“The seasons change and so do we,” and thank goodness for that as it’s been a long winter on ranches in the Cariboo.
We are just past the mid-point of February — the shortest calendar month — but on the ranch it often seems the very opposite as the dog days of winter are getting very stale, yet the promise of spring (fresh air) is still very elusive, teasing us by appearing and disappearing again (in the blink of an eye) from day to day.
Cattle prices are still holding up well.
Consumers will be made sharply aware as the price of hamburgers increases to reflect the higher costs being paid by the feedlots and/or packers who are competing for the short supply of cattle available.
The shortage is due to years of herd trimming/skimming/reduction by cash-strapped struggling producers.
The cattle industry is feeling more hope than it has for some time, but there are many other pressures that challenge the industry’s long-term health.
Changes to the water act (water is the lifeblood of agriculture), concerns with environmental rules and regulations, logging and silviculture practices, agricultural land reserve issues, the list goes on — there are so many things to be aware of that affect each individual ranch operation uniquely.
What might be highly detrimental to one operation may be the very salvation of another.
For instance, in a recent issue of this newspaper there was a government notice regarding “proposed” new provincial parks (or additions to existing parks) being considered within the Cariboo Chilcotin.
That notice was posted to give you (the public, the rancher) a chance for input/comment with a 30-day period to do so. Will it affect your operation? I don’t know, but maybe you should check it out.
Maps of the proposed protected areas/additions can be accessed at :ftp://ftp.geobc.gov.bc.ca/publish/Regional/WilliamsLake/goal2/.