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|Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Monday, March 2, 2020
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson Offers His Last Presidential Address at NFU Meeting in Savannah
In his last speech before turning over the reins of National Farmers Union to an incoming president, Roger Johnson warned farmers to watch out for what happens to farm income and trade when Market Facilitation Program payments end.
NFU officially kicked off its annual meeting Sunday in Savannah.
One of the largest delegations to the meeting is the Oklahoma group- representing the AFR/OFU Cooperative. Scott Blubaugh of Kay County is President of the organization and is leading the Oklahoma contingent.
Johnson, who has served as president since 2009, cautioned in a speech early Sunday evening discussing changes in National Farmers Union since he became president. In talking about some of his concerns going forward, Johnson said he thinks farmers will see another round of MFP payments this year, even though Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has tried to tamp down that talk.
"We're going to get another MFP because it's an election year," Johnson said. "Even the president said it here a week or so ago -- a day or two after the secretary (of Agriculture) said it wouldn't happen. Well, the president is the one in charge so the secretary is changing his tune."
Secretary Purdue will likely address that subject when he addresses the NFU this morning. It's rare for a Secretary in a Republican Administration to speak to the group- one that did that comes to my mind is Clayton Yeutter who was President George H W Bush's Secretary- he spoke to the NFU way back when their national meeting was held in Oklahoma City in 1989 or so.
Johnson compared the MFP payments to the 2009 auto bailout, which ended up costing taxpayers about $11.2 billion once stock purchased by the government in General Motors was completely sold. "MFP swamped the amount of money spent on the auto bailout," Johnson said. "The point is, that's a lot of money that has gone through MFP and it is not money that we can be depending on."
After the MFP payments stop, Johnson said farmers are going to have to figure out "how do we shore up farm income in that environment where I think you are going to have the far left and the far right energized to get rid of that authority that the administration has used to spend MFP payments."
Three candidates on Monday afternoon will vie to replace Johnson in a delegate vote. They are dairyman Mike Eby of Pennsylvania, Donn Teske, president of the Kansas Farmers Union, and Rob Larew, NFU's senior vice president of public policy and communications.
We will be visiting with AFR-OFU President Blubaugh later today from Savannah and will be featuring that on our website as well as in our Tuesday email.
|As We Wind Down Our Coverage of OALP in Chile- We Share Comments from Participant Dillon Sparks of Hennepin
Dillon Sparks is a 4th generation family rancher from Hennepin, Okla., in the heart of the Arbuckle Mountains, and a member of the Class 19 Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program.
Sparks, along with his fellow classmates, wrapped up their two-year program with a capstone trip to Chile in February. I accompanied the group and talked to Sparks near the end of the trip.
Sparks, who also completed the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association's leadership program in 2014, said he wanted to participate in OALP because of the broad range of knowledge he would be exposed to.
"I am a lifelong learner," Sparks said.
During the past two years Sparks said he was impressed by the innovation of Oklahomans to start a new agriculture related business.
"The common thread I saw among Oklahomans was the ability to develop an idea and design the engineering tools to make it work," Sparks said.
One of the highlights for Sparks in Chile was the visit to one of the most prominent Angus breeders in South America, Ricardo Hevia.
Sparks had the chance to tell the Chilean Angus producer about his herd back home and listen to Hevia talk about how he has built his Angus operation over the decades. The picture here is of Dillon Sparks talking with Ricardo Hevia at his operation near Osorno in southern Chile.
Read more- and listen to our conversation with Dillon by clicking or tapping here.
AND- you can check out our 1,400 pictures from the two week travel experience with OALP in Chile by clicking here- they are arranged in order from the start of the trip to the end with descriptions with the pictures to let you know details of each of the more than 2 dozen educational encounters the class was involved with.
AND- if you want to know about how to apply for Class XX- click here.
Midwest Farm Shows is proud to produce the two best Farm Shows in the State of Oklahoma annually- the Tulsa Farm Show each December and the Oklahoma City Farm Show each April.
