Howdy friends and neighbors. Man, what a week! Friday, the Kansas City Board of Trade near-by wheat contract set another record high at $9.49 per bushel. Folks, that's three times higher than the average price over the last 10 years! Local elevators are posting current prices at or near $9.00 per bushel for cash wheat. Again, it sure would be nice to have some to sell. I am hearing new crop contracts for next July delivery above $6.00 per bushel and a few producers are locking in some of their expected crop. The cattle market remains very good as well. Fats are selling in the high 90's, feeders are still bringing good prices and the fall calf run is just around the corner as some wheat around the country begins to shine through making fall pasture prospects look promising.

Looking at commodity prices this past year points out that no matter how much policy comes out of D.C., Mother Nature can trump them every time. One factor to good cattle prices is the wide spread drought over the country in the last several years. Cattlemen simply sold off some cows and didn't retain heifers. The wheat market record high prices are due to a late freeze, wet field conditions and poor quality of what was harvested. Not to mention, drought and poor conditions in other parts of the world that are major wheat exporters. I realize while the Senate is trying to recover the political football farm bill fumble, mother nature and the true grit of American farmers are forging ahead and, at least in the cattle business, not overly concerned about what Washington, D.C., policy might be except for what the environmental whackos are trying to shove down our throats. I, for one, am sick of trying to unscramble the political mess, and I've finally learned to just concentrate and look at what will make a profit today. I can control my situation today. Tomorrow, the situation might change, so must my plan for that day. I have no clue what DC or Mother Nature is up to. It is sad because I have really tried to keep up with issues in the new farm bill. I saw a quote the other day that perfectly describes my understanding of the above. Trying to explain the farm bill to me is like explaining the Internet to an ant.

Last week I had a great opportunity to go to Washington, D.C., to the American Farm Bureau Federation for some training and in that, had an opportunity to go to Capital Hill and knock on my elected officials' doors. Of course, they were all in meetings or on the floor, but I had a chance to visit with some of their staff. I know I bad mouth D.C. a lot, but I am truly impressed with the fact that anyone can walk right into any Representative or Senator's office and talk with someone. Even post 9/11, D.C. is open to the public it represents.

Now for my earth shaking moment: Sen. Inhofe (R-Okla.) was my last stop, and I made my way to the fourth floor of the Russell Building. I walked down a hall looking for the right office, when a name appeared on a plaque hanging on the marble wall. Hillary R. Clinton, NY. As I walked by, I suddenly stopped and thought, I've got to go back and sign her guest book. As I peered into the lair, I mean office, there were about 30 or so folks crowded into the confined space. Then she appeared in the back of the office. Ol' H. Rotten herself. She began a sweep of the room shaking hands with all who were within. I just couldn't resist. I shoved a couple of lobbyists and some hippy throwbacks aside to have my hand graced by the queen of the left. She put a clammy hand on my "Right" left hand this time. (Not to take too much from the ol' song.) I could tell the Secrete Service dude was looking my way with a puzzled "where did he come from" look. Maybe there was a silent "Right" detector that alarmed him. Anyway, I signed her book and was off to see the wizard (Inhofe). All joking aside, it was an honor to shake the hand of a past first lady and, Lord help us, possibly our next President.

It's good to be back in Oklahoma and take a bath in tomato juice.

I'm Monte Tucker, and that is what's under my "Hillary in '08" complimentary hat.