~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Monday December 11, 2006A service of Midwest Farm Shows
-- Roger Gribble named as Mr. Wheat for 2006!
-- Terry Peach pleased with LAGP and Altus Unwanted Pesticide Collection
-- Pawnee FFA claims top prize in the Tulsa Farm Show Livestock Handling Skills Contest.
-- OFU Policy Committee back at work in Oklahoma City.
-- Last call for next week's Angus Boot Camp in Stillwater.
-- House Ag Subcommittee members named at State Capitol.
-- Johanns very pleased with Mark Keenum getting a quick thumbs up ratification by the Senate.
Here's your morning farm news headlines from the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, Ron Hays. Our email this morning is a service of Midwest Farm Shows, featuring the Tulsa Farm Show December 7-9, 2006 and the Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City April 19-21, 2007. Check out details of both of these exciting shows at the official website of Midwest Farm Shows by clicking here.
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Roger Gribble named as Mr. Wheat for 2006!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~OSU Area Agronomist Roger Gribble was awarded the 2006 Mr. Wheat award by the Oklahoma wheat industry on Saturday during the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association annual meeting. Mark Hodges, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, introduced Gribble to the crowd. Hodges was a colleague of Gribble when he served as an area agronomist in the Panhandle.
Before taking his current position in Enid as northwest area agronomist, Roger was a county extension agent in several western Oklahoma counties. We visited with Roger after the presentation- and he was definitely caught by surprise by this honor- we have linked that conversation below as we talk with Roger about being named Mr. Wheat- as well as how he has worked to serve the Oklahoma wheat producer and finally a look at the current 2007 wheat crop.
Terry Peach pleased with LAGP and Altus Unwanted Pesticide Collection
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~State Secretary of Agriculture Terry Peach praised the team effort put forward by his employees at the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture as they push on towards completing the Livestock Assistance Grant Program. Peach told the Oklahoma Wheat Growers on Saturday that ODAFF is now in the process of auditing a random selection of five percent of the applications in order to be squeeky clean if the USDA comes in and examines how Oklahoma distributed the $6.5 million block grant. The expectation is that about $3.84 per animal unit will be paid- and Peach still expects to be able to get the checks in the mail before New Year's Day.
Peach says he was also very pleased with the Altus Unwanted Pesticide Program event that collected over 62,000 pounds of material and all who were involved called it very successful. This program was developed as a cooperative effort between the Oklahoma Agribusiness Retailers Association, OSU Extension and the ODAFF, financed by part of the ag chemical companies’ annual pesticide registration fee.
You can hear Secretary Peach's comments on these subjects as well as the first ethanol plant licensed and running here in the state during the first part of an exclusive interview we conducted with him after his comments at the OWGA meeting on Saturday morning in Oklahoma City- that interview is linked below.
Pawnee FFA claims top prize in the Tulsa Farm Show Livestock Handling Skills Contest.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Pawnee FFA Chapter placed first in the Livestock Handling Skills Competition at the 13th Tulsa Farm Show on Friday. This is a team event, where three individuals work together to process two calves to be placed into a herd. They replace the calf's ear tag, take her temperature, deworm with a pour on and record all observations in a record book. The score they obtain is not based on time- but rather on how well they handle the calf (humanely), and how good of a job they do in completing each of the tasks assigned to them.
The Pawnee team included Megan Bryant, Cara Buchanan and Andy Gilliland and were coached by their Ag Ed teacher, Travis Cundiff. Second and third place teams came from Crescent FFA, and coached by Christi Jennings. Her second place team included John Curtis, Ryan Nelis and David Bradley. The third place team that also came from Crescent included K.R. Crick, David King and Koti Ford.
Four place team honors went to Idabel FFA, while fifth place was claimed by Oktaha FFA. Participants from all ten teams received a hundred dollar scholarship for qualifying to come to the Tulsa Show and compete, with the first place team members each receiving a three hundred dollar scholarship.
OFU Policy Committee back at work in Oklahoma City.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The policy committee of the general farm organization regathered in Oklahoma City yesterday afternoon and is expected to work until after lunch today at the OFU headquarters in downtown Oklahoma City. You may recall they were meeting the week of the winter storm that struck Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago- and ended up leaving OKC early to beat the storm home.
