From: Ron Hays [] on behalf of Ron Hays []
Sent: Friday, September 26, 2008 7:47 AM
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday September 26, 2008!
A service of American Farmers & Ranchers, Johnston Enterprises and KIS Futures!
-- Terry Stokes, CEO of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Announces Resignation
-- COOL Countdown- AFBF Worries About USA Only Label
-- More COOL Countdown- Senators Write Schafer on USA Only Label.
-- Still More COOL Countdown- TCFA Asks Their Members to Comment to USDA
-- Johne's Disease Testing Brochures Free to Producers
-- HR 6598- It Could be a Lameduck Issue
-- Sierra Simpson Joins us In The Field
-- Looking at our Agricultural 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 KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily E-Mail. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Click here for their recent TV Commercial or call them at 1-800-256-2555.

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Terry Stokes, CEO of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Announces Resignation
Terry Stokes, chief executive officer of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, says he will resign from his position following the 2009 Cattle Industry Convention, January 31, 2009. Stokes joined NCBA 12 years ago as chief financial officer. He was appointed CEO in 2002. During his tenure as CEO, NCBA grew revenues 41 percent. Membership grew more than 17 percent in the past three years. Stokes said representing cattlemen and championing their cause has been the greatest honor and the most fulfilling job of his career, but he explained it also is all-consuming. He said he is looking forward to spending time with his family and exploring new opportunities.

We talked Thursday afternoon with Scott Dewald- top hired hand of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association and he praised the work that Stokes has done for cattle producers in his role at the NCBA. Dewald says that if he had to give him a grade during some difficult times, he would give Stokes an "A."

We have Scott's comments on our website- to be found at the link below.

Click here for more on the Stokes Resignation from NCBA

COOL Countdown- AFBF Worries About USA Only Label
The American Farm Bureau Federation told the Agriculture Department it is concerned that even after the new mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) program takes effect on Sept. 30, there still may be no exclusively U.S. labeled meat available to consumers.

In a letter this week to USDA Undersecretary Bruce Knight, AFBF President Bob Stallman said Farm Bureau is concerned about USDA's interpretation of COOL, as passed by Congress. USDA's interpretation would allow marketers to use a less-demanding "mixed origin" or "from multiple countries" label, even for meat that was exclusively U.S. born, raised and slaughtered. Instead, AFBF believes meat that is exclusively born, raised and slaughtered in the U.S. should carry an exclusive U.S.-origin label.

The President of the general farm group adds that "Farmers and ranchers are being told by some processors that unless they check the multiple-origin label box (to certify the origin of their animals) on their product affidavits, they will be audited. This information is completely discouraging to a producer, not to mention the fact that it is not a true statement."
We have this story on our website- with the link to the full letter sent by Stallman to Bruce Knight. Click below for that story.

Click here for the Farm Bureau take on COOL leading up to implementation

More COOL Countdown- Senators Write Schafer on USA Only Label.
U.S. Democratic Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota and his Republican colleague, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, organized their colleagues as a total of 31 Senators signed off on a letter to demand the United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA) improve the interim final rule for mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). Johnson and Enzi are asking that the rule, which is scheduled to take effect September 30th, more closely follow the intent of Congress. (the complete letter can be found on our website with the full list of Senators that signed the letter)

"Although this proposal is a substantial step forward after six years of foot dragging by the Administration and the USDA, certain parts of the rule must be revised," said Johnson, who authored the COOL provision in the 2002 Farm Bill. "We did not come this far with COOL only to shortchange American consumers, farmers and ranchers as they finally await implementation in the coming days."

"Congressional intent could not have been more clear - provide labeling so consumers know where their food is from. Proponents of COOL have come a long way and the benefits of the law should not be compromised because of semantics. Consumers, farmers and ranchers deserve more and I urge the USDA to clarify its rule," said Enzi

We have the entire letter on our website- click here for the webstory

Still More COOL Countdown- TCFA Asks Their Members to Comment to USDA
The Texas Cattle Feeders Association has asked their members to submit comments to the USDA on the COOL Interim Final regulations before the Tuesday deadline of September 30.

Their President and CEO, Ross Wilson, has detailed the procedure of how to submit comments electronically to USDA- and the organization offers some "suggested" ideas of what might be offered to the Department about the COOL regs. TCFA begins by saying in their suggested comments to "As USDA develops a final rule and considers options for the implementation of country of origin labeling, I ask that you adopt regulations that minimize the cost of this program to producers."

