Justin Angell

From Our Side
of the Fence

Justin Angell
EMCC Owner/Partner

OK cowboys and cowgirls, let’s start out and cover the best news of the month – that is the cattle markets. Calf and yearling prices continue to walk higher. For years, $2 per pound was an unachievable goal, but now it is becoming the standard for a 500 lb steer calf. Occasionally, this $2 mark is now even reached on bigger cattle. As reported July 18th on Corbitt’s feeder flash as the Zoetis top quote of the day, we (EMCC Bowling Green) sold 81 head of 642 lb steers at $2.05. Since then, the markets on all classes of cattle have walked higher with the exception of the pound cow market, which due to the flood of cows coming out of the drought-stricken areas of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and southern Missouri, has fallen $15 cwt lower recently.

Thankfully most of us remain lush and green with a few exceptions. We all received mostly 2 inches to 10 inches of rain last week. For most of us it was a rain that was very beneficial, while some of you are dealing with some flooding.

I find it hard to discuss drought consequences when my front window view is so green and beautiful. The widespread drought is still real and consequential causing falling corn prices to reverse higher and consequently result in lower prices for feeder cattle on the Chicago Board, but that weaker market didn’t carry over into our auction markets. We must remember though, at some point those prices come together. Feeder cattle rallies are easier to sustain when they are led by the board prices rather than being dragged down by them.

The bottom line is that short supply should keep our feeder cattle and calf market good and I expect a rebound in the pound cow market back to $1.00+ as soon as fall rains start making fall grass over a wide area in cow calf country now suffering dry weather. We have a lot of buyers waiting for good yearlings and calves. If you have cattle ready to sell, give us a call so we can make a plan together.

I watched an interview with Harry Kazianis, a senior director of the Center for National Interest, where he warned that China is beginning to believe it’s their time to spring past the United States and assume the mantle of the premier world power. I outlined this conflict in depth a year or two ago when I defined and discussed the Thucydides Trap that the United States and China find themselves.

Has anyone noticed how much fuel and food China is importing?Is that because of harvest problems or preparation for import disruptions? According to Kazianis, most of China’s recent massive military buildup has been not in defensive weapon systems, but alarmingly in offensive first strike technologies. These technologies include spy networks in all areas of business, academia and government. More severe destructive abilities are in cyber-attacks, missiles to destroy our satellite systems, aircraft carrier killer missiles… basically “Pearl Harbor on steroids.” The importance of that statement has been lost to Americans with the demise of our greatest generation and a national education system that has largely rejected teaching history.

I agree with much of what he said because right now China is within a few years of its pinnacle of power and prestige. China in the future will be cursed by policy of the last 40 years including the one child per family policy and an industrial revolution without environmental protections that is destroyed much of China’s environment. For example, it is speculated that as much as 70% of China’s drinking water has been contaminated with chemicals from industrial production and decades of severe urban air pollution, now causing an epidemic of health issues. There is nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal. Xi Jingping needs a crisis to divert attention from growing internal conflicts like inflation and a huge housing crisis. Our inept government is going to hand him one this week on a Silver Platter.

Why does Pelosi need to go to Taiwan? Is it because she only has a few more months to travel on the taxpayer’s dime? Interestingly, does anyone remember Pelosi being part of a pro-democracy protest at Tiananmen Square a year or two after the massacre of thousands of pro-democracy protesters there in 1989 by the Chinese PLA. Is she trying to pick a fight or avenge the deaths of those thousands of pro-democracy students? Regardless of her motive, unfortunately now that she has opened her big mouth she has to go, because it will serve only to embolden the dragon if she does not. I would hate to think that the Chinese believe they have a veto over where and when our government officials can travel through the world. According to China expert Gordon Chang, because she will be traveling on a military plane with a firer escort China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has suggested that they have the right to shoot Pelosi’s plane down. Biden and Xi Jinping had a fourth phone call this week and what took place on this call is disputed. Biden’s White House is having trouble spinning the narrative that it was a good call when according to the Chinese foreign ministry, at one point Xi Jinping threatened Biden’s life. WW3 triggers are everywhere.

The reason I spend so much space on something this far-fetched is because no one else does. On December 6, 1941 nobody thought Japan would launch a surprise attack that would destroy America’s entire Pacific Fleet. Similarly, today, deep down no one really believes that next week we could be at the losing end of kinetic war with China even though we have been on the losing end of China’s unconventional war policies for the last 20 years. For the record, normalcy bias keeps me from really thinking anything bad will happen with China, but I also spend a lot of money on car and fire insurance never thinking I will need it. Maybe it’s time for all of us to think for a minute “what if?” and prepare a little.

