Farm Credit
Jun 03 2017

Word of the Month: Anthropomorphic

by Caren Cowan, Executive Director,
New Mexico Cattle Grower’s Association
Read this article & more in New Mexico Stockman Magazine

It means ascribing human form or attributes to a being or thing not human. I have difficulty pronouncing the word and it is relatively recently added to my vocabulary.

It came back to top of mind when I was binge watching RIDE TV on a Sunday. The summer sports drought started when Baylor knocked the University of Arizona out of the NCAA Girls Softball Tournament, there isn’t always a Law & Order on and there are just so many home improvement shows you can sit through. The news is out of the question and… my mother was happy with RIDE.

A show came on about the EQUUS Film Festival, an event that has been held in New York City for the last three years to screen films about horses along with discussions about issues affecting the equine world. You can imagine what might go on. However, the folks who host the event seem to want some open discussion and education, even with their bias.

The event is held in November. In 2016 Protect the Harvest was a sponsor. The mere announcement that this group dedicated to protecting agriculture brought out such vile comments on Facebook and their website that cannot be repeated in polite company… or any company.

The issues covered in the 30-minute program included those we are all too familiar with — Walking Horses and “soring,” carriage horses in Central Park and “wild” horses. There was balance in the panels discussing these and probably other issues.

They were talking about the federal wild horses. I put wild in quotes to point out that there are many in New Mexico, at least, that misuse that term on a regular basis. That area was, of course, my biggest interest. The arguments for letting these animals “roam free” without management were ones that we have heard ad nauseam.

One of the arguments struck a stronger chord this time. There was one woman extremely concerned about breaking up ”families” of horses as if she thinks that a stud and a mare spend a life together with all of the foals they produce. That doesn’t even work in humans.

Don’t they realize that studs are hustlers – not monogamist? Studs run with bands of mares… that is called polygamy. Colts are weaned every year so the mare can feed the next one. The stud colts eventually move on to build their own band of mares because their sires won’t let them breed mares in the band. That’s how nature works. You don’t see families of bears wandering in family packs or even wolves for that matter. Once the young know how to hunt and care for themselves they are kicked out on their own.

And they don’t all get together for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Does thinking that animals are people allow people to act like animals?

It seems as though we may have finally found the bottom in the human civility and ridicule of our nation’s president. There have been several “celebrities” who have chosen to step what this writer considers to be WAY over the line with few consequences.

There is one red-headed “comedienne” who will not be spending her 2018 New Year’s Eve in the Big Apple waiting for the mirror ball to fall. She decided, along with the idiots who took and posted the photo, that it would be cute to pose with a mask of President Trump covered in blood as if she had ISIS-like severed his head. That was finally enough to outrage even the liberal media. The woman, she’s not a lady, has lost two jobs and one endorsement contract so far.

These people want to clamor about animal families seem to have no respect for human families. Whether you like President Trump or not, the man has a family including a young son and grandchildren. Don’t they deserve some respect and consideration?

On a more positive note…

The just concluded WALC (Women in Agriculture Leadership Conference) was one for the record books and the best ever according to the old timers! Over 200 women from across New Mexico and one from Arizona from ages from four months to 94 gathered in at the Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces. Between Wednesday evening and early afternoon on Thursday there were more than 17 speakers and presentations plus a bus tour and a separate track for young ladies aged 13 to 18. Then there was all the good food and fellowship.

The WALC is such a production that the decision was made several years ago to hold it every other year instead of annually. Of course, New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte soon decided to host the AgriFuture Conference in the off year.

Speakers ranged from Congressman Steve Pearce, Lt. Governor John Sanchez and four Ladies of the Legislature, to NMSU ACES Dean Rolando Flores to Reverend Jennifer Hopper (formerly the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau Ag in the Classroom program leaders) to country music sensation in Texas, New Mexico’s own Bri Bagwell. There was a bunch of great people in between.

Who else could manage 200 women and all of these great speakers but our own inspirational speaker and farm boy Matt Rush? He used to be a cabana boy but he went and got married on us. His lovely bride joined us too.

The 2017 Diamond in the Rough Award winner was USDA’s Kristin Graham Chavez and the charity was the USO. Between the donation from WALC, the donations in the Ladies Luck of the Draw, and a contribution from Farm Credit of New Mexico, the El Paso Airport USO took home over $5,000. The USO is critically import in the support of our troops and their families and is said to be the best investment for providing that support.

No More Bore Hole

We have received word that in late May the U.S. Department of Energy notified contractors that funding for bore hole project in Quay County, New Mexico has been withdrawn. We do not know if this applies to the project in Otero County as well, but are digging into that.

Great Scam

In my travels I come across some interesting… and bazaar things. I spent some time in the San Diego airport and found a whopper. There is a sign by the gift shop that says “Carbon Offset Your Flight.”

