From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Friday, February 01, 2008 05:58
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday February 1, 2008!
A service of National Livestock Credit, KIS Futures & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Private Property Rights at the top of the Farm Bureau List for the Oklahoma Legislative Session that Begins Next Week.
-- USDA Begins Investigation into the Video Allegations from Last Fall of Mistreatment of Downer Cattle in California.
-- More Testing Not the Answer for E-Coli- Reducing the Pathogens Through the Beef Chain Is!
-- Joseph Royer of the Saturn Grill in Nichols Hills Called a Celebrated Chef by the Pork Industry!
-- Farm Transitions Conference Coming Mid February.
-- US Wheat Meets Starting Sunday for their annual Winter Board Meeting- and they will be treated to a Top Ten from Joe Sowers.
-- Messner Ranch Gears Up for their 2008 Production Sale on Saturday!
-- The Latest on the Farm Bill Follies...

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 welcome 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 website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.

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Private Property Rights at the top of the Farm Bureau List for the Oklahoma Legislative Session that Begins Next Week.
We have been talking with many of the farm groups here in the state about their legislative priorities in 2008, and we recently say down with Lori Peterson of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau to get her group's major targets. At the top of the list is legislation strengthening private property rights. This includes a measure to improve the state's no trespassing law. This session Senator Mike Schulz from southwest Oklahoma has filed legislation to increase the monetary fine as well as allow for the forfeiture of a convicted trespasser's hunting and fishing license for up to one year. The farm group supports a bill by Representative Jeff Hickman to improve annexation law in Oklahoma. Hickman's bill will allow the landowner to recover attorney fees when it is proven that a municipality improperly annexed property.

Under the heading of giving young farmers and ranchers a leg up, OFB leaders support legislation proposed by Sen. David Myers to allow an established producer a tax credit for leasing agricultural land and equipment to a beginning producer. Immigration reform will also receive farmers' attention during the session. Rep. Shane Jett has filed a bill to created a guest worker program in the state.

We have our conversation with Lori Peterson linked below to give you a feel of how this general farm group leans on a number of major issues for 2008.

Click here to listen to Ron and Lori talk about Farm Bureau's agenda for the 2008 Legislative Session.

USDA Begins Investigation into the Video Allegations from Last Fall of Mistreatment of Downer Cattle in California.
A video released by the Humane Society of the US grabbed the attention of U.S. Ag Secretary Ed Schafer this week. Schafer immediately called on the Office of the Inspector General to work with USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service and USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service to investigate.

A briefing on the startup of that investigation was held yesterday with Kenneth Peterson of the FSIS speaking on behalf of the department. He says that the video apparently shows major violations of current law by the employees being recorded. He adds that the video leaves a lot of questions to be answered and that will be where the USDA investigation really begins.

Peterson says that USDA intends to talk with the Humane Society's investigators to marry up what is shown on the tape with other observations that aren't on tape. He says USDA has started discussions with the Humane Society - will look to get as much video as possible - and will ask to interview those investigators. We have comments with Kenneth Peterson on our first of February Beef Buzz heard on great radio stations around the state on the Radio Oklahoma Network- and available to be listened to on our website. We also have it linked for you below- take a listen!

Click here to listen to Ron with Kenneth Peterson on today's Beef Buzz from the Radio Oklahoma Network.

More Testing Not the Answer for E-Coli- Reducing the Pathogens Through the Beef Chain Is!
The Robert M Kerr Food and Ag Products Center at Oklahoma State University is a leader at looking at better ways in reducing problems related to illness related to E-Coli H7 0157. At a recent industry gathering in our nation's capitol, Dr. Richard Raymond, the Under Secretary for Food Safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, discussed the current activities of increased sampling programs to locate the bacteria in meat and meat products and by increasing public awareness by using "Public Health Alerts."

Scientists with the FAPC at OSU don't think we can test our way to safety. Instead, food microbiologists at FAPC believe the best way to eliminate bacterial pathogens is by effective intervention strategies in the live animal during the harvest process and by effective sanitation practices throughout the food chain. A large part of the work at the FAPC continues to focus on methods to eliminate contamination on the carcass during harvest and on fresh and ready-to-eat (RTE) products during processing.

Searching for improved methods for detection and elimination is a priority at the FAPC in combating food borne pathogens. The FAPC is working on upstream technologies and methods to introduce microbial interventions or antimicrobial agents or ingredients that are known to work. Reducing the incidence of all organisms on the product, including E. coli O157:H7, would reduce illnesses and not depend on the hit-or- miss issues of current testing programs.
Dr. Peter Muriana of the Center has written an excellent paper on this strategy of chasing down E- Coli in the gut and on the animal- and getting rid of it. We have a link to this paper below.

Click here for the commentary on raw meat products and E-Coli- written by Dr. Peter Muriana of OSU.

