~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Thursday May 21, 2009A service of Johnston Enterprises, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- NAIS- Strong Opinions Offered in Austin Listening Session
-- What Part of NO Do You NOT Understand???
-- American Farmers & Ranchers Oppose HR 2452
-- Some Space Available for Seeds for Success Cattle Grazing Conference in Wilburton
-- National Farmers Union Wants E15
-- Gestation Crates May be an Endangered Species
-- Out in Cyberspace- Some Good Video About Farmers Doing the Right Thing
-- 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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NAIS- Strong Opinions Offered in Austin Listening Session
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma State Veterinarian Dr Becky Brewer told the USDA Animal ID Listening Session in Austin, Texas Wednesday afternoon that We don't have traceability today and that while it is great for people to have a few animals on an acreage to enjoy and care for- that will not feed the growing worldwide population and a voluntary animal ID system that the majority of livestock operators won't participate in will not offer protection in case of an animal disease outbreak.
Dr. Brewer offered a strong defense for a mandatory program, but in terms of sheer numbers- that view was in the minority at the Austin listening session. The larger number of those who offered up to three minutes of comments- often rambling off the cuff for their allotted time- were anti something- against mandatory Animal ID, against any sort of Animal ID program, against world hunger, against factory farms and several other issues that were packaged into this free for all public comment period.
Dr. Brewer says that the efforts in Oklahoma are a good example of the
need to take the step to move to a mandatory program. After four years of
encouraging livestock producers to sign up for premise identification
which could ONLY be used to contact a livestock owner in the case of a
disease outbreak, just 14% of eligible livestock owners have chosen to
sign up their premises up within the program.
Another set of comments that were made in favor of going beyond a voluntary system to a mandatory level were offered by Josh Winegarner of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. Our story on Josh's comments is linked below- click on that link to jump to his arguments on behalf of feedlot operators in Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.
What Part of NO Do You NOT Understand???
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~"What Part of NO do you not understand?" was a comment and attitude heard at the Wednesday Animal ID Listening Session held in Austin, Texas. Those that wanted to offer up to three minutes of comments were allowed to speak- the order was drawn in lottery style- and the mix of speakers was breathtaking.
While there were those like Becky Brewer and Josh Winegarner that spoke in favor of Mandatory Animal ID- and others that wanted Animal ID but more of a Voluntary Approach for now- there was a major part of the audience that was made up of tiny sized livestock operations to even a good number of consumers who have no livestock but fear that NAIS is a government plot to steal away freedoms, or in some way raise the cost of the "local" small operator they like to a point where they will be forced out of business.
We have a most interesting audio overview from that Listening Session on some of the naysayers who got to their point of hating something about animal ID or the way livestock is raised in this country. Click on the link below to go to that story and take a listen. By he way- we want to thank Tony St. James and the KFLP Radio folks for sharing their audio stream of the Session with us here at the Radio Oklahoma Network.
American Farmers & Ranchers Oppose HR 2452
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee continued their mark-up of an emissions cap and trade bill, American Farmers & Ranchers (AFR), an Oklahoma based general farm organization and insurance company, announced its' opposition to the legislation. "As the Congress considers climate change legislation, American Farmers & Ranchers remains fundamentally opposed to the concept of mandating caps on greenhouse gas emissions, said Terry Detrick, AFR President. "We do not believe the benefits will outweigh the consequential elements of the concept."
The organization, in a letter to House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Rep. Frank Lucas, said that while this bill remains silent on and apparently exempts agriculture from its' own carbon footprint, AFR is specifically opposed to H.R. 2454 because agriculture is not granted credit in this bill for the contributions it already makes and any future contributions to carbon capture.
For more on the group's ideas on where this debate needs to go, click on our link below for the rest of the Climate Change story according to the American Farmers & Ranchers.
Some Space Available for Seeds for Success Cattle Grazing Conference in Wilburton
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It's last call for a very special cattle grazing conference planned by Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton tomorrow and Saturday. Livestock industry legends Bud Williams, Greg Judy, and Donnell Brown will share their knowledge and experience at the "Seeds for Success" grazing conference. We talked with Troy Walker at EOSC yesterday afternoon- and he says if you would want to show up Friday morning- there should be room for you to have a place in front of these masters of the beef cattle business.