The TCFA also suggests that their members urge USDA to fully accept the industry agreed to affidavits to certify country of origin by the livestock owner, saying that "The affidavits build upon normal business records used in the industry and provide a workable and efficient means of declaring country of origin." The group also suggests that visual inspection of cattle will confirm animals that come from either north or south of the border- and that this is a cost effective way to segregate those animals at the point of harvest.
The group makes no mention of the furor over a USA only label or North American label. The group has a very good Issues Update on COOL on their website- and we have linked it for you below.

Click here for the COOL Issues Update from the TCFA

Johne's Disease Testing Brochures Free to Producers
It is estimated that one out of 10 cows going through a livestock auction facility has Johne's disease, and a vast majority of producers selling these animals have no idea that they are infected with Johne's disease. Producers simply know that the animals are thin and have unresponsive chronic diarrhea. In the case of dairy cows, milk production is also significantly down, and, in the case of beef cows, weaned calves are also lighter than they should be.

Johne's disease experts maintain that dairy and beef cows are leaving herds way too fast-before they are tested for Johne's disease. They note that producers who have culled one or more animals for unresponsive chronic diarrhea combined with reduced milk production and thin condition should suspect and test for Johne's disease.

The problem is that animals that have the disease but you have not identified as a carrier are sheding huge amounts of the infection through their feces. While many in the cattle industry think of this as mostly a "dairy" problem- the damage to beef herds that have the disease is significant as well. Johne's-infected beef cows are known to produce less milk resulting in lighter calves at weaning and can be slower to breed back.
We have more details and a link to the national website for this disease which has an online brochure that can tell you even more about how to get a handle on Johne's Disease- click below to jump to that webstory.

Click here for more on Johne's Disease and How to Minimize It in Your Herd.

HR 6598- It Could be a Lameduck Issue
It is possible that the House could debate and vote on the HSUS supported HR 6598, the Prevention of Horse Cruelty Act. The bill would criminalize the knowing possession, sale, delivery or transport of horses for slaughter for human consumption across state lines or international borders, punishable with fines and prison terms from one to three years.

We talk about those possibilities on our Friday Beef Buzz from the Radio Oklahoma Network- with our guest being Colin Woodall of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. NCBA considers this a frontal attack by the animal rights groups against animal agriculture- as well as an attack on private property rights as this measures seeks to criminalize intent to sell a horse to a third party who might then process that animal for food- to be consumed in Europe, where horse meat is culturally acceptable.

We have had emails come in on both sides of this issue. One lady by the name of Lisa that has her own blog on the abuses by owners of their horses writes "100's of racehorses a week are being sent to slaughter because they don't run fast enough. Horse slaughter is an easy way out for a horse owner who is irresponsible for their horses. There is over breeding, and then when the horse owner over breeds his horse and decides he doesn't want them, he can send them to be slaughtered, even the foals."
Valerie is really upset with me over how I sensationalized the news coming from the Judiciary Committee for reporting the "Buzzard" comments of Congressman Steve King adds that "Greed slaughters horses. Irresponsibility slaughters horses, and the economy slaughter horses. No one mentions that the people "want" an end to slaughter. The politicians stopped working for the people a long time ago. " This lady tells us that she operates a horse rescue ranch in Nebraska- and says there is plenty of room in such shelters for unwanted horses- that my sources (and I) need to get their facts straight.
Finally, Sabrina from Missouri writes- she has family ties back to the Graham Land and Cattle Company of Ada- and speaks of how she fears that groups like PETA will destroy an industry and way of life if they get their way. She adds that she wants to offer her "support of the return of slaughter as a fulfillment of our complete circle of responsibility to the markets, others and the animals we maintain."

Click here for our Beef Buzz for Friday with Colin Woodall of NCBA

Sierra Simpson Joins us In The Field
On our Saturday morning segment on News9, KWTV, we will be talking with Sierra Simpson- our current Oklahoma Beef Ambassador- about the upcoming National Beef Ambassador Contest that will be in Oklahoma next month.

The contest is set for the Oklahoma City Marriott on Northwest Expressway October 9-11, with Sierra and other young people competing for the right to be a National Beef Ambassador in the coming year.

You can see details of what the 2008 Beef Ambassadors have been up to- as well as learn more about the contest that will be happening here in Oklahoma City in just a couple of weeks- we have the link to Beef Ambassador website below.

Click to learn more about the Beef Ambassador Competition planned for Oklahoma City in October.

Our thanks to Johnston Enterprises, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers 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

Looking at our Agricultural 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- One Pager From Country Hedging- looks at all three US Wheat Futures Exchanges 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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