Legislative Whirlwind Part 3: 92,000 Cows

92,000 cows in Yuma

This is what 92,000 cows looks like, and this is what agribusiness looks like.

The Yuma border tour in mid-December was amazing on multiple levels.

Outside of Yuma, Arizona Legislators toured a feed lot had been owned by a local Yuma family for generations. The sign for McElhaney Cattle Company can still be seen at the entrance and on some of the equipment. In recent years, it was sold to a Brazillian corporation, which has invested millions and greatly expanded it, according to our tour guides.

Down from a normal population of 100,000 cows, we saw 92,000 cows standing and lying around in pens– with nary a cowboy in sight. We were told that the cowboys check all of the cows every night because of the heat. Although the temperature was pleasant on the December day that we visited, there were no feed lot workers anywhere– except for the couple on the bus giving the tour. The guides said these cows are tracked by computer. Is Hal tending the herd?

There were also surprisingly few birds and bugs around these cows. I’ve photographed many state and county fairs, ranches, and the Wilcox Livestock Auction pens and auction house, and where there’s livestock, there’s generally birds and bugs. (More on birds in part 4 of this series: “Lettuce & Birds.”

92,000 cows in Yuma

This photo shows miles of cows, only four birds, and zero workers to care for the livestock.

Cross-posted from PowersforthePeople.net. For more photos, go to the original post here or check out my photo tab on my Facebook page.

13 responses to “Legislative Whirlwind Part 3: 92,000 Cows

  1. Senator John Kavanagh

    FYI Even though you are on an educational trip that will help you as a legislator, be prepared for the likes of Laurie Roberts to accuse you of partaking in a “legislative junket” funded by lobbyists and big business.

    • Sen. Kavanagh. Only if the junket is to visit cows in Hawaii or the Bahamas and involves a stay in a four- or five-star hotel. I don’t think Yuma counts as much of a junket.

  2. For Sure Not Tom

    Piling that many cow patties on top of each other wreaks havoc on the land and water, and eventually consumers.

    The planet was not designed for livestock to be stored in large numbers in a small area, can’t recover fast enough.

    But whatever….cheap beef and profits!

    • I refuse to buy “supermarket beef” except for Hebrew National franks at Costco. For some years now the Doublecheck Ranch has been a good source for organic (grass fed, open range, not shot through and through with antibiotics, etc.) beef which is worth the money. In addition to supplying a few restaurants around town they also participate in some farmer’s markets. Other than buying their beef I have no affiliation with them so: doublecheckranch.com.

      • Senator John Kavanagh

        If only the poor who lack your finances and common sense would follow your costly lead and abandon their Big Macks.

        • Perhaps if you supported a livable minimum wage those who are less fortunate than you would be able to eat healthier.

          • Sen. John Kavanagh

            Raising the minimum wage will make even Big Macs more expensive and replace fast food counter personnel with kiosks. Another example of well-meaning folks creating unintended negative consequences.

          • That’s odd, where the minimum wage has been raised the economy does better. A few cents on the cost of a Big Mac (or Big Macks if you prefer) is well worth the economic benefits. Take it from the CEO of Wetzel’s Pretzels:

            “Fast Food CEO Learns a Powerful Lesson in How to Treat Minimum Wage Employees

            It turns out that raising the minimum wage can actually be good for business, as one fast food restaurant CEO recently admitted to a media outlet.

            Wetzel’s Pretzels store profits rose since California raised the minimum wage in 2014, Bill Phelps, chief executive of the fast food chain, told KQED Tuesday.

            Phelps was initially worried that raising workers wages would result in lower sales. “Like most business people I was concerned about it,” he admitted.

            Instead, the opposite effect took hold.”

            For the rest: http://www.attn.com/stories/14004/wetzels-pretzels-profits-after-california-raised-minimum-wage

            Of course if the results don’t fit conservative dogma then ignore them. Right Senator?

        • For Sure Not Tom

          What’s a Big Macks?

          Wileybud is correct, it’s legislation from legislators like you who keep the poor poor.

          And off topic, did you really introduce a law making it a FELONY to steal an American flag? A felony sentence for stealing a few dollars worth of fabric?

          Are you trying to legislate Patriotism like a good fascist or just keep your private prison pals stocked up on the good scotch?

          • Sen. John Kavanagh

            Only an American flag on display for other than retail sale purposes because you are also stealing the 1st amendment expressive right of the person displaying the flag, be it in mourning, for patriotism or protest.

  3. the picture looks like the leadership of the arizona and national democratic party talking about wither hillary clinton will run for ny govenoour or mayor as the goldman sachs money has stopped.