Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spotted Cattle, Vodka, and Boat Rides

Dairy genetics is one of the more esoteric fields of modern animal husbandry.  The selection process in the U.S. is finely tuned to the productivity of the animal and their ability to provide a steady stream of profit to the ailing industry.

The art has reached such a pinnacle of success upon this continent that prize specimens of the species are in great demand throughout the world.  Therefore, it was no surprise when Ivan (whose country of origin you might guess) came calling on an organization known for developing such prime specimens to the point that their genetic potential was ready to burst forth with amazing productivity.  The problem being that a large body of water as well as a couple of extensive land masses lay between the developer and the ultimate recipient of said genetic wonder.

So, Ivan, through the good offices of a broker for such phenomenon, came calling. 

The ordeal of extensive time within the confines of the large silver bus with wings was quickly overcome by the selective offerings of various libations carried on large carts pushed by comely servants who soon found that Ivan was depleting their stocks quite rapidly.  But, never worry, the duration of the flight would eventually end and the charge would be handed to one whose skill at communication was limited to two languages -- that of Ivan and that of his intended victim -- er, I mean business acquaintance.

Ivan came with an entourage:  A Veterinarian whose years alone must have been the prime qualifying factor for his services, a government official whose youth indicated acquaintance with the most modern practices of animal husbandry, and a business partner whose nervous character was probably due to the lack of body guards which likely accompanied him in his native country.

Their visit brought the clash of cultures into sharp focus when they finally arrived in Southwest Kansas and immediately began to deplete the local supply of vodka.  Every brand.  Every bar.  Every liquor store.  It created something of a celebrity stir when they found that Crowne was but a poor substitute for their preferred libation.

Finally, however, they faced the task at hand -- selecting by careful inspection, the candidates for the long boat ride back to Ivan's homeland.

The process took several days as well as the timely review of each specimen and then the requisite battery of tests which proved no disease of consequence could possibly be contained within their ample frames.  Each patterned heifer, bulging with their growing progeny, passed through the confining strictures which allowed the Veterinarian and the budding government official to pass judgement on their individual merits.

It soon became apparent that merit was in the eye of the beholder for many exceptional specimens were passed off as unacceptable due to minor blemishes in favor of more questionable individuals that exhibited perfect eye-color, or perhaps a special pattern of markings which appealed to the judges.  Of course, the requisite fuel for judging consisted of barley, hops and the results of a fermentation process that had previously been confined to brown glass bottles.  That was before lunch.  After lunch, a higher octane was required to maintain an equilibrium that must only have developed in the womb and been carried to perfection through proper medication in liberal amounts.

Nevertheless, after hours of evaluation, the perfect specimens had been selected for the cruise.  They were loaded on trucks and shipped to port to await their pampered journey which by-the-way was delayed for ten days while appropriate paperwork was completed, stamped, sealed, signed and delivered.  For you see, stamps and seals are the sign of authority -- in spite of the fact that the local Staples can deliver -- custom-made, to-your-door -- the stamp or seal of your design and choosing within the same ten days.

Deal completed, selectees delivered, the entourage and Ivan departed.  The local bars celebrated their record sales and the U.S. export balance was momentarily moved in a positive direction.  Or, at least that was the thought until recently discovered that all was funded by the American taxpayer through the good offices of our current Administration in Washington.  For you see, it was our own USDA funding the enterprise.  It is now time for Paul Harvey to speak his famous line -- "And now you know......"

1 comment:

i beati said...

the rest of the story-- fascinating..sandy