~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday September 4, 2008!A service of American Farmers & Ranchers, Johnston Enterprises and KIS Futures!
-- Small Town Gal Accepts Nomination to Be John McCain's Running Mate
-- The Palin Speech- No Mention of Ethanol or Biodiesel as a part of America's Energy Solution
-- Early Registration for State Women's Conference is This Week
-- Finding a Wetland Close To You
-- Chris Novak Selected as Top Hired Hand for Pork Board
-- Rain Makes Grain- If Given Enough Time
-- Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are proud to have KIS Futures as a regular sponsor of our daily E-Mail. KIS Futures provides Oklahoma Farmers & Ranchers with futures & options hedging services in the livestock and grain markets- Click here for their recent TV Commercial or call them at 1-800-256-2555.
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Small Town Gal Accepts Nomination to Be John McCain's Running Mate
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I suspect that many of you- whether you are Democrat or Republican, landed in front of a TV set somewhere last night to watch the coming out party for Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as she spoke to the Republican National Convention. It's easy to say what she is not- she is no Dan Quayle, Al Gore or Dick Cheney- or for that matter- Joe Biden. The first three- Vice Presidents all- and the fourth- a Vice President wanna-be, are all the ultimate Washington insiders- three of them former or current US Senators and the other a very long time political operative. It's safe to say they are the political status quo or establishment in a very real way.
However, Sarah Palin is not the status quo in Presidential politics- and one analysis of her after the extraordinary speech she gave last night seems point on- that the McCain camp is up on the "high wire" with this act in front of the entire country and the world- and her first performance on the "high wire" was close to perfect. This analyst wondered if she could stay up there without falling for the next couple of months- but clearly she changed the dynamic of the race unlike any Veep pick in recent memory has done.
I read a whole collection of reactions that the Wall Street Journal
received about Governor Palin- some coming in before the speech and some
after- and the overwhelming majority are pumped over this "pit bull with
lipstick" (her definition of what a Hockey Mom is) Patrick Cosgrove summed
up her "bond" that she seemed to establish with small town Americans last
night: "I live in a small town of less than 10,000 about 45 minutes
northwest of St. Paul, so I have a unique perspective on this convention.
I also have a 17-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old daughter who plays
hockey-meaning I'm married to a 'hockey mom.' I firmly believe that those
who live outside the bubbles of Manhattan, the Beltway, and L.A. see in
Sarah Palin someone they know and like. By playing down her 'small town'
experience, the bubbleheads tell 100 million Americans who build cars and
houses, and grow food and pay taxes in small town America that they just
don't matter. We are not fly-over country; we are the country."
The Palin Speech- No Mention of Ethanol or Biodiesel as a part of America's Energy Solution
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~While the Governor of Alaska called on America to Drill more, build more pipelines and produce more energy in a variety of ways- one disappointment to rural America was the lack of any mention of ethanol and biodiesel by name. Palin spoke of finding and producing more oil and gas, along with nuclear, solar, wind and "other alternative fuels" in order to find a way to get to energy independence from foreign countries that we buy crude oil from.
Earlier in the week, the Republicans voted to not support the
continuation of the Renewable Fuel Standard- saying that mandates should
not be in place to support renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel- but
rather, let the market decide if those products will live or die.
There is not unanimity among Republicans on ending the mandate, as farm state lawmakers in addition to President Bush oppose the platform language. ``I disagree with that part of our platform,'' said Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican who talked to reporters yesterday on a conference call. ``If we were going to have $140- a-barrel oil the rest of our life, we may not need mandates. But if we didn't have mandates, we wouldn't have the vibrant energy business we have right now.''
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~That was the name of an entry from a running commentary offered up by the National Journal and their coverage of the Republicans in St. Paul. It refers to the removal of the mandate language in the Republican platform that we mentioned above. Here's what the National Journal wrote as they gave a play by play of the huge party Tuesday night thrown by agricultural interests.
