Apparently, surviving the Great Recession and a global pandemic isn’t enough. Our brothers and sisters out West are in a prolonged fight for their livelihoods and very lives. The extreme drought is devastating their crops, their livestock and their ability to endure. My family in west Texas and Oklahoma knows a little something from the Dust Bowl days about a prolonged lack of rainfall and its dire consequences. Decades later, after a slow recovery, they could laugh about the fact that we used to innocently say, “The land will always be there.” Until it wasn’t – it kept drying up and blowing away.

Owner / Blocker Britain
Walker is a farmer, rancher and all-around thorn-in-the-side with Land's Feed Warehouse in Grand ...

And just like in the Dust Bowl disaster, the problems are partially manmade. But dealing with the causes of the drought won’t be solved this year, or next, even if everyone miraculously agreed on the issues. Our friends in the West don’t have the time or the luxury to wait for a global debate and response to “cure what ails ‘em” – they need help now, today! When I get riled up like this about something, my lovely wife Kelly says, “Well then, do something.”

Attempts at climate control (rainmaking) have been around for hundreds of years (actually longer when you include cultural rain dances and prayers), and they reached their peak in the 1930s and ‘40s with myriad-style forms of alleged cloud-seeding operations. Nothing ever proved to consistently work that could be directly contributed to these far-fetched efforts. Most often, if it did rain, they got lucky. What we need to consider today is more direct assistance to the West, especially to farmers and livestock producers, and it is going to take all of us pulling together.

Around the oil patch, we watch as large tanker trucks loaded with water lumber down the roads to well sites to be used in fracking operations – millions of gallons are trucked in and used for each well. If the “Oilies” can do that, there has to be some way to get these water trucks (and better yet, hundreds of rail cars) to deliver billions of gallons of water to select parts of the West, specifically to producers and farmers, right? I personally don’t know how to pull together such a logistical feat, but, by golly, somebody out there a whole lot smarter and more knowledgeable than me does know if that is feasible and how it can be accomplished. Yes, it is an extraordinary undertaking and a stopgap measure at that, but these extreme times and conditions require some serious out-of-the-box thinking and ideas, along with some extreme effort from all of us – the producers and farmers can’t do it by themselves. If they could, they would.

Failure cannot be an option. If we lose these farmers and producers out West, then we will all pay eventually in food shortages, higher food costs and lost productivity (not to mention losing future generations of farmers and producers). So, put your thinking caps on and send us some other ideas you may have. Better yet, get involved and do what you can to organize relief efforts for our Western partners. If it was a hurricane, tornado, flood, etc., we would send in the National Guard and the Red Cross to assist. It should be no different because this is an ongoing crisis, as opposed to a singular event, or because a larger area is affected. Americans need help. What are you going to do about it?


As always, my advice is to grow your herd and keep them (and yourself) healthy, for land’s sake!