~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday April 3, 2008!A service of National Livestock Credit, KIS Futures & the Southern Plains Farm Show!
-- Paul Hitch the 11th Inductee into the Oklahoma Ag Hall of Fame.
-- Oklahoma Farm Bureau Wrapping Up Time in DC.
-- Bush Administration is also Concerned that Congress Can't Finish the Farm Bill Deal.
-- Andy Grosetta on the Real Agenda for the Humane Society Video from California Packing Plant.
-- Hope Pjesky Beginning Her Eisenhower Fellowship in Asia This Week.
-- Selman Ranch Receives High Distinction for Bird Conservation
-- Cash Cattle Trade Already Done for the Week- $2 Lower on Fats.
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 website or call them at 1-800-256-2555.
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Paul Hitch the 11th Inductee into the Oklahoma Ag Hall of Fame.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Lt. Governor Jari Askins today inducted the late Paul Hitch, Guymon livestock producer, farmer and agribusiness leader into the Oklahoma Agriculture Hall of Fame and presented his family with the Governor's Outstanding Achievement Award in Agriculture. Hitch was a fourth generation Oklahoma agriculturist in Texas County. His great grandfather, James K. Hitch drove cattle from Missouri to the area near present day Guymon. Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture, Terry Peach, said that cattle drive was the beginning of one of the state's largest agricultural legacies.
"The Hitch family has always been pioneers in terms of recognizing opportunity, having the vision to capitalize on it and the courage to embrace new technologies and ideas in agriculture," he said. "People such as Paul and his family are one of the reasons Texas County is the number-one agricultural county in Oklahoma and is always one of the top 10 agricultural counties in the nation." Hitch was nominated for the award by the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association and the Oklahoma Pork Council. He passed away last month after a lengthy battle with cancer.
While we were in transit from Washington back to Oklahoma and could not attend the presentation, we do have comments with Chris Hitch as Radio Oklahoma Network newsman Calvin Wright covered the event for us- click below to take a listen to Chris as he reflects on this award and remembers his dad.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau Wrapping Up Time in DC.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~One of the clearest messages that members of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau were able to deliver this week to Washington in talking with Congressmen, Bush Administration officials and even their own lobbyists is that "it's time" to get a farm bill now.
One of the OFB delegation that expressed it very well in meetings at the American Farm Bureau headquarters in Washington was Jimmy Kinder of Walters, who raises wheat and has a cattle operation as well. Kinder says that we are actually looking at a situation where southern plains wheat farmers are a full year behind and more- as we are already having to make decisions about rotations of spring crops for this year that have impact for the 2009 winter wheat crop.
Kinder is especially worried about the ability of the local Farm Service Agency offices to be able to cope with a new rules and regs for the 2008 crop year- he says that significant changes will be almost impossible to implement in a timely manner, because of the procrastination of Congress in getting new farm policy in place here in recent months. You can hear our conversation with Jimmy Kinder as we have placed it on our website and have it linked from there below.
Bush Administration is also Concerned that Congress Can't Finish the Farm Bill Deal.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner says - it is preposterous - not being able to find 10 billion dollars in fund offsets, out of a three trillion dollar federal budget. Conner believes most producers want a reform minded farm bill. And they would say cut the programs and get this thing done.
What about the offsets? Mr. Conner says the list of offsets identified by the Administration and committees of Congress could pay for a new farm bill with 19 billion dollars in offsets. So far. Mr. Conner says there have been no requests from Congress for additional offsets to be identified by the Administration.
USDA's Chief of Staff Dale Moore talked about the farm bill dilemma and more as he addressed the Oklahoma Farm Bureau delegation earlier this week. After his visit with the OFB, I teamed up with Sam Knipp of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Communications Staff for an audio conversation that we have to share with you- click below to take a listen.
