From: Ron Hays []
Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2008 06:57
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday March 19, 2008!
A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, KIS Futures & the Southern Plains Farm Show!
-- Baccus Blasts Idea of Slashing Permanent Disaster- Vows That Idea is DOA...
-- State Representative Jerry Shoemake Claims Robert Kerr Trophy at Oklahoma Youth Expo!
-- Radio Oklahoma Network and McDonalds Salute Tuesday Barrow, Steer and Lamb Winners!
-- We say Goodbye to Paul Hitch.
-- Optimism Growing Among Young Farmers and Ranchers- So Says the Survey.
-- Cattle on Feed- Conservation Day and Good Friday....
-- OBI Bull Test Station Sale Set For March 27 at OBI Test Site- 144 Bulls Being Offered.

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.

We also welcome Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma has ten branch offices to serve your farm financing needs and is dedicated to being your first choice for farm credit. Check out their website for more information by clicking here!
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Baccus Blasts Idea of Slashing Permanent Disaster- Vows That Idea is DOA...
According to Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus - a new farm bill spending outline is "dead on arrival" with him and with other Senators. As head of the Finance Committee - Baucus has led efforts to free up funds for the Ag Committee. He also led the Committee in the creation of a fully paid for fund for permanent disaster assistance. In a statement issued Tuesday afternoon - Baucus said he wouldn't vote for - or help to fund - any agreement that doesn't do disaster assistance right for farmers in need.

Aside from disaster aid - it appears the problem is that the tax relief and spending provisions of the Finance Committee package - including those for energy and conservation - were pulled from the negotiating table - while the spending offsets remained on the table. That's based on a statement from a member of the staff of Senator Chuck Grassley. The statement goes on to say this is most likely a path to an impasse.

Baucus noted that the Finance Committee has done something on the farm bill it hasn't done anywhere else - finding resources and freeing up funds so the Ag Committee could pursue priorities like nutrition. Working together - he says negotiators can keep America's farmers from getting the short end of the stick on disaster assistance. But he says the proposed agreement isn't good enough.

Click here to listen to our Wednesday Farm News- featuring the latest on the Farm Bill and more!

State Representative Jerry Shoemake Claims Robert Kerr Trophy at Oklahoma Youth Expo!
About sixty lawmakers had some fun, but also got a ground level view of what it is like to show a market hog, or lamb or steer during the Legislative Celebrity Show on Tuesday evening at the Oklahoma Youth Expo. The 4-H and FFA students turned into teachers as they explained the ins and outs of how to handle their prized animals to State House and Senate members.

Winning the top prize of the evening for the lawmakers was Jerry Shoemake of Morris, who received the Robert Kerr Trophy as top showman during the Legislative event.

We have comments from both State Representative Dale DeWitt of Braman, as well as from Lt. Governor Jari Askins on the festivities of the evening at our website, WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com, on our special Oklahoma Youth Expo page. And, for a quick jump, we have the direct link below to hear about the evening from Jari Askins- click and take a listen!

Click here to listen to Ron and Lt. Governor Jari Askins talk about the Lawmakers Learning More about the Oklahoma Youth Expo.

Radio Oklahoma Network and McDonalds Salute Tuesday Barrow, Steer and Lamb Winners!
On Tuesday, we saw the start of the 2008 Oklahoma Youth Expo Steer show, as the judge begins to sift through 799 steers at this year's event. Day one breed winners include:
Any Other Breed Steer Champ- Brittany Greenroyd, Noble FFA; Charolais Steer Champ- Taran Threet, Wellston FFA; Hereford Steer Champ- Jenna Hamm, Frederick FFA; Maine Anjou Steer Champ- Randon Ridling, Sentinel FFA; Shorthorn Steer Champ- Dakota Moyers, Newcastle FFA and Simmental Steer Champ- Matt Kubik, Newkirk FFA.

Two breed were shown on Tuesday in the Market Lamb division- joining the other breed winners from Monday that now wait for this afternoon's Grand Champion Drive. In the Natural Colored Market Lamb competition, the Champion was shown by Chase McGolden of the Fairview FFA. The Suffolk Champion is owned and was shown by Charlcey Vinyard of the Altus FFA.

Two breeds of hogs were featured on Tuesday at the Expo- the Hamps and the Yorks. The Champion Hampshire Market Barrow was shown by Carli Newby of Lindsey 4-H. The Yorkshire Champion is owned and was shown by Cameron Ross of the El Reno FFA Chapter.
You can go to our OYE page on WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com and check out the Champs and the Reserves in each of the breeds and divisions shown thus far- including these results from Tuesday.

Click here for our special page on the Oklahoma Youth Expo on our Website, WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

We say Goodbye to Paul Hitch.
Funeral services are planned for this afternoon in Guymon for Paul Hitch, who died this past Friday at the age of 64 after a battle with cancer.

