~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday July 2, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Happy Fourth of July to You and Yours
-- Independence Day: Drills for the Grill
-- Eastern Oklahoma Supermarket Chain Goes With All Natural Certified Angus Beef
-- CSP Signup Expected Soon
-- President's Rural Tour Begins and Biden Announces Funding for Broadband
-- Oklahoma Gold and Oklahoma Super Gold- Both Still High Achivers for Oklahoma Beef Producers
-- A Little More on Wayne Pacelle of the HSUS and His Appearance on AgriTalk
-- 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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Happy Fourth of July to You and Yours
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We will not have a Friday July 3 email this week- as the country pauses and celebrates the birthday of the USA this weekend. Ag Futures markets are closed- as are most cash markets here at the end of the week that operate on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. We will return with our regular email information on Monday July 6.
One note to those of you that have Pioneer as your Internet provider. I understand some are getting the emails, others are getting them a day or more late and others are not getting them hardly at all. As you see these notes about Pioneer(the folks with a pldi.net email address- please let us know when you have problems and exactly what those problems are. I am planning over this weekend and into the first of next week to move all of our Pioneer email addresses to an alternate way of receiving this email- won't affect anything except hopefully except improve service to those with this address. One of our stories this week has been about money coming for rural broadband- perhaps some competition for your business as quality of service improves could be a good thing. Also- thanks to all of you that have contacted Pioneer and have read them the "riot act."
Independence Day: Drills for the Grill
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service has some great information on food safety and outdoor grilling as we had into the Fourth of July holiday weekend. These are things you might want to share with your friends and neighbors to make sure that as they grill the beef, pork or poultry that we producer- they have a great eating experience that is also very very safe.
A few of the tips that USDA wants everyone to remember include:
There's a lot more information that USDA has put together in a couple of news releases- we have details of all of this for you to review and to share with others that are consumers of our good Oklahoma farm producers this holiday weekend. Click on the link below- Enjoy- and be safe.
Eastern Oklahoma Supermarket Chain Goes With All Natural Certified Angus Beef
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~After offering their customers Certified Angus Beef for over 20 years, a northeast Oklahoma Grocer has decided to add into the mix "never ever" beef from this leading branded beef program.
In all of its 15 Oklahoma stores, Reasor's Foods is now selling what vice president of meat operations, Paul Roach, calls the "Cadillac" of beef - Certified Angus Beef brand Prime Natural. It is beef so exclusive, less than 0.1% of all beef is good enough to earn the name.
"We always strive to provide our customers with the best," Roach shares about bringing in the Prime Natural line. "We wanted a 'never, ever' program because that's an important factor to our customers. And, we wanted to give them a premium choice in the natural beef category." Reasor's is the first retailer in the country to offer consumers the new Certified Angus Beef brand Prime Natural. To earn the elite brand name, beef must meet nine more stringent quality standards than USDA Prime, and it must adhere to a strict "never, ever" policy. Cattle are never given hormones or antibiotics, ever, and cattle are raised on a vegetarian diet.
Roach raises pecans as well as Angus cattle in eastern Oklahoma- so he believes in this product as not just a supermarket executive- but also as a cattle producer. We have more on this announcement made in recent days by Reasors- a chain found in the northeastern quadrant of our state- just click on the link below. You can also explore the rest of their website while you are there if you would like to gain some perspective on a well run small supermarket chain that is doing well here in Oklahoma.
CSP Signup Expected Soon
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service says USDA has nearly completed work on the economic analysis and rules for the new Conservation Stewardship Program. According to Dave White - USDA plans to deliver proposed rules to the Office of Management and Budget yet this week. He's hopeful signup for fiscal '09 will begin in August or September - with field verification done in September and contracts offered in October.
According to White - the minimum requirement for the new CSP is meeting one resource of concerns on the entire operation. An example is meeting soil erosion on an entire farm. The states will determine what the resources of concern are - so while air quality might be a resource of concern in California - it might not be in Alaska. White says a producer also must be willing to meet one additional priority resource of concern within the five-year contract.
