Don’t settle for just anyone – your future, the future of the industry, and the future of our country is on the line.

There are a lot of similarities in the decision making process of selecting a livestock judge or the next President of the United States. In either case, exercise your constitutional right to be heard, especially in this historical year of unprecedented presidential rancor.

Agriculture is once again at the cross roads of potential disaster, all because of government intervention. With farm programs that come and go, we go from feast to famine. And this is the year it could all go bust if we don’t elect the right president or select livestock judges that are buying into every trendy fashionable production phenomenon that comes down the pike.

We need a president that will leave farming to the farmer and judges that will identify with the progress of the meat industry over the past 100 or more years; distinguish from that of wild range production to that of high quality corn-fed meat.

Farmers will seek their own level of supply and demand if they simply produce for the marketplace instead of developing a marketing strategy that is built around the mailbox. When the checks that come in the mail are bigger than your marketing checks, it’s time to reevaluate your purpose in life. If it’s just to capitalize on the government welfare programs — then you should probably change vocations and get into something where you get paid for what you earn.

And if we’re going to disregard all the progress we’ve made in livestock production for the sake of a handful of radicals that wouldn’t know a choice steak from a prairie grouse, then just hire a judge that’s never been any closer to the meat industry then the merry-go-round.

Our future depends upon these major decisions. When comparing a candidate for judge or the president of the United States, they have to be competent enough to rise above the political agenda of a few radicals. To throw away everything that this country stands for or impede the progress of a lifetime is to ignore your responsibility as a citizen to do what is right.

If we pick the wrong president or the wrong judge, the give-away programs will only get bigger and the meat industry will go backwards.

Make your voice heard.

When a candidate gets the most votes, the people have spoken. When a taste panel chooses choice beef over select or grass fed, the people have spoken.

The problem lies with those in power that know nothing about running a business, much less the country or trend settlers that select from whichever way the wind is blowing, with total disregard for the facts!

The facts right now suggest that we could be looking at a repeat of the 80’s, where high interest rates and low commodity prices took their toll. It tore apart families, causing suicides and political upheaval across the country. Though interest rates are still low, there are suggestions of it going higher, and commodity prices are well below break-even levels. More importantly, banks are experiencing hangover woes of those terrible times, not so long ago.

So it will be tougher to weather this storm, especially with the uncertainty of the election. More government bailouts are not the answer, as they only become a band-aid for the inevitable — all at the tax payer’s expense.

The only answer that has worked for generations is livestock diversification. If you’re going to give it away, then give it to yourself. Put those cheap commodity grains through your own livestock, a conversion of input that will upgrade your profits, as well as the grade of your livestock.

The issue, of course, is the kind of feeding program and type of livestock that you will feed. This is where the judge becomes a key component to your decision-making.

So make this the year that you ask of nothing from anybody except yourself — not the President, not the judge or anybody else, and base your decisions on the facts as you know them to be true.