~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday January 26, 2010A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Midwest Farm Shows and KIS Futures!
-- Obama Administration Names Dr. Elisabeth Hagen as USDA Undersecretary for Food Safety
-- House Ag Committee Chair Collin Peterson Presented Wheat Leader of the Year Award by National Association of Wheat Growers
-- AFBF President Bob Stallman Will Be in Oklahoma City February 15 for OFB Leadership Conference
-- Mexico Remains Number One Destination for US Beef
-- Oklahoma Based Sonic Bows to HSUS
-- Fuel Up to Play 60 Continues to Expand Across the Country and Here in Oklahoma
-- Oklahoma Forestry Conducting Inventory in Eight Eastern Counties
-- Let's Check the Markets!
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud to have KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Click here for the free market quote page they provide us for our website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.
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Obama Administration Names Dr. Elisabeth Hagen as USDA Undersecretary for Food Safety
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~President Obama today announced his intent to nominate Dr. Elisabeth Hagen as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Under Secretary for Food Safety. Hagen will serve with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "There is no more fundamental function of government than protecting consumers from harm, which is why food safety is one of USDA's top priorities," said Vilsack. "We can and must do a better job of ensuring the safety of meat and poultry products regulated by USDA, and Dr. Hagen brings the background, skills, and vision to lead USDA's efforts to make sure that Americans have access to a safe and healthy food supply."
Industry reaction seems to be positive. Phil Kimball, executive director of the North American Meat Processors Association, noted in a news release, "NAMP welcomes Dr. Hagen we're looking forward to working with her to insure our industry remains at the forefront of bringing high quality, safe products to consumers."
Click on the link below to read more about Dr. Hagen and her career to this point within USDA at FSIS as well as her current role as Chief Medical Officer at USDA (Why does USDA need a Chief Medical Officer?)
House Ag Committee Chair Collin Peterson Presented Wheat Leader of the Year Award by National Association of Wheat Growers
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~For the second time in three years, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) was presented yesterday with the Wheat Leader of the Year Award, the wheat industry's highest public service award. The award was presented to Peterson as he came and addressed the joint session of NAWG and US Wheat Associates as they met in Washington for their winter board meetings.
"Chairman Peterson never fails to go to bat for agriculture when push really comes to shove," said Karl Scronce, NAWG president and a wheat producer from Klamath Falls, Ore. "We are proud to name him our Wheat Leader twice in just three years because he really does embody the agriculture voice on the Hill - and that's a voice that's desperately needed."
At the meeting, Peterson addressed growers about his efforts to help his fellow Members better understand agriculture when passing food safety legislation and looked ahead to challenges related to the 2012 Farm Bill. Peterson said he plans to start with hearings as early as March or April of this year. "We need to be looking at how to make this work better, how to have systems that we can explain to our urban colleagues that make sense to them," he said. "That's part of what I want to do over the next year."
AFBF President Bob Stallman Will Be in Oklahoma City February 15 for OFB Leadership Conference
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A golden plow, world farm leader, state budget breakdown and legislative priorities are all on the agenda for Oklahoma Farm Bureau's annual leadership conference Feb. 15-16, Marriott Hotel on Northwest Expressway, Oklahoma City. American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman will present AFBF's most prestigious legislative award, the Golden Plow Award, to U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, R-OK, during ceremonies following dinner Monday, Feb. 15.
Each year AFBF honors one member of the Senate and one member of the U.S. House with the Golden Plow award. The award is based on the lawmaker's strong voting record for agriculture and Farm Bureau issues. This year Inhofe is the only lawmaker receiving the award. "With over 6 million members, the American Farm Bureau is the world's largest farm organization and we are extremely proud our very own Sen. Inhofe is receiving the award," Mike Spradling, OFB president, said.
Farm Bureau has a busy agenda for their 2010 Leadership Conference- and we have details of their other issues and speakers lined up on our website- click on the link below for more information.
Mexico Remains Number One Destination for US Beef
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Despite very difficult economic conditions, Mexico will finish 2009 as the leading volume and value market for U.S. beef exports and the top volume destination for U.S. pork. We talk about Mexico and their value to the US Red Meat Industry on today's Beef Buzz.
