From: Ron Hays [] on behalf of Ron Hays []
Sent: Thursday, December 24, 2015 5:34 AM
To: Hays, Ron
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update

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Let's Check the Markets!  
Today's First Look:  
mornings with cash and futures reviewed- includes where the Cash Cattle market stands, the latest Feeder Cattle Markets Etc.
Each afternoon we are posting a recap of that day's markets as analyzed by Justin Lewis of KIS futuresclick here for the report posted yesterday afternoon around 3:30 PM.
Okla Cash Grain:  
Daily Oklahoma Cash Grain Prices- as reported by the Oklahoma Dept. of Agriculture. (including Canola prices in central and western Oklahoma)

Futures Wrap:  
Our Daily Market Wrapup from the Radio Oklahoma Network with Leslie Smith and Tom Leffler- analyzing the Futures Markets from the previous Day.
Feeder Cattle Recap:  
The National Daily Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary- as prepared by USDA.
Slaughter Cattle Recap: 
The National Daily Slaughter Cattle Summary- as prepared by the USDA.
TCFA Feedlot Recap:  
Finally, here is the Daily Volume and Price Summary from the Texas Cattle Feeders Association.

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Ron Hays, Senior Editor and Writer
Pam Arterburn, Calendar and Template Manager
Dave Lanning, Markets and Production
Leslie Smith, Editor and Contributor

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Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
   Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas to You and Yours!!! 
Howdy Neighbors! 

Here is your daily Oklahoma farm and ranch news update. 
ChristmasEveFeatured Story:
Happy Christmas Eve 2015!
If you are looking for hard news on this December 24th- sorry, you will not find it in today's Email report. We will get back to that on Monday, December 28th.

Today- we want to smile, reflect on the Joy of the Season, Remember Who He is that sent His Son that we celebrate each Christmas, enjoy the wonder of tiny reindeer making their annual trek to the house of every good boy and girl and more.

A bit of housekeeping- Ag Futures markets close at midday today for Christmas Eve and will not reopen until Monday morning, December 28th.

We will have radio reports on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network today- none tomorrow and back as usual on Monday.

There will be no email tomorrow- we return on Monday morning as well.

We do have an In the Field feature planned for Saturday morning- Dr. Jeff Edwards of OSU will be with us talking about the 2016 Hard Red Winter Wheat Crop.

Be weather aware this weekend- it looks like a real mess for parts of our state may be ahead- HEAVY rains east of I-35 and winter BIG TIME west of I-35.  Click here for the News9 Weather page if you are in Central or Western Oklahoma and click here for the News on 6 weather page for those of you in Eastern Oklahoma.  They will help you stay safe.

You can see right now in the forecast graphics the key difference in the two areas- the Tulsa forecast does not show temperatures going below freezing- Oklahoma City does Sunday into Monday. 

Pay Attention to Weather This Weekend.
Sponsor Spotlight
The presenting sponsor of our daily email is the Oklahoma Farm Bureau - a grassroots organization that has for its Mission Statement- Improving the Lives of Rural Oklahomans."  Farm Bureau, as the state's largest general farm organization, is active at the State Capitol fighting for the best interests of its members and working with other groups to make certain that the interests of rural Oklahoma are protected.  Click here for their website to learn more about the organization and how it can benefit you to be a part of Farm Bureau.

RodHallOklahoma State Veterinarian Rod Hall Approves Health Papers for Santa and His Reindeer for Their Christmas Flight Across Oklahoma 

Christmas is upon us all- and Oklahoma's State Veterinarian, Dr. Rod Hall, has been working with his counterpart in Alaska to make sure that the livestock industry in Oklahoma is protected from any animals that might be coming into the state from the north later Thursday night the 24th or early morning December 25th. Dr. Hall has told me that the paperwork is all in order.

Here are the Health Papers that Dr. Hall obtained from North Pole, Alaska:

In a special Facebook message, Dr. Hall reports "I have worked diligently with Dr. Robert Gerlach, State Veterinarian of Alaska, to ensure that Santa's reindeer have been inspected, have met Oklahoma's entry requirements, and are properly documented on a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection in anticipation of their trip across Oklahoma on Christmas Eve."

In his conversation with me, which you can hear by clicking or tapping here, Dr. Hall reports that it appears that all of the Reindeer are happy and healthy and ready to perform their duties Thursday into Friday.

SelkReindeerSpeaking of Reindeer- Glenn Selk in 2011 Explained How They Do What They Do Each Christmas

A couple of Christmas seasons back, our friend Glenn Selk of the OSU Animal Science Department offered an explanation about how those tiny reindeer do what they do- and do it so very well.

Here's some of the highlights of his Christmas 2011 message:

"Have you ever wondered how Santa's reindeer can make that monumental journey on Christmas Eve? Let's look into some key facts about reindeer that may help us understand how they get Ole St. Nick on his appointed rounds over the world.   

"First of all, historians report that reindeer have been domesticated by humans for over 5000 years. Since Santa himself is no spring chicken, we can assume that they have worked together for quite awhile. They should not have any trouble finding their way around. There is no need to worry about them getting lost.   

