Cattle ranchers selling off parts of herd because of drought


By John Ramos, CNN Newsource

via KYMA/KECY/KESE (AZ) - June 8, 2021


MILLERTON, Marin County (KPIX) — The seriousness of the drought can best be seen in the pastures of West Marin County where cattle ranchers are being forced to take drastic action. It is a dire warning about the severity of the water emergency.


Monday was not a good day for Mike Giammona but one he knew was coming.


“We realized it a while ago. This just happens to be the day,” he said.


His young beef cattle should have been up on the hillside of Millerton Creek Ranch, fattening up on lush knee-high grass. Instead the pasture looked like a moonscape and with little water for them to drink, the cattle were being shipped off Monday to a buyer in Colorado. The steers represented a year’s work and with each being about 100 pounds lighter, Mike didn’t expect to make a dime on them.


“It’s a bittersweet day, you know?” he said. “It’s a day we usually look forward to because this is where we get our paycheck but it’s not going to be nearly what we’re used to. We’re just hoping we get enough to make it through next year”...


... It was a simple, yet painful, decision for Giammona to sell his cattle. And as he loaded them into the truck he said he believes every other rancher is doing the same. But rebuilding a herd can take at least three years and with no guarantee of rain next year, Giammona doesn’t mind admitting he’s scared...