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As I See It 8-27-15
Publish Date: Thursday, 27 August, 2015
Who is first to file a claim? When the land of opportunity opened up, the place called America, everyone talked about all the opportunity that was available in this great land of the free. Lots of folks were anxious to file claim on the ownership of the land, first in sections, then in bigger parcels, and then countries got involved and claimed whole sections of this land of opportunity and what they thought would be under their control and ownership. Well, that didn't turn out to be total truth forever, did it? No. Independence Day took care of quite a lot of it. Now, in the last years, there's been a huge amount of interest on the part of so many in the ownership of H2O... that's water.
Hear this and don't forget it. You've probably heard the statement through the years, especially you old timers, by people describing a piece of property with lots of grass, good land, and no water, and hence no ranch!
You can have one of the best ranches in the world, but if you don't control some water, you have nothing. You must control some water for your livestock to drink, and if you're doing any farming, you must appreciate what some irrigation means to the total output of your land and your prosperity.
Many a good ranch has gone under, and it's more often than not because of the lack of water. They didn't have any water rights, and they didn't own any of those runoff streams or part of them at least that they could irrigate with. Number one in life in agriculture - in the production of food, animal protein, grains, and the rest -- depends on your ownership of some of that land, and it also means your luck from the Lord with water... on filing those water rights on the streams and part of the rivers and developing diversion dams so you can pull ditches as the old timers did and end up being able to irrigate thousands upon thousands of acres with that formable product called H2O.
There's probably been as many conflicts and fist fights and every other kind of a fight you could think of in the old days when it came to water, who got the water and how long they got the water and for what purpose they got the water.
Some areas of the country have a reputation of producing a lot of rain, snow, etc., ad invariably they produce a lot of crop - whether it be grain, grass, or pounds of beef. Production off that land is very closely tied to the availability of ample water.
The most important part of wintering cattle and a ration for them is not the corn, not the barley, not the grains... it's roughage. Hay and straw are the most important part of these rations, and you must guard against getting away from roughage and using manmade and commercial feeds, which gets us back to H2O.
Water is the key to production and profitability in American agriculture. Between crops you can grow, roughages you can formulate, cheapening up a ration as far as maintenance and gain is concerned, the better off you are. And the more you learn how to use it, the more valuable that ranch becomes for you and your family.
You wouldn't think so if you listen to the current president and legislators in Washington DC. Oh my goodness, these people are off on a trek to No Man's Land. If they don't change, agriculture in America will be down the creek because, if we don't take care of our water, it's all for naught. Look at China, which is attempting to file ownership and usership aggressively. They want to get under control not only our water, but they also want to get control of much of our needed energy minerals. Yes, they file on it. They think that, if they file on it, they should own it. Who knows, the ways the laws are written, the way the courts are acting, maybe they've figured it out. We could say, that won't hurt me. Well, that's kind of like walking near a rattlesnake, thinking it won't bite you. If you've been around rattlesnakes very much or if you've been around these maverick-type of people very much, you'll find out they can bite you, and they will.
This might be an awful good time, if you haven't had a recent check on your water rights and easements, to do so. Make sure you don't walk into a situation where future generations think that, since you've had it a lot of years, the water goes with the ranch. Nice try but it won't work in a court of law. Now with many other nations trying to claim our water, it's no different than a couple hundred years ago when those countries tried to own the land because they so-called filed first. That didn't work either.
Make sure you take care of that water. Clean up the title and clean up the land. You're not going to raise a really good crop of anything if you haven't taken care of your weeds because those weeds will make more of the moisture than you think, hence you won't have very much production. So I'm back to saying that lots of land and lots of water make a wonderful ranch. And some productive land and lots  of water equals a good ranch. But big land with lots of potential but short on water or no water at all equals no ranch.
One final comment... a couple of weeks ago I was talking about picking out a herd bull and some of the similarities for picking a man for president. You know they all are going to be pretty well qualified, but do they have that presidential look? It's kind of like a herd bull. A herd bull either has a herd bull look or he doesn't. I can tell you, there's a difference between a prospective herd bull and a real herd bull. You'll see it as a calf, you'll see it as a yearling, and you sure will see it down the road as a four-year-old. It's noticeable and it's distinguishable. That is the same idea that comes up in my mind as I watch this group of presidential candidates.
So, as you watch these debates, see how do they appear to you... Do they look like a president? Do they act like one? Do they have believability? Do they have a way of communicating in an effective way? All are distinguishable. One of these people will be president of the greatest country on earth, and it is one of the biggest jobs anyone could ever dream of.
Remember these men put into distinguished positions must be willing to put other people into important positions around him. The only way a successful man becomes more successful is if he realizes there are people who know more about certain subjects than he does. It takes a good man to find another. It takes a real man to be a leader. I hope that came across to you folks who will be voting in 2016. I'm counting on each and every one of you people on this election. We need common sense. We need leadership. They'll go together.  Leadership, quality, and common sense... our new president's got to have it. Without it, we don't have anything.

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