When it comes to farming and ranching, the learning programs offered to our young men and women through vocational agriculture will bring many of them back to the land .These organizations are the backbone of many communities. Over 649,000 of our youth are enrolled in high school vocational agriculture programs. There are 7,859 local FFA chapters in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands—with Texas laying claim to the most members (116,000) and the largest number of chapters at 1,032. Females make up 47% of the membership. Next time you see a high school student wearing the blue and gold FFA jacket, give a salute. These are the future of American agriculture!

As we look ahead here in East Texas, one thing that stands out is a marked jump in cattle prices. Especially in those calves that are being sold at sale barns. With a major rebound in the futures market, buyers are back in the market offering more dollars by far than they did a couple months ago. Not up to the prices of two years ago, but at least we are making some progress. Those cowboys buying for feedlots and winter pastures are doing their best to assemble cattle for their programs. One thing for sure, the bids are bringing some smiles to the sellers.

Forestry is a major income producer in our East Texas. Thousands of landowners are raising timber and market demand is on the upswing. Several new mills have opened recently and that keeps more Texans working at decent paying jobs. Coming up Thursday, December 8th, is a top notch program sponsored by the Trinity-Neches Forestry Landowners Association. Topics include timber taxation, best management practices and a discussion about the black bear. Lots of confirmed sightings of the black bear are being reported and hopefully this will lead to some increase in their population in forested areas. The meeting will be at the Lakeview Methodist Conference Center east of Elkhart on Highway 294. Program will start at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 2:30 p.m. If you have an interest in forestry, this will be a “must attend” meeting. Just call (903) 394-8948 to reserve a lunch reservation.

A growing number of colleges and universities are bowing down to the pathetic moaning and groaning of students who are willing to tear down the American flag and substitute their own agendas for “change”. At Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, the powers that be decided to lower the American flag to half staff after Donald Trump was declared victorious at the polls. Then the night before Veterans Day, radical students lowered–then burned–that flag. Jonathan Lash, Hampshire president, said the college will no longer fly our flag. Instead, the gutless President Lash stated: “I hope dispensing with the American flag will enable us to instead focus our efforts on addressing racist, misogynistic, anti-Islamic, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and behaviors”.

And this is what parents and the taxpayer are dishing out the dollars for in an attempt to “educate” students. What a way to educate! That’s –30—horace@valornet.com