Bud Williams is highly sought after for his two-day seminars on
low-stress livestock handling, developed through decades of experience on
ranches all over the world. Williams will condense his main principles on
that topic, as well as his unique marketing approach, into a single
three-hour session covering both marketing and stockmanship.
Conference registration costs $200 and includes meals. For more information, call Walker at 918.465.1725 (office) or secondly at 918.448.7300 (cell).
National Farmers Union Wants E15
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The National Farmers Union has submitted comments to the EPA calling for an increase in the allowable ethanol content of gasoline beyond the current 10 percent limit. NFU's comments came in response to the waiver request by Growth Energy and 51 ethanol producers to the Clean Air Act. NFU president Roger Johnson told the EPA - approving this waiver will enable continued growth of the ethanol industry and lead to the next generation of biofuels.
In written comments, Johnson wrote, - the United States is rapidly approaching the point at which we will be able to blend ethanol in 10 percent of all transportation fuels. However, the 10 percent limitation jeopardizes our ability to meet the requirements set by the Renewable Fuels Standard. The Renewable Fuels Standard requires the use of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022. But, in the near term, the RFS2 requires 13.15 billion gallons of ethanol by 2012.
A recent North Dakota State University study found that increasing the ethanol cap to E15 will directly lead to the creation of 136-thousand new jobs, 24.4-billion dollars in economic activity, and displace seven billion gallons of imported gasoline each year. Johnson said such a boost to the American economy is sorely needed.
Gestation Crates May be an Endangered Species
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~IS the future safe for sow gestation stalls anywhere in the U.S.? The answer might be "no," according to a Michigan State University researcher who has polled the nation. (this from a Feedstuffs story from earlier this week- linked below) "I'm confident that a ballot initiative prohibiting use of gestation stalls would pass in nearly every state in the union," said Dr. Glynn Tonsor of Michigan State's department of agricultural, food and resource economics. Tonsor's poll, conducted last summer, showed that nearly 70% of the respondents would vote in favor of a ban on gestation stalls. While Tonsor warned against drawing state-specific conclusions, residents in 34 states indicated support for a ban at rates of 60% or higher.
Intelligent ballot language utilized by supporters of sow stall bans makes it a simple decision for most people who see little reason not to support a proposed ban, according to Tonsor. "Who wants to say they're against proper animal care? The majority of the public sees little reason not to support these bans," he said. "I don't believe the average person thinks about the unintended consequences of banning a practice such as gestation stalls. It is impulse voting, which we all do on some issues we are less informed or aware of, whether we're willing to admit it or not," Tonsor explained. "For instance, nearly all of us are guilty of having voted on a political issue without fully understanding the issues at hand. No matter how uniformed, our voting participation and the perceptions we held at the time are influential. This closely mimics the dynamics of an average resident's behavior in voting on ballot initiatives concerning animal welfare."
The public isn't willing to invest the time and energy that would be
required to bring about full understanding of the issue, according to
Tonsor. "It takes a much more in-depth discussion to really get at all the
intricate details of this truly complex issue, and most of the public
isn't willing to commit that kind of time," Tonsor said.
Out in Cyberspace- Some Good Video About Farmers Doing the Right Thing
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The folks at Kansas Farm Bureau have some nice video video spots that they have done that show farmers in a positive light. I have linked a blog they operate up in Manhattan that has a couple of their most recent video efforts.
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Let's Check the Markets!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~OKC West in El Reno topped the 8,000 mark on Wednesday for their sale this week, with steer calves and yearlings steady to $2 lower, while heifers were steady to $2 higher. Five to six hundred pound steer calves brought $110 to $123.50 while seven to eight hundred pound steer yearlings cleared from $97 to $104.25. Click here for the full report from the OKC West Market in El Reno( report for this week probably won't be in place until sometime after 8 AM central)
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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