4H Animals

Far Flung is back! After my month-long stint of working long hours with limited to no internet access at a nerd camp (all geeks, no bullies), I am back to posting.

I have heard from one brave member of Team Far Flung who missed us, and much like the Nielson TV rating folks, I will imagine that for each person who bothers to actually contact me, there are millions and millions of like-minded Americans. So, since I had one letter informing me of being missed, I am assuming everyone, and I mean EVERYONE missed me. I may also be able to assume that this one particular reader is a crack-pot, but I doubt that is the case. She has proven in the past to have impeccable taste and plenty of good sense.

Our latest Far Flung outing was to the San Diego County Fair, where I met an amazing girl who won the Best Dressed Sheep contest. She and her sheep dressed as members of the band Kiss. I think Kiss had broken up long before our winning gal and her sheep were born, but quality music once again proves to have lasting value.

Although the outfits did impress me, what I was absolutely most taken by was this young woman's complete understanding of the economics of livestock production. Our hero is in the 5th grade, and took out a loan from the bank to buy this sheep as a baby sheep. When the baby sheep was just a few weeks old, she locked in a selling a price with Tip Top Meats in Carlsbad. -On her own. She negotiated with the buyer at Tip Top by herself.

When asked why she locked in a selling price per pound a few months ago, this 5th grader explained market fluctuations to me.

After learning a bit about how livestock and meat prices have been very reactive and unpredictable lately, she then told me how much it cost, per pound, to raise and fatten up her sheep. She knew the cost of feed. She knew how much she needed to fatten up her sheep for its sale to be profitable. She knew that if she didn't sell the sheep she would still have to re-pay the loan. She knew that it was better to lock in a safe profit early rather than gamble on the possibility of a big payoff/no payoff later. Did I mention she is in the 5th grade?

Here is my proposition - ever person running for office as a policy maker, board member, congressman, or senator must raise and sell a 4-H animal before they can be considered a viable and legal candidate. If everyone setting fiscal policy in California were as clever and reasonable as our new 5th grade friend, we would not have our current budget issues.

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