~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday July 22, 2010A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Ag Groups Line Up to Oppose State Question 744 During Media Event in Enid
-- WIth Australian Beef Exports Down- US Beef Making Big Gains in Asia in 2010
-- Lots of Embarassment for USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack
-- First Farmer's Market to be held at OSU
-- Ag in the Classroom Cruising Across Little Dixie
-- NCBA Summer Conference to Address Shrinking U.S. Cattle Herd
-- 89th Annual Oklahoma 4-H Conference Set for Next Week in Stillwater
-- Let's Check the Markets!
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are pleased to have American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!
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Ag Groups Line Up to Oppose State Question 744 During Media Event in Enid
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Farm groups and agribusiness interests held a media event with the One Oklahoma Coalition, the group working to defeat State Question 744, in Enid today to detail the devastating consequences State Question 744 would likely have on rural Oklahoma and agricultural industries. We have an audio overview- with interviews from the event courtesy of J Curtis Huckleberry of RON Ag Affiiliate KGWA Radio in Enid- you can click on the LINK at the bottom of this story to jump to our coverage of this event from Wednesday.
Jeff Wilson, campaign manager to the One Oklahoma Coalition, provided
background on a state house budget committee hearing last fall, which was
convened to estimate the financial impact of SQ 744. At the hearing,
testimony was provided on what the impact of an across-the-board 20
percent budget cut to all areas of state government, outside of common
education, would be. These draconian cuts were anticipated as the most
likely outcome state lawmakers would have to pursue in order to pay for
the estimated $1 billion increase in spending that would be required under
Discussing the anticipated affects of the SQ 744 on rural healthcare, Dr. Barry Pollard an ag producer, agribusiness owner and general surgeon talked about the impact to the Oklahoma Healthcare Authority of a 20 percent cut. He explained state house budget staff estimated it would be equivalent to $196 million in state dollars plus another $343 million in federal matching dollars for a total of $539 million reduction in state health dollars. "We are talking about dramatic reductions to Medicaid services for seniors and all Oklahomans who depend upon SoonerCare," said Pollard. "We already have one of the worst ratios in the nation in number of physicians serving our rural communities. Legislation that has been advanced to help recruit physicians to settle in rural communities would be wiped out," said Pollard.
Both Mike Spradling of Oklahoma Farm Bureau and Terry Dietrick of American Farmers and Ranchers stood up for their groups, expressing opposition to this constitutional amendment. You can read and hear their thoughts fromthe media event by clicking on the LINK below.
Click here for more on the Stop State Question 744 Media Event in Enid on Wednesday.
WIth Australian Beef Exports Down- US Beef Making Big Gains in Asia in 2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Exports of U.S. beef for 2010 are forecast at 2.09 billion pounds, a nearly 12- percent increase from 2009. This figure also places U.S. beef export levels at 83 percent of pre-BSE levels in 2003. U.S. beef exports through May were 26 percent higher, year-over-year, with exports to Asian markets-namely Japan (+24 percent), South Korea (+74 percent), Taiwan (+54 percent), and Hong Kong (+126 percent) -contributing toward much of the forecast and year-over-year growth.
The second and third quarters of this year are expected to show nearly 15-and 11- percent growth above the same quarters last year, at 540 and 550 million pounds exported, respectively. The strengthening dollar is not expected to have a significant effect in terms of dampened demand for exported U.S. product, given the growth in Asian markets and implications of supply constraints in markets of alternative beef suppliers. Constraints in Argentinian supply, for example, have caused a shift in Russian demand for beef to U.S. supplies. Beef production in 2010 from Australia, a primary export competitor with the United States, particularly to Asian markets, will be the lowest since 2003.
We have more on this story- and a link to the latest Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook newsletter from USDA that this report comes from- just click on the LINK below to read more.
Click here for more on the Beef Export Story that continues to develop here in 2010- and a link to a USDA newsletter with other meat industry updates.
Lots of Embarassment for USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~US Secretary Tom Vilsack went public yesterday evening, saying he's to blame for a major blow up by the Administration over some supposedly racial remarks made by a State Rural Development Director in Georgia. The lady, who is black, was told by the Administration that she had to resign- then under a firestorm of media criticism- USDA and the administration has retreated and now has offered Shirley Sherrod a unique new position within the agency.
Vilsack issued a statement last night saying ""Today, I reached out to
Shirley Sherrod to apologize. I also told her I was sorry for the pain
this caused her and her family and friends.
According to a story written by David Patten "When USDA officials
contacted Sherrod saying the White House wanted her to resign, she says
she tried to communicate that there was another side to the story.
Click here to read the story from Patten that offers an overview of the Shirley Sherrod incident that has put USDA under an intense media spotlight
First Farmer's Market to be held at OSU
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma State University's Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center and University Dining Services are looking for local Oklahoma food companies who would like to participate in the first Farmer's Market on the OSU-Stillwater campus.
OSU Dining Services and the FAPC have been working diligently to use and bring more Made in Oklahoma products on campus, and this market is one more way to do so, said Terry Baker, University Dining Services director.
