~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday January 14, 2008!A service of Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma, KIS Futures & Midwest Farm Shows
-- 125 Oklahomans among those at the 2008 American Farm Bureau meeting.
-- Not Quick or Easy- the 2008 Farm Bill Process Grinds Along...
-- Read His Lips- Today's Speech is being brought to you by the letters, V, E, T and O.
-- Kathy McNally on the Move From Farm Bureau to OSU.
-- Rural Fire Departments Picked up their One Ton Pickups this past Friday!
-- "Powerful Beefscapes" Now Available to View Online
-- This Week- Events from New Orleans to Guymon to Bartlesville and more...
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 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 website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.
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125 Oklahomans among those at the 2008 American Farm Bureau meeting.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The American Farm Bureau was supposed to be in New Orleans this time last year- but because of the cleanup from Katrina that was in process at that time- the general farm organization put off for a year coming to the big Easy and instead went to chilly Salt Lake City instead. Well, here in 2008, they are back to what has been thus far the sunny south as about 5,000 farmers, ranchers and their families are in New Orleans cooking up policy for their group and a lot more this week.
We were a part of the Oklahoma breakfast on Sunday morning and afterwards we had a quick conversation with President of the OFB, Mike Spradling, that we have linked for you to check out below.
Spradling indicated that AFBF this week would be honoring Steve Kouplen, immediate Past President of the OFB, for his years of service on the Board of Directors of AFBF- and that he would be going onto the AFBF board during this meeting.
AFBF calls their trade show a "Showcase" and as you walk into that trade show space- you can smell cinnamon rolls being baked in the oven trucked down to New Orleans by the Oklahoma Wheat Commission and served by members of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau- in a booth sponsored by OFB. Based on the lines backed up from the booth, it is one of the most popular stops in the 2008 Showcase.
Not Quick or Easy- the 2008 Farm Bill Process Grinds Along...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The 2007-2008 Farm Bill is the topic that has squeezed most of the other issues out at this annual meeting of the American Farm Bureau. They are talking about other issues- rising commodity prices and input costs, estate planning and a lot more- but it always comes back to the farm bill.
Lobbyist Mary Kay Thatcher says that she simply does not see a quick resolution to the farm bill process- that it could easily be April before we finally get everybody on the same page where the President has a bill he can and will sign. At the top of the "to do" list for Colin Peterson, Tom Harkin and other members of the Conference Committee is to figure out how to pay for a farm bill that leaves most of the goodies promised in the House and Senate versions but at the same time can avoid a Presidential veto- which is being tossed around like a hot potato.
Speaking of the Conference Committee, it may be the end of this month before we have all Conferees even named, with the House back this week and Senate not back in Washington until next week. We have an informal news conference with May Kay linked for you to listen to below- she knows and understands the process- so what she says makes a lot of sense as to how events could well unfold.
Read His Lips- Today's Speech is being brought to you by the letters, V, E, T and O.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~He's not as wild eyed or hairy as we often imagine the prophets from Old Testament times- but Acting Secretary Chuck Conner may have about as thankless a job as any of the guys from Biblical days that spoke of the wrath of God coming down because of your transgressions. In this case, the transgressions are how the House and Senate Farm Bills are funded and the wrath is the veto pen of President George W. Bush, who has figured out in the last year that there really is ink in that pen reserved for veto purposes.
If you listened to Mary Kay's comments from the story above, you heard her speak of three major talking points that this prophet carries who has traveled up the mall to Capitol Hill- speaking his message to just about anyone he can gain an audience with- that the Bush Administration does not like the "budget tricks" and tax increases that this bill contains- and that they do not like the ability of rich Americans to get farm program payments.
