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Happy New Year

Written by Christy Martinez
      As 2009 nears its end, we look back at the year and wonder if we did well or not so well. I always try to stay optimistic and realize that some days are just better than others. I’ve heard an optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year, while the pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. What about those of us who can’t make midnight? I figure these days it’s better to keep high aspirations, moderate expectations and small needs.
    Wyoming was better off in 2009 than most of the country, but we also always seem to be a year behind the rest of the country and it’ll sure be interesting to see what happens in 2010. Hopefully natural gas will come back and save the state budget. Whoever becomes governor in 2011 will have to have a sharper pencil than the current Governor, but we just hope the new one doesn’t have to sharpen the pencil too often. But, even when times are good one needs to keep it handy.
    Who knows where livestock prices will end next year, or the price of anything you need to run a ranch or farm, for that matter. Be thankful that numbers of cattle are down, I guess. Feeding cattle will still be tough for everyone, and, along with packers, the price of corn is a ruling factor. If you raise lamb, be thankful for the Mountain States Lamb Cooperative.
    As usual, the rate of the dollar will affect us all, some good and some bad. In the end it will come down to demand for our meat products, and demand will not pick up nationally until people get jobs and some money in their pockets.
    We’ll still have to fight all the negatives of eating meat, and this too will pass once people come to their senses. At the moment it seems to be the “in” thing to bash meat with sayings of “Would you give up meat to save the Earth?” and also to blame meat for obesity. Good gosh. If people, when they go to the grocery store, would only shop at the meat and dairy counters and fresh fruit and vegetable stands, staying away from the aisles of processed food, obesity would be a thing of the past.
    A couple of positives for the New Year are the Western Legacy Alliance and the Wyoming Health Freedom movements. The Western Legacy group promotes sustainable land solutions to ensure social and economic benefits to local communities and the nation from public lands. Currently one of their major projects is reform of the Equal Access to Justice Act, which would stop it from funding radical environment groups in their legal challenges. The Wyoming Health Freedom group is trying to stop nationalized health care legislation at the state level, on the grounds it’s unconstitutional. I guess we’re not going to stop the health care bill in Congress, but maybe we can at the state level.
    An old Irish saying reads, “Get down on your knees and thank God you’re on your feet.”
Best wishes on your New Year,
Dennis