~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday May 10, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Congressman Lucas plans to drop in Rural America Energy Bill as early as today!
-- Concerns Mount about Extended Period of Heavy Rains
-- Do or Die Vote on Ag Disaster Aid Slated for Tomorrow in US House.
-- Three Nominated for Unexpired Term of Paul Jackson of Apache on Oklahoma Wheat Commission
-- Japanese finally admit "it's not BSE!"
-- County Farm Bureaus are sponsoring DOT Seminars
-- Kudos to Young People Receiving College Cash from Farm Credit
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 just concluded Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City, 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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Congressman Lucas plans to drop in Rural America Energy Bill as early as today!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's man on the House Ag Committee, Third District Congressman Frank Lucas, will be busy today. The subcommittee that he is ranking member of, the House Ag Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy, and Research, will be holding a hearing at nine am central time this morning to look at ag research programs in the context of funding key priorities in the upcoming 2007 farm bill. Among those testifying will be Dr. Joe Bouton, PhD., Senior Vice President and Director, Forage Improvement Division, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc. out of Ardmore.
It is also expected that later today, Congressman Lucas will be officially unveiling a bill that he will be calling the Rural America Energy Act, in which he will advance several priorities that he wants to see included in an Energy Title of the Farm Bill, as well as some issues that go beyond the scope of the Farm Bill.
Officials from the Congressman's office tell us that this measure will be focused on how rural America can help provide renewable energy to the entire country and reap the economic benefits of doing so. It will include language that will encourage development in areas like wind power, cellulosic ethanol as well as encouraging research to use traditional high plains crops like grain sorghum as one part of the solution to help move us from starch based ethanol to the cellulosic based product in the years to come. We have an interview planned with Congressman Lucas this morning- and will have it on our web site on our "Featured Audio" page by mid morning on this Thursday- check back after about 10 am central time to take a listen regarding details of this Energy Bill with specifics on how Rural America participates in providing energy independence for everyone in our country.
Concerns Mount about Extended Period of Heavy Rains
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Recent spring rains in Oklahoma have once again helped show the importance of Oklahoma's upstream flood control dams, many of which are in desperate need of repair said Scotty Herriman, president of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts. "The sudden change from record drought to a deluge of rain this spring shows the need to maintain our flood control structures," Herriman said. "Oklahoma has more flood control structures built under the USDA watershed program than any other state in the union, many of which were built in the 1940s, '50s and '60s with a 50-year lifespan, so you can do the math and see we have a big problem. It is imperative that the state invest in repairing these structures now."
Designed to stop the dangerous flash floods of the past, Herriman said that these dams, in both rural and urban settings, have for over 50 years protected Oklahomans from the ravages of out of control water, saving countless lives and billions of dollars. Herriman adds that a worst case scenario would be a dam failure of one of these structures, which could cost lives as well as major economic losses if it should happen
Herriman said that Congress has taken a major step by appropriating over $13 million for dam rehabilitation in Oklahoma. This money must be matched by the state of Oklahoma at a rate of one state dollar for every two federal dollars for it to be accessed by the Conservation Commission for rehabilitation. If the state doesn't match these funds this year, they will be returned to the federal treasury. "It would be a huge mistake not to match these federal dollars." Herriman said. "Our congressional delegation has fought hard to get these resources to the state to address this serious problem. I hope our legislative leaders will do their part to ensure the protection these dams have provided for the last 50 years is maintained into the future."
Do or Die Vote on Ag Disaster Aid Slated for Tomorrow in US House.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~With the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee declaring that the ag disaster aid bill is strong enough to stand on its own- House Democratic Leadership will allow a separate vote on Ag Disaster Aid tomorrow on the floor of the US House- thus stripping the aid away from the Iraqi War Supplemental bill- apparently bowing to threats from the White House that the bill faced another veto from the White House if the farm aid measure is left in the bill. Congressman David Obey of Wisconsin says he is "damn tired of having the White House look down its elitist nose at the agriculture problems in this country."
