~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday February 27, 2008!A service of National Livestock Credit, American Farmers and Ranchers & Midwest Farm Shows
-- Huge Opportunity for High Quality Beef In China- Benoit Rossignol
-- Humane Society Questioned By Congress About Sitting on Video of Downer Cattle.
-- Agents of Farm Bill Change Continue to Promote Their Ideas of Spending the Farm Bill Pot of Money
-- USDA Sending out Second Mailing on 2007 Ag Census.
-- Peanut Industry Attempting to RIse Again with First Ever Oklahoma Peanut Expo
-- Purebred Sale Reminder for Glover Cattle Company and Blackjack Angus...
-- From Shanghai to Seoul- OALP Moves On...
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Huge Opportunity for High Quality Beef In China- Benoit Rossignol
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Benoit Rossignol of Shiyao Investments was one of the more intriguing presenters who spoke to Class 13 of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program. His comments, in Shanghai, were centered on meat and livestock production and consumption in China.
Rossignol told OALP that pork is the mature meat of choice in China- and is easily the most consumed protein in the country. Along with poultry, both are stable "mature" markets in the most populated country in the world. He sees beef as having incredible upside in China- and believes that the US will have the chance to be a player in selling beef into China.
Rossignol confirmed what we saw earlier in the trip at the feeding operation outside of Beijing that the genetics of the cattle herd in China need upgrading- and that the limitations of what is now being produced will result in a demand for high quality beef from the restaurants and hotels in the major Chinese cities. He also sees demand potential in the second and third tier cities in China in the years to come- cities with names none of us know.
At the link below- scroll down the page to the February 25 entries- there you will find both an audio conversation that we had with Benoit as well as his Power Point presentation that you can download.
Humane Society Questioned By Congress About Sitting on Video of Downer Cattle.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The website Meatingplace.Com is reporting that Congressmen repeatedly questioned a representative of the Humane Society of the United States on Tuesday about why the group did not immediately inform USDA of video evidence workers were abusing downed cattle at Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co.
At a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on food safety, Michael Greger, HSUS director of public health and animal agriculture, said the San Bernardino District Attorney's office asked the group to hold the information until it completed its own investigation. The congressmen, however, said HSUS could have discretely gone to USDA earlier than it did.
Members of the subcommittee, which is chaired by Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), used the hearing as an opportunity to renew calls for: banning all meat from downer cattle from the food supply, mandatory traceability standards, mandatory recall authority for USDA and the Food and Drug Administration and the creation of a single food safety agency. William Marler, a Seattle lawyer who represents victims of foodborne illnesses, however, suggested USDA might have actually gone too far with the Hallmark recall. "Although stunned by the video, I am more stunned that the recall has ballooned to 143 million pounds of meat and is quickly encompassing products that might contain trace amounts of the meat. No people have been sickened. I wonder if resources are better spent elsewhere," he testified before the committee.
Agents of Farm Bill Change Continue to Promote Their Ideas of Spending the Farm Bill Pot of Money
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Congressman Ron Kind found little traction last year for his farm bill proposals that would sharply lower spending in the traditional farm programs and shift that money to other priorities that he has identified- some into conservation and other dollars into nutrition and specialty crops. Kind has sent a "Dear Colleague" to the other members of Congress- saying his ideas will not spend more than the budget baseline and will reform farm policy.
Congressman Kind writes "Raising taxes during a time of record farm income and wealth to increase subsidies - including unlimited subsidies for wealthy landowners - during a time of increasing economic uncertainty and mounting deficits makes little sense. We have identified ten common sense proposals that would allow conferees to develop a Farm Bill that makes needed investments and provides support to family farms through minor reforms of existing Farm Bill programs while rejecting costly new programs."
The Congressman wants to end direct payments to at least corn and soybean producers, dramatically lower the payment limit cap, would say "no" to permanent disaster and more. We have his letter and his ten points he is pitching to fellow lawmakers linked below- click and take a look.
USDA Sending out Second Mailing on 2007 Ag Census.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Many of you filled out your 2007 Ag Census forms already- but others have not- and USDA is making a second effort to get a census into their hands and at the top of the stack of mail.
Those individuals who did not turn in their information by the original due date will receive another copy of the form in the mail to give them another opportunity to respond. This second mailing should arrive in mailboxes of Oklahoma producers after February 25, 2008. If you receive one of these forms in the mail, please take a few moments to respond to this critical assessment of agriculture - the development or continuation of an agriculture resource may depend upon your response.
"Accurate and comprehensive information from all farmers is important, no matter how big or small, so it can provide a true picture of where U.S. agriculture is today and help people plan appropriately for the needs of agriculture in the future," says Wilbert Hundl, head of the NASS office in Oklahoma. "This information is gathered only every five years, so we need the participation of every ag producer to ensure they receive a planning tool that will provide them with the most benefit and value."
