~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday December 30, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- As We Close Out 2009- We Offer You Our Top Ten Farm Stories
-- Topping 2009- Story Number Ten- The White House Changes Hands- and So Does USDA
-- 2009 Stories of the Year- Number Nine: Frank Lucas Becomes Top Republican on House Ag Committee
-- Top Stories of 2009- Number Eight: HR 2151 Becomes Law, Setting Oklahoma Department of Ag as Legal Entity to Establish Animal Well Being Standards for Oklahoma
-- Top Stories of 2009- Number Seven: Many Oklahoma Wheat Farmers Opt Into ACRE program
-- Top Stories of 2009- Number Six: Issue 2 in Ohio Wins with 800,000 Vote Cushion
-- In Other Farm News- Obama Officials Blast Taiwan for Backing Up on Opening Market to US Beef
-- Let's Check the Markets!
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. We are pleased 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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As We Close Out 2009- We Offer You Our Top Ten Farm Stories
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Today and tomorrow, we will offer you what we have picked as the top ten stories of 2009 for the world of farming and ranching as it relates to Oklahoma's ag industry. Several of these stories that we will relate to you are national stories- others are state specific- and I know there are other stories that were also very important over the course of the year- but for better or worse, we have our thoughts about ten of the most impactful stories of the year.
Today we have stories number ten back down to number six- then on Thursday, we will conclude with the five through number one stories of the year that is now only hours away from being done.
We have talked about all of these stories at some length on a daily basis with you here on this email- have reported about them on our website and of course, on the number radio network in the state, the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network.
Let's get started with story number ten!
Topping 2009- Story Number Ten- The White House Changes Hands- and So Does USDA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Changing of the Guard is Story number 10 for the year 2009. With the election of Barack Obama, the Democrats take over the White House early in the year- and that means a Democratic Secretary of Agriculture- former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack. It also means back in Oklahoma- the changing of the guard at FSA and Rural Development. Francie Tolle is eventually named as State FSA Director- taking the job that was held during the George W Bush era by Jim Reese. Ryan McMullen leaves the Oklahoma legislature and becomes the Oklahoma head of Rural Development- taking the position that was held by Brent Kisling.
We went back into our archives and have a story for you from last January as Secretary Vilsack met with the agricultural media for the first time as USDA Secretary. He talks about a variety of issues- we reported on that and have the hard copy, as well as an audio report for you to go back and take a listen to. Consider what he told reporters then- and how it squares up with the end of year one for the Obama USDA team.
2009 Stories of the Year- Number Nine: Frank Lucas Becomes Top Republican on House Ag Committee
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Story number nine of 2009 is the official word that Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas becomes the ranking minority member of the House Ag Committee. Lucas, a farmer/rancher from Roger Mills County, takes the position vacated by Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, who was term limited out of the leadership position.
Lucas quickly established himself as a loud advocate for the farmer and ranchers of this country. He argued strongly against the Climate Change Legislation in the House, and has also worked on a variety of other issues over the course of these past 12 months.
Click on the link below to go back and listen to some of the first thoughts that Congressman Lucas had for us after he was officially made the new ranking member of the US House Ag Committee.
Top Stories of 2009- Number Eight: HR 2151 Becomes Law, Setting Oklahoma Department of Ag as Legal Entity to Establish Animal Well Being Standards for Oklahoma
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As we select the top stories of 2009, the number eight position is held by the passage of HR 2151 at the Oklahoma Legislature in the spring of the year. We have a story from May that describes the final bill and has reaction from one of the key players in getting this bill across the finish line- the Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Don Armes.
HB2151 mandates that the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture is the legal entity in the state to oversee animal well being issues in Oklahoma. State lawmaker Don Armes says this new law sends a message to animal rights activists about how the legislature feels about protecting animal agriculture in the state.
Click on the link below to remember the language as passed by the House and Senate- and to listen to comments from Armes on this historic piece of legislation regarding animal care in the state.
Top Stories of 2009- Number Seven: Many Oklahoma Wheat Farmers Opt Into ACRE program
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It was truly a multi million dollar move by several thousand Oklahoma wheat producers. Almost ten thousand Oklahoma wheat farmers stepped out from the traditional farm program that was once again offered in the 2008 farm law- and placed their farm into the ACRE optional program for the life of the farm law. While this program could not make farmers whole after the horrible wheat crop of 2009- it was an incredible "perfect storm" farm program payment chance for those farmers who were willing to switch.
Payment estimates were all over the place- but OSU, industry and federal government officials said that many Oklahoma wheat farmers were staring at payments from $40 to $70 per acre- based on the 2009 crop. It was a huge decision- but for those farmers that were willing to run the numbers- they were able to capture more federal payments than staying with the traditional farm safety net that was offered in the 2008 Farm law. The only trick is- the monies that farmers are likely to get won't show up until 2010.
Dr. Michael Dicks of OSU called the sign up of nearly 10,000 Oklahoma
wheat producers into the ACRE program remarkable. "I simply can't tell you
how amazed I am at what has occurred. This is truly an "outlier" and I
hope everyone that played a role understands just how remarkable it is to
get 9500 people into a new program. Compare this to the roughly 9400
people that enrolled in the first CRP sign-up nation-wide."
Top Stories of 2009- Number Six: Issue 2 in Ohio Wins with 800,000 Vote Cushion
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We look eastward to Ohio for Top Story of 2009 Number Six- the Passage of Issue 2 in Ohio. This measure amended their state constitution and created a Livestock Care Standards Board. In doing so, Ohio agriculture banded together and won an issue that was opposed by the Humane Society of the US.
HSUS had threatened to go into Ohio and do a ballot initiative like they did earlier in California to force their view of animal care on the livestock industry. Ohio agricultural groups banded together and assembled a coalition that won a convincing victory back in November.
We have our story linked below from November after the Ohio Issue Two win. HSUS has since threatened to go in and try to place on top of this new Animal Care Standards Board rules that they like on how animals should be treated- but getting their way in Ohio will be a lot more difficult with the Standards Board up and running.
In Other Farm News- Obama Officials Blast Taiwan for Backing Up on Opening Market to US Beef
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Office of the United States Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Agriculture today released a brief statement regarding the Taiwan Legislative Yuan's completion of initial steps toward passing an amendment to Taiwan's Food Sanitation Act that bars import of some U.S. beef and beef products. The following is part of a statement from Deputy United States Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis and Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Jim Miller:
"We are deeply concerned and disappointed by reports that Taiwan's
Legislative Yuan has taken initial steps toward the passage of an
amendment to the Food Sanitation Act that contains provisions that would
unjustifiably bar the import of certain U.S. beef and beef
The statement urges Taiwan's leaders to rethink this regulatory matter- and use sound science and not emotion as the final standard. Click on the link below to see the full statement that was issued on Tuesday afternoon.
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REMEMBER- We will continue our listing of the Top Stories of 2009 on Thursday with stories, five, four, three, two and one- this coming in our December 31st daily Farm and Ranch News Email.
Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We've had requests to include Canola prices for your convenience here- and we will be doing so on a regular basis. Current cash price for Canola is $8.20 per bushel, while the 2010 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $8.35 per bushel- delivered to local participating elevators that are working with PCOM.
Here are some links we will leave in place on an ongoing basis- Click
on the name of the report to go to that link:
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