~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday October 24, 2007!A service of Cusack Meats, Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma & Midwest Farm Shows
-- WRAPPED UP! TCFA's Annual Meeting, that is.
-- WIPED OUT! No more beef to South Korea likely to be shipped here in 2007!
-- European Animal Welfare based on "The Five Freedoms"
-- State Inspected Meat Plants to be Allowed to Ship Beef across State Lines- Deal is in place in the Senate.
-- ARRIVED- We are in Indy!
-- By Request- The Drake and Spradling Interviews are on Front Page of our Website
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud to welcome Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma as a regular sponsor of our daily email update. Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma has ten branch offices to serve your farm financing needs and is dedicated to being your first choice for farm credit. Check out their website for more information by clicking here!
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There is no official word why or for how long- but apparently the mark up session for the 2007 Farm Bill planned by Senator Tom Harkin and his Senate Ag Committee has been postponed. A single word was attached to the website of the Committee sometime last evening Washington time- and few other details are available.
There are several things that we have heard rumbling around. One is as simple as the fact that the Appropriations Bill that Harkin has been managing on the floor is still not complete- and that he can't do both- and he is not willing to turn over the reins of either job to someone else.
Fundamental to the debate on farm policy is that several Democrats are very upset with Harkin over the lack of reform that he has embraced in the 2007 Farm Bill's Chairman Mark- that they especially wanted to see something done on payment limits and that those concerns have forced the postponement. As we mentioned- NO indication as to if this is a postponement of a few hours today- could stretch out a lot longer- it is a blow to getting a Farm Bill Deal out of Committee and through the Senate in a reasonable amount of time that would allow a Conference Committee to be appointed to begin work with the House as early as the middle of next month.
WRAPPED UP! TCFA's Annual Meeting, that is.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The 2007 Texas Cattle Feeders Association annual meeting wrapped up yesterday after their Closing General Session with three high powered beef industry providing updates on the international beef market scene and a market update and how to strategize in the face of current market conditions. TCFA represents the cattle feeding end of business in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
The group also heard from its Executive Officer- President of the group, Ross Wilson. Ross provided an overview of a whole host of issues that the group has had an active hand in during the last twelve months including environmental issues, animal care, the 2007 Farm Bill and Biofuels- plus a bunch more. We talked with Ross exclusively after the meeting was over and have that conversation available for you to take a listen to- we highlight some of the major themes of interest to the cattle feeding community.
Walter Lasley of Stratford, Texas is their new Chairman of the TCFA board, replacing Don McCasland of Clovis, New Mexico who has served over the last year. Bob Fanning of Buffalo was one of several feedlot operators that was honored as he rotated off of the board of directors after several years of service. They announced that their next annual meeting will be in the Dallas Metroplex at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine early November of 2008.
WIPED OUT! No more beef to South Korea likely to be shipped here in 2007!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The inability of our beef packers to ship totally boneless beef to South Korea has given the Koreans the opportunity to decide almost at any point of their choosing when to declare they have found another hunk of bone in a box of beef from the US and most recently, declared that they were no longer going to inspect any beef from the USA until a new protocol is negotiated. That was several weeks ago and we now get the word from Dr. Chuck Lambert of USDA that the South Korean Ministry of Agriculture does not want to touch the issue until after the December 19th elections in that country. Lambert says that his counterparts in South Korea had Legislators in that country harassing them over the beef issue- and in fact the lawmakers delayed the Ag Ministry's budget because of this most recent meeting of about a week ago with Lambert and Bruce Knight of USDA.
He indicated that the South Koreans are interested in accepting boneless and bone-in beef from the United States- but they want to pick and choose what they think is a Specified Risk Material- ignoring what the OIE has listed as SRMs based on sound science regarding BSE.
