~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Friday October 19, 2007!A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Switchgrass Seems to be Yummy- So Say Surveyed Cows!
-- A Word From Major Ag Groups to Senate Ag Committee- Get Something to the Floor- AND Passed!
-- Pork Leaders Talking Global Trade Rules- and Roy Lee is a part of the team!
-- Virgil Jurgensmeyer Named to National Mushroom Board.
-- A Busy Friday as Conservation Leaders Host Bus Tour to Caddo County- And Wheat Leaders Show Moroccan Buyers Around.
-- Early Registration Extended for State Agritourism Conference Planned for Ardmore Next Month.
-- The RON Road Tour Back in Gear Next Week- as We Remember the Alamo and Look for a Checkered Flag in the Brickyard!
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Switchgrass Seems to be Yummy- So Say Surveyed Cows!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Noble Foundation is working on considering switchgrass as a suitable pasture grass for cattle production here in the southern plains. The idea, according to Dr. Joe Bouton, is to get farmers experience in growing the grass- and as cellulosic ethanol opportunities come on line- farmers and ranchers will then have a potentially lucrative market for ethanol.
Dr. Bouton says that he believes that there will be a "tipping point" where we see regional plants needing feedstock for a cellulosic ethanol production- and they will make it a profitable part of a farming/ranching operation to be growing Switchgrass on some of their acres.
At this week's Oklahoma Biofuels Conference, we talked with Dr. Bouton about Switchgrass- what we know about it thus far and what the potential is once we nail down the technology and make producing ethanol from this crop commercially viable. You can hear our conversation with Joe by clicking below.
A Word From Major Ag Groups to Senate Ag Committee- Get Something to the Floor- AND Passed!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A Baker's Dozen Farm and Commodity groups have written Senator Tom Harkin of the Senate Ag Committee, urging the Senator to waste no more time on getting his version of the 2007 farm bill marked up and passed through Committee- and then moved to the Floor and blessed by the Senate before November 16. That date was cited as a potential adjournment date for the Senate for the year- and the groups says we have to have a bill through the Senate so that a Conference Committee can be appointed and work can proceed towards a final measure yet this calendar year.
The letter is short and sweet and goes as follows-
Groups that signed and sent the letter include the National Association of Wheat Growers, the National Cotton Council, National Sorghum Producers, National Association of State Departments of Ag and the National Farmers Union.
Pork Leaders Talking Global Trade Rules- and Roy Lee is a part of the team!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma Pork Council Executive Director Roy Lee Lindsey, Jr. has emailed us from Geneva and provides an update on a National Pork Producer Trade Mission that is happening this week and into next week in Europe- advocating what the pork industry feels is needed to make the WTO world trade deal a good one for hog produces and the pork business here in the United States.
Roy Lee writes " Our group is made up of pork producers from across the country including several representatives of entities that have operations in Oklahoma. There are a number of NPPC staff members here and I am the only representative of state association staff from across the country. This is the first policy mission NPPC has conducted and it appears that we are in Geneva at just the right time.
"We had lunch today (Thursday) with US Ambassador Peter Allgeier and
Joe Glauber, Lead US negotiator for the Doha Round. Our conversation with
Ambassador Allgeier and Mr. Glauber focused on stressing the need to get a
good deal for US pork as work continues on the Doha Round.
"Friday we are meeting with WTO Director General Pascal Lamy and representatives of the Canadian pork industry. Over the weekend we'll be traveling to Brussels and getting ready for meetings with representatives of the EU countries pork producer associations."
Virgil Jurgensmeyer Named to National Mushroom Board.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner today appointed four members to serve on the Mushroom Council- including a new board member that hails from the Sooner State.
Virgil Jurgensmeyer of Miami, Oklahoma, the newly appointed member for Region 1, will serve a two-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2008 and ending Dec. 31, 2009.
Authorized under the Mushroom Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act of 1990, the Mushroom Council -- composed of fresh market producers or importers who average more than 500,000 pounds of mushrooms produced or imported annually -- administers a national promotion, research and consumer information program to maintain and expand markets for fresh mushrooms.
A Busy Friday as Conservation Leaders Host Bus Tour to Caddo County- And Wheat Leaders Show Moroccan Buyers Around.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Conservation officials with the Oklahoma Conservation Commission and the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts will be escorting state lawmakers to Caddo County today- to show the need firsthand of emergency monies to repair conservation work wiped out by the heavy rains of earlier this year.
We reported to you this week that the two groups have estimated up to $30 million worth of repairs and renovations are needed to get us back to where we were at the beginning of 2007- especially when it come to flood control structures that were severely stressed by heavy rains and what a lot of folks are calling our "inland hurricane" of August here in the state. Oklahoma Conservation Commission Executive Director Mike Thralls tells us that a meeting this week with Governor Brad Henry went well as Oklahoma's Chief Executive was briefed on the extent of the losses and the need for a major infusion of cash soon for rehabilitation of our conservation improvements.
Meanwhile, Mark Hodges, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, has been busy this week as he has helped host a group of Moroccan Wheat Millers and Buyers in Hard Red Winter Wheat Country. Mark tells us on the phone from Kansas City on Thursday that the team is concerned about available supplies- and at what price those supplies will be selling for as the marketing season moves to tighter and tighter stocks between now and our harvest next June.
Early Registration Extended for State Agritourism Conference Planned for Ardmore Next Month.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma Agritourism Director Abby Cash says that they have set the routes and stops for two tours to select from on the sixth of November that are being held as a part of the State Agritourism Conference November 6 and 7 in Ardmore- one of the tours will go north from Ardmore and includes the following stops-
Pecan Valley Inn Bed & Breakfast, Davis, OK
-Echo Canyon Spa Resort, Sulphur, OK
-Chitwood Farms, Hickory, OK
-Peach Crest Farm, Stratford, OK
-Valley Vineyards & Winery, Pauls Valley, OK
-All About U Ranch & Outfitters, Wynnewood, OK
The second tour will go south and will include the following
Early registration has been extended to October 25- we have a link on our website on the Calendar page that gets you more information and contact numbers. Follow the link below- scroll down to the November events and click on the Agritourism link!
The RON Road Tour Back in Gear Next Week- as We Remember the Alamo and Look for a Checkered Flag in the Brickyard!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We will be heading to a pair of meetings of importance to Oklahoma agriculture this coming week- heading first to San Antonio and a Riverwalk stop at the Texas Cattle Feeders Association's annual meeting this coming Monday and Tuesday.
TCFA represents feedlots in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma- and they have a outstanding lineup of speakers they will be hearing from- including the President of the NCBA, John Queen, Head of Cattlefax Randy Blach and the top hired hand of the US Meat Export Federation, Phil Seng.
Tuesday afternoon, we will be jumping from the Alamo city to the home of the Indy 500 and the 2007 National FFA Convention. A excellent group of young men and ladies wearing the Blue and Gold will be representing Oklahoma at this year's event- we have featured a pair of them with video segments in recent weeks- Laila Hajii of Guthrie- the National Officer Candidate from Oklahoma and Chelsea Clifton of the Kingfisher FFA Chapter- who will competing in the National Extemporaneous Speaking Contest this coming week in Indianapolis. Beyond these two young ladies- we have a lot of other great young people who will represent Oklahoma- and we have a link below of the list of those involved in national competition this coming week as they wear their Blue and Gold jackets.
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