~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Tuesday January 19, 2010A service of Johnston Enterprises, P & K Equipment/ P & K Wind Energy and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- State Legislative Session Less Than Two Weeks Away- Keep Your Hand on Your Wallet!
-- Kingfisher FFA Livestock Judging Team Grabs National Western Livestock Championship in Denver
-- OSU Continues to Lead in the Art of Prescribed Burning
-- More Bucks Ready to be Shoveled Out By Obama Administration for Rural Broadband
-- Pew Commission Fires Back at Federation of Animal Science Societies
-- This Week- Oklahoma Wheat Commission to Meet and Consider Public-Private Collaborations
-- Krehbiel's Krew
-- 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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State Legislative Session Less Than Two Weeks Away- Keep Your Hand on Your Wallet!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We are rapidly approaching the start of the 2010 Oklahoma legislative session- and one agricultural lobbyist has expressed concerns about the battle over money that is likely to develop in the next few months at the state capitol. Scott Dewald of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association believes that while the current fiscal year has been a struggle as we try to line up the state's spending with actual revenue- revenue that is well under what was budgeted for in last year's legislative session- the real concern is for next fiscal year and even the fiscal year after that.
Dewald says one of the dangers in the days ahead will be lawmakers looking for new sources of revenue- such as ending the long standing ag exemption from the state sales tax- or perhaps wanting to raise fees for any number of state government provided services. He adds that OCA and other agricultural groups are working feverishly to go through the hundreds of proposed bills that have been filed in advance of the 2010 session- matching bills with policy positions and issues of interest to that organization and their members.
According to the State Senate's website- bill filing has ended for the 2010 legislative session. Thursday, January 14 was the deadline for members of the Oklahoma State Senate to file legislation for the second session of the 52nd Legislature, with 1082 bills and 28 joint resolutions filed. In 2009, Senators filed 1,240 bills and 42 joint resolutions for the upcoming session. Of those, 860 Senate Bills and 38 Senate Joint Resolutions are still alive for the 2010 session. In 2008, which was the second session of the 51st Legislature, the Senate considered 1,069 new Senate bills and 769 carryover bills, along with 31 new joint resolutions and 31 carryover joint resolutions from the 2007 session.
Click on the link below for more on this story- including our audio with Scott Dewald of OCA on the challenges facing state lawmakers as they roll up their sleeves and get to work the first week of February.
Kingfisher FFA Livestock Judging Team Grabs National Western Livestock Championship in Denver
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Kingfisher FFA won the National Western Livestock Judging Contest in Denver last weekend. This is the second year in a row the chapter has earned this honor. Since the same team cannot participate twice, Mr. Ryan Burns, chapter advisor, assembled a team of three sophomores and a freshman.
The qualifying contest is at the Tulsa State Fair, where the team placed third. The first place team was the Kingfisher team that won the National Western last year and the second place team was from Haworth, who also had been to Denver. Since both of those teams were ineligible to return to Denver, the younger Kingfisher team earned the chanced to compete at the National level. The team consisted of Matthew Walta, who also was the high individual, Katie Lippoldt, who was 10th high individual, Spencer Struck, and Kaitlin Pritchett.
Walta, on his way to winning the overall high individual award, also
was first in the Beef and Sheep categories; Katie Lippold was first in the
goats category and Spencer Struck was first in the Swine division. The
team won the Beef, Swine and Reasons categories on their way to a win over
teams from Minnesota, Indiana, Oregon and Texas who rounded out the top
five in the FFA division in the Mile High City.
OSU Continues to Lead in the Art of Prescribed Burning
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma State University has a strong reputation in the world of fire. This has led the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service to select OSU to teach its national fire school for more than 20 years. Thirteen NRCS employees from around the country spent a week earlier this month with OSU's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources fire experts to learn the basics of prescribed burning.
"We've had a really good fire program here for a long time and have been selected to teach these schools. We are recognized nationally as the place that is on the front end on fire," said Terry Bidwell, Oklahoma State Cooperative Extension rangeland ecology and management specialist. OSU teaches three of the five annual national NRCS fire schools. However, at OSU, the course is not your typical sit-in-the-classroom workshop.
"The primary thing about prescribed burning is safety. We stress that first and foremost," Bidwell said. "We teach them all the techniques, about the equipment, how to do it and hopefully they take this back and train their people wherever they came from." Not all of the techniques and tools they learned about are physically used in the field. Participants gained an understanding of OK-FIRE, which provides a Fire Prescription Planner on its Web site. This tool uses 84-hour forecast output from the North American Model and indicates future hours where user-defined criteria are met.
