|We invite you to listen to us on great radio stations across the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network weekdays- if you missed this morning's Farm News - or you are in an area where you can't hear it- click or tap here for this morning's Farm news from Ron Hays on RON. TODAY- we feature comments from Zippy Duvall and what he wants Donald Trump to know ahead of his speech to Farm Bureau this afternoon.
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|Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Monday, January 8, 2018
Zippy Duvall Says For Farmers- Trump Administration Has Produced a Breath of Fresh Air in Washington
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall called on farmers and ranchers to redouble their efforts to advocate for agriculture, even as the current administration has begun moving to undo some of the regulations that have burdened them for years.
"We have had a seat at the table with the Trump administration," Duvall told nearly 7,000 farmers and ranchers gathered for the organization's annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee. "Folks, I can tell you that it has been a breath of fresh air to be able to advocate for getting things done...instead of having to constantly defend agriculture against a steady stream of challenges from our own government."
We have Duvall's complete address on our website as our Top Ag Story of the Day- Click or tap here to read more and to listen to his comments.
AND- our Monday Morning Farm News on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network features his answer to yours truly in his News Conference after this presentation- we asked what he wanted Donald Trump to know ahead of his speech set for this afternoon in front of 4,500 of those who are a part of the 2018 meeting. You can hear Zippy Duvall's answer by clicking or tapping here.
Duvall says that he hopes to get a couple of minutes to let the President know that Immigration, Trade and passage of a Farm Bill are priorities for the general farm organization.
There's lots of excitement ahead of the President's speech- but it certainly has done a number on the structure of the convention lineup for today- and will mean lots of disruptions for the citizens in this part of Nashville.
Our long time friend Jim Robb of the LMIC gave a workshop yesterday afternoon on the livestock markets- is giving a repeat early this morning and says his flight may get cancelled as air traffic will be halted for several hours around the President's appearance.
The President's speech likely will be seen on several national cable channels- but you can watch on the Farm Bureau's live stream- which is available here.
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.
|Canadian Ag Minister MacAulay Tells Farm Bureau- Our Two Countries Need Each Other
Trade relationships are the foundation for creating economic prosperity between nations, the Honorable Lawrence MacAulay, Canada's Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, said at the opening session of the American Farm Bureau Federation's 2018 Annual Convention & IDEAg Trade Show in Nashville.
MacAulay, who is the first Canadian agriculture minister to speak to Farm Bureau members at an annual convention, said that trade, the North American Free Trade Agreement and building on common interests are the three areas the U.S. and Canada should focus on.
"The closer the U.S. and Canada work together to address common challenges, the more we can grow our economies," he said. "No two nations depend on each other for economic prosperity more than the U.S. and Canada."
Click or tap here to read more- and you can also listen at this link to his presentation to the opening general session of the 2018 AFBF meeting.
Just before the weekend, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the names of those he has appointed to serve on the department's State Farm Service Agency committees.
Included on the Secretary's slated list of appointees for Oklahoma's committee, are Gary Crawley, of McAlester who will serve as committee chairman; Sarah Dorsey, Bixby; Karen Eifert Jones, Stillwater/Waukomis; and Don Allen Parsons of McCurtain County.
"The State Committees will help to ensure USDA is providing our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and agricultural producers with the best customer service," Secretary Perdue said. "They serve as a liaison between USDA and the producers in each state across the nation by keeping them informed and hearing their appeals and complaints. The committees are made up mostly of active farmers and ranchers, representing their peers and ensuring USDA's programs are supporting the American harvest."
Those slated to a state committee will serve a one year term which began on January 1, 2018. Each state committee has five members, consisting of one chairperson and four members. These members serve at the pleasure of the Secretary, and are responsible for carrying out FSA's farm programs within delegated authorities.
You can find a complete list of the committee members slated for most other states by the Secretary, up on our website, by clicking here
The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture honored Bobbie Steenbergen of El Reno, Okla. this past week, recognizing her as a Significant Woman in Oklahoma Agriculture.
Originally, Steenbergen grew up the youngest of Robert Clyde and Velma Hammett's three girls who lived on a farm south of Gracemont, not far from Anadarko. There, they raised cotton, corn and cattle. Like many small farms, they had swine, chickens and a big garden.
Later in life, Steenbergen would go on to graduate from Draughon's Business College, and would accept an opportunity to assist in the offices of the President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma State Senate.
In 1965, she was promoted to the position of State Senate Calendar Clerk, a position she held for 25 legislative sessions. It was also in 1965 that the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce offered her a part-time job assisting with the National Finals Rodeo.
She also worked with Stanley Draper Jr. and Ray Ackerman to bring the Miss Rodeo America pageant from Las Vegas to Oklahoma City so that it could be integrated as part of the NFR. By about the mid-1970s, the American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show had moved to Oklahoma City, and she helped with ticket sales and other events tied to the show. In 1990, Steenbergen accepted the position of Director of Metropolitan and Agricultural Events for the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She worked alongside many individuals, Draper, Steve Collier and several others to bring equine events to Oklahoma City.
Bobbie has three daughters, Rhonda, Robbie and Renee and each started showing Appaloosas and participating in rodeo events at a young age. Rhonda and Robbie won several queen contests and are still involved with horses.
