~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday April 19, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- We salute Luke Jessup - and all of those men and women who can't be with us today at Southern Plains Farm Show because they are serving their country!
-- Next Two Weeks- FSA Meetings in Counties that are targeted for their office to close.
-- Pseudorabies found in swine herd in Wisconsin!
-- Johanns says no decision made yet whether to appeal ruling on Creekstone case.
-- Biofuels Tax Break given thumbs up by State Senate.
-- Superior Livestock Founder Dies in Car Accident.
-- More details on the Monday Ceremony to line up a four to one match for Oklahoma Conservation Monies.
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. Our email this morning is a service of Midwest Farm Shows, featuring the Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City April 19-21, 2007, as well as the Tulsa Farm Show held each December. Check out details of both of these exciting shows at the official website of Midwest Farm Shows by clicking here.
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We salute Luke Jessup - and all of those men and women who can't be with us today at Southern Plains Farm Show because they are serving their country!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As you many of you get ready to come to Oklahoma City over the next three days for the Southern Plains Farm Show, I have been reminded that there are people who are in positions that allow us to enjoy events like this. About a week ago, I got an email from Luke Jessup who hails from Carter County near Lone Grove. For the time being Luke is a long way from Carter County as he is serving our nation in Iraq.
In that first email, Luke writes "I'm presently deployed to Fort Tall Afar, Iraq and like most everyone else I'm a little homesick. This evening, by accident, I stumbled on to a web site that has all your farm reports to which you can listen online. I about melted when I heard that familiar, "Howdy neighbors." Closing my eyes I can almost imagine I'm back home in Oklahoma leaning on the hood of my truck with the farm report up loud, drinking coffee and watching the cows eat. Thanks. I am very respectfully, your neighbor, Luke Jessup."
In a later email, Luke told me that he found our web site while checking on this year's Southern Plains Farm Show, which he says was about the last farm event he attended before mobilizing last year. He added at the bottom of that email- "enjoy the farm show!" We all know it- but sometimes we have to be reminded- freedom is not really free and folks like Luke Jessup are helping pay the bill for us all. If you would like to drop a note to Luke, send me the email and I will be glad to forward it on him. We also plan on having some cards at our breakfast and our farm show booth for folks to write a note of appreciation and encourage to Luke if they would like to do so.
Next Two Weeks- FSA Meetings in Counties that are targeted for their office to close.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Starting April 24, there will be five meetings- one in each of those counties that face the loss of their county Farm Service Agency office. The counties impacted include Cleveland, Seminole, Delaware, Haskell and Pushmataha Counties.
We have a news release that is up on the front page of our web site that gives you details on these meetings- and we have a link below of a conversation that we have with Jim Reese of FSA about the upcoming meetings- and the process of how these counties were identified and some of the reasons why they face closure.
Pseudorabies found in swine herd in Wisconsin!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Tests at the U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed that the disease found in a Clark County Wis. Swine herd is pseudorabies. Pseudorabies virus (PRV) is a disease of swine that can also affect cattle, horses, dogs, cats, sheep and goats. PRV is an extremely contagious herpes virus that causes reproductive problems, including abortion, stillbirths, and even occasional death losses in breeding and finishing animals. PRV is not contagious to humans nor is it a food safety issue.
Wisconsin officials will now depopulate that herd- and will be testing all swine herds in a five mile radius from where this farm is located. Pork officials remind pork producers that cases like this prove the need to be vigilant in their operations- and to practice good sound biosecurity measures.
We have linked the Pork Leader Alert that was issued yesterday afternoon after word of this herd surfaced. This update includes a full list of suggestions of the biosecurity measures that hog producers need to have in place and operational at all times.
Johanns says no decision made yet whether to appeal ruling on Creekstone case.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A Federal Judge has declared that USDA cannot stop Creekstone Premium Beef out of Ark City, Kansas from testing cattle they are processing themselves for BSE, or Mad Cow disease. The judge then immediately put a stay on his order that will last until June 1 in order to give USDA time to appeal this ruling if they choose to do so.
