~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday March 11, 2009A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- As Expected- Roger Johnson Easily Wins top Job at NFU
-- Animal ID Hearing Planned Today in House Ag Committee
-- Talking Ag Issues with Ranking Minority Member Frank Lucas
-- About Ready to Roll on the OYE (Oklahoma Youth Expo)
-- The real story on COOL- According to House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson
-- E-Coli Vaccine Nears Reality
-- Wrapping up Washington Time
-- 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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As Expected- Roger Johnson Easily Wins top Job at NFU
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~While the official tally was not released, an informal check of delegates shows that it was an overwhelming victory for Roger Johnson to become the President of the National Farmers Union for the coming year, completing the term that Tom Buis will leave vacant as he jumps from the NFU job he has held for the past three years to become the CEO of a biofuels advocacy coalition- Growth Energy.
The 56-year-old Johnson defeated Pennsylvania Farmers Union President Larry Breech. Winning this election means he will leave another elected post that he has held for some 12 years, the Commissioner of Ag job in North Dakota.
Johnson, a lifelong member of Farmers Union, addressed NFU convention delegates following his swearing-in ceremony- telling them that he believes that the National Farmers Union will have the best access of any farm group in the country when it comes to dealing with both the Congressional leadership as well as the Obama White House. Speaking of the White House, Johnson and Buis will lead their Board of Directors across the River to the White House today for meetings with Administration officials to articulate their priority issues that were passed by the delegates yesterday. AFR President Terry Detrick of Ames, Oklahoma will be among those who will be traveling to the White House today.
We have details on the actions of the delegates at the 107th annual meeting of the National Farmers Union in our wrap up story from the convention- as well as a link back to the conversation that we had earlier in the week with Roger Johnson as he articulated his plans for the organization as he takes on the reins of the general farm organization.
Animal ID Hearing Planned Today in House Ag Committee
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There is a hearing scheduled for today in the House Ag Committee on the issue of Animal ID- and our guest on our midweek Beef Buzz is surprised that it is only a subcommittee hearing and not a full Committee session, as this issue is a priority for House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson. He has expressed his opinion once again this week that we need Mandatory Animal Identification in this country- and he wants to move his Committee towards that end.
Our guest today, Colin Woodall of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, is not a supporter of Chairman Peterson in this regard. Woodall told us as we caught him for a few minutes in his Washington office, just three blocks from the White House that NCBA is a supporter of the voluntary approach for Animal ID. They continue to fear that confidential data could be made public once the government collects it for their mandatory Animal ID efforts.
Click on the link below to hear our Beef Buzz with Colin Woodall detailing what NCBA would prefer regarding Animal ID. We remind you that our Beef Buzz program is heard on radio stations around the state on the Radio Oklahoma- and both the current show as well as many of our previous programs can be found on our website- just look for the Beef Buzz button on the left hand side of any page.
Talking Ag Issues with Ranking Minority Member Frank Lucas
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It was a busy Tuesday for us as we not only covered the final stages of the National Farmers Union meeting in the Crystal City area of Arlington, right across the River from Washington- but we also traveled up to Capitol Hill and met with Congressman Frank Lucas for our first visit in his office in DC since he was named as the ranking member of the House Ag Committee.
We covered a good bit of ground with the Congressman- starting with his concerns about the Obama Administration budget. Lucas calls the idea of reneging on the 2008 Farm Law a "horrible idea."
We also talked about USDA reorganization, animal ID, and Climate Change with the third district lawmaker from Roger Mills County in western Oklahoma. Click on the link below to jump to our Podcast that we have on our website with Congressman Lucas- and we remind you that we have three different audio products that we offer as Podcasts on an ongoing basis. You can check out more on that by going to the front page of our website.
About Ready to Roll on the OYE (Oklahoma Youth Expo)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The 2009 Oklahoma Youth Expo is setting on the starting line- with the meat goat does the first of the animals to be arriving this weekend. The number of animals entered in the 2009 event is staggering- and shows that even with the current economy- the junior livestock shows in our country are considered a prime teaching tool for our young people.
Our thanks for Beth Norvell at the OYE office for getting us the final
entry numbers as we head for the star of the 2009 show. They include the
Showing the more than 13,700 entries will be 6,246 young people from all 77 counties across the state. When we say it's the world's largest junior livestock show- that's not idle chatter- it's the real deal.
The real story on COOL- According to House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~On Tuesday, our Beef Buzz featured comments from Collin Peterson as he talked with reporters at the National Farmers Union convention here in the Washington area- the subject- Country of Origin labeling and the implemenation of the rules written by the Bush Administration before they left office.
Peterson was the one who demanded that all interested parties needed to sit down in the summer of 2007 and craft a deal. The industry and consumer representatives that crafted the COOL deal turned it over to Peterson, who then inserted that language into the House version of the farm bill. That language was pretty well left intact through the rest of the process, resulting in the COOL law of 2008, building on the language that mandated COOL back in 2002.
We ran out of room to include a link to this report yesterday morning- but wanted to include it this morning as it really is a fascinating perspective on where we stand with COOL right now- and further evidence that the Administration has a learning curve in many ag issues as they try to get their agenda in play.
E-Coli Vaccine Nears Reality
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The USDA has granted a conditional license to Epitopix, LLC for America's first E. coli O157 vaccine for cattle. The vaccine is made with Epitopix' exclusive SRP® Technology, an innovative, patented vaccine production process. The new vaccine is labeled for use in cattle to reduce the prevalence of the E. coli O157 carrier state and for reduction in the amount of E. coli O157 shed in feces to minimize E. coli exposure and infection of herd- mates.
"Our new E. coli O157 Bacterial Extract is the first O157 vaccine
licensed for sale in the United States. It represents a significant
breakthrough in the beef industry's on-going effort to reduce E. coli
O157," according to Epitopix General Manager, Jim Sandstrom, speaking at
the Beef Industry Food Safety Council (BIFSCO) meeting in San Diego,
The innovative SRP vaccine production process was developed by a team of Epitopix scientists led by Dr. Daryll Emery, Darren Straub and Doug Burkhardt. Their work together, with scientific assistance from two prominent beef industry experts, Dr. Dan Thomson of Kansas State University and Dr. Guy Loneragan of West Texas A&M University, was critical to receiving USDA approval. Thomson and Loneragan helped design and carry out the clinical trials and large-feedlot efficacy studies needed to meet USDA requirements. "The collaborative studies we conducted with help from these two well-respected scientists from two great academic institutions, formed the basis for USDA's reasonable expectation of vaccine efficacy, a critical component for granting a conditional license," Sandstrom added.
Wrapping up Washington Time
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's been a busy several days in our Nation's Capitol- and I wanted to say thanks and howdy to several folks that we have met and seen along the way.
Our thanks for Terry Detrick for kind words spoken about yours truly at the Oklahoma breakfast on Tuesday morning- Detrick has quickly made an impact on the debate and discussion in and around NFU as the new President of their Oklahoma affiliate- the American Farmers & Ranchers.
Thanks to Tamara Hinton with the House Ag Committee's Minority staff- I appreciate her time as we waited to be worked into Congressman Lucas' schedule on Tuesday afternoon- she is learning quickly about southern plains agriculture with her background from southern Virginia and the agricultural scene in Congressman Bob Goodlatte's district.
Finally, thanks to former fellow farm broadcaster Joe Cornely who is now with the Ohio Farm Bureau- he invited me to join the media folks from Ohio that they had brought along with them to Washington this year to dinner last night at the National Press Club- and I came away full but also with a better understanding of the serious situation livestock folks in Ohio have felt from HSUS coming in and challenging them with their view of how animals need to be treated.
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