~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday August 27, 2007!A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- On the Horizon for this week leading to Labor Day...
-- Locate in 48- we spotlight Dr. Becky Brewer on Premise ID campaign!
-- Here a Click, There a Click- Pretty Soon you've got results for the Other White Meat!
-- The Value Cuts Revolution- it has changed the beef business for the better!
-- Fewer Farmers Equals a Decline for Rural Oklahoma- So Says the President of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative
-- Groundbreaking TODAY at the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture for a Brand New Lab!!
-- The Heavy Rains of August Show the Need for Upstream Flood Control; Over 300 New Dams have been Planned Statewide But Never Funded.
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On the Horizon for this week leading to Labor Day...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The last two weeks of August are the true Dog Days of Summer- and we are out of the office taking some vacation time. The miracle of the Internet means that even though I am thousands of miles from Oklahoma- I can still keep up with things that are going on that affect our farmers, ranchers and those involved in agribusiness.
One of the stories that we will have for you this week are details of a party planned this Friday for the 100th birthday of Haskell Cudd of Stillwater Milling. Mr. Cudd turns 100 this Friday- and a birthday party is planned for Friday at the OSU Conoco Phillips Alumni Center from 2 pm to 4 pm on Friday.
We did get several responses on our Beef Buzz from the end of last week that featured comments by Kay Johnson of the Animal Agriculture Alliance. She told us that "idealists" (her words) were among those who wanted to roll back the clock on animal agriculture and they were playing into the hands of those who have an agenda of ending animal agriculture as we know it. Well, as I mentioned I got several emails disputing Kay's view of agriculture as it is today. One of those who was not pleased with her views was Robert Waldrop, the President of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative. I am including Robert's comments in their entirety further down in this email. You be the judge.
Locate in 48- we spotlight Dr. Becky Brewer on Premise ID campaign!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Currently, Oklahoma has a little more than 10% of likely premises registered with the ODAFF. While that adds up to several thousand locations registered, State Secretary of Agriculture Terry Peach, State Vet Dr. Becky Brewer and many of the Livestock Groups in the state all agree- it's got to be a lot higher to help with disease traceback and also early notification in the case of disaster or other problems.
Dr. Brewer tells us that the agreed upon goal is to get to 25% of premises registered by the end of 2007- a very challenging number- and she tells us that Secretary Peach actually has talked about wanting fifty percent!!! In reality, that is still not really enough as our State Vet tells us that to really be effective in helping do a 48 hour disease traceback that you would need something in the neighborhood of 75 to 80% of the premises registered to have a good chance of doing an effective traceback job.
An Ad Agency has been hired- a web site has been set up and the push will be on the balance of the year to proclaim "Locate in 48!!!" We have an audio interview that we have done with Dr. Brewer linked below- and here is the link to the website, Locate in 48.
Here a Click, There a Click- Pretty Soon you've got results for the Other White Meat!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As the pace of change in today's high-speed Internet world continues to accelerate; innovative advertising options continue to evolve. With an increased online advertising presence in 2007, sites from Weight Watchers to All Recipes are offering new ways to spread the good news about pork. The popular All Recipes cooking Web site, which contains the largest online recipe database, has been a solid venue for pork advertising. Things really took off this year, when the Pork Checkoff sponsored an issue of All Recipes' widely-distributed e-newsletter. Unique visits to TheOtherWhiteMeat.com spiked to more than 20,000 the week the e-newsletter was distributed.
Also, pork is making headlines as "required eating" at the Serious Eats blog, which boasts more than 900,000 unique visitors each month. The blog's readers tend to be food aficionados who are serious about cooking. Ed Levine, who is the blog's author as well as the food editor for the New York Times, brings credibility to the site. "We also like working with Serious Eats, because they help disseminate information for our Web site throughout their loyal community of food enthusiasts," says Jeff Hartz, director of brand strategy for the Pork Checkoff, who notes The Other White Meat has been featured in Serious Eats' Required Eating blog six times while advertising was active.
The Pork Checkoff also continues to invest advertising at online search engines like Google, which have proven successful at delivering consumers to TheOtherWhiteMeat.com. Through keyword searches, sponsored links to the Pork Checkoff's consumer website appear when consumers search for competing proteins like beef , chicken, turkey or seafood, as well as preparation methods like grilling.
The Value Cuts Revolution- it has changed the beef business for the better!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The three value cuts that were identified almost a decade ago have moved the chuck from being a place to get more hamburger out of a carcass to a sub primal that offers more money back down to the producer.