Joseph Royer of the Saturn Grill in Nichols Hills Called a Celebrated Chef by the Pork Industry!
America's pork producers entered the 12th year of their Celebrated Chefs program by naming five distinguished chefs as spokespersons for the Pork Checkoff and Pork. The Other White Meat®. More than 50 leading chefs are members of the expanding Celebrated Chef Alumnae group. The chefs were selected for their culinary excellence, creativity and originality in their menuing of pork. The 2008 Celebrated Chefs are comprised of both independent and chain operators.

One of the five is Joseph Royer of Saturn Grill, located in the Nichols Hills area of northwest Oklahoma City. In the salute to the five celebrated chefs, the pork industry brags on Royer, saying "As a two-time National Taste of Elegance winner, Royer creates all menu items at Saturn Grill from scratch."

The Celebrated Chefs program highlights pork's variety among chefs, foodservice operators and distributors. Through industry speaking engagements, participation in operator workshops, cooking demonstrations and innovative menu development, Celebrated Chefs maintain a focus on pork as a customer-pleasing and profitable center-of- the-plate protein. The Celebrated Chefs will be featured in a Pork Checkoff-funded media tour in the spring.

Click here for the news release detailing all 5 Celebrated Chefs for 2008 as selected by the Pork Industry!

Farm Transitions Conference Coming Mid February.
It was a very popular seminar put on by OSU this past year in Enid, and now we hear from Damona Doye that another two part seminar is planned for northeastern Oklahoma. It's being called Farm Transitions, and it's designed to help get families ready for the passing of the farm or ranch to the next generation. And, it's lot more than just an estate planning session- we are talking about not just the legalities, but also the emotions, the stress and the joys that can be a part of this process.

This conference is all about getting everybody concerned on the same page when it comes to moving the family farm down to the next generation. The brochure for the seminar says "Is the farm ready for the next generation? Are you anticipating transferring farm assets and management? Have you developed a deliberate, financially-sound plan for doing so? This conference is designed to help you and your family consider the many dimensions of a serious decision and make choices that are right for you."

While this event will be held in Pryor, east of Tulsa, it's open to anyone across our state and even folks from our neighboring states as well. Damona Doye is looking for a quick turnaround, as the deadline for registration is February 8, a week from today. The sessions themselves will be held February 18-19 with the followup coming March 3-4. We have the brochure linked that tells all about this unique seminar- click below to learn more.

Click here to learn more about Farm Transitions, all about passing of the farm to the next generation.

US Wheat Meets Starting Sunday for their annual Winter Board Meeting- and they will be treated to a Top Ten from Joe Sowers.
It's not as funny as a David Letterman list, but the Top Ten compiled regularly by Joe Sowers of US Wheat captures some of the most important facts impacting wheat exports on an ongoing basis. As the US Wheat Board gathers to meet starting Sunday in Washington, Sowers has an interesting list that we wanted to share at least a part of with you.

We start with number one:

1) World stocks at 30 year low; export origin holdings down 29 percent; stocks-to-use at historic low following poor crops in many countries

2) Import demand continues to rise in the face of record prices
a) Importers remove import restrictions and subsidize consumption
b) Global food use demand sets a new record

3) U.S. exports up 66 percent from last year. With 18 weeks left in the marketing year, exportable supplies are dwindling. As remaining supplies have been booked, prices responded positively

4) Exporters impose export restrictions
a) Ukraine/Russia/Argentina, among others, limit exports (Argentina will begin exporting again soon)
b) Canada/Australia selling only to "favored" buyers

5) U.S. winter wheat seedings below expectations.
a) Planted area increased for SW and SRW while HRW fell from last year. HRW entered dormancy in very dry conditions
b) HRS area is also expected to fall slightly, durum to rise. High protein supplies seen limited through 2008/09

6) Global plantings to rise. EU and Black Sea planted area up

7) Biofuel production strengthens competing crop prices globally.

a) Renewable Fuels Standard to increase corn used for ethanol from 86 MMT this year to 136 MMT in 2022, a 70 percent increase

8) Ocean freight rates falling from record highs

9) Dollar exchange rate plummets
a) Strengthens export position across commodities

10) 2008/09 beginning stocks at "bin bottoms."

Messner Ranch Gears Up for their 2008 Production Sale on Saturday!
It's known as the oldest purebred production bull sale in the state of Oklahoma- and the Messner Ranch Bull Sale will be happening tomorrow on the ranch of Van Messner just outside of Slapout, Oklahoma.

Van will be offering 75 Hereford and 50 Angus bulls, complete with EPD information. He will also be selling a good group of spring calving females.

The phone number to call today or tomorrow morning for information is 580-837-5532. These are animals that are ready for your ranch operation, so head out to the sale Saturday midday- or contact Van regarding a bid via telephone.

The Latest on the Farm Bill Follies...
Another week is gone- and conferees have not yet been named by either the House or the Senate. We do have a farm bill update with comments by Senator Tom Harkin and his criticism of the Bush Administration for not being willing to bend when it comes to their demands on the 2007-2008 farm bill. Click here to go to our Farm Bill page for that update and other Farm Bill information!

Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows, KIS Futures and National Livestock Credit 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!

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Click here to check out WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

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