the crowd.

There the band of merry revelers in gesture grandiose

Lashed up the draggin’ rope somehow, around a solid post.

The crowd began to dissipate. It was over, they could sense

Leavin’ Millard to apologize to Chuck about his fence.

Chuck was gracious. Millard thanked him for his helpfulness and such

But it seemed like Chuck enjoyed it… just a little bit too much.

But he really couldn’t blame him. When a loose cow wreck occurs

It’s a miserable fiasco, ‘less, of course, it isn’t yers!

The seasons change

Yep, for sure, the seasons change and aren’t we glad? I am. I have lived in areas where I wanted some cold weather to come along just for some relief from the heat. I bet there are folks down in the deep south that would like to see snow at times or at least a change in the weather from what they are used to all the time. I will tell you I do wish spring had come along a little sooner. Man, have we ever had some awful weather, global warming ya know!

The good news is I have found a burst of energy from somewhere that has led me outside to do some painting on the old lean-to shed down at the corrals. I also need to repaint or stain my front deck. I plan on picking up the paint tomorrow and if the wind don’t blow too hard, I may just git’er done. It will be time to hook up the “bush hog” before too much longer and after a recent 2 inches of rain, the cactus is popin’ up in a lot of places and I will need to start grubbin’ that crap out of the ground when time and energy allows. I will have lots of grass this year it appears after the big snows and this recent rain and by golly, it’s getting warm out there. That means I will be hooking up the old “swamp cooler” in days to come and I have to tell ya, gentle readers, that ol’ boy has seen better days. “Swamp coolers are considered to be a “red neck device,” but I will tell ya if you want to have a cool home for very little expense, that’s the way to go, for me, anyway.

I hope to be able to kick out some cows in the coming days if the folks that leased my pasture want to come back. If not, I’ll find some other cattle or buy some yearlings to run until fall. A green pasture always looks better with cows on it. I did get rid of my horses. One was on loan, the other I bought and was again disappointed at how awkward I found it to be getting mounted.

He was gentle enough but could be a little hard headed if he wanted to come home before I did. I didn’t need that for that is what got me bucked off and hurt last time.

Speaking of time, by the middle of May I will have turned 81 and would have had mine and Martha’s anniversary of 58 years had she lived. Father Time can for sure be a rascal at times and make you realize it was time to give up horses and as it turned out, they were gone right before the “big blow.” I would have had to climb over 6 to 8 foot drifts to get to the corrals. The loafing shed underneath filled up with snow right to the roof! CRAZY! Truth is I’m feelin’ purty darn good about where I am at present and with summer coming on makes it even better. Yes, of course I do wish I could just step up on a good horse and enjoy the ride without having a hard time to get on and then have yer pony develop an attitude shortly after. I took the time to go back in time and try and figure out how many ponies I had thrown a leg over since I was a boy up to the present. At best, my memory came up with a figure of 89. Some were good, some fairly good, some really good and toss in a number of broncs. To me, a bronc is any horse that is unpredictable and may either go to buckin’ when you least expect it, run off with you or just start acting like a complete idiot and gets uncontrollable and you wind up gettin’ hurt trying to settle him down. I have had it all happen and I bet many of you have as well. Sooooo… with all of that said I reckon I’ll close for now and wish us all a pleasant and safe spring and summer.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, patience is a virtue but I have to tell ya, mine at times is runnin’ on a short fuse. I’ll c. y’all, all y’all.

COVID antibodies developed in South Dakota cattle study

New research continues to emerge regarding COVID-19, and at home in South Dakota, it’s cattle leading the way in some new and important science that could potentially benefit human health.

In Sioux Falls at SAB Biotherapeutics, a herd of genetically modified cattle are producing human antibodies that can neutralize coronavirus.

The antibodies produced by these bovines are being tested as a potential treatment in a trial sponsored by the National Health Institute (NHI).

According to Julie Anderson for the Omaha World-Herald, “The cattle, a Holstein mix, have been genetically modified to have a partially human immune system. During a clinical trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, two different doses of the cow-produced antibodies are being tested in people with mild to moderate COVID-19.

“SAB Biotherapeutics, the Sioux Falls biotech firm that developed the antibody-producing technology, announced late last month that the first patient in the trial already had received a dose of the antibodies, a product called SAB-185.”

Although COVID vaccines are now available across the United States, SAB co-founder, president and CEO, Eddie Sullivan, is working to provide treatments that would be effective for another virus with a high ability to mutate.

Anderson reports, “Indeed, monoclonal antibody therapies have been used throughout the pandemic. But the company’s product, Sullivan said, produces a polyclonal response, meaning the antibodies can bind to more than one site on the coronavirus. Monoclonal antibodies, as the name suggests, can bind to only one. Humans naturally fight disease through a polyclonal response.

