From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2008 06:11
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday February 11, 2008!
A service of National Livestock Credit, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Paul Hitch Honored in Reno and in OKC Friday
-- Open Letter from Colin Peterson and Bob Goodlatte on Farm Bill Status.
-- Oklahoma Pork Congress Spotlights Achievers and Supporters of the Oklahoma Swine Industry...
-- $12.00 Wheat a reality on this Monday in Kansas City!!!
-- Beef Checkoff "Enhancements" are Needed- NCBA Goes on Record for more money- but not officially Two Dollars.
-- TCFA's Ross Wilson talks High Grain Price Impact...
-- Busy as a Bull in a Field with Heifers as far as the eye can see...

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 National Livestock Credit Corporation as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. National Livestock Credit Corporation works diligently to provide unsurpassed service to their customers in the area of livestock financing. Check out the National Livestock Family of Services website by clicking here

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Paul Hitch Honored in Reno and in OKC Friday
It was a day of double honors for Paul Hitch of Guymon, as the NCBA honored Hitch with several special presentations on Friday morning in Reno at the Cattle Industry Convention- then on Friday evening, Hitch was honored in Oklahoma City at the Oklahoma Pork Congress held at the Oklahoma History Center.

While Hitch was still in Reno at the Cattle Industry Convention, the Pork Industry saluted one of the early supporters of expanding the hog industry in the Oklahoma Panhandle. "Once in a while, you find a person who has had a tremendous impact on a community or industry," said OPC Executive Director Roy Lee Lindsey, Jr. "Paul Hitch is that person for the Oklahoma panhandle and the pork industry in that region. His commitment to developing the industry and agriculture as a whole is something not many could achieve." Paul H. Hitch has been a longstanding advocate for the Oklahoma pork industry and agriculture within Oklahoma. Serving on the Oklahoma Board of Agriculture from 1995 to 2001, Paul emphasized the importance of the pork industry on Oklahoma's economy, resulting in a better understanding of Oklahoma's pork industry by the Oklahoma legislature.

In Reno, the NCBA officers offered a special tribute to Paul, followed by a second special presentation by Terry Stokes, CEO of the NCBA. Hitch served as Chairman of the Policy Committee for the NCBA three years ago, then as Vice President in 2006 and President Elect in 2007. He decided to step down this past November as he devoted full energies to his continuing battle with cancer. We have a link below that will share with you the comments made by Paul to the Reno gathering this past Friday morning- there were not many dry eyes left in the house after these classic thoughts were offered by Paul. You can also go to our Bovine Blog on the our web site, WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com for the audio of the full ceremony from Friday morning.

Click here for audio of the comments offered by Paul Hitch to the NCBA meeting in Reno.

Open Letter from Colin Peterson and Bob Goodlatte on Farm Bill Status.
Saying it's a critical time for the writing of a new farm bill, the Chairman and ranking minority member of the House Ag Committee have sent an "open letter" that has gone up on their web site over the weekend calling on everybody to come together and develop a farm bill that "is acceptable to the House, Senate and Administration."

The letter says "What we have been trying to do for the past several weeks is to arrive at a bill that can pass Congress with bipartisan support and that we believe the President will sign." They add "we are developing a basic framework to accomplish that goal. We believe it is time to put something forward that is realistic and move forward with the conference committee."

The Peterson-Goodlatte timeline suggests a framework that is acceptable to all needs to happen this week- before the President's Day recess in order to get a farm bill by March 15. We have the "open letter to the farm bill community" linked below.

Click here for the Letter from Colin Peterson and Bob Goodlatte on finding a realistic farm bill solution ASAP.

Oklahoma Pork Congress Spotlights Achievers and Supporters of the Oklahoma Swine Industry...
We mentioned that Paul Hitch was honored during the Oklahoma Pork Congress this past Friday in Oklahoma City- others were also saluted by the Oklahoma Pork Council on Friday as well. OSU Swine Herd Manager Kim Brock was also inducted into the Oklahoma Pork Hall of Fame along with Hitch.
Kim Brock's influence on Oklahoma's pork industry has been far reaching and multifaceted. He became interested in showing pigs at a young age and that interest developed into a career at Oklahoma State University as the swine herd manager for the past 29 years. Kim's combination of teaching and research has not only benefited the industry in the present but also prepared Oklahomans to continue becoming part of the industry in the future.

Two Ambassador Awards were handed out at the Pork Congress- these awards go to folks that have been major supporters of the pork industry and have helped producers establish their operations. One of these Ambassador awards went to Mike Van Eaton. Eaton, a resident of Holdenville, has been incredibly active in locating the pork industry in the area and keeping it there. When Tyson was locating in the area, he worked at the Wes Watkins Vo-Tech and was very active in helping producers assess the benefits of becoming a part of the pork industry.
As the industry continued to develop, Van Eaton put in a feed floor operation and started his own business selling replacement parts for feeders, curtain machines, feed bins and other pork production equipment. He then put in a cement plant in Holdenville, to make hog slats, and now has a cement plant in Shawnee as well.

The second Ambassador award went to Joe and Diane Garrison of Hennessey. Since 1991, Joe and Diane have owned and operated the Garrison Lumber Company in Hennessey. Diane is originally from the area, but both Joe and Diane know how the swine industry has revitalized northwestern Oklahoma, specifically in rural areas, and strive to be advocates for the industry.

$12.00 Wheat a reality on this Monday in Kansas City!!!
The overnight electronic trade at the Kansas City Board of Trade points to $12 wheat futures today when we ring the bell and start open outcry at 9:30 am this morning. limits have been expanded for today's trade- and it is very possible that we could see limits expanded again after today's session if the two old crop months lock up and stay at a sixty cent gain for the day.

