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Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Showdown Happening Today in DC
is originally from the Dodge City area- it is somehow appropriate to
be writing that today is kinda like the showdown at the O.K. Corral.
Senator Pat Roberts is facing off against the Organic Food Lobby that
is calling the Roberts proposal the DARK Act and saying that
consumers will never know anything about what is in their food if
states are not allowed to demand a specific label for their consumers
regarding GMO ingredients or any other data deemed of interest in the
Proponents of the Roberts plan say that the future of agricultural
biotechnology is at stake in the Senate today with a make-or-break
vote on a bill to block states from mandating the labeling of foods
with genetically engineered ingredients.
of last night- Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts was still
searching yesterday for enough Democratic support to get the 60 votes
necessary to move the legislation.
reports that the bill's fate seems to lie in the hands of Debbie Stabenow,
the top Democrat on the Agriculture committee, and Indiana Democrat Joe Donnelly,
who has been working to cut a last-minute deal to save the
legislation. A spokesman for Donnelly said late yesterday that the
senator is trying to find to "find a solution that works for
both consumers and producers."
Stabenow has dismissed Roberts' latest compromise
proposal, saying it would do nothing to meet the demands of consumers
for information about biotech ingredients.
We have the release from the Senate Ag Committee that you
can view here that includes the video of Senator Roberts on the
floor yesterday making his plea to his colleagues to come on board
and support his compromise that he says works for consumers and for
the farmers and ranchers of this country.
Here in 2016, we
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Oklahoma Ag Secretary Jim
Reese Talks National Ag Day- and Ag Day at the State Capitol Coming
The National Ag
Day celebration was happening on Tuesday, March 15th,
and the Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture, Jim Reese,
says it is appropriate that the United States pause each spring and
celebrate agriculture because the results of the labor of farmers and
ranchers "is a basic need for survival- you don't live without
food, air and water."
Reese, in talking with us at the 2016 Oklahoma Youth Expo, says that
he is glad that state lawmakers and other state officials are being
reminded of the importance of agriculture in the state of Oklahoma
with the Legislative Showmanship being held on Ag Day.
The Secretary says that while the National Ag Day is on March 15th,
Oklahoma has chosen most years to celebrate on a different day with a
day at the State Capitol that includes a presence of many of the
commodity groups that represent Oklahoma farmers and ranchers setting
up booths in the Rotunda area, the recognition of Ag in the Classroom
award winners and the announcement of the Ag Hall of Fame honoree for
that year, as well as the new awards that were unveiled for the first
time in 2015.
The date set for Oklahoma's Ag Day is Wednesday, March 30th. (a
correction from the date we mentioned yesterday)
here to read more and to listen to our conversation with Jim
Reese, who by the way, won the steer showmanship last night in the
Celebrity Competition- and he was ALL Smiles!!!
Senator Mike Schulz Wins
OYE Legislative Showmanship- Speaker Jeff Hickman Calls It an Honor
for Lawmakers to Interact with Students
One of the highlights of the Oklahoma
Youth Expo in recent years is the
Legislative/Celebrity Showmanship Contest- and the 2016 edition of
the friendly competition lived up to expectations. Over eighty
lawmakers showed up to try their hand at showing one of the four
species that are a part of the Oklahoma Youth Expo- and when the dust
had settled, Oklahoma State Senator Mike Schulz of Altus was declared
the overall winner of the evening. Schulz won the swine showmanship,
then competed against the other species winners, showing a steer in
the finals, and was declared the overall champion.
as Emcee for the evening was Oklahoma House of Representatives
Hickman. Hickman worked his way around the floor of
the Fairgrounds arena, recognizing each lawmaker and guest who
participated in the Contest, offering bits of encouragement and
advice throughout the evening.
After the contest, we talked with Hickman about the importance of
getting the lawmakers and their young constituents together for the
evening. The Speaker told me "a lot of times the kids and
parents will say it's a honor to get to participate- that's not true
at all. The truth is that it's a honor for our lawmakers to get to
spend some time with these young people and see the hard work they
are doing and the lessons they are learning and that benefits us back
at the Capitol for them to have that experience and those
conversations and interactions in the middle of the legislative
here to read more and listen to the conversation that I had with
Speaker Hickman- we not only talk the importance of the OYE
experience- we also get into the harsh realities of the Oklahoma
budget for FY2017- Speaker Hickman offers some good perspectives on
his thought process about how this is all going to play out on
Lincoln this spring. it is well worth your time to take a listen!
