~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday January 29, 2008!A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, KIS Futures & American Farmers and Ranchers.
-- Chuck Conner returns to his Deputy Role as Governor Ed Schafer becomes George Bush's Third Secretary of Agriculture
-- No Switchgrass Talk in the 2008 State of the Union...
-- National Food Check-Out Week is the first week of February.
-- Cattle Priorities for the upcoming year at the Statehouse...
-- Have you thought about a nomination to the Oklahoma Ag Hall of Fame???
-- Cargill Resigns as State House Speaker- Who Takes His Place?
-- Consignment Deadline for Superior Video Auction's Cattle Industry Convention Auction is this Friday...
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Chuck Conner returns to his Deputy Role as Governor Ed Schafer becomes George Bush's Third Secretary of Agriculture
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Senate was finally permitted to vote on the nomination of Ed Schafer to be the 29th Secretary of Agriculture after being nominated last fall by President George W. Bush in the wake of Mike Johanns leaving Washington to go home to Nebraska to run for office that will bring him back to Washington if elected to the Senate seat he pursues for the Cornhusker state.
President Bush offered the following statement that was found on the White House web site, "I appreciate that the Senate today unanimously confirmed Ed Schafer to be our next Secretary of Agriculture. As a two-term governor and business leader, Ed has distinguished himself as an executive with a proven record of results.
"Ed will lead a Department that oversees our food, agriculture, natural resources, food safety, and health and nutrition programs. He will be an advocate for farmers, ranchers, and consumers as he works to open new markets for their products. And he will work with the Congress to pass a responsible farm bill that will provide a safety net for farmers and protect our lands and the environment, while at the same time ensuring federal tax dollars are spent wisely. I look forward to seeing Ed take his seat along with the rest of my Cabinet at this evening's State of the Union. " (and he was there with a big smile on his face)
Secretary Schafer was sworn in yesterday by Vice President Dick Cheney and is expected to address a gathering of USDA employees later today. Lawmakers and farm groups who have been dismayed by the hard line of no compromise by Acting Secretary Chuck Conner over the administration's objections to Congressionally developed farm policy hope that there will be a more conciliatory tone coming from a USDA now being led by Schafer.
Click here to take a look at Secretary Ed Schafer's Bio from the USDA website.
No Switchgrass Talk in the 2008 State of the Union...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~While the President did speak of the need to keep promoting ways to lessen our need on oil- there was no direct mention of ag based renewable fuels. He did thank Congress for responding in the last year and sending him an Energy Bill to sign.
One bit of heartburn for some agricultural groups came with the suggestion by the President to start using US foreign aid money to buy not US farm products, but rather the farm produce from developing nations' farmers. There are organizations who applaud the call by the President, primarily those who have been advocates of the need for our country to do much more in the world hunger battle.
One point that showed the great divide between Republicans and Democrats came as President Bush called on Congress to make permanent tax cuts that were enacted early in his tenure. The Republicans stood, whooped and hollered while the Democrats mostly sat on their hands as Nancy Pelosi had a pained look on her face. If the resident of the White House at this point next year is a Democrat, look for that frequent show of enthusiasm versus contempt to move from one side of the chamber to the other.
National Food Check-Out Week is the first week of February.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~USDA has calculated that it takes less than 10% of your disposable income to buy your food. Applying that statistic to the calendar year means the average household will have earned enough disposable income -- that portion of income available for spending or saving -- to pay for its annual food supply in about 37 days or five weeks, according to the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. In recognition of this, Oklahoma Farm Bureau is celebrating February 3rd through the 9th, 2008, as Food Check-Out Week.
Not only is America's food supply among the world's safest, it is the most affordable, said Clara Wichert, Farm Bureau Women's Committee chair. "The abundant, affordable and safe domestic food supply produced by America's farmers and ranchers is responsible, at least in part, for our nation's increasing standard of living."
To mark the occasion, the OFB Women's Committee will donate $2,000 in food products to the 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 these metro areas. The food will be used to help feed families staying at the Houses.
Cattle Priorities for the upcoming year at the Statehouse...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Executive Director of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, Scott Dewald, tells us that his group has several goals in the 2008 state legislative session. Dewald hopes that ag interests will be able to play offense on things like improving private property rights and trespass laws and getting funding for things like new equipment for the State Department of Agriculture Lab.
Dewald sees the need to play defense in fighting the move by some interests to consolidate the Department of Environmental Quality with the State Water Board. Dewald says the two agencies are charged with doing different things and consolidating them could well do more damage than good. Dewald says that the Water Board is more of a permitting agency, while the DEQ is more of a regulatory board.
We have our conversation with Scott on state issues linked on our website, and have provided a link below for your to take a listen to. It offers one view of "things to do" from a rural Oklahoma perspective for the 2008 state legislature.
Click here to listen to Ron and Scott talk State Legislative Issues for 2008.
Have you thought about a nomination to the Oklahoma Ag Hall of Fame???
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Nominations are being accepted for this year's recipient of the Governor's Outstanding Achievement Award in Agriculture. The person selected will become the 2008 inductee into the Oklahoma Agricultural Hall of Fame. Nominations will be accepted until close of business February 26. The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry distributes nomination forms and accepts the completed applications. An independent selection committee comprised of leaders from various agricultural organizations chooses each year's inductee.
Any living person who derives the bulk of their income, or has retired from an agricultural enterprise, is eligible for nomination. Candidates for consideration are agricultural leaders who have exemplified personal values, dedication to community service, excelled in production and performance and who have provided a strong role model for the state's youth.
For more information, you can give Jason Harvey a call at the Oklahoma Department of Ag at 405-522- 5563- you can also click on the link we have provided below for details and the nomination form.
Click here for more details about nominations for the Oklahoma Ag Hall of Fame.
Cargill Resigns as State House Speaker- Who Takes His Place?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As Lance Cargill stepped down Monday as the Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, there was no candidate certain to step into the job just days before the State Legislature swings into the second half of this legislative session.
We heard Monday evening from one key lobbyist that his "mole" is claiming that when House Republicans gather this next Monday, it will be either Gus Blackwell from the Panhandle or Susan Winchester of Chickasha who are the most likely candidates to emerge as Speaker of the Oklahoma House.
Monday will be a busy day for the Capitol, as midday Monday is when the 2008 State of the State Address is scheduled to be delivered by Governor Brad Henry. It is very possible that a new House Speaker will be coted on by the State lawmakers in the House on Monday afternoon after the Governors' speech.
Consignment Deadline for Superior Video Auction's Cattle Industry Convention Auction is this Friday...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Last Friday's Superior Video Auction showed weakness in the cattle market compared to the first sale of the year held by the video marketer. The market reporter that covers the sale regularly says that the pressure on the cattle market in recent weeks took its toll on the auction action, as grain prices continue to climb and the uncertainty of the general economy definitely spilled over onto the Feeder Cattle market this past week.
The next Superior sale is February 7 and 8 during the Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show in Reno, and the deadline to get cattle consigned and in the catalog supplement is this Friday, February First. If you want details on how the process works, you can call Ralph Wade at 405-574-6000 or David Belew at 580- 695-2855.
On our markets page, we have the narrative and prices reported from this past Friday's sale of some 31,000 cattle sold by Superior. We have our markets page linked below- check it out as we have not just the Superior link, but some of our audio reports from the Radio Oklahoma Network, links to cash grain prices, feeder cattle auctions from Oklahoma and around the country and even the websites of Dr. Derrell Peel and Dr. Kim Anderson of OSU.
Click here for our markets page on our website, WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com
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