For only $2.00 you can purchase “offsets 1,000 miles of flying or 400 miles of driving / 344 lbs of CO2e. This is offered by The Good Traveler. You can visit their website and calculate what you should spend to offset any trip and pay it with a credit card online.

According to USA TODAY in a January article, if minimizing your environmental impact is on the agenda for 2017, several West Coast airports are eager to help you get started. Just donate a minimum of $2.00 and there’s no need to feel guilty about getting on a plane.

Austin Bergstrom International is the latest airport to join to the Good Traveler program, which encourages air travelers to purchase carbon offsets proportionate to the greenhouse gas produced by their flight and then choose which pro-environment project their funds support.

Through the program, $2 buys carbon offsets for 1,000 miles of flying and a handy distance calculator helps air travelers figure out how many offsets are needed to match the environmental impact of each flight.

Once offsets are purchased, a traveler can choose to have their funds go to reducing emissions from deforestation in the Congo and Zambia or towards projects in the United States that support a wind farm, a forestry project and Colorado Delta restoration efforts.

Austin Bergstrom International joins Seattle-Tacoma International and San Diego International Airport — the program creator — in drawing attention to the program by posting an icon on the front page of the airport website.

SAN airport first introduced the Good Traveler program in September 2015 and, according to the airport, the project has already offset about 11.5 million air miles.

Wish we could think of something like this to support ranchers!

Thank you!

Many of you saw the invitation to my Mother’s 80th Birthday Party. I am proud to report that it came off in grand style and she had a great time. That wouldn’t have happened without some dear friends and family who stepped up to the plate when I found myself the lone ranger in staging the event.

I want to extend deep appreciation to them and all the folks that came to help celebrate my Mother. Without childhood and lifelong friends Susie Krentz and Anne More it would have been a pretty dismal day. They both gave more than two days of their time in planning and decorating The Cowbelle Hall in Douglas, Arizona. We have celebrated family and community events there for literally generations. That’s where we learned to dance, learned how to run a meeting and always looked forward seeing our friends.

With Patty Waid’s decorative boots, Beef Council table clothes, chair covers and sashes from the year we staged the State Fair Junior Livestock Sale, Anne’s creativity and a showing of the Kentucky Derby, the Hall shined. Several folks said they didn’t remember the Hall being as nice as it is. As a shameless plug, the Cowbelles have invested in some much needed renovations and the Hall is now available to rent for parties, meetings, wedding receptions and other events.

It was a lot of fun working in the kitchen with friends and family including Pam and Robbie Sproul, Jerry Ligon, Bill Martin, Lynn Kimble, my only nephew R.W. and his wife Ande, and everyone else that pitched in. It brought back memories of helping Mother, Grandmother, Nana and Aunt Florence as they took their turn at providing the monthly Cowbelle meeting luncheons.

And you cannot forget the clean-up crew, Pam and Robbie, Susie, and Bill Martin. It is amazing how fast you can tear down what took probably eight hours to put together. We had it down and back in the car in less than an hour.

Offering respect

This has been a tough month for New Mexico’s ranching community. We lost Wally Ferguson and Mack Bell. I am proud to have known and learned from both men and we will miss them as we head into the future. I never got to know Shane Kincaid and that will be my loss.

I have mentioned my high school English teacher who had a profound impact on my entire life. We lost her a few weeks ago to the ravages of Alzheimer’s. I was unable to make it back to Tombstone for her celebration of life, but her son was kind enough to let me be a part of the service anyway. Hopefully from this you can get a glimpse of the amazing woman that took me under her wing for life.

Most every life is blessed by special people. I, along with countless others, was blessed by Mary Lou. There are few teachers that remain in our lives much after we were no longer in their class room. That wasn’t so with Mary Lou. High school graduation was just the beginning of a life-long friend and mentorship for me. By extension Herman was part of the package — whether he liked it or not.

I like to think that I was one of few who were so special to her. But that simply isn’t the case. Every time we talked over the past 40 plus years, she was always able to give me a run down for at least three classes before and after me. She was proud of everyone’s accomplishments and was their biggest cheerleader. Her students excelled in numerous fields and there were at least a few that ended up with regional and national media careers.

Mary Lou was passionate about life, her family, her students and what was happening in the world. An example of that was her CASA volunteering after she retired from teaching, along with marching in a political protest or two in downtown Tucson.

We didn’t always agree on those world views, but we had enough love and respect for each other to disagree, without being disagreeable. That didn’t mean she would hesitate to scold me when she thought I was headed down the wrong path in my life.

I know most certainly my life would have been different if I hadn’t had Mary Lou in it from high school on. She was always there when I needed someone to talk to, a shoulder to cry on, a meal, a bed to sleep in or a special happening to share.

I regret that I am unable to be here today to share in the celebration of Mary Lou’s life, but I will miss her dearly and hold her in my heart.         

Source: New Mexico Stockman, June 2017