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Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Thursday, December 8, 2016
President Elect Donald Trump Officially Announces
his Intention to Appoint Scott Pruitt to Lead EPA- Oklahoma Senators
Early this morning,
the news release from the Trump Transition Team landed in our
inbox- signaling President Elect Trump's intentions to
nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt
to serve as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency,
a cabinet-level position.
According to the release- "For too
long, the Environmental Protection Agency has spent taxpayer dollars
on an out-of-control anti-energy agenda that has destroyed millions
of jobs, while also undermining our incredible farmers and many other
businesses and industries at every turn. As my EPA Administrator,
Scott Pruitt, the highly respected Attorney General from the state of
Oklahoma, will reverse this trend and restore the EPA's essential
mission of keeping our air and our water clean and safe," said
Trump. "My administration strongly believes in
environmental protection, and Scott Pruitt will be a powerful
advocate for that mission while promoting jobs, safety and
It was mid afternoon yesterday when the news
surfaced that Pruitt had been selected- and quickly the praise from
our part of the world rolled in.
Lankford and Jim Inhofe released
a statement Wednesday in support of President-elect Trump's expected
announcement of his intention to nominate Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt as
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
"I applaud President-elect Trump and his team for choosing Scott
Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency," said
Lankford. "Pruitt has served Oklahoma as a tireless defender of
justice and law, and I am confident that he will serve America well.
I look forward to working with him to restore a balanced approach to
regulations and governance that fosters economic growth, advances
energy independence and ensures stewardship for the environment.
Scott Pruitt knows the difference between a state responsibility and
a federal responsibility."
"Scott Pruitt has been a leader and a partner on environmental
issues for many years," said Inhofe. "Pruitt has fought
back against unconstitutional and overzealous environmental
regulations like Waters of the U.S. and the Clean Power Plan; he has
proven that being a good steward of the environment does not mean
burdening tax payers and businesses with red tape. In his appearances
before the Environment and Public Works committee, Pruitt has
demonstrated that he is an expert on environmental laws and a
champion of states' roles in implementing those laws. Scott is
thoughtful, experienced and a natural pick for this role. I am
pleased with President-elect Trump's selection and I look forward to
working with my fellow Oklahoman in his new capacity."
Oklahoma Farm Bureau - a grassroots
organization that has for its Mission Statement- Improving the Lives
of Rural Oklahomans." Farm Bureau, as the state's largest
general farm organization, is active at the State Capitol fighting
for the best interests of its members and working with other groups
to make certain that the interests of rural Oklahoma are
Ag Groups Giddy Over Pruitt's Appointment to EPA
As I drove from Oklahoma City to Tulsa yesterday
afternoon- news broke on the intentions of Donald Trump to
name Scott Pruitt as his EPA Administrator. Our Associate Farm
Director Carson Horn did a great job in helping us pull together
early reaction to the announcement- and the three Oklahoma Ag Leaders we initially contacted
were all ecstatic over the news- OCA's Michael Kelsey used the word
"Giddy." Here are some of the
comments and links to the audio for all three of these fans of former
University of Kentucky baseball player Scott Pruitt.
Oklahoma Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn reached
out to Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Tom Buchanan for
his reaction to news.
"Pruitt's selection as EPA administrator is a win for farmers
and ranchers across the country," Buchanan said. "As
Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt has been a staunch advocate of
agriculture and Oklahoma Farm Bureau. He continuously has defended
farmers and ranchers against the EPA and has led the charge in suing
the agency over its burdensome regulations such as the Waters of the
United States rule and the Clean Power Plan."
Buchanan talk more about the appointment.
Horn spoke with American Farmers & Ranchers
President Terry Detrick today regarding
the announcement. Derrick told us that he is sorry Oklahoma is losing
our Attorney General- but feels that the President Elect has made a
great choice in Pruitt. Listen
to Detrick's remarks by clicking or tapping here.