Those three initial "Value Cuts" include the Flat Iron Steak, the Petite Tender and the Ranch Cut. We talk today on our Monday Beef Buzz with Bucky Gwartney of the NCBA about these three cuts, and how they have changed the beef business.
Our Beef Buzz is heard daily on radio stations through the Radio Oklahoma Network- and you can also hear today's report by clicking on the link below!
Fewer Farmers Equals a Decline for Rural Oklahoma- So Says the President of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's a long term trend that rural America has seen a decline in the number of those who are engaged in farming or ranching as their major method of making a living. And Robert Waldrop, the President of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative, writes us in an email that this trend is detrimental to the well being of rural areas of our state. He writes "For fifty years, the message to farmers has been "get big or get out". And what do we have to show for this? Frederick, Oklahoma, where I grew up, used to have four department stores downtown -- Norwoods, CR Anthony, Perkins Timberlake, and Pennys. Now there are none. Every time I go there to visit family, there are fewer stores downtown, there are fewer people in the town and in the county. "Bigger" farms equals "fewer farmers". And there is a direct connection between "fewer farmers" and the decline of rural Oklahoma.
"In the early 1980s, I was home for a visit and during a family meal, I asked about someone I used to date in junior high, we were in 4-H together. The table got totally quiet, and everybody stared at me. My grandmother said, "I'm sorry Bobby Max, I forgot you used to date her." And then the story came out. A couple of years previously, the family lost their land in a foreclosure -- part of that process of farms getting "bigger and more efficient" that you are apparently so proud of. Driven by grief and despair at losing her family's land that had been homesteaded by her grandparents, her mother committed suicide.
"Her mother was one of the pillars of that community. If a kid was selling magazine subscriptions, knock on her door. You always wanted her to come to your potluck dinner, because her casseroles were so tasty. She was a faithful adult volunteer for our 4-H club. She was in church every Sunday. She is also collateral damage -- one of the externalized costs of your "bigger and more efficient" farm program. She's not the only one either. When your accountants start counting the costs to communities and families of this "get big or get out" process, then you might be able to make a determination as to whether this is really more "efficient" or just the consequence of toxic government policies in farm country."
Groundbreaking TODAY at the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture for a Brand New Lab!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~New and Better- that sums up the soon to be built animal disease lab that state officials will break ground for today. The $11.3 million facility will rise up in front of the triangle building that is the State Department of Agriculture's home just north of the State Capital- with completion expected next fall.
This new laboratory will replace the outdated lab built inside the agriculture building in the early 1980s. Part of Governor Henry's 2006 budget, the new 37,593 square feet lab will have levels of Bio Safety from I to III. The old lab had minimal Bio Safety and therefore was limited in the types of analysis chemists could perform. This will also allow ODAFF chemists and analysts to perform disease testing on rabies, Select (dangerous) Agents, and will provide surge capacity in case the Oklahoma Health Department or OSU Animal Diagnostic Laboratories need assistance.
Lt.Governor Jari Askins, along with Secretary of Agriculture Terry Peach will help commemorate the moving ahead with this legislative priority from the last couple of years that is becoming a reality.
The Heavy Rains of August Show the Need for Upstream Flood Control; Over 300 New Dams have been Planned Statewide But Never Funded.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Recent flooding in Oklahoma has once again shown the need for the upstream flood control structures in our state said Scotty Herriman, President of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts. Oklahoma is home to more flood control dams than any other state in the Union but many planned flood control dams have remained on the drawing board due to the lack of federal funding.
"Once again we are seeing the need for the upstream flood control program in Oklahoma." Herriman said. "Earlier this spring and summer we saw how our existing flood control dams help by reducing the effects of flooding in the areas where they're located. Now we are seeing not only seeing this benefit again but we are also witnessing what happens when you have massive rains in areas were dams were proposed to be built, but where funding was never available. Clearly we have more work to do."
According to Herriman, over 300 dams are currently on the drawing board statewide awaiting funding for construction. This in addition to a study in the 1980's that outlined a series of 17 dams to be built west and south of the City of Kingfisher. All of these dams have suffered from the effects of the reduction in federal funding for new construction and planning of upstream flood control projects, Herriman said. "For the last few years the administration in Washington D.C. has proposed eliminating funding for the operation and planning of the upstream flood control program," Herriman said. "They have consistently proposed eliminating funding for this program, effectively killing any chance of building any of these important structures. Thankfully most of Oklahoma's delegation hasn't agreed with them, but it has been an uphill battle."
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