By RODNEY D. BOAM
Word in the cattle industry is there is a livestock shortage. There was a devastating snowstorm last month that killed an estimated 100,000 head of cattle in North and South Dakota and Nebraska.
The snowstorm came early before the cows and calves had grown their winter coats. Some suffocated in the 30 inches of white stuff that fell in one day and some froze to death.
In Texas, ranchers sold most of what they had because the droughts and fires left no food for the livestock. The cattle brought to market were in poor condition, news reports said.
With the cattle shortage, prices are higher than they have been for quite some time. Ed Jensen of Mound Valley Cattle Company, of Thatcher, buys cattle from Franklin County and the surrounding areas.
He was giving on-average about 60 cents a pound per head recently at the Preston sale yard. Two years ago he said the price was 30 cents for the same type of cattle.
Cowboys bring their livestock in on Wednesdays. He also buys cattle in Montpelier, Laketown, Star Valley, Wyo. and Woodruff, Utah on other days of the week. He also gets a few from the auction in Ogden.
Jensen has been in the cattle business for 50 years, he said. The Mink Creek native bought a gas station in Grace early on and then began to buy up ranches and raise cattle.
He took over the sale when local cattle-buying legend Don Carter retired a few years ago.
“We’re kind of a one-horse outfit, Jensen said after talking about the two semi tractor-trailer rigs he owns and uses to ship cattle. “But, we buy a lot of cattle.”
When Jensen said, ”we,” he was referring to his son and grandson who are also buying cattle as part of the business. “I guess we’re a three generation company,” he said.
This story is sponsored by Willow Valley Urgent Care Clinic.
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