Conner spoke his message to the AFBF convention- and while there were
no boos, this was no love fest between Conner and the membership of the
group here in New Orleans. He also spoke with reporters after his speech,
and we got an interesting clarification on what the Administration would
propose the low payment limit means test of no farm program payments for
those who have an "AGI" on you tax form of $200,000 or more. Conner says
that you have to hit that level or higher three years in a row before you
would loose your farm program benefits. He was also asked about timing,
whether Members of Congress could bypass him and get a better deal by
going to the President direct(the answer to this one was a resounding NO),
and about the realities of the permanent farm law of 1949 that sits like
the elephant in the room that no one wants to see or admit is
Kathy McNally on the Move From Farm Bureau to OSU.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~After 32 years with the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Kathy McNally will leave the general farm organization at the close of business on Friday- and begin a new position next Monday in Stillwater on campus with the Division of Agriculture at Oklahoma State University. McNally will take on the challenging position of Director of Development in the Dean's office in the Division of Agriculture as she will work with both DASNR and the OSU Foundation.
This is a position that has been held by several folks in recent years- Kathy mentioned them as she thanked the Oklahoma Farm Bureau for honoring her at their breakfast meeting in New Orleans on Sunday morning at the AFBF annual convention. On that list of others who have served in this position is Milford Jenkins, Gary Sherrer and Francie Tolle. The position has sat vacant since Tolle left OSU and took the Policy Analyst Position with the American Farmers and Ranchers last summer.
I would offer one tidbit that many folks in Oklahoma don't know- Kathy
comes from a family that were innovators in agricultural broadcasting, as
her dad Howard Heath was the founder of an agricultural radio broadcast
network in the state of Michigan- and much loved by the farm families of
that state. When I first came to Oklahoma- about the same time that Kathy
began her career at Farm Bureau, we discovered that we had that common
link of farm broadcast- and she tells me that for years and years- when
she was at national AFBF meetings- various folks from Michigan would come
up to her and say something to the effect "I know you- you are Howard
Rural Fire Departments Picked up their One Ton Pickups this past Friday!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Rural fire departments across the state are receiving 120 new fire-fighting vehicles through the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry. The new Ford one-ton trucks began being picked up today. "The $2.5 million the legislature appropriated for this new equipment is greatly appreciated will strengthen our rural fire departments' ability to protect Oklahomans," said State Secretary of Agriculture, Terry Peach.
Rural fire coordinators from across the state accepted applications for the vehicles. The coordinators made recommendations on which departments should receive the vehicles based on a number of factors including the conditions of vehicles the departments owned, the number of fire responses made, the number of citizens served and location.
Departments receiving new trucks will also get new radios provided through a federal grant. The fire departments are responsible for equipping the new vehicles with fire fighting apparatus such as water tanks, pumps and hoses.
"Powerful Beefscapes" Now Available to View Online
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We wrote last week about the new direction for the beef advertising efforts that are funded by beef checkoff funds. This is a print and radio campaign that is getting underway as February issues of top national magazines hit the newsstands. National radio ads will start airing a week from today. Billboards will also be utilized as an extension of the print campaign.
The ads revolve around seven "beefscapes" that have been crafted to look like memorable landscape scenes- from the mountains to the prairies to the ocean(can you hear Kate singing God Bless America?)- with each of these images based on a lean beef recipe.
As we wrote about the campaign last week- the samples of the ads- print and radio- were not available on any of the beef industry's websites- but they finally showed up at the end of this past week. So, we have linked them for you and you can judge for yourself. Personally, I prefer the ads that have an extra line of description that help send you on your journey into the land of lean beef- the one that grabbed me was "Come back to a place where the currency is sirloin and the local time is always dinner." With the "cliffs" overlooking the "ocean"- it's kinda like the culinary version of Jurassic Park.
This Week- Events from New Orleans to Guymon to Bartlesville and more...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Check out our calendar page for a variety of events that are planned for this week that Oklahoma farmers and ranchers are involved in. We have the link below for our calendar on WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com so go and check it out.
A new event that we finally got some details on for 2008 happens in just a couple of weeks. We are talking about the 30th Annual Western Oklahoma All Breed Bull Sale. It scheduled for February 2, 2008 at 12:00 Noon, in Cheyenne, OK, at the County Ag Pavilion on the west side of town. They will have 72 bulls consigned.
There are Herefords, Shorthorns, Angus, Limousin, Red Angus, and several popular Crossbred bulls.Call Lynda Lucas 580/497-7366 or Earl Bottom 580/831- 0633 for more info.
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