Cattlemen's Association Executive Vice President Michael Kelsey
also commented on the appointment and released the following
"The appointment of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency is fantastic
news for agriculture and the environment. Mr. Pruitt has demonstrated
a keen understanding and support for science based, common sense
oriented environmental policy that protects natural resources while
promoting efficient and effective agriculture production. He knows
full well that farmers and ranchers are the original stewards of the
land with the chief goal to pass their farm/ranch to the next
generation. We look forward to working with him and his staff."
to Kelsey's full remarks.
BLM Final Planning Rule a
Mixed Bag for Local Participation
week, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published its final
planning rule, commonly referred to as "Planning 2.0," in
the Federal Register. The National Association of Conservation
Districts (NACD) submitted comments on the proposed version
of the planning rule in May 2016, and while it recognizes the agency
has made improvements to the rule in its final form, it is still
concerned the regulation inadequately acknowledges the critical
importance of local involvement in the planning process.
"We commend the BLM for rising to the challenge and taking on a
tremendously important topic: local participation in the management
of public lands," NACD President Lee McDaniel said.
"That said, we are still concerned the final Planning 2.0 rule
does not adequately foster local stakeholder participation in the
"For one, the BLM's rule would require that all land management
plans used in the agency's planning process be approved by local, state,
or tribal governments. As an organization that represents thousands
of local entities, we know just how resource-intensive and time
consuming developing and approving these plans can be, and fear this
provision could disincentivize local participation," McDaniel
continued. "In the past, local governments with policies and
programs for public lands management were included in the BLM's
planning process, but now, unless they have an 'official' plan, these
entities won't be able to participate at the same level."
NACD was also disappointed the final rule will not undergo a National
Environmental Policy Act assessment, and it did not include a
comprehensive update to the protest procedures.
here to read more about NACD's reaction to the BLM's final
planning rule and find a link to the complete text of the rule.
Ag In The Classroom
Lessons Add Meaning to Holidays
corn cob doll, a cotton boll angel and an okra pod Santa are some of
the simple toys kids can make with agricultural products. Ideas for
these holiday crafts and many more are found in December's lessons on
the Ag In The Classroom website.
Oklahoma teachers who use this agriculture-based curriculum help
their students learn about the diversity of agriculture from our
state's Christmas tree farms to the annual cotton harvest. They also
learn that sorghum molasses gives gingerbread men their special flavor
and can enjoy making their own paper to wrap gifts.
Training in using this curriculum is offered free of charge to
Oklahoma teachers by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and
Forestry. Math, science and reading skills are enhanced with fun activities
that engage students in learning where their food and clothing come
from. Various activities from the PreK-12 curriculum are featured
each month on the website to add meaning to special holidays and
seasons while improving students' understanding of plants, soil and
the importance of agriculture to the state's economy.
"Most kids today are not exposed to agriculture, and they do not
make connections to agriculture on a daily basis," said AITC
Long. "They often just think their food comes
from the grocery store. Ag In The Classroom is an essential part of a
well-rounded education and helps to ensure students learn how they
are connected to agriculture and the vital role it plays in their
here to read more about how teachers are incorporating AITC
lessons in their classrooms and find a link to the AITC website.
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Stockers Beware -
Potential Issues to Stay Aprised of as Spring Markets Adjusts to the
The situation cattle producers found themselves in
this fall, dealing with rather strange markets conditions, caused
many people to do things a bit differently than they normally would
on their operations. In many cases, folks were holding back females
that normally would have gone to the feedlot, and at the same time
others were buying stockers to put out on pasture. Extension
Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel says this
detour from normal operating procedure, so to speak, ended up
affecting the cattle on feed numbers, at least to some extent.
"Producers should be aware that we've had a recovery," Peel
said. That means we're keeping those cattle out in the country."
Peel reports that there are some indications currently that show we
are not moving as many cattle into the feedlot as quickly as we might
have, which has its implications.