March KC wheat is up 60 cents to $12.00 a bushel, while the May delivery is also up that limit to $12.10 per bushel. And the market watchers say we could be headed to $13.50 to $15.00 per bushel, based on the market craziness in Minneapolis on their wheat futures.

Several factors are pushing wheat skyward- including unrelenting export demand, the tightest ending stocks since the late 1940s, and a heavy dose of fear of needing wheat and not finding it at any price. Goldman Sachs has raised their outlook for Chicago wheat to $13.50 per bushel- based mostly on the tight stocks numbers.
We have the Friday cash grain prices for Oklahoma linked below- they show Oklahoma cash wheat bids approaching eleven dollars per bushel- and it's apparently likely that we will have those cash bids all above $11.00 by this afternoon- if the expanded limit gains from the overnight trade remain intact.

Click here for the latest Cash Grain Bids from the Oklahoma Dept. of Agriculture.

Beef Checkoff "Enhancements" are Needed- NCBA Goes on Record for more money- but not officially Two Dollars.
Cattlemen debated a number of important policy issues, but enhancement of the Beef Checkoff Program drew the most interest and discussion. The $1 per head checkoff - split 50-50 between the national checkoff program and the state beef councils - became mandatory in 1986. While the checkoff has enjoyed many successes, some cattlemen are questioning whether it is still adequately funded. "Twenty plus years of inflation have really eroded the beef checkoff's ability to fulfill all the expectations we have placed on it over the years," said NCBA President John Queen, a cattleman from Waynesville, N.C. "And increases in beef production have come primarily from higher cattle weights, rather than herd expansion. That's another reason revenues don't keep up with the industry's needs. We're producing more beef, but the revenue we need to market it doesn't keep pace."

Any increase in the $1 per head rate would require action by Congress to amend the Beef Promotion and Research Act. Cattlemen directed NCBA to ask Congress to approve a process that will allow producers to vote on enhancements to their Beef Checkoff Program. "All we're asking Congress to do is empower cattle producers with a referendum process, so they can control the destiny of their checkoff," said incoming NCBA Policy Division Chairman Bill Donald, a rancher from Melville, Mont. "Producers will decide whether to increase the checkoff assessment, but this will put the procedure in place that allows them to do that." NCBA members declined to ask for a specific increase in the checkoff rate, but did request that Congress ensure that the program is adequately funded. "The sense of the cattlemen at this convention is that $2 per head (a $1 increase) would adequately fund the program at this point in time," said Donald. "But that can change over time, which is why we didn't include a specific rate in today's resolution."

On Friday in the Ag Policy Committee, the group did insert the request to take the checkoff to two dollars. But on Saturday, they backed off the specific number. The NCBA also included in their "enhancements" that they will be seeking a regular process where disgruntled cattle producers will have a vehicle that can be triggered to call for a vote on the continuation of the checkoff. We have details on our Bovine Blog page at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com- click on the link below and then click on the NCBA news release that can give you more on the specifics of the resolution and the "directive" that $2 would be dandy.

Click here for our Bovine Blog at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

TCFA's Ross Wilson talks High Grain Price Impact...
The President of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Ross Wilson, talked with us for a few minutes this past Friday out in the hallway at the Cattle Industry Convention in Reno. We talked several issues and we will be highlighting some of our conversation the next couple of days on our Beef Buzz, as heard daily on the Radio Oklahoma Network.

Today on the Beef Buzz, we talk about perhaps the number one topic at the Convention- the impact of high grain prices on the beef cattle industry now- and in the days ahead.

Wilson calls this new higher plateau of grain prices "very troubling" for his feedlot members of TCFA, as cattle feeders have lost money 33 out of the last 48 months. We also talk with Ross about the ethanol issue- and how abundant DDGs in the upper Midwest may be pulling a few cattle that direction when it comes to feedlot placements. We have the program linked on our website, or you can hear this Beef Buzz by clicking on our link below.

Click here for the Monday Beef Buzz with Ron and Ross Wilson on the impact of high grain prices...

Busy as a Bull in a Field with Heifers as far as the eye can see...
We have several of the events lined up for this week listed on our Calendar page at our website, WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com. For example, today the National Sorghum Producers Annual Meeting is under way in conjunction with the US Feed Grains Council Meeting in San Antonio. Also happening today is the Oklahoma No Till Conservation Meeting at the Clarion Hotel on the west side of Oklahoma City at I-40 and Meridian. That event goes today and tomorrow.

Later this week, we look forward to covering the 2008 annual Convention of the American Farmers and Ranchers in downtown Oklahoma City. They start with a Trade Show Opening on Thursday evening (Valentine's Day) and move to full speed ahead on Friday and Saturday. Two of their featured speakers will include former Texas Congressman Charles Stenholm, who was the long time ranking minority member of the House Ag Committee when the Democrats were in the minority. The current lone Democrat in the Oklahoma Congressional delegation, Dan Boren, will be offering remarks on Saturday evening during the Convention banquet.

On Saturday, we will be joining Class 13 of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program as they begin their travels to the People's Republic of China and South Korea. Dr. Joe Williams, Executive Director of the OALP program for OSU, will be leading the class of 30 young men and ladies from both production agriculture and agribusiness on the trip, to be accompanied by Dr. James Trapp as well as yours truly. We do look forward to sharing with you some of the experiences these Oklahoma Ag Leaders will encounter the last couple of weeks of February.

We do have details on the many events coming up in the days ahead that touch the Oklahoma ag industry- click on the link provided below for more information from our calendar page.

Click here for the Calendar Page from WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

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