Feedlots, factory farms, and foreign competition are killing Western ranching
" the factory-style method of raising cows has hurt the small rancher."
"The J.R. Simplot Co. of Boise, Idaho, is a good example. The Simplot family runs its cattle on nearly 2 million acres of state and federal grazing land. Each year, between 20,000 and 25,000 head of cattle from those lands are sent to the company's three feedlots in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. There, they'll join nearly 500,000 other head of cattle consuming the waste of Simplot's french fry processing plants."
"Add in some other factors, such as Canadian and Mexican ranchers who have an advantage granted by a favorable exchange rate, or that Midwest beef growers can feed their cattle on heavily subsidized corn that's cheaper than hay, and the little guy rancher in the West has his back against a barn wall."
Judd Slivka and Rocky Barker, "Shifting policies, dismal profits threaten small ranches' survival," The Arizona Republic and The Idaho Statesman (July 15, 2002).
"Ranchers blame endangered-species regulations for restricting their use of land. But truth be told, between the drought and competition from feedlots, this [public lands ranching] just isn't an economical proposition."
"Git gone, li'l dogie," The Arizona
Republic (editorial). June 26, 2003: B10.
"Brazil raises more cattle and produces more orange
juice than [any other country], and it is close to eclipsing the United States
in soybean production."
Martin Kaste, National Public Radio. "Brazil Cowboy Culture" (Sept. 4, 2003).