~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday February 6, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Oklahoma Legislative Session is Underway- We talk Priorities with Senator Ron Justice.
-- The Grand Finale for Bill Wilson- President of the National Association of Conservation Districts!
-- Speaking of NACD- Oklahomans at that meeting say everyone delighted with USDA choice for Natural Resources Deputy!
-- Breakthrough with Korea won't be easy- so says Phil Seng
-- President's Budget is flat for USDA in FY 2008- $89 Billion.
-- Farm Bureau's Food Checkout Week is underway!
-- Dorr Today- OFU Friday!
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. Our email this morning is a service of Midwest Farm Shows, featuring the Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City April 19-21, 2007, as well as the Tulsa Farm Show held each December. Check out details of both of these exciting shows at the official website of Midwest Farm Shows by clicking here.
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Oklahoma Legislative Session is Underway- We talk Priorities with Senator Ron Justice.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The State of the State was delivered by Governor Brad Henry after lunch yesterday as the State Legislature has officially begun their 2007 Session. Yesterday morning, we caught up with Senator Ron Justice at the Nitrogen Management Workshop in Canadian County hosted by Extension Agent Brad Tipton.
Senator Justice talked with us about the Power Sharing Agreement that has been established by the Republicans and Democrats- and expressed hope that this arrangement will serve Oklahomans in a positive way. We have linked our conversation with the Senator and you can listen by clicking below.
Senator Justice says he attended a meeting of State Legislative Committee Chairmen from all across the country recently- and that everybody is talking about various state laws and/or regulations for the biofuels industry- that and of course, water will likely be two of the key issues to be considered by Oklahoma lawmakers that will hold extra interest for agricultural folks.
Click here to listen to Ron visit with State Senator Ron Justice.
The Grand Finale for Bill Wilson- President of the National Association of Conservation Districts!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Power of Conservation is the theme of the 61st annual meeting of the National Association of Conservation Districts- and Bill Wilson of Kinta is in his final days as President of the NACD at this meeting that continues through Thursday in Los Angeles(Sunny and warm this week!).
Bill Wilson has served the last couple of years as President of the Conservation group. His experience at NACD goes back to 1994 when he was elected to represent Oklahoma on the NACD Council and later on the NACD Board of Directors. He was elected president of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts in 1994. He has served as a district official for the Haskell County Conservation District since 1980. Wilson is a founder and past president of the National Watershed Coalition.
He owns and operates a 650-acre cow/calf, horse and mule ranch in East Central Oklahoma. He is also a registered land surveyor in Oklahoma and Arkansas. He has worked many years to restore Dust Bowl era farm fields into productive pasture land. Conservation practices include grazing and nutrient management, tree planting, erosion control drainage structures, cross fencing, and sediment collection structures to improve water quality. Our Congratulations to Bill Wilson who has been a GREAT representative of Oklahoma as he has gone through the officer chairs of the NACD!
Speaking of NACD- Oklahomans at that meeting say everyone delighted with USDA choice for Natural Resources Deputy!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The new deputy undersecretary for natural resources and the environment in the U.S. Department of Agriculture is a longtime conservation district leader. Gary Mast, immediate past president of the National Association of Conservation Districts and an Ohio dairy farmer, was named to that position by Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns. The announcement of Mast’s appointment was made Monday at NACD’s 61 st annual meeting by Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Arlen Lancaster.
Our Oklahoma contacts at that meeting in L.A. agree that the appointment of Gary Mast is good news for Conservation efforts in this country as he understands the workings of the partnership between the Feds and private stakeholders.
He replaces Merlyn Carlson of Nebraska, who retired at the beginning of the year.
Breakthrough with Korea won't be easy- so says Phil Seng
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~While the U.S. beef cattle industry feels wronged by the South Koreans and their refusal to accept even minimal amounts of US beef since that Canadian Cow that stole Christmas with a positive BSE reading in December 2003, it won't be easy breaking down their resistance quickly. Phil Seng with the US Meat Export Federation told us at the Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville that we have several leaders within their government who have vowed not to let US beef in- they don't like imports from any country and don't care that their consumers pay the highest price for beef in the world.