More Bucks Ready to be Shoveled Out By Obama Administration for Rural Broadband
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and USDA's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announced just ahead of the Martin Luther King Holiday availability of $4.8 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grants and loans to expand broadband access and adoption in America. This is the second funding round for the agencies' broadband programs. The investment will help bridge the technological divide, boost economic growth, and create jobs.
NTIA and RUS also announced the rules for applying in this funding round, which have been modified to make the application process easier for applicants and better target program resources. "Based on the feedback we received from stakeholders and our own experience in the first funding round, we are making the application process more user-friendly, sharpening our funding focus to make the biggest impact with this investment, and streamlining our review process to increase efficiency," said Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Administrator of NTIA.
The agencies plan to accept applications from February 16, 2010, to March 15, 2010, and announce all awards by September 30, 2010. A series of workshops are planned in the next few weeks- we have details on those workshops and more about how the money will be handed out later this year. Click on the link below for all of that information as well as the link for the US government website on broadband.
Pew Commission Fires Back at Federation of Animal Science Societies
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We reported last week on Tuesday in our daily email about the Animal Agriculture Alliance taking exception to some of the reporting in the media about antibiotic use in livestock. Click here for last Tuesday's email- you can scroll down to the fourth story to read it in full. Included in that article were comments from a coalition of groups known as the Federation of Animal Science Societies.
We reported that the Federation had found "significant flaws" in the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production report from last year. We also reported that "FASS indicated that, while the Commission assumed that all large farms are inherently inhumane, there are many factors that influence animal well-being, including management, feeding systems, environmental features, and animal type."
Well, the Pew organization is firing back. I received an email at the end of last week from them providing a letter to FASS where they take strong exception to this federation that includes organizations that many of the Animal Scientists found at Land Grant Universities belong to. According to the letter, the Pew organization says "Contrary to your assertions, we took an unbiased approach with respect to technical reports and academic studies. We commissioned eight, separate technical, peer-reviewed reports based on the official process used by the National Academy of Sciences. The Commission consulted a broad range of academic experts on the issues and solicited input from representatives of the industrial food animal industry. We approached academic experts initially recommended by industry, however the industry then discouraged those same experts from participating in the Commission's work. Finally, the Commission based all primary and corollary recommendations on sound science, including industry funded assessments, as well as research of authoritative experts in the fields we examined."
We have an updated story on all of this on our website- click on the link below to go to that story- scroll down to the bottom of the story for the PDF file link for the letter from Pew Commission with their comments about FASS being on the wrong side of this argument.
This Week- Oklahoma Wheat Commission to Meet and Consider Public-Private Collaborations
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The regular monthly board meeting of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission is Wednesday of this week- and the Commission will be considering a possible support that calls for more transparency in dealings between Land Grant colleges and private companies as they discuss collaboration in the wheat breeding arena.
One of the resolutions that the OWC will be looking at reads as follows: "The Oklahoma Wheat Commission supports the "Principles for Collaborations in Wheat Breeding and Biotechnology" adopted by the Public Breeder of the Hard Winter Wheat Improvement Committee, and strongly urges Oklahoma State University to use the Principles to guide their collaborations and agreements with private industry. The Oklahoma Wheat Commission urges the National Wheat Improvement Committee and the National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat Associates to adopt these Principles and promote research collaborations that benefit the entire U.S. wheat industry."
That meeting is planned for Wednesday morning- we have the full agenda for the meeting on our website at our calendar page. Click on the link below to jump to that full agenda for the January meeting.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Head of the OSU Plant and Soil Science Department, Dr. David Porter, says that he and four other members of the department are on board to run the Oklahoma City Marathon in a few weeks- and will be running in honor of our friend Jeff Krehbiel, who continues his battle with cancer.
Five professors from the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences will be competing in the upcoming Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon as a relay team to honor Jeff. There are five professors on the team (Drs. Brian Arnall, Kefyalew Desta, Chad Penn, Jason Warren, and Dave Porter). They will run a total of 26.2 miles during the race. As a relay team, these men will trade off and keep one member of the team running the entire marathon.
Krehbiel, a past President of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association,
and currently a member of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, has been in this
fight against cancer since last summer- and back in December, finished his
first round of Chemo and Radiation treatments. Jeff had a white blood cell
count problem just before Christmas- but has fought through that and is
now back home and getting his strength back after that episode. Jeff has
benefited from all of the advances that we have seen to this point in how
to treat cancer- and Krehbiel's Krew will have a chance to raise money
(and YOU can help) to help take that research up another notch in the
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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 $7.30 per bushel, while the 2010 New Crop contracts for Canola are now available are $7.50 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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