~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday November 26, 2008!A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma and Midwest Farm Shows!
-- Flood Damage Seen by Lawmakers- Showing Need for Investment in Flood Control Structures
-- A Conversation with Congressman Frank Lucas on Conservation- and more.
-- President Elect Obama Cites Abuse in Farm Programs as a Place to Trim the Fat to Pay for His Proposed Jolting of the Economy
-- Happy Thanksgiving From Three Big Retail Discounters in South Korea!
-- Bits and Pieces as We Head for Turkey Day
-- Speaking of Thanksgiving- A Prayer from Samuel Guard
-- 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 salute our longest running email sponsor- Midwest Farm Shows, producer of the annual Tulsa Farm Show scheduled for December 11-13 here in 2008, as well as the springtime Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City. Check out details of both of these exciting shows at the official website of Midwest Farm Shows by clicking here.
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Flood Damage Seen by Lawmakers- Showing Need for Investment in Flood Control Structures
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma 3rd District Congressman Frank Lucas, State Senator Mike Schulz and State Representative Mike Sanders had a 'first hand' look at damage to the infrastructure of rural Dewey County resulting from the floods of 2007 and 2008. The tour held on Tuesday was sponsored by the Dewey County Conservation District and the Dewey County Commissioners.
Heavy rains in 2007 and 2008 resulted in extensive damage to roads, bridges and farm ground throughout Oklahoma, including the flood damaged area in Southern Dewey County that was toured by the elected officials Tuesday. According to Jimmy Emmons, Chairman of the Dewey County Conservation District, this area highlights not only the damage that these floods caused, but it also shows how future damage can be reduced or eliminated if new flood control dams were to be built.
We have an audio overview of the tour- and more on this story on our website- it's our top story on this morning before Thanksgiving at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com and the link to the story is below- it helps frame the argument made by supporters of conservation that say a lot of money for years to come will need to be dedicated to renovation of flood control dams- as well as some money to selectively build new flood control structures. Check it out.
A Conversation with Congressman Frank Lucas on Conservation- and more.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We talked with Oklahoma's Third District Congressman Frank Lucas and covered a variety of subjects on Tuesday as we were a part of a tour of flood damage that is still being repaired months after the damage occurred in rural Dewey County. Our full conversation with Congressman Lucas has been turned into a Podcast and can be found by following the link at the bottom of this story.
Congressman Lucas talked about the Conservation needs that were apparent from the tour on Tuesday, as well as the other conservation funding needs that have been partially satisfied with cost share programs like EQIP. Lucas says it is important that now that the money has been promised in the Farm Law of 2008- that he and other lawmakers that believe in Conservation stand their ground and make sure the money promised is spent responsibly for these conservation needs- even as the new administration heads for Washington with a huge new wish list of where they want money to be redirected.
Lucas adds that the same is true- only more so- when it comes to the
Commodity Title- and especially as it pertains to the pot of money
promised to producers in the new 2008 farm bill that will fund Direct
Payments- a part of the federal farm safety net. Lucas says that this is
an issue that he expects to respectfully disagree with House Ag Committee
Chairman Collin Peterson- as Peterson has consistently expressed his
disdain of Direct Payments- preferring higher target prices and loan
rates. Lucas contends those parts of the farm safety net have been
failures here in the southern plains wheat belt- and that the only part of
the safety net that has worked for farmers in our part of the world has
been the Direct payments.
President Elect Obama Cites Abuse in Farm Programs as a Place to Trim the Fat to Pay for His Proposed Jolting of the Economy
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~President-Elect Barack Obama has sent a message that spending restraint and a federal budget overhaul are necessary in the long term. Obama sent this message just one day after discussing a stimulus package that will cost hundreds of billions of dollars and all but ensure a record budget deficit in fiscal 2009.
Obama cited questionable farm payments cited in a new GAO report as an example of spending he'd cut- he cited their report that was released yesterday by the watchdog agency that was developed on things going on in the previous farm bill of 2002- not taking into account that Congress address this area in the 2008 Farm Law just now being implemented.
