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Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Three Months Out-
Supporters of Right to Farm Have a Half Million Dollar War Chest-
Will That Be Enough?
There are three Political Action Committees that have filed paperwork
with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission with announced intentions to
support or oppose State Question 777, Right to Farm. Oklahoma Farmers Care SQ777
is the entity that was created almost a year ago to support the State
Question as it appears on the November General Election ballot, and
Stewardship Council and Oklahoma Food Farm and Family
are two PACs set up to oppose the State Question.
The Oklahoma Farmers Care group has now filed four quarterly reports
and those reports show that a total of $816,540 has been raised in
cash and in kind to date in favor of the State Question. A little
over $200,000 has been spent to date, with the campaign spending
money for bumper stickers, roadsign signs, website and social media
to this point. No money has been spent for radio, TV or Billboards to
date. The latest
report shows a total of $586,726 is in the bank,
which supporters have ready to use to respond to the expected media
blitz to come by opponents of Right to Farm between now and election
You can read our full story on the where we are on money for and
against 777 by clicking
here- but a couple of observations I find fascinating-
The PRO side has lots of grassroots support- counting donors not named
since they gave less then $50- over 200 farmers/ranchers have given
to support 777. And, many more have participated at the
grassroots level with a couple of dozen county Farm Bureaus as well
as local Farmers Union groups making contributions.
On the ANTI 777 side, the two PACs report about $268,000 has been
given- and not a single farmer or rancher has given any of that
The largest contribution from any individual comes from the Chairman
of the Board of the Kirkpatrick Foundation, Christian Keesee,
who, according to the Kirkpatrick Foundation website, also happens to
be on the national board of Directors for the Humane Society of the
The total dollar amount that has been collected by the two ANTI 777
groups totals just over $268,000 to date- but it is widely expected
that now that the second quarter reporting period is over- a large
amount of money will flow in to pay for media that will urge
Oklahomans to vote no.
The Humane Society is rallying their grassroots in Oklahoma- as they
have planned a Vote No Volunteer Party next Tuesday in Oklahoma CIty-
planning on feeding their troops pizza having them make phone calls
to raise money and awareness for the No side.
Bottom line- while the Yes on 777 team has a lot of money in the
bank, will it be enough to respond to the expected tsunami of money
that could be coming from the other two PACs? The next few
weeks will be key.
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Seasonal Labor Needed By
Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers- a Problem Spotlighted by National Day
Leaders representing different Oklahoma industries
came together Wednesday as a part of the National Day of Action to
showcase new research on immigration contributions in Oklahoma and to
highlight the critical need for immigration reform. The event marked
the launch of the Reason for Reform campaign, an effort taking place
in all 50 states today and featuring the release of 51 new reports
(one for every state and Washington D.C.) sponsored by the
Partnership for a New American Economy (NAE).
The Reason for Reform campaign brings together government, business,
agricultural, civic and faith leaders to urge Congress to take action
on immigration reform. The data released at Wednesday's Day of Action
event includes new research on the foreign-born population in
Oklahoma, their tax contributions, their spending power and their
role in Oklahoma's key industries as leaders and job creators. NAE is
also launching a new mobile tool that lets users make a video telling
their Reason for Reform. Videos will be sent directly to
"Finding qualified labor has never been more difficult for Oklahoma's
farmers, ranchers, and other ag producers," said Terry Detrick,
president of American Farmers and Ranchers. "The problem has
reached crisis-level shortages on Oklahoma farms and our agriculture
imports have skyrocketed. A comprehensive overhaul of our country's
guest worker program will bring more opportunity for our state's
farmers and the workers they are desperate to employ."
here to read more about the need for a quality farm labor
force and listen to Detrick's full remarks.
These Tips to Water Down the Risks of Heat Stress
During this time in the middle of summer, heat stress
can quickly become a very real and dangerous problem for cattle
herds. I recently caught up with Kansas State University
Extension Veterinarian AJ
Tarpoff to find out more about identifying and
reducing heat stress.
Several factors including temperature, humidity, wind currents and
sun radiation all greatly contribute to the overall effects of heat
stress. It's when cattle are unable to cool down periodically that
really compounds the impact of these factors, causing major problems.
"One of the seldom talked about and one of the most important is
actually the cumulative heat load," Tarpoff said. "What
that means is when we have multiple days of heat stress events, these
animals never dissipate all the heat from the day before."
Dr. Tarpoff suggests keeping an eye on weather reports to help
anticipate potential heat stress events. If you expect to endure one,
he says you can identify affected cattle by certain telltale
behaviors, like deep breathing and panting, slobbering and
congregating in shaded areas and around or in water.
to more of Dr. Tarpoff's tips to managing heat stress during the
latest Beef Buzz.
Senate Agriculture & Rural Development Committee Announce Interim
The leader of the Oklahoma Senate announced on
Wednesday 36 requests for interim legislative studies. The study
requests were approved by Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman,
The studies have been assigned to the Senate committee with jurisdiction
over the subject matter contained within the request. The committee
chairman will be responsible for scheduling committee meetings on the
interim study requests.
"These interim studies will give Senators the chance to take a
more in-depth look at the issues that are important to them and their
constituents. The state constitution puts a lot of time constraints
on the legislative process, so interim studies are a way to further
research and discuss an issue," Bingman said.
here for a complete list of the approved interim study requests.
We are pleased to
Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as
a regular sponsor of our daily update. On both the state and national
levels, full-time staff members serve as a "watchdog" for
family agriculture producers, mutual insurance company members and
life company members.
Click here to go
to their AFR website to learn more about their efforts
to serve rural America!
Diversified Crop Farmer
Says Canola is the Crop That Carries Its Weight
For diversified crop farmer and chairman of the
Oklahoma Oilseed Commission Brent Rendel, his operation is
all about making profit. The decisions he makes for his operation are
based on how well a crop can carry its own weight.
"The whole reason we're in this game is not yield," Rendel
said, "it's profit. We have to at the end of the day look at
each crop and say - Is this the right decision?"
Rendel's operation currently produces wheat, grain sorghum, corn and
soybeans both as single and double crops. A few years ago Rendel made
the decision to add canola as well to his rotation.
"Looking at it, it was one of those things that was going to
improve my overall operation," Rendel said. "Realistically
when you look at it as a whole system approach, it really makes a
He said his choice was not about canola versus wheat, (as he
continues to sow wheat) but was about how canola impacted the
production of his other crops in the rotation.
"It's really a cover crop that I can sell at the end of the
day," Rendel said.
to Rendel speak more about his addition of canola to his crop
rotations and the benefits he is reaping.
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The Dos and Don'ts of
Treating Snake Bites for People, Pets and Livestock
Snakebites do not typically occur because the reptile
is attacking or being overly aggressive. Rather, most are the result
of the timid creature being startled and going into self-defense
"There is no need to be fearful of snakes. They aren't trying to
bite you," said Dwayne
Elmore, Oklahoma State University Cooperative
Extension wildlife specialist. "Give venomous snakes a wide
birth and they will move away from you. Most bites occur when someone
either puts their hand where they can't see (and inadvertently on or
near a snake) or when someone is harassing or trying to kill a
The same can be said for pets and livestock that are bitten. The
curious nature of dogs leads to some incidents and horses may
accidentally step on or put their head down to look at a snake.
In the rare event someone is actually bitten by a venomous snake,
there are several things they should not do, and one they definitely
"Don't panic. Don't use a tourniquet. Don't cut the wound and
don't use electricity," said Elmore. "Just stay calm,
elevate the wounded area and get to a hospital immediately."
more about the proper way to treat snake bites.
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