They would like to thank all of you who participated in their 2019 Tulsa City Farm Show.
Up next will be the Oklahoma City's premier spring agricultural and ranching event with returns to the State Fair Park April 23-24-25, 2020.
Now is the ideal time to contact the Midwest Farm Show Office at 507-437-7969 and book space at the 2020 Oklahoma City Farm Show. To learn more about the Oklahoma City Farm Show, click here.
Bayer and the American Farm Bureau Federation announce the transition of Bayer's Farm State of Mind campaign, an initiative to raise mental health awareness among the farming community, to Farm Bureau. The campaign aims to reduce stigma surrounding the topic of mental health in rural communities and to provide relevant information to farm families on this important topic. Farm Bureau plans to combine the Farm State of Mind assets with those of its ongoing Rural Resilience campaign, expanding the reach and effectiveness of its rural mental health initiatives.
Challenging weather, destructive pests, trade disputes, labor shortages and market volatility over the past few years have brought an unprecedented level of pressure on America's farmers. A 2019 Farm Bureau survey shows that an overwhelming majority of farmers and farmworkers say financial issues, farm or business problems and fear of losing their farm negatively impact their mental health. In addition, 48% of rural adults said they are personally experiencing more mental health challenges than they were a year ago. Nearly one in three farmers doesn't feel comfortable talking to friends or family members about solutions for a mental health condition.
"As a third-generation farmer, I'm familiar with the stress of farm life, and I've heard heartbreaking
stories as I've traveled the country about warning signs missed and loved ones lost," said AFBF President Zippy Duvall."We'd like to thank Bayer for taking the initiative around this important topic and are excited to expand our impact by growing this campaign to connect even more farmers and ranchers
with the resources they need."
In today's Beef Buzz,I talk with Ben Weinheimer, Vice President of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association, and Chairman of the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.
He said the TCFA has always had a desire to show other parts of the beef industry and consumers that the feedlot industry and the entire beef industry chain, has a great sustainability story.
"It's been a focus of ours for many years," Weinheimer said. "A tremendous amount of progress has been made."
Last year the roundtable completed its framework on how to help the various segments of the industry shape the sustainability conversation.
Weinheimer said it gives individual operations the tools and resources to explain how they contribute to the efficient and sustainable cattle and beef production system we have today.
The beef industry official has a message for roundtable opponents: "This is about the entire beef industry," he said.
He added the organizations involved in the roundtable have as much interest in keeping cattle on the rangelands as we do.
"There is a lot of common interest for the good of the industry," he said. In the future, they will focus on helping everyone tell their story in a proactive way.
Steve Dittmer of The Agribusiness Freedom Foundation (AFF) Sentinel says it will be a chore ahead but calamity is not likely for our key Asian trading partners.
With only political enemies of the Administration predicting a corona virus crisis for the U.S., the beef industry is likely more interested in the situation in Japan and South Korea, our top two customer nations.
While both countries have their problems, the situation is not nearly as serious as China, even though they have the most number of cases outside of China. Most of Japan's cases numbering over 800 were isolated on one giant cruise ship. Only a rough 150 cases are elsewhere in the country. We say rough, as numbers are very fluid with this disease.
Unfortunately, the ball was fumbled a bit on the cruise ship, as some medical personal and a few passengers were let off the ship in early stages without being tested and cleared. That has created some problems but they are tracking and tracing. There are also some scattered cases that have no identifiable source they are tracking down.
Japanese officials aren't expecting to be able to shut the spread down but want to slow it enough to get a chance to bolster health care readiness.
South Korea had been doing quite well, with only about 51 cases until someone who had the virus attended services in a megachurch. Some 300 cases have been traced to a couple Sunday services in that church. Unfortunately for the spread of disease, this congregation often kneels crowded close together instead of in separate pews.
