~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday January 14, 2009A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- People Afford What They Want- Dr. Lowell Catlett Kicks Off International Livestock Congress
-- National Cattlemen's Burton Eller Says COOL Not Worth a Penny to US Cattle Producers
-- American Farm Bureau Delegates Finish Their Work in One Day in San Antonio
-- AFBF Delegates Offer Support For Beef Checkoff Increase
-- Vilsack Confirmation Hearing Set for Today- Energy a Priority that He Will Articulate
-- OSU Student Cassie Bacon a Fellowship Winner at the International Livestock Congress in Denver
-- Let's Check the Markets!
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People Afford What They Want- Dr. Lowell Catlett Kicks Off International Livestock Congress
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We spent Tuesday in the Mile High City of Denver in what reporters would call a "target rich environment." Lots of the movers and shakers of the cattle and beef industries were on hand- and we had a chance to grab at least a few of them to get their take on a variety of beef issues. Our first interview of the day was with the leadoff speaker for the conference, Dr. Lowell Catlett of New Mexico State University.
Dr. Catlett pointed out to the audience the differences of the World War II generation that is quickly dying out versus the Boomer Generation that is now starting to hit retirement age. And he looked at the younger generations and the implications they bring to the business of selling red meat in the years to come.
The phrase above- "People Afford What They Want" was a recurring theme that Dr. Catlett returned to over and over during his presentation. We talked with him about what that means for cattle producers and how we can tailor our enterprises to reap the benefits our changed structure of society.
Click on the link below for our ILC conversation with Dr. Catlett.
National Cattlemen's Burton Eller Says COOL Not Worth a Penny to US Cattle Producers
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The head of the Washington office of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association sees little change from the interim rule of Mandatory COOL to the final Rule being published this week in the Federal Register. The biggest change may well be the visual inspection that will be allowed on cattle- and essentially if you see a brand that shows the animal is from Canada or from Mexico- that's how the animal will be processed. Otherwise, no markings- that bovine is an animal from the USA.
Eller does say there is no value to the cattle producer from COOL- it has not been worth a penny thus far to US cattle producers, but he says that "it has cost many bucks to producers in Canada and Mexico."
Eller's comments on COOL came as he spoke on the program during the afternoon session of the International Livestock Congress in Denver. We have an audio hunk of Burton's comments on COOL- both his thoughts on the final Rule as well as an evaluation of the program that has been operating since this past October. Click on the link below to jump to that webstory found on WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com.
American Farm Bureau Delegates Finish Their Work in One Day in San Antonio
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~With American Farm Bureau delegates moving quickly through a huge number of issues, for the second consecutive year they took only one day to adopt the policies for the organization for the coming year. Bob Stallman, President of the AFBF, talked with reporters after the delegates finished their work and indicated that the membership had reaffirmed many of the existing positions in their policy book, which sped up the process.
The delegates renewed their longstanding opposition to income means testing and payment limits, and voted to maintain the current definition of "actively engaged' in farming for the purpose of determining eligibility for government farm payments, putting the nation's largest general farm organization at odds with President-elect Obama, who supports a $250,000 payment limitation and the closing of loopholes that allow big farms to circumvent existing limits. The Bush Administration "overreached," according to Stallman, when it recently proposed a new definition of "actively engaged" that has the intent of "excluding producers who have traditionally qualified for payments," he said.
We have Stallman's comments from the closing News Conference held yesterday afternoon late in San Antonio- click on the link below for that story from our website- WWW.OklahomaFarmReport.Com
AFBF Delegates Offer Support For Beef Checkoff Increase
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The American Farm Bureau's delegates decided to support an increase in the national Beef Checkoff program, but did not specify a dollar amount. This policy action did not come without discussion, as Kansas Farm Bureau President Steve Baccus opposed the idea of Farm Bureau getting into the fight, while Oklahoma Farm Bureau delegate and cattle producer Bob Drake helped rally the delegates to vote for the support.
Drake prevailed with his arguments that inflation has cut the value of the original beef checkoff dollar in half- and that as the nation's largest general farm organization, the Farm Bureau could have a positive influence on this national discussion about increasing the checkoff rate in the days to come.
Click on the link below to hear the arguments pro and con from the Tuesday delegate session of the AFBF.
Vilsack Confirmation Hearing Set for Today- Energy a Priority that He Will Articulate
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Former Iowa Gov. TomVilsack listed energy independence, global climate change, food safety, conservation and rural development among his priorities should he be confirmed as the next secretary of agriculture.
In remarks prepared for his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Agriculture Committee this morning, Vilsack said he would work "to place America at the forefront of efforts to aggressively address energy independence and global climate change.
The Des Moines Register obtained a copy of their former Governor's expected statement to the Senate Ag Committee, Beyond energy, Vilsack is also expected to pledge to implement the 2008 farm bill "promptly and consistent with congressional intent." Go to the link below for more on what the Des Moines Register is reporting about the Vilsack comments that he will be making before the Senate Ag Committee today.
OSU Student Cassie Bacon a Fellowship Winner at the International Livestock Congress in Denver
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The International Livestock Congress sponsors a group of young men and ladies from not just this country but globally as well that are college students with a strong interest in being a part of the livestock industry after they graduate from their respective schools.
Cassie Bacon, a senior at Oklahoma State University is one of those students at the 2009 International Livestock Congress. She is originally from Arkansas, involved with the Hereford breed and is currently pursuing a double major that focuses on Animal Science with an emphasis in Livestock Merchandising and Agricultural Communications.
We have a quick audio conversation that we had with Cassie on Tuesday at the ILC in Denver- and that story is a part of our coverage of the International Livestock Congress found in our Cattle Industry Insights Segment of our website. Click on the link below for that story- complete with a chance for you to listen her thoughts on the Congress.
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