~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday November 17, 2008!A service of Johnston Enterprises, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers!
-- Oklahoma Farm Bureau Honors Farm Family and YF&R Winners
-- Bart Chilton and Carole Jett Lead Review of USDA for Obama Camp
-- Researchers Have Developed Test to Identify Curly Calf Syndrome Within Angus Breed
-- At $4.61 per person- the 2008 Thanksgiving Meal is Still a Bargain
-- The "Ten Day Rule" Problem has Been Resolved- So Says State Lawmaker Dale Dewitt
-- Kansas Farm Bureau Offers Video to Explain Quality Care of Farm Animals
-- Cow Power Growing- But What is That Smell?
-- 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 American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as a regular sponsor of our daily update- click here to go to their AFR web site to learn more about their efforts to serve rural America!
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Oklahoma Farm Bureau Honors Farm Family and YF&R Winners
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Oklahoma Farm Bureau has named as their 2008 Farm Family of the Year Scott and Carol Dvorak of Noble County. The Dvorak's were married in 1978- began farming that same year and now have an operation that includes 720 acres of land they own, another 3,000 acres of rented land. Crops include wheat, corn, alfalfa and prairie hay. The hay helps feed their 145 head cow herd.
You can read more on the Dvorak family and hear comments from Scott by clicking on the link at the bottom of this story.
Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Farm Bureau honored two young farmers with
state honors during the 67th annual meeting of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau,
now underway in Oklahoma City. The farm group selected Scott Storey
of Stillwater to win their Young Farmers and Ranchers "Excellence in
Agriculture" award. This award is given to young people who are under 35
years of age- engaged in farming or ranching but whose primary occupation
is not farming or ranching.
The YF&R Achievement Award Winners for 2008 are Jack and Jodi Simmons from Adair County. This award goes annually to what is considered the top young farm family for their achievements in the farm and ranch business as well as their leadership in the agricultural community. Their operation includes 1,300 acres near Stilwell where they run cattle, produce hay and run a liquid feed business.
Bart Chilton and Carole Jett Lead Review of USDA for Obama Camp
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Review Team for the Environment and Natural Resources for the Obama Administration in waiting includes a career USDA Conservationist and a Clinton Administration staffer who has ties to the National Farmers Union and is currently a member of the Commodity Futures Trade Commission.
Obama's agriculture review team will be led by Commodity Futures Trading Commission commissioner Bart Chilton, a former senior adviser to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), one of Obama's closest counselors. He also served as a lobbyist for the National Farmers Union, working under Tom Buis when he was first elected to the Presidency of the National Farmers Union at the beginning of this decade.
He'll be aided by Carole Jett, a conservation policy consultant on Obama campaign's agriculture team who served as farm bill coordinator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. She donated first to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), then to Obama during the Democratic presidential primaries.
Researchers Have Developed Test to Identify Curly Calf Syndrome Within Angus Breed
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The American Angus Association has reported progress in tracking down the mutant gene that has caused what has been called "Curly Calf Syndrome" that was discovered earlier this year in several Angus calves. Jim Shirley, Vice President of Industry Relations, says that Dr. Jon Beever of the University of Illinois has developed a test that seems to be very accurate and has tested a total of 736 bulls who have semen available from five major A.I. companies that service the beef breed. Of those 736, 63 bulls have been discovered to have the genetic trait in their makeup, and are capable to passing it to their offspring.
That includes the patriarch bull GAR Precision 1680, identified as a carrier early on by Dr. Beever in his research in advance of this test being developed. One of 16980's prominent sons, CA Future Directions 5321, who is also on the list of 100 greatest Angus bulls of all time along with his sire, is also a positive in the test.
We have more on this story- including comments that we got from Jim Shirley this past week on these developments, and a link to the full list of 736 bulls they have checked and their status regarding this gene- click below to jump to that story found on WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com
At $4.61 per person- the 2008 Thanksgiving Meal is Still a Bargain
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We talked with AFBF Economist Jim Sartwell about the Farm Bureau's annual Thanksgiving dinner cost estimate for 2008 while he was in Oklahoma for the 67th annual meeting of the OFB. For a meal that will feed ten adults, AFBF estimates that the cost of buying all the fixings at the supermarket across the US is an average of $44.61.