While the House leadership is pulling Ag Disaster Aid out of the measure, which would face a likely White House veto on its own because this spending has no official offset- there is no similar movement in the Senate. Senate leaders may be more inclined to leave the Disaster Aid package in the war supplemental spending bill and force the White House to swallow the spending or face further delays in getting money to aid in continuing full support of the war effort in Iraq.
Three Nominated for Unexpired Term of Paul Jackson of Apache on Oklahoma Wheat Commission
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A special election was held in Apache yesterday afternoon by the Oklahoma Wheat Commission to find nominees to fill the District four seat vacated on the Commission by the death of Paul Jackson of Apache. These three nominees will have their names forwarded to Governor Brad Henry, who will then appoint one of the three to fill the last two years of that unexpired term- meaning that this person will be holding the office through June 30, 2009.
The three nominees include Kermit Gilbreath of Apache, Jeff Krehbiel of Hydro and David Gammill out of Chattanooga.
By law, all three of the nominees are wheat producers. Krehbiel is the immediate past President of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association while Gammill served in that position a few years back. Both are alums of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program.
Japanese finally admit "it's not BSE!"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~After testing multiple generations of lab mice at tremendous levels- the Japanese have finally publicly admitted something that we have been hearing from officials following the tests here in this country for at least the past two years. That's how long the Japanese have been testing tissue that came from two younger cows that they thought had Mad Cow Disease- those infamous animals aged 21 and 23 months of age. Whatever these animals had that showed up in the screening tests at that time- it has proven NOT to be Mad Cow Disease in that they have injected tissue from these animals in high doses into lab mice and have not been able to get any of them to show signs of the disease.
These two animals have been the basis for the Japanese demands that they will accept beef from U.S. animals that are only 20 months of age or younger, which has been a huge drag on resuming beef trade with what was once out largest export customer of US beef. The President of the US Meat Export Federation, Phil Seng, says that this admission has been a long time coming- but it will go a long way in helping move the Japanese Food Safety Commission away from the very restrictive stance they have adopted on US Beef to a more viable trade protocol in the months ahead.
Phil is our guest today on the Radio Oklahoma Network's Beef Buzz- and we have it linked for you to listen to below. Seng says that while it won't happen overnight, this public announcement on these tests are a key break in getting US beef back in a much bigger way onto the shelves of Japanese stores later this year and beyond that.
County Farm Bureaus are sponsoring DOT Seminars
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One of those seminars is TONIGHT in Payne County, beginning at 6 pm at the Payne County Fairgrounds just east of Stillwater. These seminars are being sponsored by the Payne County Farm Bureau, Kingfisher County Farm Bureau, Kay County Farm Bureau and the Blaine County Farm Bureau.
In each case, these meetings that will include officials from Farm Bureau, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the Oklahoma State Highway Patrol will attempt to address some of the major questions that producers have during this busy time of the year- what are the loads and limits and regulations that farmers need to deal with when they take a farm truck or implement onto a public road.
Besides tonight's meeting in Stillwater, there are meetings planned May 15th in Blackwell and then on May 17th at the Chisholm Trail Vo-Tech in Omega- the Omega meeting will include a free dinner. Check with your local Farm Bureaus for more information or check with the Kingfisher County Farm Bureau for more information on these meetings- their number is 405-375-4421.
Kudos to Young People Receiving College Cash from Farm Credit
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~May is the month we graduate our High School and College kiddos- and for the High Schoolers, a time that we hear a lot about their achievements and in many cases, the recognition by groups that want to support them at the next level.
To encourage and support higher education for dependants of Chisholm
Trail Farm Credit customers, Chisholm Trail Farm Credit has awarded 10
scholarships in the amount of $750.00 to the following Oklahoma High
Our thanks to Grady Scott of the Chisholm Trail Farm Credit office in Chickasha for sharing the names of their High School Senior Scholarship award winners for 2007.
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