"We do know that reindeer are ruminants. They are like cattle in this regard. They have four compartments to their stomach. Of course Santa gets them filled up with hay and moss before he leaves the North Pole, so they should have plenty of feed stored in the four compartments to make it all around the globe. Also, cattle nutritionists have known for years that hay digests more slowly than grain, therefore the big meal that the reindeer eat before the journey should last even longer. Or just like your mom says "It'll stick to their ribs!"

Glenn has lots more on how Santa's Reindeer do what they do- click here and find out "the rest of the story!"

FoodSafetyIn Case You Missed Them- The Last Three of the Top Ten Food Safety Tips for Christmas, Courtesy of the FAPC

Earlier this week- we posted the story courtesy of the Food and Ag Products Center at OSU about being safe with your food this Christmas season- several of the tips are things you have hopefully already done- and you can read about them by clicking here- but today through the weekend- the last three suggestions given may help keep you and yours safe- so without further ado, here they are!

8.Keep guests out of the kitchen. Holidays occur during cold and flu season, and preventing guests from sampling the food while it is being prepared limits the amount of germs getting on the food. Serve appetizers to give guests something to nibble on until the meal is ready.

9.Refrigerate leftovers. Leftovers should be divided into smaller portions, stored in several shallow containers and refrigerated within two hours after cooking. Leftovers should be eaten within three to four days. If large amounts are left, consider freezing leftovers for later use.

10.Eating leftovers. Reheat leftovers to 165 degrees Fahrenheit throughout or until steaming hot. Soups, sauces and gravies should be brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute. Never taste leftover food that looks or smells strange. When in doubt, throw it out.

Sponsor Spotlight

We are proud to have KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma farmers & ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- click here here for the free market quote page they provide us for our website or call them at 1-800-256-2555- and their iPhone App, which provides all electronic futures quotes is available at the App Store- click here for the KIS Futures App for your iPhone.            

DeereA Christmas with a John Deere "B"

It has been a lot of fun for me to read previous emails that we have sent out on or about Christmas Eve during the years I have been here at Griffin Communications and have produced this daily report of agricultural news to you.

Today, I have some current items from here in 2015- but also have sharing a few gems from years gone by- One that is a personal reflection of my Christmas season in 2010 is all about who I am as the son of an Ag Teacher and Farmer- and offers some of the "WHY" of who I am. I reference two Aunts who have now passed- as have my Mom and Dad- so the memories are bittersweet but remind us all that life goes on.

Read at your own risk my Christmas with a John Deere B:

"This past weekend, I was able to get back to my hometown in Central Kentucky and see a whole host of relatives. I saw and hugged on my two remaining living Aunts, cousins and their kids, my brother and some of his family as well as my Mom and Dad, who are now 87. Two of my daughters (and one son in law) made the trek with me- and it was a lot of fun to see them interact with all of their Kentucky Kinfolk.

"My Dad has just turned 87 this past week- so we celebrated his birthday as well as Christmas with he and my Mom. One of the traditional gifts that we give my Dad is a Tractor Calendar, and his face lit up when he saw the 2011 edition that I had gotten him from my friend John Harvey, who worked for years at DuPont before retiring and starting a new career as a Tractor Calendar maker.

"Earlier this year, our Farm Broadcast professional organization had issued the final in a series of toy tractors made by Joe Ertl to benefit our Educational Foundation. This was the final tractor in a series that had been agreed to by Ertl- and the 2010 masterpiece was a John Deere B. When we moved to the farm- I was getting ready to start the fifth grade- the used tractor that we bought and used for quite a few years was a John Deere B. So, I bought one earlier in the fall- first to keep for myself- but later realizing that I needed to share it with my Dad. We had it in a gift bag- and he opened it up- and got a big smile on his face as I confirmed it was a "B." Well, he looked it over carefully and then got to talking about the tractors we had used on our farm that I grew up on- and he enjoyed the detail of the model crafted by Mr. Ertl.

"What was especially neat was the conversations that the John Deere B started over the weekend into Monday morning as we prepared to leave. We talked about that farm our family bought- and the man my dad bought it from- a gentleman farmer in that County who decided he liked my Mom and Dad- and helped finance the land as he left vo-ag and became a 7th Grade Science Teacher- and farmer all of the hours around that in town job.

"Along the way, we grew tobacco, raised hogs and some sheep and I grew up watching my dad be a role model worth following. He was honest in his dealings, was not afraid of hard work, loved my Mom and was a Sunday School teacher. As I watched him around the "in town" house where they now live- he and my Mom are still in pretty good health- but I know they are in the home stretch of this life. They know it, too- but their faith and the gift that God gave us all on that first Christmas gives them a peace that sustains them to this very day.

"My John Deere B 2010 Christmas in Kentucky is one I will remember for a long time- and my prayer for you and yours is that you will enjoy your holiday with your family as much as I have to this point- knowing we have more family time here in Oklahoma this weekend still to come."

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BurnsVideoFrom 2013, Burns Hargis Reads a Revised Christmas Classic 

A couple of years back, Christmas greetings were offered on the weekly SUNUP TV show from the Division of Agriculture at Oklahoma State University- and they were delivered in a poem voiced by the President of OSU, Burns Hargis. The segment was entitled "Cowboy Christmas."