Seng says the key is to keep the dialogue going and to work with the Ministries of their government that understand the bigger picture of trade having to be a two way street. We feature Phil Seng today in our Beef Buzz on the Radio Oklahoma Network- and we have it linked below.
Phil also updates on the Mice Assay Report from Japan- those darned mice just keep on living and living and living- and we may finally be getting a report within a month or so that will cast serious doubt on the claims of Japan that they had cases of BSE in animals that were 21 and 24 months of age.
President's Budget is flat for USDA in FY 2008- $89 Billion.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Bush Administration thinks we will need to spend $2 billion less on farm subsidies in FY 2008 compared to the current year, due to strong commodity prices that are expected. Ag Subsidies that are distributed through the CCC will total around $11.7 billion in the new fiscal year- compared to the expected $13.4 billion to be spent in the current Fiscal year. The one crop that continues to hover around loan levels is cotton- and USDA officials don't expect that to change anytime soon.
Fred Hoefner of the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is upset with the USDA budget plan- calling it 180 degrees out of sync with what the Administration was asking for in their 2007 farm bill proposal released just this past week. Hoefner claims the Administration was talking about adding $475 million to conservation spending annually- but yesterday, the FY 2008 Budget actually comes in with cuts of $430 million. Hoefner says in a news release from his group, "Will the real White House farm bill proposal please stand up?"
If you want to prowl through all the details of the USDA budget proposal for the coming fiscal year- we have provided a link for you to do so. However, we do not promise that you will be able to remain rational if you choose to go where very few ever actually go- deep inside a government budget document! By the way, we have linked to their budget page on the website- at the bottom of that is the actual summary in a PDF file- it is 118 pages and is something on the order of 2.5 megabytes, so don't try that one on a slow speed connection!
Farm Bureau's Food Checkout Week is underway!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It used to be the Farm Bureau Food Checkoff Day- now they have expanded and celebrate and talk with consumers about a cheap yet wholesome and safe food supply for a full week! We are talking about the amount of time the average consumer takes to earn enough money to pay for a year's supply of food.
The latest statistics - compiled by the Agriculture Department’s Economic Research Service - indicate American families and individuals currently spend - on average - just 9.9 percent of their disposable personal income for food. In comparison to working 36 days to pay for food – according to the Tax Foundation - Americans worked 77 days to pay their federal taxes - 62 days to pay for housing and household operation - and 52 days for health/medical care.
The American Farm Bureau's Women's Committee is leading the week long celebration- with Oklahoma Farm Bureau women also actively involved in the week's promotional efforts. To mark the occasion, Oklahoma Farm Bureau will donate $1,000 worth of food and Braum’s gift certificates to both Ronald McDonald Houses in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The Ronald McDonald House provides a “home-away-from- home” for the families of seriously ill children receiving medical treatment in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa areas. The food will be used to help feed families staying at the House. In addition, county Farm Bureau Women’s Committees across the state will hold Food Check- Out activities in their areas.
Dorr Today- OFU Friday!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Two items to mention on the calendar for this week- among many things that are going on.
USDA Undersecretary Tom Dorr will be promoting the USDA Farm Bill Proposal and answering questions about it in a public setting this afternoon at 12:30 pm at the State Capitol House Chamber. Anyone interested in the farm policy debate for the 2007 farm bill is most welcome to attend.
Moving Forward is the theme of the 102nd annual convention of the Oklahoma Farmers Union that will begin this Friday in Downtown Oklahoma City at the Cox Convention Center. They have a jam packed meeting planned this weekend- and we have linked below an article from their website that will give you an idea of all they have on tap. As with most things that are of importance to Oklahoma's farmers and ranchers- we will be at both of these events and report back to you!
Click here for the Oklahoma Farmers Union Convention lowdown!
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