~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday June 21, 2007!A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Heading Home Today- so a little shorter on today's email...
-- Commodity Title Strategy- we talk with Frank Lucas
-- AMI meets with R-Calf on COOL
-- Harvest Keeps Moving in Panhandle- Not SO in Central Oklahoma.
-- State Lawmaker Fed Up with Regents over Extension and Research Issue
-- BioHazard Response Units Positioned Around the State to deal with possible biological attacks
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 recently 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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Heading Home Today- so a little shorter on today's email...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We are breaking camp and heading for the airport in fairly short order this morning- so this Email may be a little shorter than normal. It's been a good week here in Washington and we wanted to express our thanks to Ray Wulf, Terry Detrick and the group we have traveled with from the American Farmers and Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union.
They have been busy, meeting with the Oklahoma Congressional Delegation and monitoring some of the key issues that have unfolded this week- and continue to unfold as we speak.
We will have a complete overview of this trip with Ray Wulf online tomorrow- and his impressions on how some of their key issues were received this week here in Washington.
Commodity Title Strategy- we talk with Frank Lucas
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Members of the American Farmers and Ranchers (Oklahoma Farmers Union) met with Congressman Frank Lucas for about forty five minutes on Wednesday- talking about a variety of issues beyound just the farm bill.
After their meeting with the Roger Mills County rancher turned Congressman, we had our turn in conversing with the Congressman about a variety of subjects- and we began by doing a debriefing of what COngressman Lucas got from the House Ag Subcommittee's business meeting on Tuesday as they worked on marking up the 2007 Farm Bill.
Lucas acknowledged that he felt the need to take on the role of teacher for the many freshmen on the committee who are facing their first farm bill drafting- pointing out the only person in the room that had been in on more farm bills was Chairman of the full House Ag Committee, Colin Peterson. Click here to listen to our conversation with Congressman Lucas about both the strong response against Farm21 of Congressman Ron Kind as well as the strong response for the straight extension of the 2002 Farm Law Commodity Title in the markup process.
AMI meets with R-Calf on COOL
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~They have been trading nasty letters on the issue of COOL- and finally Bill Bullard of R-Calf requested and got a face to face meeting with J Patrick Boyle of the American Meat Institute on Wednesday of this week in regards to Country of Origin Labeling.
COOL is due to implemented for fresh fruits and veggies and for red meat at retail in September 2008. We caught up with Bill Bullard here in Washington last night after we got word that the meeting took place and got his reaction to AMI's position on COOL as well what R-Calf is wanting from this labeling.
We have been told this week here in Washington that there is virtually no chance that Congress will backtrack on COOL- and that producers better start thinking about what sort of traceback they can offer with their cattle to assure buyers they can say with confidence details about the origin of the cattle they buy. We talk COOL today on the Beef Buzz from the Radio Oklahoma Network- and it is linked below.
Harvest Keeps Moving in Panhandle- Not SO in Central Oklahoma.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We remain stuck in the mud in Central Oklahoma- but northwestern Oklahoma is moving and the test weights are fair in and around Woodward- and still very good in Texas County in the Panhandle.
We have a nice overview with Mark Hodges of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission- and you can access that by going through the link below to our website, www.OklahomaFarmReport.Com
The audio review is right under the heading- Today's Agricultural News in the entry dated today, June 21, 2007.
State Lawmaker Fed Up with Regents over Extension and Research Issue
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Because of recent attempts to divert funding, State Rep. Joe Dorman said he will file legislation next year to guarantee that state appropriations for county extension services and the agricultural experiment station reach the intended recipients. "I want to ensure that the full appropriation reaches those services every year without risk of diversion by another entity," said Dorman, D-Rush Springs. "Unfortunately, it has become clear we cannot guarantee that money appropriated for county extension and the experiment station will actually make it to those programs if we allow the Regents to have a say."
County extension offices provide a wide array of services to county residents, including research- based information on agriculture, economic development, family and consumer sciences, and youth development to provide for better living in Oklahoma. The agricultural experimental station, as provided by the Hatch Act of 1887, provides a network of stations through the United States to assist in developing our country into the most effective and efficient producers of food and fiber in the world. Currently, funding for extension offices and the experimental station is run through the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education following appropriations by the legislature. These appropriations can only express how the intent of the legislature would like to see the dollars spent.
In recent years the Regents have diverted a significant amount of extension office and research station funding, forcing layoffs at those offices, Dorman noted. In a recent meeting, members of the Regents discussed a plan to once again divert more than $2.9 million in extension service funding to in spite of specific legislative directives. That money was supposed to pay to hire 18 new scientists and faculty for both the extension service and experiment station. Those staffers would replace several positions eliminated as the result of the budget cuts of 2001 through 2003. The new staffers are expected to generate between $6 million to $8 million in new research money for the state of Oklahoma. "We cannot allow extension offices and the agricultural experimental station to be gutted by the bureaucracy's failure to understand the great need for these services," Dorman said. "My bill will attempt to make sure extension and research services are not put on the chopping block ever again."
BioHazard Response Units Positioned Around the State to deal with possible biological attacks
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Containing contagious animal diseases is more effective now that six Agriculture Cleaning and Disinfecting Units are available to respond across the state of Oklahoma. The Cleaning and Disinfecting Units are the most recent addition to the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security's (OKOHS) multi-million dollar Regional Response System and were developed at the request of and guidance from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry. "The State Department of Agriculture identified a need," said Kerry Pettingill, Oklahoma Homeland Security Director.
The Cleaning and Disinfecting Units will be used to disinfect livestock transport vehicles and other equipment contaminated during a naturally occurring or manmade animal disaster. Oklahoma was the first to build this specific response unit dedicated exclusively to an agricultural emergency. "I would like to thank Director Pettingill and his staff for working with us on this project," said Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture, Terry Peach. "Oklahoma was the first state to develop and train agricultural emergency response teams and now we have again achieved another first in protection preparedness with the addition of these Cleaning and Disinfecting Units."
The units are located in the following communities: Atoka, Ardmore, Oklahoma City, Tahlequah, Bartlesville and Guymon.
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