Here's that video President Hargis, which has now been viewed over 17,000 times over the last couple of years.

JosephWhat If Joseph Told His Version of the Christmas Story?
A couple of years ago- I offered a story penned by Max Lucado that looked at the birth of a King through the eyes of a carpenter named Joe, who would be his earthly dad- .  It's a tad long- but awfully good- so we conclude today's email with it as a reminder to one and all about the miracle of this holiday season-
Max Lucado has a way of taking the truths of the season and allowing us to see them in a different way. What if we were able to go back some 2,000 years ago- and be a fly on the wall where Joseph of Nazareth was standing- looking up into the night sky? Here's what Max Lucado says that he might be muttering as he waits on the birth of a child by his wife, Mary. (From He Still Moves Stones)

"This isn't the way I planned it, God. Not at all. My child being born in a stable? This isn't the way I thought it would be. A cave with sheep and donkeys, hay and straw? My wife giving birth with only the stars to hear her pain?

"This isn't at all what I imagined. No, I imagined family. I imagined grandmothers. I imagined neighbors clustered outside the door and friends standing at my side. I imagined the house erupting with the first cry of the infant. Slaps on the back. Loud laughter. Jubilation.

"That's how I thought it would be.
But now. Now look. Nazareth is five days' journey away. And here we are in a- in a sheep pasture. Who will celebrate with us? The sheep? The shepherds? The stars?

"This doesn't seem right. What kind of husband am I? I provide no midwife to aid my wife. No bed to rest her back. Her pillow is a blanket from my donkey. My house for her is a shed of hay and straw.

"The smell is bad, the animals are loud. Why, I even smell like a shepherd myself.

"Did I miss something? Did I, God?

"When you sent the angel and spoke of the son being born--this isn't what I pictured. I envisioned Jerusalem, the temple, the priests, and the people gathered to watch. A pageant perhaps. A parade. A banquet at least. I mean, this is the Messiah!

"Or, if not born in Jerusalem, how about Nazareth? Wouldn't Nazareth have been better? At least there I have my house and my business. Out here, what do I have? A weary mule, a stack of firewood, and a pot of warm water. This is not the way I wanted it to be! This is not the way I wanted my son.

"Oh my, I did it again. I did it again didn't I, Father? I don't mean to do that; it's just that I forget. He's not my son. He's yours.
The child is yours. The plan is yours. The idea is yours. And forgive me for asking but, is this how God enters the world? The coming of the angel, I've accepted. The questions people asked about the pregnancy, I can tolerate. The trip to Bethlehem, fine. But why a birth in a stable, God?

"Any minute now Mary will give birth. Not to a child, but to the Messiah. Not to an infant, but to God. That's what the angel said. That's what Mary believes. And, God, my God, that's what I want to believe. But surely you can understand; it's not easy. It seems so- bizarre.

"I'm unaccustomed to such strangeness, God. I'm a carpenter. I make things fit. I square off the edges. I follow the plumb line. I measure twice before I cut once. Surprises are not the friend of a builder. I like to see the plan before I begin.

"But this time I'm not the builder, am I? This time I'm a tool. A hammer in your grip. A nail between your fingers. A chisel in your hands. This project is yours, not mine.

"I guess it's foolish of me to question you. Forgive my struggling. Trust doesn't come easy to me, God. But you never said it would be easy, did you?

"One final thing, Father. The angel you sent? Any chance you could send another? If not an angel, maybe a person? I don't know anyone around here and some company would be nice. Maybe the innkeeper or a traveler? Even a shepherd would do.
Max Lucado goes on to say "I wonder. Did Joseph ever pray such a prayer? Perhaps he did. Perhaps he didn't.

"But you probably have.
You've stood where Joseph stood. Caught between what God says and what makes sense. You've stared into a sky blackened with doubt. And you've asked what Joseph asked.
"You've asked if you're still on the right road. You've asked if you were supposed to turn left when you turned right. And you've asked if there is a plan behind this scheme. Things haven't turned out like you thought they would.

"Each of us knows what it's like to search the night for light. Not outside a stable, but perhaps outside an emergency room. On the gravel of a roadside. On the manicured grass of a cemetery. We've asked our questions. We questioned God's plan. And we've wondered why God does what he does.

"No, the Bethlehem sky is not the first to hear the pleadings of an honest heart, nor the last. And perhaps God didn't answer every question for Joseph. But he answered the most important one. "Are you still with me, God?" And through the first cries of the God-child the answer came. "Yes. Yes, Joseph. I'm with you."

"There are many questions that we won't be able to answer. Many times we will muse, "I wonder"

"But in our wonderings, there is one question we never need to ask. Does God care? Do we matter to God? Does he still love his children?

"Through the small face of the stable-born baby, he says yes.

"Yes, your sins can be forgiven.

"Yes, your name can be written in heaven.

"Yes, death has been defeated.

"Because God has entered the world.

"Immanuel. God is with us."

From the Hays Family to yours- Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!

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