“That could be important at a time when variants of the coronavirus have begun to outmaneuver some monoclonal antibody treatments. The Food and Drug Administration last month rescinded emergency approval for one monoclonal therapy when used by itself because it had “lost potency” against some variants.”

So what’s the process for producing these antibodies?

The cattle are injected with a noninfectious portion of the coronavirus, and the cattle produce antibodies to fight it. With each injection, the animals build up higher levels of neutralizing antibodies, and Sullivan said the research has found the antibodies to be 40 times higher than what’s identified in convalescent plasma donated by people who have recovered from COVID-19 and more than what are found in vaccinated people, as well.

According to the article, “The SAB antibodies are being added to an ongoing NIH trial that also is testing four other possible therapies in patients worldwide, run by an existing research network. A total of 220 patients, 110 at each of the two sites, will receive the product. Their results will be compared to patients who receive a placebo.

“The company has been working to develop the technology behind the product for nearly two decades. Support for the development of the product now in trials came through a federal contract.”

Previous work from SAB has included using cattle to research and produce antibodies to fight Zika, Ebola, cancer, diabetes and influenza.

To learn more about SAB’s work, visit www.sabbiotherapeutics.com.

A wedding tale

We’re approaching June, which seems to be the traditional wedding month, so it’s appropriate and timely to relate a supposedly true rural wedding tale.

It doesn’t matter where it happened, but rest assured, if it did, it was in the middle of the Fly-Over nation.

Picture this: It’s a beautiful day for an outdoors wedding. Everyone is dressed in wedding finery. Everyone’s been rehearsed in their roles — from bride and groom, to attendants, to flower girl and ring bearer, to minister, to relatives of the couple to be wed, to soloist to piano player.

The wedding march begins. Everyone is in their proper places. A few tears of joy are shed. The father of the groom — throat lump in place — croaks out that he “gives this woman to this man.”

The minister says fine wedding words. Songs soar into the heavens. The ceremony goes off without a hitch. The wedding exit is completed. Pictures are taken. The reception party begins. The maid of honor gives a toast to the glowing bride. The best man toasts his newly-wed best friend and wishes him “a honeymoon never to forget.”

During the reception, the best man and the groomsmen quietly exit and prepare the grooms shining SUV for the honeymoon trip. The suitcases for the trip are already loaded.

In addition to the ever-present chain of beer cans wired to the rear of the car, and a few risque slogans painted on the windows, the ornery friends of the groom pack-fill to capacity the interior of the SUV— front seat, back seat, and cargo space — with small air-filled balloons.

The fellas return to the reception just in time to pitch bird seed (not rice) over the triumphant bride and groom as they dash to their get-away car. The newlyweds fling open the front doors, scrape into the outdoors the balloon on the dash and front seat, they laughingly pile in, start the car and peel out on their honeymoon trip — beer cans clanking behind them.

They travel a few miles, sharing sweet nothings between them, when all of a sudden, the best man sits up out from under the balloons still in the back seat and yells, “Hey, where are we going?”

Luckily the happy couple didn’t wreck the car. They were good sports about the prank and turned the SUV around and returned the best man to the church.

***

I talk a lot about my flock of laying hens, but I haven’t explained how my development and application of high technology is the key to maintaining and improving the productivity and profitability of my hens.

Let me explain more clearly. It’s just the nature of laying chickens to be inefficient about laying their eggs. Just think about it. First a hen has to select a nest to lay her egg in. Then she takes her own sweet time to lay her eggs — all-the-while occupying the nest that another hen could be using. Then after she lays her eggs, she spends more wasteful time sitting in the nest cackling about her newly-arrived egg. All that wasted hen-time is wasted money and profits to me.

So, I solved that problem years ago by inventing a new machine that maximizes poultry profits by making the whole egg-laying scenario swifter and more efficient.

It’s called the Hi-Volt Egg-o-Matic. It works like this. The hen climbs into the electrified nest and the instant she settles down, the patented “Electrified Comb-Cap” drops down on her head and completes an electrical circuit.

You sharp agriculturists have probably already figgered out the key profitability function of the HVEOM — it shocks the shell out of the hen.

As a side-note, I’ve made a bunch of greenbacks selling my HVEOM at premium prices to all the major industrialized egg producing corporations in the U.S and around the world — thanks to merchandising on the internet.

***

My words of wisdom for the week. This one is an original pearl of wisdom from yours truly — to the best of my knowledge: “The only thing that interferes with the wind in Kansas are shadows.”

Also, “Can’t believe it’s riot season already. Still have my Covid decorations up.”

Have a good ‘un.