~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday April 22, 2009A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program Participants Enter "Waterworld" as a part of their April Seminar
-- Dusti Fritz Leaves Kansas Wheat- Hooking up with the National Sorghum Checkoff
-- Thanks for your Horse Nominations for the Southern Plains Farm Show
-- EPA Offers Praise for Oklahoma Water Quality Efforts
-- Rural Development Monies Shoveled Out the Door by USDA's Tom Vilsack
-- The 83rd Annual Convention of the Oklahoma FFA- Less Than a Week Away
-- Private Treaty Bull Sale Happening During the Southern Plains Farm Show
-- 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 proud 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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Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program Participants Enter "Waterworld" as a part of their April Seminar
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Water Rights, water research and water litigation will all be a part of the menu today for the April session of Class 14 of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program. One of the highlights of the day will be lunch with Attorney General Drew Edmondson, who's office is suing the Poultry industry for pollution in the Illinois River watershed. That court case is supposed to go to trial this fall.
On Thursday, the focus becomes the state legislative process as they spend time at the state capitol- and meet with two alums of the program that are now members of the State Legislature, Senator Mike Schulz and Rep Eddie Fields.
You can take a look at the program and what it is up to here in 2009 by jumping to their website- we have it linked below.
Dusti Fritz Leaves Kansas Wheat- Hooking up with the National Sorghum Checkoff
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The United Sorghum Checkoff Program is pleased to welcome new Director of Western States Field Services, Oklahoma native Dusti Fritz of Wamego, Kansas. With prior experience as Chief Executive Officer for the Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, Fritz's great leadership ability and producer knowledge will serve her well in her new role with USCP. As Director of Western States Field Services for the USCP, Fritz will be responsible for program development as well as research, market development and communications for western sorghum producing states.
"We are very excited to have Dusti join us as Director of Western States Field Services," said Virgil Smail, USCP Executive Director. "Her strong background in association and commission management as well as in checkoff work will give us the needed experience to run our programs from Kansas to California efficiently for the betterment of the sorghum industry." Prior to serving in her position as CEO, Fritz served as interim administrator of the Kansas Wheat Commission where she was responsible for managing the Commission's budget, initiating policy development, advising the Board of Directors, and planning and implementing market development initiatives.
Dusti writes in an email to wheat industry officials that "My tenure as CEO of Kansas Wheat ends on May 15, although I'll continue as Interim CEO part-time until June 30 to ensure a smooth transition." She adds that this career move will benefit her family as it will allow her to work from home.
Thanks for your Horse Nominations for the Southern Plains Farm Show
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Southern Plains Farm Show gets underway on Thursday- and several horses were selected by the Show from nominations selected by our listeners and readers to be a part of the twice daily horse training sessions that will be conducted by Scott Daily of Arkansas City, Ks.
We talked with John Sampson about the horses selected for the 2009 Southern Plains Farm Show- and he gives a complete rundown in our audio conversation found on our website- click on the link below to jump there.
EPA Offers Praise for Oklahoma Water Quality Efforts
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma efforts to address non-point source pollution through voluntary, locally-led means has been singled out for praise by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a recent report on agriculture activity in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, and New Mexico according to Trey Lam, President of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts (OACD). Lam said the report once again shows the willingness of farmers, ranchers and other landowners to protect our natural resources. "We are extremely proud of this work highlighted for praise by the EPA," Lam said. "This report helps show how, when given the chance and when given technical and financial help from the state and federal governments, Oklahoma ag producers will answer the call to protect our environment."
According to Lam, the EPA Region 6 Report on Agriculture highlighted efforts in three priority watersheds in Oklahoma; the Fort Cobb watershed and Arkansas River watershed in Western Oklahoma and the Illinois River watershed in Eastern Oklahoma. In the report EPA praised the reduction in nutrients, pesticide levels, and soil particles in these watersheds, highlighting the work of landowners, the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and local conservation districts to address water quality issues through cooperative, voluntary means.
The report comes on the heels of recent data showing additional water quality success in the Eucha-Spavinaw watershed and the Illinois River watershed. Recent findings made by the Oklahoma Conservation Commission and certified by the EPA show a reduction of 66% of phosphorus loading levels in the Beatty Creek sub-watershed of the Eucha-Spavinaw watershed and a phosphorus loading reduction of 71% in the Peacheater Creek sub-watershed of the Illinios River, reductions attributable to voluntary cost-share efforts made by the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, local conservation districts and NRCS through programs such as EPA Clean Water Act Section 319, the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Oklahoma Conservation Cost-Share Program. These programs work by having the government share the cost with landowners to install best management practices, helping offset the cost to the landowner in installing the practices necessary to address water quality issues. Technical Assistance for the programs is also provided by NRCS and Conservation Commission staff to help landowners properly design and install these improvements.
Rural Development Monies Shoveled Out the Door by USDA's Tom Vilsack
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Water availability and quality will be improved in 56 communities in 34 states thanks to loans and grants totaling over $140 million. The funds come from USDA for infrastructure improvements. In making the announcement, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack pointed out that Earth Day is the perfect time to highlight President Obama's efforts to reinvest in and rebuild America's rural communities. These construction jobs will benefit local suppliers and contractors, which Vilsack called a very good thing, particularly in rural communities struggling with high unemployment. "This will hopefully lead to additional business development and growth, additional population expansion that leads to new housing, new businesses being formed and existing businesses doing even better" said Vilsack.
None of the projects are in either Oklahoma or Texas. We have the full listing of both the grants and the loans in the news release issued by Uncle Sam on Tuesday- click on the link below.
The 83rd Annual Convention of the Oklahoma FFA- Less Than a Week Away
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~More than 10,000 Oklahoma FFA members representing 355 high school agricultural education programs are expected to attend the 83rd State FFA Convention, April 28- 29, at the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City. This year's convention theme is Step Up, Stand Out. Click here for the Convention Agenda.
The Oklahoma FFA Foundation has raised $240,000 this year from sponsors who will provide cash awards, scholarships, plaques and honor banquets to award winners and degree recipients. Title sponsors of the convention are Blue & Gold Sausage Company, CEV Multimedia, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, and the Oklahoma Ford Dealers.
We have more on the state convention on our website- we talked a couple
of weeks ago with the State President for this year- Chelsea Clifton of
the Kingfisher FFA. Our link below will take you to that interview.
Private Treaty Bull Sale Happening During the Southern Plains Farm Show
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma Simmental Simbrah Association is holding a Private Treaty Bull Sale, starting tomorrow, April 23 through the 25th during the Southern Plains Farm Show at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, Ok.
There will be about 25 bulls available for sale from Simmental breeders across the state. Performance data will be available- first come first served- just come in, pick out your bull, load and go.
The bulls will be on display out on the parking lot in pens built close to the Travel and Transportation Building. For more information, contact Jeff White at 580-839-1337.
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Let's Check the Markets!
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