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It Could Happen... PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Dittmer   
Friday, 02 November 2007
AFF Sentinel Vol.4#39

Sen. Enzi's S.1017 Rumored On Deck

Have you heard about the new television reality show?

[Announcer] "Welcome toooooo Your Business Is My Business -- the show that has no script, no planning, no management -- and quality - well, it's not our worry. What we're after is open, transparent, real emotion, while watching you transact business.

Let's look in on Bob and Debbie Smith as they try to execute a contract on a house. Debbie is getting testy, as it has taken some time to conform to new Congressional contracting rules. It took days of mailings and calls by the brokers to make sure multiple buyers had the opportunity to bid against Bob and Debbie for the house they wanted. Then they had to convince the seller of another house they had looked at to participate to make it a legal contracting session. The hardest thing was soliciting `blind bids,' as the market is a little thin right now.

But the Smith's couldn't do anything until multiple blind bids were solicited and days have passed while buyers and sellers juggled schedules to allow them to witness the contract negotiations. The living room is crowded and Debbie is losing patience. The house's seller is not happy either, as a blind bidder pointed out a drawback in the house Bob and Debbie hadn't noticed. Bob and Debbie are conferring on lowering their offer. The other home seller is hunting through the house for other flaws to point out to crater the deal.

We'll check back with the Smiths later and witness them negotiating the contract on the house, one room at a time, hoping to put together a deal before days end. The new Congressionally-mandated rules forbid buying the whole house in one transaction. The sellers are weary, as they have contracted the house three times before but each time the buyers couldn't get the financing arranged within the allotted seven days. The law's restrictions nullified the deals.

Now, let's visit Whalloper Feedyard, as Manager Jim Crabby tries to contract a pen of 500 head of cattle. We see the buyer from Big T Meat Packers and in the other corner is the buyer from Triple E Packers. Neither buyer is happy, as they are not used to negotiating contracts with friends, competitors, enemies and government enforcers in the room. Big T has drawn the short straw and will have to bid first. Triple E has been dying to know what Big T's plans are for this week.

Jim's nosy feeder neighbor Crossgrane has been here for an hour drinking coffee, as he didn't want to miss packer buyers beating up on Jim's cattle. Besides he's got some cattle ready next week and he wants to know what Jim gets. Bob, another feeder down the road, is anxious to see what the cattle bring, as he fed the cattle last year. He wants to know if he can crow to the rancher that he did better.

Jim has been on the phone lining up blind bids from smaller packers who couldn't afford to be here for this morning's public contracting session. The "blind" bids have to be faxed and handed to the P&S Livestock Contracting Referee. Jim was used to telephone selling. He would just as soon throw Crossgrane and Bob out, but this is a public session - he can't. Rules specify other sellers must have the chance to "participate."

Since the cattle have to be sold 40 head at a time, Jim's worried sorting the cattle in 90-degree heat into eight sale pens has hurt their grade. He hasn't had time or money to subdivide his pens into 40-head pens yet. That'll take truckloads of waterers and miles of fencing.

What a circus. And this is just for one customer's cattle! Jim has 3,000 more head to sell but none of the other customers wanted all the other buyers knowing what they were contracting cattle for, so they all wanted separate contracting sessions. Jim has seven more sessions this week. In fact, Jim's beginning to think this contracting is not worth the hassle for seven days worth of certainty...

Let's check back on the Smiths. What's this? Debbie is crying on the couch. The Smith's agreed on a contract for all the rooms but one. Debbie's ex- husband outbid them for the kitchen!"

Click here for PDF of Senate bill 1017.

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 November 2007 )
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