I appreciate your continued quiet support for capitalism. You’re a calm voice in the wilderness.

I’m a cow-calf producer who understands that the law of supply and demand can be tempered, but not abolished by presidential or legislative edict.

Yes, the demand for live cattle is down—due to problems in the packer industry. And yes, the demand for boxed beef is up. And yes, the difference goes to the packers. But they have their problems too. Their costs are up.

And it will all equalize—just not this week.

I didn’t hear any complaints in 2014 when the feeders spent their accumulated profits on feeder calves!

The idea of COOL (country-of-origin labeling) is great. I support it. But American consumers have shown in the past—with their dollars—that they would rather save 50 cents per pound, or $150 per flat screen TV. But perhaps this COVID-19 will reset American thinking?

This whole futures thing is a different animal. But as the Smothers Brothers said 50 years ago, the futures is a “mythological beast.” Perhaps it is time to decouple the act of betting on futures from the reality of supply and demand.

Kent Hanawalt, McLeod, MT

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