~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday December 18, 2008!A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- Weighing in on Tom Vilsack- The Lawmaker Take
-- Weighing in on USDA Nominee Tom Vilsack- the Farm Group View
-- Weighing in on Tom Vilsack- Ed Schafer's Take
-- Organic Group Vows to Oppose Vilsack and Will Fight to Defeat His Confirmation
-- Cattle on Feed Numbers Due on Friday
-- Oklahoma Wheat Commission Looking for Executive Director- Here's the Details
-- Quick Notes- NCBA Narrows Search- and a Mention of Next Week
-- 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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Weighing in on Tom Vilsack- The Lawmaker Take
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We saw several statements that were released on Wednesday after President Elect Barack Obama named who he would like to have as his Secretary of Agriculture- Tom Vilsack, the former Governor from Iowa.
Congressman Frank Lucas- the new Ranking Minority Member of the House Ag Committee, calls Vilsack a "fine choice" and calls on Vilsack to dedicate himself to lead the effort to make sure the 2008 Farm Law is promptly and properly implemented for the benefit of America's farmers and ranchers.
Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe was not as kind as Congressman Lucas- saying on a positive note that he is encouraged by some of Vilsack's comments about wanting to see rapid movement from grain based ethanol to cellulosic ethanol in the US. However, he disagrees with Vilsack's support of the so called "packer ban" of livestock ownership- calling that potentially devastating for Oklahoma livestock operators. He also objects to the former Iowa Governor's advocacy for a "cap and trade" policy on carbon emissions.
It was also interesting to hear from southerner Saxby Chambliss- the ranking minority member of the Senate Ag Committee- who offered lukewarm support for the President Elect bringing to the table yet another Iowan to have a hand in shaping ag and food policy in this country.
Simple congratulations comes from the top Democrat in the House Ag Committee- Collin Peterson of Minnesota. "I congratulate former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack on his nomination for Secretary of Agriculture. Governor Vilsack is a strong advocate who understands the changing landscape of our nation's rural economy. I look forward to working with him and President-elect Obama in advancing food, conservation and energy policies that are in the best interest of American agriculture and the American people."
Weighing in on USDA Nominee Tom Vilsack- the Farm Group View
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Lots of groups have weighed in on the announcement on Wednesday by Barack Obama that he intends to nominate former Iowa Governor tom Vilsack to be his Secretary of Agriculture. The first comment that came out was actually released on Tuesday afternoon by Tom Buis, President of the National Farmers Union- who calls Vilsack a "great choice" and adds that he believes that the "Obama rural vision is right on target."
From Bob Stallman, President of the American Farm Bureau, his comments were more measured as he says that Vilsack has "demonstrated experienced, steady judgment when it comes to working on agriculture-related issues"
David Cleavinger of the National Association of Wheat Growers had several specifics that he believes shows that Tom Vilsack will make a good Ag Secretary- "Gov. Vilsack has been vocal in his support of agricultural biotechnology; renewable fuels that will help break our dependence on foreign oil; agriculture's participation in what he calls a "carbon-efficient economy"; and agriculture's role in helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through soil carbon sequestration."
Weighing in on Tom Vilsack- Ed Schafer's Take
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Current USDA Secretary Ed Schafer also had his comments to add to the dozens of other comments that we had sent to us about the selection by President Elect Barack Obama. Schafer told us back last month when we were in Kansas CIty at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters convention that he thinks that a lot of great things have been done at the USDA for the benefit of agriculture- and he hoped that whoever the new Secretary might be- that they will build on the success already achieved.
Now that we have a specific candidate selected by the President in
waiting- here are Schafer's official statement on Tom Vilsack:
Organic Group Vows to Oppose Vilsack and Will Fight to Defeat His Confirmation
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Wednesday's announcement that former Iowa Governor, Tom Vilsack, has been selected as the new Secretary of Agriculture sent a chill through the sustainable food and farming community who have been lobbying for a champion in the new administration. "Vilsack's nomination sends the message that dangerous, untested, unlabeled genetically engineered crops will be the norm in the Obama Administration," said Ronnie Cummins, Executive Director of Organic Consumers Association. "Our nation's future depends on crafting a forward-thinking strategy to promote organic and sustainable food and farming, and address the related crises of climate change, diminishing energy supplies, deteriorating public health, and economic depression."
The Organic Association contends that while Vilsack has worked to restrain livestock monopolies, his overall record is one of aiding and abetting Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs, also known as factory farms). Vilsack's support for unsustainable industrial ethanol production has already caused global corn and grain prices to skyrocket, literally taking food off the table for a billion people in the developing world.
The Association says that they intend to have a website up and running in the near future that will be called StopVilsack.org. We have more on their unhappiness with the potential member of the Obama cabinet- click on the link below for that full story
Cattle on Feed Numbers Due on Friday
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Cattle on Feed Numbers as of December first will be released this Friday afternoon at 2 PM central time. Joe Victor with Allendale provides us with this preview of what he and the Allendale team are expecting.
November Placements are expected to be 2.1% smaller than last year. This month's report holds competing factors. Large losses on outgoing cattle were the primary reason for smaller placements. However, the drop was not as large as recent months. Many cow calf producers decided to sell extra feeders and not have the risk of holding them during the price slide. Cattle placed in October will be marketed from April through August.
Allendale anticipates a Marketing total 7.4% smaller than November of
2007. The general placement trend since March has clearly been lower than
last year. Those smaller numbers are now being marketed. Cattle on Feed
total as of December 1 is the smallest total for that month in four years.
Allendale's placement model suggests slaughters from feedlot cattle may
remain below last year levels through winter.
Oklahoma Wheat Commission Looking for Executive Director- Here's the Details
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Oklahoma Wheat Commission is now actively looking for their next Executive Director and we have their description of what they are looking for. We asked Chairman of the Commission, Jeff Krehbiel of Hydro, about the job search that is now kicking off as Mark Hodges winds down his time at the Commission.
Krehbiel told us that he really had no preconceptions about what the person should have as their stengths that they would bring into the job. The job description as released by the Commission says that "This is administrative, technical, and public relations work promoting the utilization and marketing of wheat and wheat products. Functions involve planning, developing, and directing a promotional program to improve and expand market outlets and provide up-to-date wheat information for the grain trade and Oklahoma wheat producers."
We have all the details linked on our website- the link to that story is below- closing date for applications is February first.
Quick Notes- NCBA Narrows Search- and a Mention of Next Week
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have heard from a couple of different sources that the National Cattlemen's Beef Association is very close to finding a successor to Terry Stokes- we understand they are down to two finalists for the job. Those finalists are being interviewed by the Officers of the organization- and if they agree on the final choice and can make a deal with that candidate- that person could be announced before Christmas. We will continue to monitor that process.
We continue on the road this week- enjoying South Florida the first half of the week- and now it's home during the Holidays in Kentucky. Next week, we will be back in studio and doing our daily email as well as our radio reports on the Radio Oklahoma Network- and we will be spending some time looking at the year wrapping up- and what may lie ahead in 2009.
We have received several emails this week of events going on in Oklahoma agriculture in the early part of 2009- we will be getting all of those events onto our calendar pages at WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com early next week- thanks for the info and let us know when you have events on tap that will be of interest to farmers, ranchers, agribusinessmen and all who have interest in things that have impact on rural Oklahoma- we will be delighted to include those items on our calendar pages.
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Let's Check the Markets!
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