The best news is that both countries are taking the situation very seriously and the spread of the virus is expected to be vastly more contained than in China. South Korea has declared a high emergency level, enabling the national government to cancel public events, close schools and restrict travel. Big companies like Samsung have some workers staying home but has restarted some factories after a few days of closures.
To read more from AFF click here:
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Federally required training meetings have been scheduled for agricultural producers intending to use specific dicamba herbicides labelled for the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop SystemTM for soybeans and cotton this year.
"You must be a certified applicator and you have to be trained to legally apply these products," said Todd Baughman, Oklahoma State University Extension summer crop weed specialist. "Even if you went through a training in previous years, you're still required to go through the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry-approved trainings every year."
The following free, one-hour trainings will be hosted at county Extension offices via webinar service format. However, organizers urge producers to register in advance of the events:
Recently introduced to Oklahoma, the Xtend cropping system for cotton and soybeans allows over-the-top application of dicamba herbicides, which traditionally had not been the case until this newest technology was developed. With that technology, four specific herbicides -Engenia, FeXapan, Tavium, and Xtendimax- were developed that have lower volatility than the other dicamba products currently on the market.
Issues with drift in several states led the Environmental Protection Agency and manufacturers to develop new regulations for the technology.
Following a two-day, DC-based workshop entitled "Saturated Fats: A Food or Nutrient Approach?" a group of leading nutrition scientists, mainly from the U.S., released a consensus statement detailing their findings on the latest research regarding the intake of saturated-fats and heart disease. After reviewing the evidence, the expert group agreed that the most rigorous and current science fails to support a continuation of the government's policy limiting consumption of saturated fats.
Members of workshop, who met Feb 10-11, included three former members of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), from 1995 and 2015, as well as the chair of the 2005 DGAC. The DGAC is an expert group, appointed every five years to review the science for the government's nutrition policy, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), and make recommendations to the two agencies that jointly issue those guidelines, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Members of the group wrote a consensus statement on saturated fats and also sent a letter regarding their findings to the Secretaries of USDA and HHS. The letter stated, "There is no strong scientific evidence that the current population-wide upper limits on commonly consumed saturated fats in the U.S. will prevent cardiovascular disease or reduce mortality. A continued limit on these fats is therefore not justified."
Registration is now open for the 2020 World Pork Expo presented by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC). Attendees, media and exhibitors can complete their registration by visiting the World Pork Expo website.This year's trade show will be hosted from June 3 to 5 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
"We are thrilled to continue the tradition of the World Pork Expo this year," said David Herring, NPPC president, and pork producer from Lillington, N.C. "There's truly something for everyone at the Expo - from the trade show to networking. Anyone in the pork industry is encouraged to attend!"
With 360,000 square feet of exhibition space, more than 500 exhibitors are planned for the 2020 World Pork Expo.
Continually Maximizing Indoor and Outdoor Trade Show Space
Organizers plan to take advantage of all the space available in order to give attendees and exhibitors the best experience possible. Of the 500 plus companies attending the show, they will be displaying products and services from animal health, nutrition, build and equipment, financial marketing, genetics and more.
Registration is now available online until May 28. Tickets include entry to the Expo for all three days. Discounted rates are available during pre-registration including $10 per adult (ages 12 and up) and $1 for children (6 to 11 years old).
Registration on-site will be $20 per adult. There is an on-site Friday-only option for $10.
Oklahoma Irrigation Conference Set for Tomorrow- March 3 in Altus
Agriculture producers looking for information about increasing water-use efficiency should make plans to attend the Oklahoma Irrigation Conference slated March 3 in Altus, Oklahoma.
Saleh Taghvaeian, Oklahoma State University Extension water resource specialist, said attendees will receive the latest research-based information on many topics related to irrigation.
"It's important for producers to make informed decisions when it comes to water. Water is an important and much-needed resource," Taghvaeian said. "This conference is a great opportunity for participants to learn from some of the region's top experts."
The conference will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Pioneer Heritage Center at Western Oklahoma State College, 2801 N. Main in Altus.
More details are available here.
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