The new Conservation Stewardship Program can enroll 12.7-million acres each year from 2009 to 2012 at a national average of 18-dollars per acre. But White says USDA won't know what the reimbursement per acre will be until they've had the first signup. Future signups will offer a fixed national price per acre for each type of land based on that first signup.
President's Rural Tour Begins and Biden Announces Funding for Broadband
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Kicking off the Administration's Rural Tour - Vice President Joe Biden announced the availability of four-billion dollars in loans and grants to bring broadband to rural communities. It marks the first round of Recovery Act funding aimed at expanding broadband access to bridge the technological divide and create jobs. USDA will use roughly two-billion dollars to provide grants while the remaining funds will be used to make up to seven-billion dollars in loans - for potential total investment in rural broadband of nine-billion dollars.
Biden says this announcement is a first step toward realizing President Obama's vision of a nationwide 21st century communications infrastructure that encourages economic growth, enhances America's global competitiveness and helps address many of America's most pressing challenges. According to U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack - the funding is a down payment on the President's commitment to bring the educational and economic benefits of the Internet to all communities.
Biden announced public workshops sponsored by Commerce and USDA will be held this month in Massachusetts, West Virginia, Minnesota, Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, Montana, New Mexico and California to inform applicants about available funding. Details, application forms and application guidelines are also available online(Click below to jump there)- and I would suspect that this will be one of the early priorities of Ryan McMullen, the new State Director in Oklahoma for the USDA's Rural Development Office.
Oklahoma Gold and Oklahoma Super Gold- Both Still High Achivers for Oklahoma Beef Producers
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's a program that has been around since the 1980s- but the results continue to make this one of the best concepts that OSU's Animal Science Department has ever developed. The Oklahoma Gold supplementation program is designed for weaned calves and stocker cattle grazing low quality forage during late-summer and fall.
OSU Beef cattle Specialist Dr. Glenn Selk says that this program, along with the companion Oklahoma Super Gold program, can be a real asset to cow-calf producers who need to get some weight gains on heifers before you breed them for the first time.
Click on the link below- and you can go and listen to what Dr. Selk has to say about the program- and how either Oklahoma Gold or Oklahoma Super Gold might work for you in getting those first time heifers in better shape for breeding season. Also at this link- we link to an old but still very good informational sheet on the Oklahoma Gold program authored by our old friend Dr. Don Gill.
A Little More on Wayne Pacelle of the HSUS and His Appearance on AgriTalk
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We had the story for you yesterday in the daily email about Wayne Pacelle talking for more than 40 minutes on the daily talk show hosted by Mike Adams, AgriTalk. There has been a lot written and said about that interview- they did an "open line" yesterday on AgriTalk just to give listeners a chance to vent after hearing the top executive of this animal rights group on the program the day before.
One piece we have found on the internet with the help of Twitter comes from the site known as the Bovine Veterinarian- penned by their editor Geni Wren. She offers some fascinating observations of the Pacelle appearance and some of his statements.
Perhaps the observation made by Geni about the interview that sums up
the dishonesty of HSUS the best is the following- "When asked why more
HSUS funding doesn't go to support animal shelters, Pacelle says there are
10 billion animals raised for food in this country and only 7-8 million
dogs/cats that go into shelters. Yet HSUS fundraising commercials and
literature only focus on the dogs and cats to get people to open up their
pocketbooks - perhaps if consumers knew their money was going to legislate
how cows live, they'd think twice about their donation."
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A total of 5,082 cattle were sold on Wednesday of this week at OKC West in El Reno. Tina Colby and her market reporting team at the market write "Feeder steers 3.00-5.00 higher. Feeder heifers 2.00-4.00 higher. Demand extremely good for feeder cattle. Cattle futures closed higher again today. Slaughter cattle futures now above cash and hope for an improvement in the cash trade this week." She also reports that calves were higher in a light test, with five to six hundred pound steers sold from $104 to $114, while steer yearlings weighing in from seven to eight pounds cleared from $100 to $104.75. Click here for the full report from Wednesday and the OKC West market.
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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