[Congressional Record Volume 144, Number 11 (Thursday, February 12, 1998)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E159-E160]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                         HON. WILLIAM M. THOMAS

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, February 12, 1998

  Mr. THOMAS. Mr. Speaker, I am proud to have this opportunity to 
recognize John Tracy of Buttonwillow, California. John Tracy, a fourth 
generation Kern County rancher, is the recipient of the 1998 ``Kern 
County Cattleman of the Year'' award. Kern County is one of the 
country's biggest agricultural counties, and cattle are one of Kern's 
most important products.
  The Tracy family has been in Kern County over 120 years, and John is 
carrying on in his family's footsteps. John took over running his 
family's ranch when he was just 22 years old, after the death of his 
father. Armed with a Bachelor of Science in farm management from Cal 
Poly, Mr. Tracy carried on his family's proud heritage and made many 
innovations in the ranch's operation. Among these were reorganizing his 
cow-calf grazing operation into an intensive feedlot enterprise and 
using agricultural by-products in a scientifically balanced nutrition 
program, thus making conservation and recycling work.
  Since taking over his family's operation nearly 30 years ago, John 
Tracy has become an integral and active part of the agricultural 
community in Kern County. He has been director of both the Kern County 
Cattlemen's Association and the California Beef Council. The work of 
John and his family with the Kern County Fair's Junior Livestock 
Auction has made him an outstanding role model, as well as for the 
young people of Kern County.
  John Tracy has earned the respect and admiration of his peers and of 
his neighbors. He has served as Buttonwillow's honorary Mayor and last 
year received the Buttonwillow Peace Officers Recognition of Merit. He 
has been described by other ranchers as ``a 21st century businessman 
with 19th century cattleman values.''

[[Page E160]]

  As director of the California Cattlemen's Association, he has worked 
on behalf of other cattlemen against the inheritance tax, so that 
family farms, like his own, can be passed from one generation to the 
next. He has also worked for grazing and endangered species reform. I 
sometimes think that people like John Tracy should be at the top of the 
nation's endangered species list; he is a family rancher, struggling 
against nature, a tough economy, and federal encroachment, while trying 
to keep his family's proud heritage intact so he can pass it to the 
next generation.
  I congratulate John Tracy on being Kern County's Cattleman of the