Karina Jones is a real-life ranch wife in the Nebraska Sandhills and one of the most highly sought-after speakers in the cattle industry nationwide!
Less cows on the land, less people on the land. Let’s dive in today on Ranch Raised.
I have a melancholy opinion on the contraction of the US cattle herd. While most analysts can chart the number of cattle on all sorts of graphs that are very impactful. I feel like the biggest impact to this trend can’t been seen on the pages of trade magazines. To use a term that most of us in cattle country can relate to, “You just can’t see it from the road.”
The shrinking cowherd is only due in part to the widespread drought. There are some other macro factors that are not talked about near enough, in my opinion. We have an aging cattle producer population that no one can deny. To see a young family in the seats of a sale barn will darn near stop the auctioneer’s chant because it is like observing an endangered species.
So the adage goes, “when the cattle leave the land, the people leave the land.” I think that can be seen driving down any country road in the Midwest. Homesteads that have been abandoned mark legacies gone. Continued complete dispersions of cowherds are the hallmark of producers retiring or operations choosing to cash in while the market can return some favors.
But it all leads to less cattle in production, less producers on the land, and I hate to say it, a dying small town America and that gives me the beef cattle blues.
Karina ranches with her husband, Marty, and 4 children near Broken Bow, NE. She grew up in western NE, with roots also in southwest SD. The cattle industry and raising kids is her passion.
Watching the cattle industry go the path that it has gone, she could no longer sit quietly at home checking cows, fixing fence, and doing all the everyday tasks wondering when some else was going to make it all better. As she became more active and outspoken on industry issues, she was asked to join the R-CALF USA staff in September 2020 as the Checkoff Petition Campaign manager. That position transcended into her former role as full time Field Director for R-CALF USA.
You can hear her almost every Friday on Your Ag Network’s Hot Barn Report, where she deep dives into cattle industry issues and industry reforms. Listen to Ranch Raised on a Your Ag Network hometown station or www.youragnetwork.com where she talks about her daily life on the Jones Ranch.
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