"It is a great way to partner with the local farming community and bring fresh products right here to campus," Baker said. "We are excited to feature local products, especially Made in Oklahoma items. Our dining team has been working on this project for a year now, and we are thrilled to see it happen right here on campus for the faculty, staff and students."
The market will provide local farmers and the community with a
designated place where they can sell fresh produce and other agricultural
byproducts directly to the public, while supporting the local economy.
The market will take place on the second and fourth Thursdays from July 22 through Oct. 21, 2010, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. rain or shine. Companies will set up and sell products on the top level of the OSU Student Union garage. The 2010 membership fee is $10 per company. Interested companies can go to the LINK below to read about market rules and download an application. Space is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The FAPC works with many food companies that would benefit greatly from
this opportunity, said Andrea Graves, FAPC business planning and marketing
Click here for the OSU Dining Services Website where you can find the Farmers Market Application
Ag in the Classroom Cruising Across Little Dixie
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Word from Dana Bessinger of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture and the Ag in the Classroom program in Oklahoma is that the annual summer tour of a slice of Oklahoma agriculture is underway this week.
Dana emails that "Ag in the Classroom is "On the Road" with 95 teachers in southeast Oklahoma!! Oklahoma Beef Council is a major sponsor. The Tulsa bus and teachers are sponsored by Tulsa County Farm Bureau. Yesterday we made stops at Grissom Implement in McAlister for a look at Action Agriculture, sale day at Union Stockyards, and organic.vegetable research at Lane. Today it's Tyson hatchery and processing, Weyerhaeuser sawmill, and Kiamichi Forestry Research Station. Connections to Ag in the Classroom lessons and resources are made as teachers received professional development training. Representative Dennis Bailey and OSU extension folks Brad Bain and Cathleen Taylor assisted with today's farm and ranch tours."
Click on the LINK below to learn more about Ag in the Classroom, which is a joint effor of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, OSU Extension and several private sector partners- like the Farm Bureau and the Oklahoma Beef Council.
NCBA Summer Conference to Address Shrinking U.S. Cattle Herd
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) will be hosting its Summer Conference July 28 through Aug. 1, 2010, in Denver, Colo. According to NCBA President and Illinois cattle producer Steve Foglesong, cattle producers attending the event will receive firsthand information pertaining to issues affecting the beef industry.
"The Summer Conference is more than determining NCBA's policies," said Foglesong. "The event is a portal of excellent information for cattle producers. For example, the shrinking U.S. cattle population is concerning to this organization and to me, personally, as a producer. We have a panel of the industry's finest to address the beef cattle population and offer any predictions for the future."
Foglesong is referring to NCBA's first ever "Rebuilding the Herd" panel
that specifically addresses the shrinkage in the U.S. cattle herd. Beyond
that, Gregg Doud, NCBA chief economist, said the panel is also about
rebuilding the people involved in the industry. Doud said it is more
important than ever to engage younger generations in farming and ranching.
The panel will feature Mike Thoren, president and CEO of Five Rivers
Cattle Feeding; Kevin Good, senior market analyst with Cattle-Fax; Ben
Neale, The Beef Connection and NCBA Young Producer's Council vice
chairman; and Jack Reich, president of the North Dakota Stockmen's
Association. Doud said there will be lively conversation and an array of
perspectives. "The shrinking cattle herd is a major issue and one that is
too often left out of the discussion," said Doud. "We've shrunk the beef
cow herd for 12 of the last 14 years even though the average cow calf
producer has made money in all but three of these years. We want to extend
this discussion beyond what it takes to retain and develop heifers and the
cattle cycle. There are obviously other factors at work here and this
discussion is an attempt to flesh out these challenges to the future
growth of our industry."
Click here for more on the NCBA Summer Conference happening in Denver next week.
89th Annual Oklahoma 4-H Conference Set for Next Week in Stillwater
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's top 4-H'ers will be recognized July 29 at the Honor Night Assembly during the 89th State 4-H Roundup.
This event, which takes place at 7:30 p.m. at Gallagher Iba Arena on the Oklahoma State University campus, is steeped in the 4-H tradition of recognizing the many achievements of club members from across the state.
"This event is a wonderful opportunity for the public to come see what great things Oklahoma 4-H'ers are capable of doing," said Jessica Stewart, state 4-H marketing coordinator - promotions and special programs. "Record book winners and scholarship recipients who are recognized during the Honor Night Assembly will walk away with a total of more than $50,000 in educational scholarships. This wouldn't be possible without our generous donors who believe in the positive impact 4-H has on today's youth."
In addition to recognizing the record book and scholarship winners, the
evening will end with the announcement of the two inductees into the State
4-H Hall of Fame. This is the highest award a 4-H'er can achieve at the
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We've had requests to include Canola prices for your convenience here- and we will be doing so on a regular basis. Current cash price for Canola is $7.60 per bushel as of the close of business Wednesday, while the 2011 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $7.50 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.
Here are some links we will leave in place on an ongoing basis- Click
on the name of the report to go to that link:
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