Colt Cunningham of the
Locust Grove FFA Wins Supreme Purebred Heifer at OYE
Over thirty thousand dollars in scholarships were presented to the owners
of the top purebred beef heifers shown at the 2016 Oklahoma Youth
Expo, with many of the breed champion and reserve champion receiving
scholarships from one to two thousand dollars. In addition, the
Supreme Champion Purebred Heifer of all the Breeds received an
additional one thousand dollar scholarship.
That Supreme Champion was owned and shown by Colt Cunningham
of the Locust Grove FFA with his Limousin Champion Heifer. The
Reserve Supreme Champion Purebred Heifer was the Maine Anjou
Champion, shown by Ace
McHatton of the Marshall County 4-H.
More details about the Beef Heifer show are available
here as a part of our continuing coverage of the OYE- a service
of ITC, Your
We have pictures continuing to go up on our FLICKR album- and we have
quite a few from the Breeding Heifer show- click
here for our FLICKR album and ENJOY!
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State Rep. Scott Biggs
Honored as Part of the Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives Team
State Representative for House District 51 in Southwest Oklahoma is
among visionaries being recognized nationally through Farm Credit 100
Fresh Perspectives, a search to identify and honor 100 leaders who
are changing rural communities and agriculture for the better. The
honorees were announced at a National Ag Day event at the National
Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Farm Credit launched the Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives program
as part of its 100th anniversary of service to rural communities and
agriculture. As a Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives honoree, Scott
Biggs joins an impressive list of leaders in agriculture and rural
here to read more about this honor and what Rep. Biggs did to
pick up this recognition.
to Have the Latest Energy News Delivered to Your Inbox Daily?
broadcast journalist Jerry
Bohnen has spent years learning and understanding how
to cover the energy business here in the southern plains- Click here to
subscribe to his daily update of top Energy News.
AFBF and NFU Both Write
Letters - Hoping to Influence GMO Labeling Debate
Letters have gone out from both the American Farm Bureau and the
National Farmers Union to Senators in advance of the Cloture vote
later today on the Pat
Roberts bill we detailed above that would deal with
the patchwork of states having their own standards about what a food
label should have on it pertaining to GMo ingredients.
Duvall tells lawmakers they support the Roberts'
proposal and that "A vote against this measure is a vote against
consumers, against American farmers and ranchers, and against more
affordable, productive agriculture."
more on the AFBF letter here.
Meanwhile, the National
Farmers Union, who had changed their policy this
month at their National Convention on GMO labeling- now in favor of a
voluntary approach instead of a mandatory regulation- told lawmakers
to do something. They urged a compromise but stopped short of
endorsing the Roberts plan.
here to read more from the NFU and a chance to see their letter.
This N That- OSU
Livestock Judging Places Second in Houston, Pollard Farm Sale Coming
and Night of Stars Tonight
Word comes from Blake
Bloomberg, the OSU Livestock Judging Team Coach, that
the Cowboys placed second at the Houston Livestock Show Judging
Contest- Blake writes "The Oklahoma State University capped a
tremendous spring season with a second place finish at the Houston
Livestock Show and Rodeo. The team won sheep, was second in cattle
and reasons and fourth in hogs.
Individual achievements include:
1st High Individual Alternate Division
5th High Individual
6th High individual
Logan Van Allen-
10th High Individual
Congrats to the OSU Squad!!!
will be holding their annual spring bull sale this coming Friday,
March 18th at the Farm in Waukomis, Oklahoma.
Pollard will be offering a 100 top notch Angus Bulls- home raised and
service age and ready to help your herd.
Details are available
Just a quick reminder that the OYE's
Night of Stars Gilt Sale happens this evening at
State Fair Park in Oklahoma City.
Sale time is 7:00 PM.
Details on who to call for more information are available
thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, P & K Equipment,
& Ranchers, Stillwater Milling Company, Oklahoma AgCredit, the Oklahoma Cattlemens
Association, Pioneer Cellular,
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