From: Ron Hays [] on behalf of Ron Hays []
Sent: Thursday, December 23, 2010 6:52 AM
To: Hays, Ron
Subject: Oklahoma's Farm News Update
Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Merry Christmas from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday December 23, 2010
A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Christmas is Upon Us
-- A Nice Christmas Present Under the Tree for Cattle Producers- $104 for Fats
-- A Lump of Clean Coal for Our Stockings from EPA?
-- Christmas With a John Deere B
-- More Christmas Memories with Former Ag Secretary John Block
-- Here's a Different Way to Consider the Season- Through the Eyes of Joseph
-- As You Celebrate the Birth of the King- Keep Praying For Jeff Krehbiel
-- Let's Check the Markets!

Howdy Neighbors!

Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are pleased to have American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!

It is also great to have as an annual sponsor on our daily email Johnston Enterprises- proud to be serving agriculture across Oklahoma and around the world since 1893. One of the great success stories of the Johnston brand is Wrangler Bermudagrass- the most widely planted true cold-tolerant seeded forage bermudagrass in the United States. For more on Johnston Enterprises- click here for their brand new website!

And we are proud to have P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy as one of our regular sponsors of our daily email update. P & K is the premiere John Deere dealer in Oklahoma, with ten locations to serve you, and the P & K team are excited about their new Wind Power program, as they offer Endurance Wind Power wind turbines. Click here for more from the P&K website.

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Christmas is Upon Us
With Christmas falling on a Saturday this year, our ag markets will be totally closed on Friday, Christmas Eve- as will be Wall Street equity markets. We will take tomorrow off from the daily writing of this email- but will return next Monday with the final agricultural news stories of the year over the course of next week.

Today's email has just a bit of agricultural news- mixed in with some Christmas memories and a reminder of the reason for the season.

During this holiday season- I think of the blessings that surround me- and I think of my extended family of farmers, ranchers, agribusiness folks and those that support them in extension and government and more. I appreciate each of you and your interest in what we talk about and report on a daily basis. I pray that you and yours have a happy and holy holiday here in 2010.

A Nice Christmas Present Under the Tree for Cattle Producers- $104 for Fats
On Wednesday, cash cattle trade bounced back to the seven year highs we saw about a month ago in the southern plains feedlots. Packers paid $104 for 19,718 cattle on Wednesday in the Texas Cattle Feeders Association territory. They also bought another 1,300 head at $103.

Volume was excellent, not just in Texas/Oklahoma/New Mexico which is the TCFA trade area- but were also reported as being heavy in Nebraska and Kansas feedlots to boot.

Click on the LINK below for the Daily Volume Report from the TCFA. It will be interesting to see how sales go next week after these excellent numbers that have been bought just in front of the Christmas holiday weekend. While some of these cattle might be picked up immediately, you would think most of them won't leave the feedyards before Monday.

Click here for the Wednesday feedlots sales in the TCFA area which includes Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

A Lump of Clean Coal for Our Stockings from EPA?
The Environmental Protection Agency has decided to try to slip in some rules and regs on Greenhouse Gases on this day before Christmas Eve. According to an EPA Media Briefing notice- "U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, Gina McCarthy will hold a press conference call Thursday, December 23, at 11:00 a.m. EST to discuss a Clean Air Act announcement related to greenhouse gas pollution."

Reuters is reporting that this briefing may include an announcement regarding a deal with industry that would pave the way for proposing federal rules next year that limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and oil refineries.

We will monitor this briefing- and we'll be talking about the Climate Change battle as it carries over into 2011 with a Republican House majority that wants to slow down the regulatory assault that the Obama Administration has carried on for the past two years unabated.

Christmas With a John Deere B
This past weekend, I was able to get back to my hometown in Central Kentucky and see a whole host of relatives. I saw and hugged on my two remaining living Aunts, cousins and their kids, my brother and some of his family as well as my Mom and Dad, who are now 87. Two of my daughters (and one son in law) made the trek with me- and it was a lot of fun to see them interact with all of their Kentucky Kinfolk.

My Dad has just turned 87 this past week- so we celebrated his birthday as well as Christmas with he and my Mom. One of the traditional gifts that we give my Dad is a Tractor Calendar, and his face lit up when he saw the 2011 edition that I had gotten him from my friend John Harvey, who worked for years at DuPont before retiring and starting a new career as a Tractor Calendar maker.