They will be working on policy positions for the group to advocate at both the state and national levels. Their work will be reviewed by the delegates at the State Convention of the Oklahoma Farmers Union that will be held in downtown Oklahoma City in early February of 2007.
Last call for next week's Angus Boot Camp in Stillwater.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Time is running out for you to register for the Cattlemen’s Boot Camp, December 18-19 in Stillwater, Okla. The American Angus Association and Angus Foundation are sponsoring the event, hosted by Oklahoma State University (OSU). Industry experts will focus on all segments of the industry from production to meeting consumer demands. All producers are invited to attend the event.
This is the fourth Boot Camp conducted by the Foundation and Association at various universities across the country, and allows cattle producers the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of the industry and basic production skills. The Boot Camp begins at 1 p.m. on Monday, December 18 in the Animal Science Building on the OSU campus. An intense afternoon of discussion on end-product merit and consumer needs will kick off the event, and attendees will view actual carcass differences. A bull selection case study will fill the evening, giving the attendees an opportunity to use the information they have used in a mock sale. The Boot Camp continues on Tuesday, December 19 with presentations on nutrition and reproduction and creating value in the cow herd.
Cost of the Boot Camp is $75 and covers meals and materials. Register today by contacting Kris Sticken with the Angus Foundation at 816-383-5100 or by accessing registration materials at the Angus Association web site, which we have linked below.
House Ag Subcommittee members named at State Capitol.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As we mentioned about a week ago, the new House Ag Subcommittee Chairman will be Don Armes, republican from Faxon. His vice Chairman will be John Enns of Waukomis, also a Republican. Committee members were announced this past Friday and will include Mike Jackson (R-Enid), Rob Johnson (R-Kingfisher), Ryan McMullen (D-Burns Flat), James Covey (D-Custer City) and Wade Rousselot (D-Okay).
Last year's House Ag Committee Chairman, Dale DeWitt of Braman, will be the Chairman of the umbrella Natural Resources Committee, which has oversite over Agriculture and Commerce, Tourism and Recreation as well as the Environment and Wildlife Subcommittees.
It should be noted that one of better positioned House members when it comes to advocating ag and rural issues is James Covey, a Democrat from Custer City- and not only is James on the House Ag Subcommittee- he will also serve on both the full Rules Committee as well as the Appropriations and Budget Committee.
Johanns very pleased with Mark Keenum getting a quick thumbs up ratification by the Senate.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The new Undersecretary for farm and foreign agricultural services, Mark Keenum, was quickly confirmed this past week by the Senate during their brief Lame Duck Session. Keenum is taking the spot vacated by Dr. J.B. Penn, who left the government to work for Deere and Company as their new Chief Economist.
In a statement issued Friday, Ag Secretary Mike Johanns stated "Mark has built a reputation as an honest, hard-working and insightful person. Those qualities will serve him well in his new role overseeing both our domestic farm support programs and our global efforts relating to agricultural trade. Mark's roots at USDA run as deeply as his roots in agriculture. He followed in his grandfather and father's footsteps as a USDA employee in Mississippi before he moved to our nation's capitol. I am pleased to welcome Mark back to our team."
Keenum received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Mississippi State University in 1988 and joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor/Economist. In 1989, Keenum joined the staff of Senator Thad Cochran as a legislative assistant for Agriculture and Natural Resources. In this role, he worked on numerous issues important to Mississippi agriculture, including several farm bills. Keenum was named Cochran's chief-of-staff in 1996. He has served as an advisor to the Senator on political, legislative, and appropriations issues. He has also managed the administrative and legislative functions of Cochran's office. With his southern roots, Keenum is well acquainted with southern crops like cotton, rice and peanuts- and it will be interesting to see if he becomes the advocate of those crops inside the "cage" at USDA, or if he has been recruited to help talk to these commodities about the administration's intentions (up to now anyway) about lower payment limits and the fact that these commodities get a large share of the current farm subsidy money. Secretary Johanns has gone all over the country and talked about the unfairness of current farm policy- and if he should get his way- these crops- especially cotton and rice, would be most certainly looking at a smaller share of the pie. So, Mark Keenum is a most interesting person to have in this key position in this USDA.
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