From: Ron Hays [] on behalf of Ron Hays []
Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 7:24 PM
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday December 18, 2008!
A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Weighing in on Tom Vilsack- The Lawmaker Take
-- Weighing in on USDA Nominee Tom Vilsack- the Farm Group View
-- Weighing in on Tom Vilsack- Ed Schafer's Take
-- Organic Group Vows to Oppose Vilsack and Will Fight to Defeat His Confirmation
-- Cattle on Feed Numbers Due on Friday
-- Oklahoma Wheat Commission Looking for Executive Director- Here's the Details
-- Quick Notes- NCBA Narrows Search- and a Mention of Next Week
-- Let's Check the Markets!

Howdy Neighbors!

Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud 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!

It's also great to have the Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma with us regularly as an Email Sponsor- Financing Oklahoma is their business! Check out their website which shows their locations statewide by clicking here!
And we are excited to have as one of our sponsors for the daily email Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, with 64 years of progress through producer ownership. Call Brandon Winters at 405-232-7555 for more information on the oilseed crops they are crushing, including sunflowers and canola- and remember they post closing market prices for canola and sunflowers on the PCOM website- go there by clicking here.

If you have received this by someone forwarding it to you, you are welcome to subscribe and get this weekday update sent to you directly by clicking here.

Weighing in on Tom Vilsack- The Lawmaker Take
We saw several statements that were released on Wednesday after President Elect Barack Obama named who he would like to have as his Secretary of Agriculture- Tom Vilsack, the former Governor from Iowa.

Congressman Frank Lucas- the new Ranking Minority Member of the House Ag Committee, calls Vilsack a "fine choice" and calls on Vilsack to dedicate himself to lead the effort to make sure the 2008 Farm Law is promptly and properly implemented for the benefit of America's farmers and ranchers.

Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe was not as kind as Congressman Lucas- saying on a positive note that he is encouraged by some of Vilsack's comments about wanting to see rapid movement from grain based ethanol to cellulosic ethanol in the US. However, he disagrees with Vilsack's support of the so called "packer ban" of livestock ownership- calling that potentially devastating for Oklahoma livestock operators. He also objects to the former Iowa Governor's advocacy for a "cap and trade" policy on carbon emissions.

It was also interesting to hear from southerner Saxby Chambliss- the ranking minority member of the Senate Ag Committee- who offered lukewarm support for the President Elect bringing to the table yet another Iowan to have a hand in shaping ag and food policy in this country.

Simple congratulations comes from the top Democrat in the House Ag Committee- Collin Peterson of Minnesota. "I congratulate former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack on his nomination for Secretary of Agriculture. Governor Vilsack is a strong advocate who understands the changing landscape of our nation's rural economy. I look forward to working with him and President-elect Obama in advancing food, conservation and energy policies that are in the best interest of American agriculture and the American people."

Click here for our story that has full statements from these lawmakers and others on the Obama nominee for Ag Secretary, Tom Vilsack

Weighing in on USDA Nominee Tom Vilsack- the Farm Group View
Lots of groups have weighed in on the announcement on Wednesday by Barack Obama that he intends to nominate former Iowa Governor tom Vilsack to be his Secretary of Agriculture. The first comment that came out was actually released on Tuesday afternoon by Tom Buis, President of the National Farmers Union- who calls Vilsack a "great choice" and adds that he believes that the "Obama rural vision is right on target."

From Bob Stallman, President of the American Farm Bureau, his comments were more measured as he says that Vilsack has "demonstrated experienced, steady judgment when it comes to working on agriculture-related issues"

David Cleavinger of the National Association of Wheat Growers had several specifics that he believes shows that Tom Vilsack will make a good Ag Secretary- "Gov. Vilsack has been vocal in his support of agricultural biotechnology; renewable fuels that will help break our dependence on foreign oil; agriculture's participation in what he calls a "carbon-efficient economy"; and agriculture's role in helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through soil carbon sequestration."

Click here for comments from these leaders and others from the farm group community on Tom Vilsack

Weighing in on Tom Vilsack- Ed Schafer's Take
Current USDA Secretary Ed Schafer also had his comments to add to the dozens of other comments that we had sent to us about the selection by President Elect Barack Obama. Schafer told us back last month when we were in Kansas CIty at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters convention that he thinks that a lot of great things have been done at the USDA for the benefit of agriculture- and he hoped that whoever the new Secretary might be- that they will build on the success already achieved.

Now that we have a specific candidate selected by the President in waiting- here are Schafer's official statement on Tom Vilsack:
"USDA plays an integral role in supporting our agricultural economy and working on behalf of America's farmers and ranchers. I am confident that Tom Vilsack's background and experience will help him continue the progress we have made here.
"With his opportunity to build on the accomplishments of USDA during the Bush Administration, Tom Vilsack would lead a department that has made great strides in strengthening our agricultural economy, expanding conservation, leading biofuels development, securing our food supply, improving nutrition, and increasing markets for American agriculture worldwide.
"I wish Governor Vilsack well and believe that he will succeed in continuing to move American agriculture forward."