Andy Grosetta on the Real Agenda for the Humane Society Video from California Packing Plant.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There have been a lot of people who have questioned why the Humane Society of the US delayed for months the release of video tape they covertly obtained inside the Hallmark-Westland Beef Processing Facility in Chino, California that shows abuse of certain cows that appear to be "downers." The HSUS claims they were concerned that USDA would bury the incident and just offer a slap on the wrist to the company unless they were able to wait for an opportune time to maximize the publicity impact of the video.
Well, Andy Grosetta, President of the NCBA, calls it an unfortunate incident that should not have happened, but one that is being exploited to the max by those who want to do serious harm to the animal agriculture business.
Our conversation with Andy is the basis of today's Beef Buzz, which we have linked up on our website on the Beef Buzz page. However, we had more comments with Grosetta than we had time for in today's Beef Buzz- and we have our complete Q&A on this subject with Andy linked below for you to hear- he thinks that this is an issue that could well decide the survival of the cattle business as we know it in the years ahead- click below and take a listen!
Hope Pjesky Beginning Her Eisenhower Fellowship in Asia This Week.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have reported to you earlier about this Fellowship awarded to Hope Pjesky from north central Oklahoma, which has resulted in plans for a trip to three Asian countries for a total of some seven weeks- starting yesterday.
Pjesky, who farms with her husband Ryan near Goltry, has a blog set up for this journey in Asia- and she write in her first post about the goals and her objectives for these seven weeks- "I have two topics that I want to study on my fellowship. They are Food Safety, Defense and Traceability and International Agricultural Trade Policy. In many ways these two issues have become linked in recent years. Within the Food Safety, Defense and Traceability topic, I am interested in learning about ways that we can protect American agriculture and the food supply from possible agriterrorism events. International trade is essential to maintaining a healthy agricultural sector in the United States. Domestic agricultural policy decisions are also increasingly being influenced by international trade policy. This fellowship will give me an opportunity to better understand the differences in how developed nations (USA and Japan) and developing nations (Thailand and Malaysia) view agricultural trade issues. I hope to look at all sides of these topics and develop a first-hand, comprehensive understanding of how these issues are handled in Asian countries."
Hope tells me that she hopes to post regularly- and that her first post from Japan may be in place sometime today. I have linked the Blog for you below- and we will from time to time remind you about it and update you on how Hope is getting along in her lengthy journey.
Selman Ranch Receives High Distinction for Bird Conservation
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Selman Ranch near Buffalo, Oklahoma has three generations of conservation history. The ranch was recently honored as the first and only Important Bird Area, or IBA, in the state by the Oklahoma Audubon Council. IBAs are a distinction given by the National Audubon Society to identify and conserve areas vital to birds and biodiversity.
The Selman Ranch is extremely favorable to Lesser Prairie-Chickens and other grassland birds. Sue Selman, owner and operator of the ranch, was proud to have her ranching operation recognized. Selman says that she knew she had a special place for wildlife- and she is committed to keeping her place a welcome place for multiple species of birds on her 14,000 acres of native prairie.
Selman has a Lesser Prairie-Chicken Festival set for this Saturday and Sunday on her Ranch. You can contact the Ranch- we have their website linked below- or you can call Dwayne Elmore in the OSU Natural Resources, Ecology and Management Department in Stillwater at 405-744-9636. We also have an audio feature from the Playa Lakes Joint Venture that promotes conservation in the southern great plains- click here to take a listen to comments from Sue Selman.
Cash Cattle Trade Already Done for the Week- $2 Lower on Fats.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~John Harrington of DTN offers these thoughts on this Thursday morning after we saw cash cattle trade in the southern plains down to $86.00. "What a bearish shocker. Apparently spooked by sharply lower live futures and the inability of box demand reflect seasonal optimism, feedlot managers wasted no time throwing in the towel as early as Wednesday. Moderate trade volume surfaced in all areas (though Nebraska was more active than the South) with lower prices (i.e., mostly $86 live, $2 lower; mostly $138 dressed, $3 lower). Although showlists are not cleaned-up and more volume is possible Thursday and Friday, our guess is that the lion's share of business is already done for the week. Indeed, packers may need to slow chain speed over the next several days in order stabilize wholesale prices."
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