He says all items in the survey was up a little compared to one year ago except for a gallon of milk, which was cheaper than a year ago. Sartwell points out the 2008 meal, if you take out inflation, is actually cheaper than 20 years ago. The American consumer continues to have safe and affordable food being produced by the American farmer and rancher.
We talked with Sartwell about the survey, as well as food prices in general and market strategy back on the farm and ranch for our cattle producers. That full conversation is available to hear by clicking on the link below.
The "Ten Day Rule" Problem has Been Resolved- So Says State Lawmaker Dale Dewitt
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have learned there is an agreement that includes Lawmakers, State Secretary of Education Sandy Garrett, the State Supervisor for Ag Education and the State High School Coaches Association regarding the so called "ten day rule." In previous years, the State Department of Education had dictated that schools should follow the policy of limiting excused absences for out of school learning experiences like speech contests, livestock competitions and athletic competitions.
The agreement, that was reached about a week ago, shortly after the elections, saw State Education Secretary Garrett agree that the state would allow local school districts to interpret the rule in such a way that would be beneficial to their students best interests, without the state dictating which activities would be exempt or not exempt.
One of the lawmakers involved in this process was former Ag Education teacher Dale Dewitt of Braman, who has served this past session of the Chairman of the Natural Resources Umbrella Committee. We talked with Representative Dewitt about this meeting of the minds on this subject while he attended the banquet of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau on Saturday. You can hear his comments by clicking on the link below.
Kansas Farm Bureau Offers Video to Explain Quality Care of Farm Animals
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In the aftermath of California voters approving a law banning the practice of confining certain animals raised for food, the Kansas Farm Bureau is launching a TV documentary that addresses the perceptions that helped push Proposition 2 into the rule books. KFB's "The Care & Feeding of Farm Animals" showcases the care involved in raising farm animals. Featuring Kansas producers, the documentary examines the economic impact associated with growing negative perception related to animal husbandry.
On the Kansas Farm Bureau website, they write "People's attitudes toward eating are changing. The ways consumers think, act and react to their food and the animals it comes from impact everything associated with it - starting with the farmer who raises the animal. The men, women and families who raise farm animals care about their health and well-being. They care, because healthy animals mean healthy food."
Our neighbors to the north have this video production on their statewide Public TV system tonight- and have been distributing DVDs to their county Farm Bureaus. I'm not sure if they will be selling these for farm groups to use outside of Kansas or not- but we have linked a page on their site that tells about the production- and offers a link to a video preview.
Cow Power Growing- But What is That Smell?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Central Vermont "Cow Power" program is touted as being the nation's first manure-based farm-to-consumer energy program. Begun in 2004, the program continues to grow. The most recently added membership is the U.S. Forest Service's Rutland headquarters. Forest Service Supervisor Meg Mitchell says - enrolling in "Cow Power" had a great impact. We are supporting a working landscape, helping to improve water quality and removing methane from the atmosphere.
The Cow Power process is simple: manure and other agricultural waste are held in a sealed concrete tank at the same temperature as a cow's stomach, 101 degrees. Bacteria digest the volatile components, creating methane and killing pathogens and weed seeds. The methane, which is roughly 20 times more harmful than carbon dioxide in trapping heat in the atmosphere, fuels an engine/generator.
CVCP customers can choose to receive all, half or a quarter of their electrical energy through Cow Power, and pay a premium of 4 cents per kilowatt hour. That fee goes to participating farm-producers, to purchase renewable energy credits when enough farm energy isn't available, or to the CVPS Renewable Development Fund. That fund provides grants to farm owners to develop on-farm generation. Farm-producers are also paid 95 percent of the market price for all of the energy sold to CVPS.
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Looking at our Agricultural Markets...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Woodward livestock market sold 7,155 cattle this past Friday, with Feeder steers steady- as were the sales of calves. Five to six hundred steers brought from $99 to $113.75, with some value added calves bringing $107 to $125. Yearling steers weighing seven hundred to nine hundred pounds came in from $97 to $102. For the full Woodward report- it should be available after 8 AM central- click here.
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