~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday February 27, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Conservation Day Honorees Announced Last Night- Awards to be handed out at Capitol March 19th!
-- Conservation Hall of Famers were announced- and a Surprise for this Farm Broadcaster!
-- Feral Swine Bill Sails Through Full Senate after getting bogged down in 2006.
-- Over 120 Sponsors Already for HR 503- the Horse Slaughter Ban in the US House!
-- Korea says they want to talk beef- BUT will they bend???
-- National Pork Board Annual Meeting Thursday through Saturday in Anaheim!
-- Last Call for the Express Ranches Spring Bull Sale this Thursday and 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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Conservation Day Honorees Announced Last Night- Awards to be handed out at Capitol March 19th!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The 69th Annual Meeting of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts is wrapping up their annual meeting later today- but last night they had a great Legislative Banquet with several lawmakers present, along with Lt. Governor Jari Askins. They announced their three big annual awards that will actually be handed out on Oklahoma Conservation Day at the State Capitol March 19.
The outstanding Cooperator of the Year is Joe Jeter of Copan; the Outstanding District Director is Paul Brown of Chickasha while the Outstanding Conservation District for 2007 is the East Woods County District, which has offices in Alva.
The OACD as well as the Oklahoma Conservation Commission also honored Bill Wilson of Kinta, who is now the Immediate Past President of the National Association of Conservation Districts for his hard work for conservation districts all around the country these past two years.
Conservation Hall of Famers were announced- and a Surprise for this Farm Broadcaster!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I was caught by surprise last night by OACD President Dan Lowrance who announced that he had selected for the 2007 President's Award of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts Ron Hays. Wow! I am honored by the words on the award that read "In recognition of his passion for covering conservation and agriculture issues in the state and nation and his service to Oklahoma in providing quality reporting on these issues." Thank you Dan and OACD- you caught me with a dropped jaw and words that didn't come out very well for a radio guy- hard to make me not be able to put words together- but you certainly did that and I am honored and humbled by your recognition.
After that announcement- Dan presented two OACD Conservation Hall of Fame Awards- one to former Oklahoma State Conservationist Darrel Dominick, and the second to District Director Wade Sexton of Pittsburg County. Dominick was State Conservationist for Oklahoma for six years before he was told by USDA officials in Washington- be reassigned or retire. Darrel had done a tremendous job in the state- had no desire to leave his native Oklahoma and made the difficult choice to step aside. He has now joined the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, working as their Tribal Liaison, as well as assisting in their work on carbon sequestration.
Wade Sexton has been a District Director for 25 years in southeastern Oklahoma- and Lowrance spoke of numerous state conservation efforts that were helped along by the work of Sexton. A plaque honoring both Dominick and Sexton will be hung in the offices of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission in Oklahoma City to signify their induction into the Oklahoma Conservation Hall of Fame.
Feral Swine Bill Sails Through Full Senate after getting bogged down in 2006.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Senate Bill 90 passed 48 to nothing yesterday and now goes to the State house. The "Feral Swine Control Act" is authored by Roger Ballenger of Okmulgee. He calls feral swine "non native animals that are dangerous pests for our state."
Roy Lee Lindsey, Jr., who serves as the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Pork Council, praised the bi- partisan vote, especially in light of the problems in navigating through the Senate a year ago. He tells us that these animals are a pest in the way they can tear up crop fields, pastures, fences as they root and reproduce. He adds that the swine industry is in full support of this measure because of the diseases these wild hogs can carry- from Brucellosis to Pseudorabies to trichinosis.
The measure will allow for aggressive measures to be taken to reduce the number of feral swine in the state, as individuals will not have to have a hunting license to kill these hogs in daylight as long as they are on their own land. You can obtain a special permit to hunt these animals at night for a limited amount of time. Lindsey believes we have an excellent chance of seeing this measure become law here in 2007.
Over 120 Sponsors Already for HR 503- the Horse Slaughter Ban in the US House!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~That's the chilling word from Ericka McPherson of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, their Director for National Policy. She says that fortunately, the bill has been assigned to the House Ag Committee, and Chairman Collin Peterson wants it dead. You can listen below to our conversation with Ericka about this measure- which was allowed to be voted on last fall in the House- and it passed overwhelmingly! It died in the Senate but proponents believe they can beat agricultural interests and win this one in 2007.
The measure would outlaw horse slaughter for human consumption- although supporters don't have much of a plan for handling thousands of horses at the end of their productive lives that have not place to be cared for as a senior citizen.
McPherson says that the Oklahoma House Delegation understands why this is a horrible piece of legislation and will likely all vote against it again if called on to do so- she also expects support from both Oklahoma Senators. But nationally, the tide is clearly against animal agriculture on this one based on the emotion of the general public on this matter.
Click here to listen to Ron and Ericka McPherson visit about horse slaughter
Korea says they want to talk beef- BUT will they bend???
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There will be two days of meetings next week between the South Koreans and the United States- this time the US to be represented by Richard Crowder, Ag Trade Rep within the U.S. Trade representative's Office. The first day will apparently be about several general ag trade issues. Day two is expected to zero in on beef.
The Korean Herald explains the beef problem in this way: "Fears over mad cow disease after a case was confirmed in the U.S. state of Washington in late 2003 have prevented the Korean government from fully opening up its market. The government has cited public health concerns as the main reason for applying stricter quarantine measures on U.S. beef shipments. Seoul's Agriculture Ministry agreed in 2006 to resume imports on condition the meat was boneless and from cattle younger than 30 months of age. But U.S. officials have been critical of the move, suggesting that Korea has invented standards which do not fit international norms. Washington also declares that it is impossible for every slab of meat to be absolutely free of bone fragments. "
When it comes to the United States- the South Koreans have been told flat out that if they want a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S., they have to fully re- open their market to U.S. beef. That has been said to them by both U.S. Senators as well as the USTR officials they deal with as well. How well they have gotten that message as the truth may or may not show up on March 6.
Click here for the Korea Herald Article on the Koreans wanting to talk beef.
National Pork Board Annual Meeting Thursday through Saturday in Anaheim!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's Disneyland for the Pork Producers here in 2007- while the Farmers Union has chosen Disney World for their meetings this weekend as they gather in Orlando. Disneyland, of course is in Anaheim and that's where the National Pork Board will be meeting March 1-3. Several Oklahomans will be on the scene for the sessions- including Oklahoma Pork Council Executive Director Roy Lee Lindsey.
How the U.S. pork industry can be accountable to its customerís desires, and do so in a sustainable manner while building a trust relationship, will provide plenty of lively discussion opportunities for Pork Act Delegates. In addition, Delegates will conduct normal business as it relates to the Pork Checkoff program, including the rate of the Checkoff and the amount of Checkoff revenue distributed to state pork associations for Checkoff-funded programs.
Last Call for the Express Ranches Spring Bull Sale this Thursday and Friday!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Express Ranches in Yukon have one of their biggest bull offerings of the year about ready to sell- and they will be offering a total of 500 Limousin and Angus Bulls over a two day period March first and Second at the Ranch just north of Yukon, Oklahoma. This will be their 13th annual spring bull sale!
The sale Schedule includes:
You can attend live- or the auction will be available through liveauction.tv on the Internet. We have a link below that takes you to the Express web site to tell you more about the spring bull sale- and it you go to the sale catalog that is available on line- you can get full information on how to register to be a buyer on the world wide web on sale day.
Click here for the Express Ranches web site to learn more about their 2007 Spring Bull Sale.
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