The same is true with Japan- they are willing to move the standard from 20 months to 30 months or younger as a part of their protocol- but again the SRMs don't line up with what the OIE calls sound science. USDA is pushing on these countries and others to get to the OIE guidelines in regards to BSE- but it has been a difficult sell, especially in the Pacific Rim. We have our full conversation from Tuesday with Dr. Lambert linked below- we concentrate on Korea and Japan in our visit with him.
European Animal Welfare based on "The Five Freedoms"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Executive Director of the Oklahoma Pork Council, Roy Lee Lindsey, Jr., has been keeping us up to date on his travels in Europe last week and this week- and I found his comments on animal welfare in Europe most interesting.
Roy Lee writes "This morning (Monday) we met with officials from DG
Sanko - the European Union's Directorate on Public and Animal Health. They
gave us an overview of their ongoing animal welfare strategy and their
animal health strategy. With the challenges US pork producers are facing
from animal activists about the use of gestation stalls, it was a very
interesting discussion of animal welfare. The EU animal welfare strategy
is based on the "5 Freedoms" - freedom from discomfort; freedom of
natural behavior; freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from pain,
injury and disease; and freedom of fear and distress.
Roy Lee and this group of US Pork Industry Leaders also have met with leadership from the Danish Pork Producers- and they talked about exports- the Danes export about 90% of their production- of course, Denmark is a very small country. And, they talked about what the Europeans feel is their biggest problem right now- rising feed grain prices.
State Inspected Meat Plants to be Allowed to Ship Beef across State Lines- Deal is in place in the Senate.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A group of farm, consumer, union and government associations have agreed to a legislative compromise that would allow previously state-inspected, smaller meat processors to ship their products across state lines. Under an agreement that is expected to become part of the U.S. Senate Farm Bill, the plants would operate under the requirements of the Federal Meat and Poultry Inspection Acts. Their products would bear the USDA inspection seal and could be sold in interstate commerce.
A spokeswoman for Senator Tom Harkin says that she expects this deal to be included in the mark up of the 2007 Farm Bill in the Senate.
There are many parts to this compromise but among the things that key
players have agreed to include:
The National Farmers Union and NASDA- the State Associations of State Departments of Agriculture- were among those who helped broker this deal. Consumer groups and the Union that represents Federal workers also participated in the process.
ARRIVED- We are in Indy!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We got in late last night with a plane full of FFA members from all around country as we flew from San Antonio through Chicago and down to Indianapolis. We will begin the task of chasing down some of the great stories about our Oklahoma youth over the next few days- but one FFA Dad provided this to me in an email this past Monday and I wanted to share it with you as an example of the impact on the lives of our young people that FFA can have.
Dennis Schoenhals with Farm Credit of Enid writes us: "When you are in Indianapolis this week I hope you run into my son Ty Schoenhals and his buddy Ty Zaloudek from Kremlin. They belong to the Kremlin-Hillsdale FFA Chapter and were the state winners of the Agri-Science Fair Division last spring during the state convention. This week they are representing Oklahoma and are competing during the National Convention for the top national award in that Agri-Science Fair Division. They will tell you they have worked up a very informative project on water quality. You may not know but the Kremlin-Hillsdale FFA Chapter is only beginning it's third year, yes, we have only had FFA for a little over 2 years."
Just think- three years ago- nobody from this school was involved in
the FFA- this year- they have kids with the chance to compete for NATIONAL
honors- learning skills that will last them a lifetime!
By Request- The Drake and Spradling Interviews are on Front Page of our Website
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I have had a couple of folks who have had trouble in getting the links working on one or the other of the interviews that we did with Oklahoma Farm Bureau Presidential contenders Mike Spradling and Bob Drake.
We have checked the links and have added them both to our Top Agricultural News Section of our front page of our web site, WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com. Go to the link we have provided below- and you will see the paragraph either at the top or close to the top of the Headline listing. Click on the name of the candidate to download the MP3 file of the conversation that we have with both Bob and Mike.
They are running for the top spot of the general farm organization next month as Steve Kouplen, the incumbent, will be "term limited" out as of this convention.
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