Peanut Industry Attempting to RIse Again with First Ever Oklahoma Peanut Expo
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A record peanut yield in 2007, coupled with early, higher-priced contracts for 2008 have Oklahoma farmers re-thinking peanut acreage for this spring's planting. Worldwide demand for agriculture products continues to grow, providing farmers a choice among several good crop alternatives. Every crop planted this year will be competing for acres. In an effort to assist farmers in evaluating production and marketing opportunities for 2008, the Oklahoma Peanut Commission, OSU Extension and Sheller interests in the state have collaborated to host an inaugural Oklahoma Peanut Expo on March 7. The 10am to 3pm event will be held at the Quartz Mountain Resort, 18 miles north of Altus and is open to everyone with an interest in peanuts.
Leading Peanut Industry experts will address Farm Bill policy and Peanut Outlook issues affecting state producers. OSU's peanut improvement team will address economics, variety recommendations, production tips including disease-weed management and distribute a pocket-sized Peanut Production Guide. Expectations for 2008 will be addressed by a producer and sheller panel focusing on opportunities for peanut expansion in Oklahoma. As well as an overview of cooperative promotion, research and education efforts of the National Peanut Board and the Oklahoma Peanut Commission.
An exhibit area will provide opportunities for farmers to visit with input suppliers and post equipment for sale or trade. Conference registration is free and includes lunch. For additional information, call 405-275-5994.
Purebred Sale Reminder for Glover Cattle Company and Blackjack Angus...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Next week, our friend Eddie Sims has a couple of outstanding cattle offerings that he is working with- one next Wednesday and the other on Saturday. We have a link below for the National Cattle website that has the catalogs for both of these offerings.
The first offering is the Glover Cattle Company Angus Bull Sale on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 12:30 p.m. It will be held at the Stockman- Oklahoma Livestock Auction, Apache, Ok Ronnie Glover will be selling 85 registered Angus bulls. All cattle will be at Auction barn by noon next Tuesday for your inspection! Prior to that time they can be seen at the ranch, located 3 miles w of Elgin on US Hwy 277 to Jake Dunn Rd, 1 1/4 miles s. For more information on these cattle, call Ronnie Glover at 580/595-1494 or Eddie Sims- his number is 580/595-1626.
The second sale that Sims has brought to our attention is the Blackjack Angus Farms Annual Bull Sale that comes up on Saturday, March 8, 2008 in Seminole, Ok 12:00 noon at the farm, located at 35824 EW 1140 in Seminole Blackjack will be selling 64 performance-tested registered Angus bulls and 75 open commercial heifers. For details, go to the National Cattle website at the link below and take a look at the online catalog for Blackjack- or call Keith Grissom at 405/997-9678.
From Shanghai to Seoul- OALP Moves On...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We will be meeting in just a little while with several key players for US agriculture here in South Korea. The At Trade Officer for the US Embassy in Seoul is Stan Phillips- and he will be dialoguing with the class about the opportunities to sell into the South Korean market- and Phillips will have with him reps from US Wheat as well as the USMEF. The Meat Export Federation presentation will be of special interest as we continue to wait on Korea to recognize the OIE ruling of last May that calls the United States a limited risk country- when it comes to BSE. Korea currently is taking no beef from the US, but the new President of the country wants the issue resolved in short order.
As we have traveled with this Ag Leadership group over the last week and several days- we have been in some of the biggest cities on earth- places that have three, four and five times the number of people that we have in all of Oklahoma. It's clear that that there will be opportunity to sell both ag commodities as well as value added farm products into this part of the world for decades to come- if we can adjust our thinking of how to be successful in Asia to their mindset and culture. That's the value of a trip like this- it's not about the sightseeing or meetings that we conduct- it's about absorbing how huge the market and the opportunities are- and beginning the journey of meeting their needs. It's not likely that the big profits are in bulk commodities- it's the niches we can find for higher value goods that will make us money.
I needed to do some work for this email and for our radio shows when we
arrived in Seoul- and so I separated from the group and rode with van
driver David and some of our luggage into Seoul. It took at least an hour
to get from the airport to our hotel on the south side of the city of some
14 million- and when I got to the Hotel- I was hungry- so I went down the
street about three blocks and landed at a Korean chain called Mr. Pizza. I
am in my 50s- and I was far and away the oldest person in this packed out
restaurant that has as its slogan "Mr. Pizza- Love for Women." I tried
their thin crust special- which had a couple of different pork toppings-
plus some veggies and cheese- it had virtually no tomato sauce on it. The
food was good- a little pricey but not far out of line- I paid a little
under twenty dollars for the pizza and a Coke- but the experience of just
sitting and watching the Koreans that surrounded me was priceless. They
were young professionals, lots of laughing, talking on their cellphones
and they were all taking their time- no rushing in and rushing out- it was
a social stop for them on a Tuesday evening- and they were in no hurry.
The other thing that I noticed on our drive in- huge numbers of Coffee
shops. We passed one Starbucks- but there were at least eight or nine
other local shops up and down this one upscale street that we drove slowly
along in rush hour traffic- I suspect they are social meeting spots as
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