The General Accounting Office has released a report questioning some farm program payments made by USDA. GAO says that of the 1.8 million individuals receiving farm payments from 2003 through 2006, 27-hundred had an average adjusted gross income exceeding 2.5 million dollars. And that same group derived less than 75 percent of their income from farming, ranching, or forestry operations and some lived outside of the United States. GAO says that would make them potentially ineligible for farm payments.
GAO recommends that USDA work with IRS to develop a system for verifying the income eligibility for all recipients of farm program payments. If USDA determines that it needs authority to work with IRS, it should seek this authority from Congress, as appropriate. In commenting on a draft of this report, USDA agreed with these recommendations but disputed some of the findings. GAO believes that the report is fair and accurate.
Happy Thanksgiving From Three Big Retail Discounters in South Korea!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~South Korea's three major discount retailers, E-Mart, Home Plus and Lotte Mart, will resume sales of U.S. beef on Thanksgiving Day in Seoul. The retail chains have issued a joint news release announcing the decision and explaining that it is due in part to the slow economy and daily financial difficulties facing Koreans. The companies stated that their sales of U.S. beef will provide value and convenience, as well as help stabilize consumer prices. They added that there is no longer any reason for them not to carry price-competitive U.S. beef.
Philip Seng, president and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation says this announcement by the three major retail chains is an important breakthrough for the U.S. beef industry's efforts to regain market share in Korea.
We have comments from Phil Seng on this announcement- which he says bodes well for 2009 US beef consumption in South Korea. Seng is our Wednesday guest on the beef Buzz- and today's show is linked below. It's a bit of good news for everyone in the cattle business to be thankful for as we head straight for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.
Bits and Pieces as We Head for Turkey Day
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We got an email a couple of days ago from Tom Smith of Pushmataha County- he is the county extension educator in that county- and he writes "Please help us publicize the BQA meeting to be held on Tuesday, December 9 at 6:00 P.M. at the Pushmataha County Fairgrounds located on Highway 271 at the south edge of Antlers. To pre-register or for more information, I can be reached at (580)298-5563."
Tom- we just did- and it will be listed on our calendar page at OklahomaFarmReport.Com as well to keep reminding folks.
Next week- the fourth session of Class 14 of the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program will kick off on Wednesday- running through Friday midday in Oklahoma City. This session will be a totally different session than ever held before for OALP- as it will have several new elements including a half day of media training- as well as a pair of panels on day one that will be very newsworthy as the group will explore how producers, ag groups and local communities are coping with the crazy economic times we live in- and how they are lining up their operations to survive if things get worse. It should be a stimulating session- and as the Chairman of the Advisory Council of this program- a special thanks to Alums in Class 13 and several other classes that made good suggestions about adjustments to the program to make it better- changes in this seminar session reflect some of that thinking.
We remind you again that there will be no email tomorrow- and a lite version on Friday as we stop and offer prayers of thanksgiving to our Creator for the incredible Blessings He has given us over the last year. Enjoy the days ahead with your family and friends.
Speaking of Thanksgiving- A Prayer from Samuel Guard
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~There is a little book that I have used down through the years on the radio that is entitled "The Farmer Gives Thanks" which was written by a remarkable gentleman by the name of Samuel Guard. The book was written in 1947- but before then Samuel Guard was one of the true pioneers of agricultural information getting out on the radio, as in 1924 he organized the Sears Roebuck Agricultural Foundation and on their behalf, he put WLS radio on the air in Chicago- a station that was designed to provide farmers information and entertainment like the National Barn Dance. Guard died in 1966- but the Moorman's Feed Company picked up this book in the 1980s and republished it. It is a collection of prayers that reflect the reverence that farmers have for their Creator- and His Creation.
I want to share one of those prayers with you today that reflect the
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Let's Check the Markets!
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