"More than 5,000 people attended the Minnesota Agri-Growth Council's $1 million AgNite party at the Theater de la Jeune Lune in Minneapolis on Tuesday night. It was likely the biggest and most expensive party of the convention and a proper tribute to the Midwest's huge agriculture industry. No tiny hors d'oeuvres for the aggies. Instead, they proffered pork chops on a stick (served with a single Michael-Jackson-like glove to keep your fingers clean), cream pies, and vodka made from Minnesota corn. But the celebratory atmosphere was marred by the news that John McCain, a longtime opponent of ethanol subsidies, had persuaded the delegates to adopt a platform provision ending a mandate on the use of the corn-based fuel in the U.S. gasoline supply. The Minnesota Corn Growers were one of the "platinum" sponsors of the event (a contribution of at least $75,000, we hear) but its members were shaking their heads and considering breaking with their usual Republican voting pattern. Matt Hartwig of the Renewable Fuels Association said that it was "inconceivable that the Republican Party would adopt a platform limiting the energy options available to the American people."
Early Registration for State Women's Conference is This Week
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's Fifth Annual Statewide Women in Agriculture & Small Business Conference will be held on September 18 & 19, 2008 at the Moore Norman Technology Center located at SW 134th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Oklahoma City. It is presented by the Great Plains Resource Conservation and Development Association along with the USDA Risk Management Agency.
This years theme is "Managing Risk Successfully". This conference will address personal, family, business and agriculture issues that present unique challenges to women. Attendees will receive handouts and educational materials during the conference. Every breakout will focus on providing helpful information that will assist women as they work to be successful in their endeavors.
You can save $5.00 on registration if you do so by this Friday, September 5. We have our calendar linked below- scroll down to September 18 and then click on the Statewide Women's Conference on Agriculture for registration information, the full agenda and a lot more.
Finding a Wetland Close To You
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's possible in 155 counties across six states, courtesy of the Playa Lakes Joint Venture, a group that is a non-profit partnership of federal and state wildlife agencies, conservation groups, private industry and landowners dedicated to conserving bird habitat in the Southern Great Plains. Their territory includes about the western half of the state of Oklahoma.
What is a playa? I'm glad you asked- based on their website, this group says that "Playas are shallow, seasonal wetlands that lie in the lowest point of a closed watershed. Their basins are lined with clay soil, which collect and hold water from rainfall and runoff events. Playas are the center of biodiversity on the plains, supporting more than 200 species of birds and other wildlife. Playas are also the primary source of recharge for the Ogallala Aquifer, a 174,000 square mile groundwater formation that supplies nearly 100 percent of the High Plains water needs."
Five Oklahoma counties that fall in the group's territory currently have their wetlands mapped. Those five counties include the Cimarron, Texas and Beaver Counties in the Panhandle, as well as Harper and Jackson Counties in the western part of the main body of the state. We have the link below that will take you to their webpage, where you can click and get these five counties, as well as look at 150 other counties that are mapped in Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kansas and Texas.
Chris Novak Selected as Top Hired Hand for Pork Board
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The executive director of the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana's corn organizations has been selected to be the new chief executive officer of the National Pork Board. Chris Novak led the merger of two soybean organizations and helped build partnerships between Indiana's soybean, corn and livestock commodity organizations. He also worked to secure passage of a new state corn checkoff.
The President of the National Pork Board, Steve Weaver, a pork producer from Elk Grove, California, says - this is a challenging time for the U.S. pork industry, but also a time of great opportunity. Weaver says - I and my fellow National Pork Board members are so excited to have someone with Chris Novak's experience and abilities to work with us in meeting those challenges and identifying opportunities on behalf of all U.S. pork producers.
Weaver said Novak will begin his National Pork Board duties October 1. He replaces Steve Murphy, who announced his resignation in January and who has continued to serve while the board searched for his replacement. Novak, who was a state FFA officer as a youth, has a bachelor's degree from Iowa State University, a law degree from the University of Iowa and an executive master's degree in business administration from Purdue University.
Rain Makes Grain- If Given Enough Time
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As we write this early Thursday morning, there is a huge green blob that covers a lot of Missouri, Iowa and Illinois this morning- and just a bit of Indiana(at least on the radar- it is showing up as green). If those rains are significant, they will be greeted in the corn and soybean belt as a most welcome visitor. I talked with a fellow farm broadcaster from Indiana earlier this week- and he lamented the non existence of precipitation during the month of August. He added the corn and especially the soybean crop really needed rain to have a chance at hitting expected yields.
Meanwhile, it remains dry in the northern part of the corn and soybean
belt- and the crops are well behind normal.
The dry weather pattern is also affecting soybean conditions, particularly in the northern states. "We do see in Michigan and Wisconsin now 29% of the soybeans rated very poor to poor," Rippey says. "We've seen some increases in other states as well including Indiana at 18% and Ohio at 23% very poor to poor."
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