Organic Group Vows to Oppose Vilsack and Will Fight to Defeat His Confirmation
Wednesday's announcement that former Iowa Governor, Tom Vilsack, has been selected as the new Secretary of Agriculture sent a chill through the sustainable food and farming community who have been lobbying for a champion in the new administration. "Vilsack's nomination sends the message that dangerous, untested, unlabeled genetically engineered crops will be the norm in the Obama Administration," said Ronnie Cummins, Executive Director of Organic Consumers Association. "Our nation's future depends on crafting a forward-thinking strategy to promote organic and sustainable food and farming, and address the related crises of climate change, diminishing energy supplies, deteriorating public health, and economic depression."

The Organic Association contends that while Vilsack has worked to restrain livestock monopolies, his overall record is one of aiding and abetting Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs, also known as factory farms). Vilsack's support for unsustainable industrial ethanol production has already caused global corn and grain prices to skyrocket, literally taking food off the table for a billion people in the developing world.

The Association says that they intend to have a website up and running in the near future that will be called We have more on their unhappiness with the potential member of the Obama cabinet- click on the link below for that full story

Click here for more on the sustainable agriculture complaints about Governor Tom Vilsack.

Cattle on Feed Numbers Due on Friday
Cattle on Feed Numbers as of December first will be released this Friday afternoon at 2 PM central time. Joe Victor with Allendale provides us with this preview of what he and the Allendale team are expecting.

November Placements are expected to be 2.1% smaller than last year. This month's report holds competing factors. Large losses on outgoing cattle were the primary reason for smaller placements. However, the drop was not as large as recent months. Many cow calf producers decided to sell extra feeders and not have the risk of holding them during the price slide. Cattle placed in October will be marketed from April through August.

Allendale anticipates a Marketing total 7.4% smaller than November of 2007. The general placement trend since March has clearly been lower than last year. Those smaller numbers are now being marketed. Cattle on Feed total as of December 1 is the smallest total for that month in four years. Allendale's placement model suggests slaughters from feedlot cattle may remain below last year levels through winter.
We will have the numbers and some comments on those numbers on our website, WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com on Friday afternoon.

Oklahoma Wheat Commission Looking for Executive Director- Here's the Details
The Oklahoma Wheat Commission is now actively looking for their next Executive Director and we have their description of what they are looking for. We asked Chairman of the Commission, Jeff Krehbiel of Hydro, about the job search that is now kicking off as Mark Hodges winds down his time at the Commission.

Krehbiel told us that he really had no preconceptions about what the person should have as their stengths that they would bring into the job. The job description as released by the Commission says that "This is administrative, technical, and public relations work promoting the utilization and marketing of wheat and wheat products. Functions involve planning, developing, and directing a promotional program to improve and expand market outlets and provide up-to-date wheat information for the grain trade and Oklahoma wheat producers."

We have all the details linked on our website- the link to that story is below- closing date for applications is February first.

Click here for details of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission job search

Quick Notes- NCBA Narrows Search- and a Mention of Next Week
We have heard from a couple of different sources that the National Cattlemen's Beef Association is very close to finding a successor to Terry Stokes- we understand they are down to two finalists for the job. Those finalists are being interviewed by the Officers of the organization- and if they agree on the final choice and can make a deal with that candidate- that person could be announced before Christmas. We will continue to monitor that process.

We continue on the road this week- enjoying South Florida the first half of the week- and now it's home during the Holidays in Kentucky. Next week, we will be back in studio and doing our daily email as well as our radio reports on the Radio Oklahoma Network- and we will be spending some time looking at the year wrapping up- and what may lie ahead in 2009.

We have received several emails this week of events going on in Oklahoma agriculture in the early part of 2009- we will be getting all of those events onto our calendar pages at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com early next week- thanks for the info and let us know when you have events on tap that will be of interest to farmers, ranchers, agribusinessmen and all who have interest in things that have impact on rural Oklahoma- we will be delighted to include those items on our calendar pages.

Our thanks to Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma, Producers Cooperative Oil Mill and AFR for their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked at the top of the email- check them out and let these folks know you appreciate the support of this daily email, as their sponsorship helps us keep this arriving in your inbox on a regular basis!

We also invite you to check out our website at the link below to check out an archive of these daily emails, audio reports and top farm news story links from around the globe.

Click here to check out WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

Let's Check the Markets!

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:
Our Daily Market Wrapup from the Radio Oklahoma Network with Ed Richards and Tom Leffler- analyzing the Futures Markets from the previous Day-
Ron on RON Markets as heard on K101 mornings with cash and futures reviewed- includes where the Cash Cattle market stands, the latest Feeder Cattle Markets Etc.
Previous Day's Wheat Market Recap- Two Pager From The Kansas City Board of Trade looks at all three US Wheat Futures Exchanges with extra info on Hard Red Winter Wheat and the why of that day's market.
Daily Oklahoma Cash Grain Prices- As Reported by the Oklahoma Dept. of Agriculture. <
The National Daily Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary- as prepared by USDA.
The National Daily Slaughter Cattle Summary- as prepared by USDA.
Finally, Here is the Daily Volume and Price Summary from the Texas Cattle Feeders Association.

God Bless! You can reach us at the following:
phone: 405-473-6144

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