On a lighter note. Kind of on the spur of the moment, when we took a week off around July 4th, Kelly and I took a four-day trip. We went down to Springfield, Mo. where we stayed the first two nights. While there we went to St. Louis cardinal farm league ball game and Fantastic Caverns, both very relaxing and fun. The goal of the trip was to reach Pawhuska, Oklahoma to visit the pioneer woman store. I didn’t really know anything about it, but instead of being like a sale barn it turned out to be more like a busy Walmart in the country with a Starbucks upstairs.

If you’re wondering, they sell a lot of Chinese made merchandise in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. In all seriousness, I had a great time in that little town. People were friendly and they had lots of nice fun stores that had something for everybody. At the top of the hill, they had a small Osage Indian museum which I found of interest.

The Osage Indians were originally native to central and southern Missouri. The Osage men and women both have been referred to by contemporary historians as the most beautiful tribe. The magazine Missouri Life had a really interesting feature article on them a year or so ago. The most interesting part of the trip in my opinion was tipped off to us by one of the local store owners. About 30 miles from Pawhuska is Woolarok, the ranch of Frank Phillips, who founded the Phillips 66 Petroleum company. Phillips before his death had built a museum there to house his personal collection of Indian artifacts and other collectibles acquired over a lifetime. Murals, paintings, sculptures, tapestries, weapons, tools, and pottery; fantastic examples of pre-modern American life. I would highly recommend a stop here if you’re ever in the Bartlesville, OK area. If it was up to me, I would have liked to have spent ten hours there, however if you like museums as much as Kelly does, 37 minutes was plenty. Fortunately for me, they had a very nice coffee shop that bought me extra time.

While we were adventuring, Kelly’s son and soon to be daughter-in-law stayed out the house just to watch things and feed pets. They spent the weekend swimming, fishing, cooking out…Basically the same vacation I had without spending any money and driving for three days.

The reason I bring this up is because last night I got home from the sale and I was a little bit hungry so I was rummaging through the refrigerator and I came across a plastic bag with two hotdogs in it. I pop them in the microwave but when they came out, they looked the same color as they went in so I hit them again for another 33 seconds. When they came out, they were still pale except burnt on the ends. Something seemed fishy. I noticed out of the corner of my eye my faithful farm dog Scout was looking at me so I dropped those two hotdogs in the Scout bowl and had ham and cheese instead.

Surprisingly about an hour later I hear this intestinal wrenching heaving noise and right in the doorway going into my bedroom my dog upchucked the biggest pile of dog food and hot dog doo you would ever see. Of course, this is the same time Kelly started calling ol’ Scout “my” dog instead of “our” dog. Yes… I did clean it up.

Fortunately, we had an empty plastic apple juice container that I cut the bottom off of to use for a scoop and a pusher. Years of cleaning sale barns paid off as did my spare hazmat suit and my inability to smell anything ever since Brian Forrest broke my nose playing football in high school.

After the environmental emergency cleanup, in an effort to satisfy my curiosity, I fished out the hotdog bag and got my glasses on. Right there on the label it said plain as day – chicken hotdogs. In an effort to warn my family about the dangers of chicken hotdogs that made my dog puke on the floor, I sent out a family wide text with a picture of the package telling the story of poor ol’ Scout. Immediately, Chandler shot back a text message adorned with laughing emojis that said those weren’t hotdogs for eating – that was his fish bait for the catfish!!!

I have questions… Who would put their bait next to the cheese sticks in refrigerator? After what I’ve seen, I’m pretty sure there’s probably a lot of sick catfish down in the pond. Ol’ Scout and I think Chandler would’ve had a lot better luck fishing with all beef hot dogs.

Well it’s Saturday night and the grandkids are here for supper and running wild. I hear Kelly frying sausage because we’re having biscuits and gravy for supper. I love that stuff, but I also hear some tension in her voice when she’s asking me if “I’m about through with my @&$# article and when will I be able to help”… I think I’ve hidden in my office as long as I can. So, I’m going in there and tell her that “the cavalry has arrived.” She loves when I do that … I think. Anyway, I guess that’s all for this month. If I survive my grand entrance into Kelly’s kitchen, I will see you at the auction.