“Aggie Bets”

Laugh Tracks in the Dust

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This week Kansans joined the legalized betting crowd. The legalized betting law went into effect and, it seems to me, all kinds of folks — from pinstripers to redneckers, from Baby Boomers to Gen x’ers — are all agog over the entertainment and fiscal windfall that Kansas is going to experience.
No longer will Kansans have to travel to take their chances on winning a fortune — big or small. They can now take those risks right from the comfort of their living rooms via TVs, computers, electronic tablets, and smart phones.
It’s as easy as signing up with a betting service company, opening an account, depositing a bit of cash as seed money, then placing astute bets, and watching the money electronically roll back into your account.
The key is making those astute bets. Betting opportunities are seemingly endless. You can bet on all kinds of pro and collegiate sports, plus race horses.
You can choose from an array of kinds of bets. A short list includes: money line bets, point spread bets, over/under bets, parlay bets, teaser bets, prop bets, middle bets, and futures bets.
I don’t understand how any of them work, but, I suppose, it would be wise to understand the bets you’re making before you make them.
And, to make it easier, the betting services are enticing folks to sign up for betting by offering a bunch of free bets just to get you started — or hooked.
Well, I described all of the above information about legalized betting in Kansas, but I don’t think the betting arena is nearly wide enuf or deep enuf.
Kansas is missing out by not including it’s biggest industry in the gambling frenzy. What am I talking about? Well, its agriculture
Farmers and ranchers are the biggest gamblers in all of Kansas. They bet (risk) their livelihoods every year by plunking untold millions of dollars into growing and harvesting their crops and animals. And, they do it in advance, not know what the weather will be, what the markets will be, and what the political climate will be.
All those unknowns and intangibles don’t keep them from making their annual bets. If they win, they get to stay in bizness for another year. If they lose, trying times are upon them.
Well, I think it’s high time for “Aggie Bets” to be legal in Kansas. All the “betting sports” in Kansas should be as eager to wager their money on the outcomes of agriculture as they are on sports. Both have a lot of unknowns and risks — and potential nice payouts for winning.
Just think about all the betting possibilities in agriculture. How about betting on the size of next year’s Kansas wheat crop, or soybean crop, or corn crop. The folks who come the closest to the number, get to split the money in the betting pool — minus 10% deducted from the pool to go back to the Kansas farmers who grew the crops.
How about over/under betting on the total dollars of Kansas foodstuffs that China will buy in the next 12 months?
Or, an “Aggie Bet” on how much money Kansas farmers will spend on new farm tractors and equipment in December, 2022, after harvest?
Or, a bet on how much rain will fall in Pratt County in July and August?Or a bet on how much the Kansas beef cow herd will shrink because of drought or poor markets? Or, a bet on how many hundredweights of milk will be produced by the best milk cow in Kansas during a 9-month lactation?
Or a bet on the average soybean yield/acre in Cherokee County, Kansas, in 2022? Or the average irrigated corn yield in Ford County?
It boggles the mind about many “Aggie Bets” are possible. The opportunity for eager betters should be mouth watering for them. And, there’s a big bonus. Think how much of a practical education on agriculture the betters will gain as they experience the risks with farmers and ranchers?
So, I’m hoping that enuf Kansas legislators and the Governor hear about my “Aggie Bets” proposal that they will call a special session of the legislature to work out all the details. It shouldn’t be as easy as the bill they passed on sports wagering.
However, the key point is that 10% of the “Aggie Bets” wagering pools must be earmarked to go back to farmers and ranchers. It would be their “pay out” for taking the risk of growing food in the first place.
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On the home-front, my tomato crop is bountiful. I’ve “tomato trees” more than 7-feet high and they are producing like crazy. Nevah tells me she’s “about done” canning tomato juice, so I’m giving away “maters” to my neighbors.
The apple crop is surprisingly good this year. We picked a bushel of yellow apples and make 13 quarts of apple sauce, plus Nevah froze enough apple slices to make a half-dozen apple pies this winter.
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Words of wisdom for the week comes from The Little Red Hen Ranch, a reader and producer in central Kansas: “The difference between the Titanic and California is that the Titanic sank with its lights on.”
Have a good ‘un.

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