~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday April 30, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Amy Peel Elected as new President of the Oklahoma FFA for 2009-2010
-- Dedication of the Oklahoma Department of Ag Multi Million Dollar Lab
-- More US Beef to the EU? It May Become a Reality.
-- Oklahoma Pork Council Reminds One and All- It's Not Swine Flu
-- Congressman Frank Lucas on the List of Lawmakers Meeting with Farm Broadcasters in Washington
-- Farm Bureau Wants E15 as the Standard Gasoline/Ethanol Blend
-- 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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Amy Peel Elected as new President of the Oklahoma FFA for 2009-2010
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Amy Peel, member of the Wetumka FFA chapter, has been elected President by the delegates to the 83rd Annual Convention of the Oklahoma FFA and will lead the more than 24,000 members of the Association for 2009-10. The 19 year old Peel will serve a second term as a state officer in the coming year, after her tenure as Southeast District Vice President the past twelve months.
Seven additional FFA members will join Peel on the 2009-10 Oklahoma FFA officer team: McKenzie Clifton, Kingfisher FFA, secretary; Tara Burchfield, Fairview FFA, reporter; Robby Branscum, Fort Gibson FFA, northeast district vice president; Josh Goff, Woodward FFA, northwest district vice president; Kelli Shenold, Ripley FFA, central district vice president; Ariel LeForce, Broken Bow FFA, southeast district vice president; and Emily Beanland, Hollis FFA, southwest district vice president.
Dedication of the Oklahoma Department of Ag Multi Million Dollar Lab
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It was a exciting day for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture as ribbon cutting ceremonies marked the opening of the brand new state of the art Laboratory that has been built as an add on to the Agriculture building just north of the State Capitol.
The dedication of the new Agricultural Laboratory comes just 20 months after the initial groundbreaking ceremony held on this location. Built for a cost of $11.3 million and containing an additional $2.5 million in new equipment, this state-of-the-art facility is already attracting national attention and brings Oklahoma to the forefront of agricultural analysis. Mike Talkington, the Director of the Lab, told us on a tour of the facility on Wednesday that this provides Oklahoma a public lab that matches up with any private or public lab in the country when it comes to working with agricultural materials.
We have more on this story- an audio overview and pictures to share with you of the Dedication Day at the new state of the art Lab at ODA. Click on our link below to jump to our page on this story on our website.
More US Beef to the EU? It May Become a Reality.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Could a deal with the European Union over hormone implanted beef be closer? The US beef industry is hopeful that a new deal can be put in place that will allow US beef back into the European Union market in larger quantities than at any time since the 1980s.
Gregg Doud of the NCBA joins us for our Thursday edition of the Beef Buzz, and he says this may move from the status quo where the US Beef industry prevailed in first a GATT ruling and later a WTO ruling against the Europeans over their illegal blocking of US beef for more than 20 years- but yet has never received any benefit from those rulings- into a situation where at least we get some EU access.
The Europeans have expressed interest in accepting larger quotas of beef not produced with hormone implants in exchange for the US dropping their other tariffs that were allowed under the WTO ruling against the trading bloc.
Oklahoma Pork Council Reminds One and All- It's Not Swine Flu
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Oklahoma Pork Council is now calling the influenza outbreak the H1N1 flu, aligning with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other government agencies that begun referring to the virus by its viral strain. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Tuesday that the virus should not be called "swine flu" because there is no indication that any swine from the United States has been infected. "This really isn't swine flu." Secretary Vilsack said. "It's H1N1 virus. That's very, very important. And it is significant, because there are a lot of hardworking families whose livelihood depends on us conveying this message of safety.
"This new flu virus has not been found in pigs so there is no reason to be concerned about the safety of eating pork," said Roy Lee Lindsey, executive director of the Oklahoma Pork Council. "We hope changing the name to the more appropriate H1N1 flu will help consumers understand that the current flu outbreak is not associated with pork."
Earlier, the World Organization for Animal Health, also known as the OIE, had recommended renaming the current influenza because it contains avian and human components and because no pig has been found to be ill. The OIE, which manages the fight against animal diseases globally, compared its preference for a geographic naming of this influenza to the Spanish influenza, a human flu pandemic with animal origin that killed more than 50 million people in 1918-1919. "The virus has not been isolated in animals to date. Therefore, it is not justified to name this disease swine influenza," the Paris-based organization said in a statement.
Congressman Frank Lucas on the List of Lawmakers Meeting with Farm Broadcasters in Washington
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~While we were unable to be there when Congressman Frank Lucas was on the program to meet with the National Association of Farm Broadcasters on Wednesday morning in Washington(we came home early to be a part of the Oklahoma FFA Convention in OKC)- we do have information on some of the Congressman's comments to the broadcast journalists.
Lucas, the Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee, says the Waxman/Markey climate change proposal is the front runner to be considered by the House. A major component of this legislation is cap and trade. Lucas says he has very serious concerns about cap and trade and its impact on rural economies. He says it is nothing more than a national energy tax, and the effects will be far-reaching to businesses, consumers, and even more so to rural America.
Before we left Washington on Tuesday to head back to Oklahoma, we stopped and visited with Congressman Lucas about several issues- including Cap and Trade. He told us that he is not convinced that Democratic leadership will be willing to go slow on this program, as they need the tax dollars it will generate to pay for huge programs they have on their wish list- especially nationalized health care.
Farm Bureau Wants E15 as the Standard Gasoline/Ethanol Blend
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The American Farm Bureau Federation says the federal government should increase the ethanol blend level to 15 percent, which will promote environmental protection, help create jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil. In a letter sent to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, the farm organization said - increasing the ethanol blend level to 15 percent from the current level of 10 percent is critical to the sustained health and expansion of corn and cellulosic ethanol production in the United States.
In its response to a request for public comments on a proposed waiver of the Clean Ari Act, Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman wrote - increasing our use of domestically produced biofuels is key to helping improve our nation's energy security. Stallman continued, - if recent events have taught us anything it is that our nation should develop energy resources right here at home.
Farm Bureau believes increasing the blend ethanol level shows our nation's commitment to renewable fuels as we work to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A total of 4,413 cattle were on hand at OKC West in El Reno on Wednesday, with yearling cattle called steady to $2 lower. Our market reporter adds "Stocker cattle and calves lightly tested in the number one muscled category and steady. Demand good for grazers. Cattle futures closed stronger today despite the sharp advances made in the corn market. Quality of feeder cattle average to attractive with several load lots available off wheat. Quality of stockers and calves plain to average. Warm front moved north across the state leaving heavy rains over much of southern and eastern Oklahoma." Click here for the rest of the El Reno market report including actual prices from the Wednesday sale.
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