In the grand scheme of things, Peel says issues could arise from all
of this, but doesn't think there is any cause for alarm at this
point. He advises producers though, that retained calves or that will
have stockers grazing through the winter to pay close attention.
"You want to watch this spring market pretty carefully,"
Peel recommends. "I don't think it's necessarily a problem, but
I think it's a potential one you want to stay on top of."
to Dr. Peel explain his thoughts on the potential issues the cattle
market may present this spring during the latest Beef Buzz.
to Have the Latest Energy News Delivered to Your Inbox Daily?
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Farmers Business Network Designed to Help Farmers
Share Info- But Still trying to Gain Traction Outside of Corn Belt
has always been an industry rooted in science, but more and more it
seems the advancement of technology is exploding in the number of
applications that improve the way we grow food and fiber today.One of
the companies riding the wave of technological movement is the Farmers
Business Network. Established only two years ago, it is the fastest
growing company in agriculture right now. RON's Associate Farm
Horn had the chance to speak with FBN Co-Founder
and Vice President of Products Charles Baron who says FBN
can save farmers tens of thousands of dollars on their inputs and
significantly increase their bottom line.
"Farmers Business Network is a network of farms and it allows
farmers to share information with each other about agronomics - all
anonymous, using hard data coming off precision equipment and also we
do online buying," Baron said. "So, basically, farmers can
participate with thousands of other growers in an online commerce
FBN can save participating farmers upwards of 50 percent on major
inputs, simply by working directly with manufacturers for products
including agrochemicals, seed treatments and even fertilizers and
ships the product directly to the buyer. The online community built
through FBN essentially creates a national price system so a producer
in Oklahoma can expect to pay the same price as a grower in Illinois
or North Dakota for whatever product they buy.
to Horn's full conversation with Baron about Farmers Business Network
and the benefits farmers can take advantage of as members.
NOW- the rest of the story- this
story generated a lot of comments on Twitter after being posted on
our website. One of our Oklahoma farmer friends said "Tried
FBN this year. Lots of promise, not enough users in Oklahoma yet to
get benchmarks. Wheat/cattle is not their forte."
A couple of our other Twitter followers were
less complimentary about the company. One farmer who also used
FBN this past year said savings on ag chemicals were more like 25%-
and one follower who works for an ag chemical company questioned the
quality of their data- especially for the southern plains.
Besides Scott Pruitt- Ag
Also Seems to Like Ambassador to China Signals from Trump Team
Yesterday afternoon, President-elect Donald Trump
announced his intent to nominate Governor Terry Branstad
of Iowa, the longest-serving governor in American history, to serve
as the U.S. Ambassador to China.
According to the release from Trump Tower- Gov. Branstad's
relationship with President Xi Jinping dates back to the mid-1980s,
when President Xi was a young county official seeking a
closer relationship with Iowa's robust agriculture sector.
After that word was out- the American Soybean
Association was quick to cheer.
American Soybean Association (ASA) President Richard Wilkins
expressed the association's support for the pick, citing the
governor's extensive experience working with China and the importance
of the marketplace for U.S. soybean farmers:
"ASA enthusiastically supports Gov. Branstad as
the next U.S. Ambassador to China. As we have said in the weeks that
followed the presidential election, it is extremely important to have
voices within the incoming administration that understand and value
the huge impact that global trade has on U.S. agriculture and
specifically American soybean producers. Nowhere is that relationship
more significant than in China, a market that demands nearly 60
percent of our soy exports, and over 25 percent of our production
"Governor Branstad has proven himself to be a valuable ally on
this issue. He clearly understands the global nature of the
agricultural economy, and knows what American farmers and Chinese
buyers mean to one another. We look forward to working with him and
his staff in the years to come. We also look forward to continuing
our outreach to President-elect Trump to help underscore the
priorities of American soybean farmers, including the importance of
trade and exports to our industry and all of agriculture. "
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