Earlier this year, our Farm Broadcast professional organization had issued the final in a series of toy tractors made by Joe Ertl to benefit our Educational Foundation. This was the final tractor in a series that had been agreed to by Ertl- and the 2010 masterpiece was a John Deere B. When we moved to the farm- I was getting ready to start the fifth grade- the used tractor that we bought and used for quite a few years was a John Deere B. So, I bought one earlier in the fall- first to keep for myself- but later realizing that I needed to share it with my Dad. We had it in a gift bag- and he opened it up- and got a big smile on his face as I confirmed it was a "B." Well, he looked it over carefully and then got to talking about the tractors we had used on our farm that I grew up on- and he enjoyed the detail of the model crafted by Mr. Ertl.

What was especially neat was the conversations that the John Deere B started over the weekend into Monday morning as we prepared to leave. We talked about that farm our family bought- and the man my dad bought it from- a gentleman farmer in that County who decided he liked my Mom and Dad- and helped finance the land as he left vo-ag and became a 7th Grade Science Teacher- and farmer all of the hours around that in town job.
Along the way, we grew tobacco, raised hogs and some sheep and I grew up watching my dad be a role model worth following. He was honest in his dealings, was not afraid of hard work, loved my Mom and was a Sunday School teacher. As I watched him around the "in town" house where they now live- he and my Mom are still in pretty good health- but I know they are in the home stretch of this life. They know it, too- but their faith and the gift that God gave us all on that first Christmas gives them a peace that sustains them to this very day.
My John Deere B 2010 Christmas in Kentucky is one I will remember for a long time- and my prayer for you and yours is that you will enjoy your holiday with your family as much as I have to this point- knowing we have more family time here in Oklahoma this weekend still to come.

More Christmas Memories with Former Ag Secretary John Block
One of our weekly features we have on our website is an audio commentary with former Secretary of Agriculture John Block.

This week, Secretary Block offers a few Christmas Memories in his report- which we have up a day earlier than normal. Click on the LINK below to take a listen to the USDA Chief that was around during the Reagan years.

Click here for John Block's Christmas Memories 2010.

Here's a Different Way to Consider the Season- Through the Eyes of Joseph
Max Lucado has a way of taking the truths of the season and allowing us to see them in a different way. What if we were able to go back some 2,000 years ago- and be a fly on the wall where Joseph of Nazareth was standing- looking up into the night sky? Here's what Max Lucado says that he might be muttering as he waits on the birth of a child by his wife, Mary. (From He Still Moves Stones)

This isn't the way I planned it, God. Not at all. My child being born in a stable? This isn't the way I thought it would be. A cave with sheep and donkeys, hay and straw? My wife giving birth with only the stars to hear her pain?

This isn't at all what I imagined. No, I imagined family. I imagined grandmothers. I imagined neighbors clustered outside the door and friends standing at my side. I imagined the house erupting with the first cry of the infant. Slaps on the back. Loud laughter. Jubilation.

That's how I thought it would be.

But now. Now look. Nazareth is five days' journey away. And here we are in a- in a sheep pasture. Who will celebrate with us? The sheep? The shepherds? The stars?

This doesn't seem right. What kind of husband am I? I provide no midwife to aid my wife. No bed to rest her back. Her pillow is a blanket from my donkey. My house for her is a shed of hay and straw.

The smell is bad, the animals are loud. Why, I even smell like a shepherd myself.

Did I miss something? Did I, God?

When you sent the angel and spoke of the son being born--this isn't what I pictured. I envisioned Jerusalem, the temple, the priests, and the people gathered to watch. A pageant perhaps. A parade. A banquet at least. I mean, this is the Messiah!

Or, if not born in Jerusalem, how about Nazareth? Wouldn't Nazareth have been better? At least there I have my house and my business. Out here, what do I have? A weary mule, a stack of firewood, and a pot of warm water. This is not the way I wanted it to be! This is not the way I wanted my son.

Oh my, I did it again. I did it again didn't I, Father? I don't mean to do that; it's just that I forget. He's not my son. He's yours.

The child is yours. The plan is yours. The idea is yours. And forgive me for asking but, is this how God enters the world? The coming of the angel, I've accepted. The questions people asked about the pregnancy, I can tolerate. The trip to Bethlehem, fine. But why a birth in a stable, God?

Any minute now Mary will give birth. Not to a child, but to the Messiah. Not to an infant, but to God. That's what the angel said. That's what Mary believes. And, God, my God, that's what I want to believe. But surely you can understand; it's not easy. It seems so- bizarre.