Chad Russell, U.S. Meat Export Federation regional director for Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic who is based in Mexico City, says Mexico's economy is showing some signs of improvement, and this should create a more positive business climate for USMEF marketing activities in 2010. He also cites Mexico's favorable market access conditions and excellent consumer acceptance of U.S. meat products as factors that should foster further growth of U.S. exports.
Click on the link below to hear Chad's insights on the Mexican market- easy to overlook, but an extremely important outlet for US beef and pork.
Oklahoma Based Sonic Bows to HSUS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In an news report from Meatingplace, the Oklahoma City based food chain Sonic Drive Ins have decided to make demands on their suppliers of pork and eggs going forward. "Sonic Corp., the drive-in restaurant chain, said it will begin requiring all suppliers to undergo independent audits of their livestock and poultry handling practices in an effort to promote the humane treatment of farm animals. Sonic said it is asking its suppliers to focus on employee training in humane animal-handling practices and ongoing verification of practices. Companies that continue to fail to meet Sonic's animal welfare guidelines will be excluded from its supply chain, Sonic said. "
Specifically, Sonic said it will challenge its poultry suppliers to convert to an animal welfare-friendly controlled atmosphere killing system (CAS). Animal welfare-friendly is defined as no dumping or shackling live birds and using inert gases. Sonic said it will favor suppliers that raise hogs in a gestation crate-free environment.
Egg suppliers will be required to meet United Egg Producer (UEP)
standards for housing and other poultry practices. Sonic does not support
the withdrawal of food or water to facilitate molting or support
improperly controlled or managed beak trimming.
Fuel Up to Play 60 Continues to Expand Across the Country and Here in Oklahoma
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has joined a campaign to fight and defeat childhood obesity in cooperation with the NFL, National Dairy Council, multiple health organizations and several major corporations. The campaign, known as Fuel Up to Play 60, is funded with an initial financial commitment by America's Dairy Farmers and focuses on improving nutrient-rich food choices and achieving 60 minutes of physical activity each day among children. More than 58,000, or 60 percent, of the nation's private and public schools are currently enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60. Here in Oklahoma, 1,058 schools now participate in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.
"Today is a significant milestone in the fight against childhood obesity because this unprecedented partnership will help educate our youth about steps they can and should take to lead healthy lives," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Vilsack joins Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner, and Tom Gallagher, CEO of Dairy Management Inc., the managing organization for National Dairy Council to support and promote the initiative. Other organizations supporting Fuel Up to Play 60 are Action for Healthy Kids, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Dietetic Association, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association, and School Nutrition Association.
Click on the link below to read more about this program that has been initiated by Dairy checkoff funds- and now continues to grow and take on a life of its own.
Oklahoma Forestry Conducting Inventory in Eight Eastern Counties
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Professional foresters are busy determining the type of forests in different counties and regions of Oklahoma as well as identifying tree species and forest health conditions in six central and north central counties. Counties include Washington, Nowata, Rogers, Craig, Mayes, Ottawa, Delaware and Choctaw. Foresters will be gathering information about the amount of land under forest cover, the type of forests and tree species that are present, tree size, invasive species and forest health issues present. State Forester, John Burwell, said the inventory began last year and will continue until the entire state's forest lands have been inventoried.
"Forests, trees and woodlands provide Oklahoma with many valuable goods and services," he said. "In order to manage this resource for the greatest benefit to Oklahoma's citizens, we need to asses what we have. Gathering detailed data from sample sites in all 77 counties is a challenging task for our field foresters, but their efforts provide us with data that is key to our planning strategy." The analysis is conducted on randomly located plots across private, industrial, and public lands and includes both forested and non-forested areas. Private landowners will be contacted directly if a plot falls on their land. The information gathered from this analysis will be used to determine status and trends of forests in Oklahoma, as well as the United States.
"The information we collect is added to the national database to give decision makers the data they need to make informed plans for the future of our forest resources," said FIA coordinator, Kerry Dooley. "We appreciate landowners allowing us access to their land so that we will have an accurate assessment of Oklahoma's trees and forests" Crews will be traveling in marked Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry vehicles and will be carrying proper identification with them. Landowners and leasers can assist in this endeavor by granting crews access to property if an FIA plot falls on their land, as well as telling others about the program. They are also welcome to be present when the crew is conducting the measurements on their property. If you would like more information, contact Kerry Dooley at 580-236-1270.
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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 $7.05 per bushel, while the 2010 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $7.30 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:
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