That smell in the Panhandle air? Be thankful for it

That smell in the Panhandle air? Be thankful for it

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - When the wind speed and direction are just right, the fragrant calling card of an area feedlot arrives in southwest Amarillo reminding city dwellers that cattle are, and always have been, big business in the Panhandle.

According to experts, counting cows, calves and feedlot cattle, the Panhandle's cattle business has annual sales of about $2.2 billion, or almost half the total amount for all agriculture in the region. And that's before you add the economic impact of meat packing plants like Tyson and JBS Swift and all the other businesses connected with cattle.

So when we say it's the smell of money, it really is.

In fact, the area has the top six beef producing counties in Texas. AgriLife says counting all area counties, the industry feeds almost five million head per year.

The last few years have been a roller-coaster of pricing. From the drought to corn prices to the world demand for cattle. It is a complicated equation to balance in every stage of the cattle business.

Financial experts and others around the industry are reporting the producers, feed-lots and processors are in a better position this month than they have been in a while.

I'm thankful for people in our area that take on this challenge every day. Our Perspective is we should be grateful for the people in this industry, for the contribution to the economy and even for that smell that comes into Amarillo from time to time.

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Perspective is a weekly feature presented by NewsChannel 10 Vice President/General Manager Brent McClure. Have something you'd like to share? Send your perspective to