Courtesy of fellow farm broadcaster (and Oklahoma native) Ken Root, we have comments from Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns on this issue- and he tells Ken that no decision has been made as of yet in consultations between USDA and the Department of Justice on whether that court ruling will be appealed or not. (You gotta believe they have virtually no choice but to appeal)
Johanns also speaks of the "slippery slope" that such private testing of BSE could be- and that it sees it as counterproductive in reopening foreign markets for US beef- especially those countries that have been very slow to reopen filly to US beef. Johanns is featured today on our Beef Buzz from the Radio Oklahoma Network- and you can hear his thoughts on BSE testing by clicking below.
Biofuels Tax Break given thumbs up by State Senate.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In an effort to bring attention to the importance of biofuels in Oklahoma and to place increased emphasis on the production of oil seed crops, the State Senate passed House Bill 1916 this week. The principal Senate author, Senator Ron Justice explained the legislation would allow for a tax exemption on the production of biofuels. "By running this bill, it helps put emphasis on the Ag producers in the fact that when they produce these products and use the oil or the biofuels and then blend those into the other products, it gives a tax exemption on the amount of fuel that is blended in, not on the total amount but on the percentage that's actually blended in," said Justice, R-Chickasha.
Justice further noted that the House author Phil Richardson, R-Minco, and he thought this legislation would provide not only a tax exemption for producers, but would offer opportunities for increased research, increased job opportunities, and more crops for producers to grow. "The reality is that this legislation is far more reaching than just the tax exemption itself. It adds to our overall Ag economy in the State of Oklahoma. That's why I think it has some great potential," said Justice. "Honestly, right at this point there isn't a lot of this production, but if you look around at the interest across the nation and look at Oklahoma and the opportunities we have here I think it's something we need to be out front on and to really be involved in."
The measure was amended to add the emphasis on industry. Justice said he was happy to support the amendment saying that it made the legislation stronger, because it now not only includes the agricultural producers, but would provide opportunities for those industries that utilize such agricultural products.
Superior Livestock Founder Dies in Car Accident.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Superior Livestock Auction co-founder Buddy Jeffers was killed in an automobile accident near Old Glory, Texas. The developer of the video livestock auction was struck by a heart attack which precipated the crash. He was 75. Last year he was named the winner of the 2006 Beef Industry Vision Award by the National Cattlemen's Foundation.
Jeffers and his partners were pioneers in cattle marketing. They founded Superior Livestock Auction in 1987 as the nation's first satellite video cattle auction. Superior Livestock Auction has become a leader in the cattle marketing industry, with 400 field representatives across the nation. In July 2005 alone, Superior auctioned over 500,000 head of cattle. The company operates from offices in Ft. Worth and in Brush, Colo. It manages all aspects of a cattle transaction, from contract to delivery and payment. The satellite auctions bring buyers and sellers together regardless of geographic location.
The family has designated two memorials. They are an annual "Buddy Jeffers Memorial Scholarship Fund" established "to honor his legacy and dedication to the beef cattle industry." Contributions can be sent to Superior Livestock Auction, P.O. Box 38, Brush, Colo., 80723. Or memorial contributions can be made to the First United Methodist Church, 300 N. Sherman St., Ennis, Texas, 75119.
More details on the Monday Ceremony to line up a four to one match for Oklahoma Conservation Monies.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Charles Conner will travel to Oklahoma City to sign a Conservation Reserve Program (CREP) Agreement with Gov. Brad Henry on April 23. In the program, the state will provide 20 percent - $4.1 million- to bring in $16.5 million in federal Farm Service Agency funds for a total of $20.6 million to help improve water quality in northeast Oklahoma.
The new Oklahoma CREP projects will create up to 9,000 acres of riparian buffers and filter strips to reduce the flow of nutrients, sediment and other pollutants in the Spavinaw Lake and Illinois River/Lake Tenkiller watersheds. The City of Tulsa, Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission and Oklahoma Conservation Commission are program partners who will provide a significant portion of the required non- federal match.
The ceremonial signing is planned for Monday afternoon in the Governors' Blue Room at the State Capitol.
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