Farm Press Blog

Cargo theft, cattle rustling cripple farmers and ranchers

  • Cargo theft and cattle rustling have a tremendous financial impact on agriculture.

As for cattle rustling, the rise in theft blankets the nation. California has one cattle theft investigator for the whole state: John Suther. From the Sacramento Bee: “He has to travel thousands of miles from his home in Shasta County to do his job. The state has roughly 3 million head of cattle. Of those, about 575,000 cows are beef or range cattle, and the rest are dairy cows. Suther mainly investigates the former, since dairy cow theft is relatively rare.”

The impact on an operation can be crushing, says Justin Oldfield of the California Cattlemen’s Association: “When you’re talking about the value of a steer worth $1,0000 or more, and you lose five of those — that’s a substantial impact to an operation. It can make or break the bottom line for that year.”

Whether it’s walnuts or copper in California, cattle in Texas, or catfish in Mississippi, ag thieves will always be crowded around the periphery — waiting to steal the fruits of someone else’s labor.


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Discuss this Blog Entry 1

Anonymous (not verified)
on Nov 1, 2013

And when a beekeeper calls the California Highway Patrol to report a truck load of beehives has been just been stolen and entered south bound Interstate 5 five minutes ago. He is told that they can't help him, he has to call the sheriffs office. Meanwhile the thief is got away.

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