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Happy Thanksgiving

Written by Dennis Sun
As the 2011 year starts to wind down, we begin the holiday season with celebrating Thanksgiving and thawing out from the first major snowstorm of the winter.
     In most areas there looks to be adequate moisture to start the winter, especially in the south. Whether it is good times or not so good times, the one thing we must always try to do is to keep educating ourselves, be it political, technical or keeping up on the latest trends. We do this by going to conventions in early winter, taking advantage of early sunsets and reading more, especially the Roundup, and traveling to educational workshops around the country.
    Every other year, we are fortunate that the Extension and the animal science departments of the University of Nebraska, South Dakota State University, Colorado State University and the University of Wyoming present the 2011 Range Beef Cow Symposium. This year it will be held at the Mitchell Event Center in Mitchell, Neb. from Nov.29 through noon Dec. 1.
    “This biennial symposium has a reputation of being an excellent educational program, offering practical production management information since the first symposium in Chadron, Neb. in 1996. Focusing on beef production issues in the Western states, the symposium regularly attracts 800 to 1,200 attendees and more than 80 agribusiness booth venders for the three-day event,” reads the symposium website. Believe me, you will see lots of hats and scotch caps in the building.  
    One of the best parts in the evening are the Bull Pen Sessions, which will be held in the Gering Civic Center down the road in Gering, Neb., where speakers from Tuesday and Wednesday will be present to answer specific questions. It is a great time to visit with other producers and learn from others on what they are doing, and also to enjoy a meal. With the ongoing drought in Texas and other states and our high livestock prices, everyone’s attitude has to be positive and don’t forget that you should be able to write the expenses off for your taxes, so that is less money you have to give President Obama. That’s reason enough to go, isn’t it?
    It takes a lot of work to put on this symposium, and they do a great job in getting the best speakers available. Hats off to those who work so hard in developing the symposium. If you have attended one before, you know it’s a first class event.
    Those in agriculture do have a lot to be thankful for in this past year, and it looks like the next few years will be good, too, so cross your fingers. We do have some large out-of-pocket expenses in agriculture, but just think where we would be if we didn’t have good livestock prices. Some old-time cow buyers always said you had a lot better chance to make money in a high market than a poor one. Maybe they had poor memories, but they are most likely right. God didn’t make our lives fair or right all the time, but at times we do get opportunities to take advantage of now and then, this may be one of those times.
    From the Roundup Team, we wish you and your families a cheerful and safe Thanksgiving.
    Dennis