I'm unaccustomed to such strangeness, God. I'm a carpenter. I make things fit. I square off the edges. I follow the plumb line. I measure twice before I cut once. Surprises are not the friend of a builder. I like to see the plan before I begin.

But this time I'm not the builder, am I? This time I'm a tool. A hammer in your grip. A nail between your fingers. A chisel in your hands. This project is yours, not mine.

I guess it's foolish of me to question you. Forgive my struggling. Trust doesn't come easy to me, God. But you never said it would be easy, did you?

One final thing, Father. The angel you sent? Any chance you could send another? If not an angel, maybe a person? I don't know anyone around here and some company would be nice. Maybe the innkeeper or a traveler? Even a shepherd would do.

Max Lucado goes on to say "I wonder. Did Joseph ever pray such a prayer? Perhaps he did. Perhaps he didn't.

"But you probably have.
You've stood where Joseph stood. Caught between what God says and what makes sense. You've stared into a sky blackened with doubt. And you've asked what Joseph asked.
"You've asked if you're still on the right road. You've asked if you were supposed to turn left when you turned right. And you've asked if there is a plan behind this scheme. Things haven't turned out like you thought they would.

"Each of us knows what it's like to search the night for light. Not outside a stable, but perhaps outside an emergency room. On the gravel of a roadside. On the manicured grass of a cemetery. We've asked our questions. We questioned God's plan. And we've wondered why God does what he does.

"No, the Bethlehem sky is not the first to hear the pleadings of an honest heart, nor the last. And perhaps God didn't answer every question for Joseph. But he answered the most important one. "Are you still with me, God?" And through the first cries of the God-child the answer came. "Yes. Yes, Joseph. I'm with you."

"There are many questions that we won't be able to answer. Many times we will muse, "I wonder"

"But in our wonderings, there is one question we never need to ask. Does God care? Do we matter to God? Does he still love his children?

"Through the small face of the stable-born baby, he says yes.

"Yes, your sins can be forgiven.
"Yes, your name can be written in heaven.

"Yes, death has been defeated.

"Because God has entered the world.

"Immanuel. God is with us."

As You Celebrate the Birth of the King- Keep Praying For Jeff Krehbiel
As I looked at our email just in front of Christmas last year- we had as one of our stories a request for you to pray for Jeff and Karen as Jeff was in the hospital a year ago in his ongoing battle against cancer.

This year- he's back in Oklahoma City in the hospital- this time the specific battle is against blood clots in his lungs. The latest report indicates that the right lung is clear- but more clots have popped up in the left lung.

Jeff and his lovely wife Karen have been an inspiration to me this past year as they have lived each day as God has given it to them- some days have been very good- and days like the last four or five- have been not so great. You can go to the link below for a chance to get updates on Jeff over the holidays- so you will know how best to life this precious family up in your thoughts and prayers.

Click here for the update on Jeff from Care Pages

Our thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, PCOM, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy, Johnston Enterprises, American Farmers & Ranchers, KIS Futures and Big Iron Online Auctions for their support of our daily Farm News Update. For your convenience, we have our sponsors' websites linked here- just click on their name to jump to their website- check their sites 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- FREE!

We also invite you to check out our website at the link below to check out an archive of these daily emails, audio reports and top farm news story links from around the globe.

Click here to check out WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com

Let's Check the Markets!
We've had requests to include Canola prices for your convenience here- and we will be doing so on a regular basis. Current cash price for Canola is $9.95 per bushel- as of the close of trade Wednesday, while the 2011 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $10.65 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.

Here are some links we will leave in place on an ongoing basis- Click on the name of the report to go to that link:
Our Daily Market Wrapup from the Radio Oklahoma Network with Ed Richards and Tom Leffler- analyzing the Futures Markets from the previous Day-
Ron on RON Markets as heard on K101 mornings with cash and futures reviewed- includes where the Cash Cattle market stands, the latest Feeder Cattle Markets Etc.
Previous Day's Wheat Market Recap- Two Pager From The Kansas City Board of Trade looks at all three US Wheat Futures Exchanges with extra info on Hard Red Winter Wheat and the why of that day's market.
Daily Oklahoma Cash Grain Prices- As Reported by the Oklahoma Dept. of Agriculture. <
The National Daily Feeder & Stocker Cattle Summary- as prepared by USDA.
The National Daily Slaughter Cattle Summary- as prepared by USDA.
Finally, Here is the Daily Volume and Price Summary from the Texas Cattle Feeders Association.

God Bless! You can reach us at the following:
phone: 405-473-6144

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