The Hitch family name has been tied to the beef cattle business for several generations- and Paul Hitch helped lead his family business and the entire beef industry into some of the new realities that we are facing today. Paul helped form and get up and running Consolidated Beef Producers- a marketing coalition that continues to help market large numbers of feedlot cattle owned by members of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. And he was a leader as the pork industry came to Texas County in a powerful way in the 1990s.

We went back to the archives this morning for our daily Beef Buzz- and pulled some comments that Hitch made to the 2006 Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association convention in Oklahoma City- comments that reflect his understanding of the battles that the beef industry must be prepared to fight- seasoned with a good dose of Paul's off the cuff humor as he describes "Mt. Hitch." We have that linked for you below- listen and reflect with us the legacy that Paul Hitch leaves behind.

Listen to Ron with today's Beef Buzz with a look back into the future with Paul Hitch!

Optimism Growing Among Young Farmers and Ranchers- So Says the Survey.
The American Farm Bureau Federation says the future of agriculture is in caring and competent hands. To come to that conclusion Farm Bureau conducted an informal survey of participants in AFBF's Young Farmer and Rancher Program. The survey found that the availability of land and farm facilities and overall profitability remain the top challenges of America's young farmers and ranchers. However, they also believe they are better off today than five years ago, and they are more optimistic about the future of farming.

Following land and facility availability (36 percent) and overall profitability (20 percent) as the two top concerns, young farmers and ranchers cite increasing urbanization and loss of farmland (14 percent), government regulations (11 percent), and the availability and costs of health care (10 percent) as the next most-pressing challenges. Land and facility availability and overall profitability have ranked high in most previous surveys.

The vast majority of young farmers and ranchers (83 percent) said they are more optimistic about farming than five years earlier. In 2007, 79 percent of those surveyed said they were more optimistic. 90 percent indicated they are better off now. Back in 2000, 70 percent said they were better off. In addition, 92 percent of today's young farmers and ranchers see themselves remaining in farming for the rest of their lives. 95 percent would like to see their children follow in their footsteps.

Here's more gleaned from the AFBF Study of their YF&R Members.

Cattle on Feed- Conservation Day and Good Friday....
I guess the correct order is Conservation Day that happens today at the State Capitol, followed by the Cattle on Feed Report that happens on Thursday afternoon at 2 PM Central time- and then Friday is when Good Friday hits- funny how that works out that way.

We'll have more on Conservation Day tomorrow on the daily E-mail as we cover that for you later this morning. Meanwhile, we gear up for the monthly Cattle on Feed report that happens this week on a Thursday since Good Friday means no markets will be open on the final day of this week. Pre report guesses from the experts on the upcoming COF include 2.7% more cattle on feed as of March first this year versus last year- placements running about five percent a year ago and marketings 1.7% above last February. The actual report will be interesting to read- as the guesses on placements are all over the place- some experts saying we placed two or three percent fewer cattle into feedlots this February versus 2007- while the other extreme is for something like a ten percent jump in placements. I guess all you can say is pick your number and place your bets!

Finally, a quick reminder about Good Friday- which is THIS Friday. All US Markets will be closed for the Easter Holiday weekend- at least the futures markets will be- I would check with your livestock auction markets for the last couple of days of this week to make certain they are open and are operating.

OBI Bull Test Station Sale Set For March 27 at OBI Test Site- 144 Bulls Being Offered.
Cattle producers looking to improve herd performance should be putting pencil to paper now to determine the type of animals they want at the Oklahoma BEEF Inc. All-Breed Performance-Tested Bull Sale. 144 bulls will be available at the sale, scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, at the OBI test station, eight miles west of Stillwater on State Highway 51.

Currently there are 135 Angus, five Simmental and four Hereford bulls consigned for the sale. Each bull sold through OBI undergoes a breeding soundness examination and is tested for brucellosis and tuberculosis or is from a certified-free herd. All bulls must index in the top 70 percent of their test group. "OBI has been having bull sales since 1973," said Tim Stidham, OBI test station director. "With 30- plus years of feeding bulls, the dependability of our performance records is unmatched. OBI customers depend on the reliability of these bulls."

Performance test results for bulls include: average daily gain; weight per day of age; adjusted 365-day weight; scrotal circumference; ultrasonic data for rib eye area, fat thickness and marbling; hip height; computation of performance ratios; and Expected Progeny Differences as provided by breed associations. If you need additional information- contact the OBI office at 405-744-9287. AND- we have the catalog for the sale linked below for your to check out.

Click here for the Catalog for the upcoming OBI Bull Sale March 27.

Our thanks to Midwest Farm Shows, KIS Futures and Farm Credit of East Central Oklahomafor 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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