After she retired from the Chamber in 2006, she began to focus on her equine operation, the Spear B Farm, where she continues to enjoy her interest today.
To read more about Bobbie's story as a Significant Woman in Oklahoma Agriculture, click here
to read the complete article.
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I had the chance recently to sit down with Mark Yates, Oklahoma's director for the Wind Coalition. He explained to me that the wind industry has developed significantly over the last 15 years. In fact, he believes that most Oklahomans don't realize how much the industry has truly grown here in the state, not to mention the many the benefits it brings to our rural communities as well.
"We currently rank No. 3 in the nation in wind capacity," Yates said. "Here in a few years, we will probably be No. 2 behind Texas. So, it's really exciting for the state of Oklahoma that we now have a very diverse mix in our energy portfolio - wind being a part of that."
The growth seen in the industry has itself generated a multitude of benefits for Oklahomans statewide, including a cash infusion to rural communities and landowners through ad valorem taxes and royalty payments. Plus, he says the wind industry has made significant investment into many of our state's school districts and has provided a source of sustainable jobs with the various projects that have been developed.
As an example, he points out the Wind Catcher Project which you may recognize from recent media attention.
Yates claims this project will have a massive impact on the Pan-Handle region of the state, bringing with it an estimated 120 permanent jobs and millions in tax revenue. But despite these benefits, Yates says the state is not making much of an effort to incentivize more development in our wind industry. He worries that Oklahoma's current political landscape may actually deter future investment.
Fifteen years ago, the state did offer two incentives for wind energy in the form of an ad valorem tax exemption and a tax credit for zero emissions. Both though have since sunset. Additionally, the state is now considering additional taxes on top of those already being paid by the wind industry. Nevertheless, though, Yates says the wind industry has rooted itself in Oklahoma.
"Absolutely, wind is here - we're excited to be here and we want to continue to invest into rural Oklahoma for years to come," he concluded. "But, yanking the carpet out from underneath us, has a chilling impact for future investment."
Click here for further reading or listen to my complete conversation with Yates to learn more about Oklahoma's wind industry and its impact on our economy and rural communities.
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|NCBA Racing Against the Clock to Ensure Congress Makes Progress on Farm Bill Before Mid-Terms
With the New Year comes the potential political swings of the November mid-term elections. Lead lobbyist for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Colin Woodall
says this means there is limited time to get as much done legislatively as possible, before lawmakers in Washington, D.C. turn their attentions to getting reelected and he says the clock is ticking.
"We're just about 10 months away from the mid-term election (and) this, like all mid-term elections is critical because it will determine who controls Congress and ultimately how that impacts the success of the President moving forward with any sort of legislative priorities that he has left," Woodall said. "So, it has huge implications on us and the cattle business, if by chance we were to see a change in power."
Things like tax reform would have to take a back seat to regulatory reform issues, says Woodall, if Democrats take control. He says the campaign races have already begun and NCBA will be paying close attention to many of them as they progress. As we get closer to parade and festival season around Memorial Day when campaign activity heats up, Woodall says that is time when many major pieces of legislation unfortunately become less of a priority. All the more reason, he emphasizes, to get moving on a new Farm Bill, which will expire at the end of September.
"If we don't have these things like the Farm Bill either passed or significant progress made by the time we get into the summer, the chances of getting it done by the end of the year or definitely by the time they leave in October for their last push for campaigning, prognosis is pretty dim," he confessed. "So, we need to get things done here in the spring while we've got an opportunity to make it happen."
Listen to Colin Woodall of NCBA and I speak more about the potential impact of the upcoming mid-term elections and more on the progress of the 2018 Farm Bill, on Friday's Beef Buzz - click here.
|From Music City- Oklahoma Shows Up and Chris Chinn Tells FB Members That the World is Led by Those Who Show Up
The Oklahoma delegation to the 2018 AFBF meeting has been busy checking out Tennessee Agriculture, taking in Workshops and Lots More. The brand new President of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Rodd Moesel, is learning the ropes of the duties of a State President- and that includes carrying the Oklahoma Flag and giving a BIG Wave as he high steps across the stage!
Nicely done Rodd!
On the YF&R front- Brent Howard did us proud- made Sweet 16 in discussion meet but did not make Final Four- was knocked out by a young man from Michigan who advanced out of the same second round that Brent did.
Down in the Trade Show- the aroma of fresh bread "called" to folks as they walked in- and they filed by the Oklahoma Wheat Commission's booth to get their sample- Class One of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program definitely showed up- with David Gammill and Don Scheiber (along with their lovely wives) were busy baking and slicing and serving the masses. (Since I was sampling the goodies- that made three OALP Class One folks hanging out!) Of course- OWC exec Mike Schulte was making sure all went well- yep- Mike's an OALP alum too- Class 12.
One other story for this morning from the 2018 AFBF- I really enjoyed catching up with one of the rising stars
in the world of agriculture- Chris Chinn
is from Missouri- she was a leader in the AFBF YF&R, one of the first FACES OF AG for the US Farmer Rancher Alliance as a pork producer and is now the Director of Ag for the Missouri Dept of Ag. She talked to Farm Bureau folks about the truth "The world truly is led by those who show up." (I remember our dear friend Paul Hitch would often use that phrase) and after her noontime speech- we caught up with Chris for a few moments- and you can hear our conversation with her by clicking or tapping here.
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