to Mr. Foraker
July 5, 1949
Dear Mr. Foraker:
To begin with, western cattlemen did not lose anywhere near as much stock last winter as for propaganda and subsidy purposes they claim they did. Furthermore, most of those they lost would have been saved if the western cattle business in general were conducted on any level above imbecility and with any system more modern than that of Abel. The overall trouble with the livestock business out west is that it is antiquated in method and almost inconceivably stupid in conduct.
There is no need for a strain of beef cattle more resistant to winter. The answer to the absurd western system has already been worked out in Texas and other places where a minimum of brains is used. This is home ranching, home feeding, and breeding for increased production of beef per unit. Such western cattlemen as can read and sign their names are coming to see this. The rest will eventually be forced out of business if we begin to cut down their subsidies. When beef are raised and fed on the home ranch there is no problem.
There is no problem about grass either except to keep cattle off it long enough for it to come back. Scores of grasses perfectly capable of restoring the range and holding the soil down have been developed and are now in use. Cattle owners will not submit to regulation that will enable them to get a foothold, however, and Congress will not provide funds for the extensive and expensive reseeding that must be done. The native bunch grasses were good enough for buffalo and would be good enough for beef cattle if their owners did not insist on feeding ten where nature has supplied grass for only one.
I don’t think there is any future for the musk ox in the United States. It would be simpler, less expensive, and more hopeful to shoot cattlemen.