~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Oklahoma's latest farm and ranch news
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON for Wednesday April 29, 2009A service of Producers Cooperative Oil Mill, KIS Futures and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company!
-- USDA's James Miller Says Guidance on Crops After Failed Wheat Coming Soon
-- Congressman Frank Lucas Weighs in on FSA Clarification and More
-- Jeremy Weichel named 2009 Oklahoma Star Farmer at State FFA Convention
-- Rashele Blakley is your 2009 Oklahoma FFA Star in Agribusiness!
-- Charlcey Vinyard of Altus Claims Oklahoma FFA Star in Ag Placement Honors!
-- Governor Inks Conservation Bond Authorization- Oklahoma Ready to Receive Fed Money for Dam Rehab
-- Thank You Oklahoma FFA
-- 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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USDA's James Miller Says Guidance on Crops After Failed Wheat Coming Soon
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~James Miller, Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Ag Services at USDA, says they continue to work on "guidance" for the local USDA FSA offices in the southern plains on planting a ghost crop behind a wheat crop that has been destroyed because of drought and/or freeze.
At the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Washington Watch, Miller told us that it is a complicated issue- and that they are working on clarification for the local offices to share with farmers- and they hope it will be out soon. His exact words were "within the next few days."
We talked last night at the State FFA Convention with Francie Tolle of the American Farmers & ranchers, who has identified a lot of the ins and outs of this complicated issue for us- and she says it would be better for them to get it right the first time- and take an extra day or so- rather than put something vague and meaningless out which would then require another clarification later. You can go back and read what Francie wrote for us on this subject earlier by clicking here.
Click on our link below to hear our exclusive comments with Jim Miller at USDA headquarters as we talked with him during the NAFB's Washington Watch event.
Congressman Frank Lucas Weighs in on FSA Clarification and More
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~As we headed out of Washington midday Tuesday, we stopped for a quick visit at the office of Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas, checking in with the top Republican on the House Ag Committee about three issues. Issue number one was the push by Congressman Lucas to encourage USDA to move quickly with "guidance" to local FSA offices in the southern plains where farmers are looking at their options after having their 2009 winter wheat crop zeroed out by drought and freeze. Lucas says that while the Administration is still trying to get people in place- that is no excuse for not getting this information out to the country sooner rather than later.
Issue number two was the Swine Flu issue as it impacts livestock producers. Congressman Lucas joins the chorus of those who are calling on our trading partners to understand there is no connection between fresh pork produced in the US and this latest mutation of the Flu bug. Lucas also reminds folks that there is no indication that hogs can even catch this latest generation of the flu.
Issue number three was the issue of Climate Change- as we talked about
the Democratic Leadership having trouble pulling together a workable plan
to push legislation forward this week. Lucas continues to worry that any
climate change legislation that might pop up from Congressman Waxman would
be detrimental to rural America and farmers and ranchers.
Jeremy Weichel named 2009 Oklahoma Star Farmer at State FFA Convention
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Managing two herds of stocker steers. Cultivating a wheat crop. Maintaining a perfect 4.00 grade-point average. Cordell FFA member Jeremy Weichel finds himself busy year-round. Weichel's passion for agriculture has earned him one of Oklahoma FFA's highest honors: 2009 State Star in Agricultural Production.
His Supervised Agricultural Experience program was rated the best agricultural production program among the 684 FFA members who received the State FFA Degree during the 83rd State FFA Convention on April 29. With the honor, Weichel received the Governor's Trophy as well as a $2,000 cash award sponsored by Davis Farms of Guthrie, Farm Credit of East Central Oklahoma and Sirloin Club of Oklahoma.
We have the video spotlighting Jeremy that we produced as part of the Stars Over Oklahoma program that was a part of the on stage celebration last night in downtown Oklahoma City- it's found on our website in our Blue Green Gazette section and a direct link to the Star Farmer Story is below- click on it and check out 2009 Star Farmer Jeremy Weichel.
Rashele Blakley is your 2009 Oklahoma FFA Star in Agribusiness!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~For Oologah FFA member Rashele Blakely, entrepreneurship has led to a wealth of experience, knowledge and the 2009 State Star in Agribusiness award. Rashele Blakley's entrepreneurial successes include operating her own greenhouse as well as raising goats and cattle, and they have earned her one of Oklahoma FFA's highest honors.
Blakley's Supervised Agricultural Experience program was rated the best agribusiness program among the 684 FFA members who received the State FFA Degree during the 83rd annual State FFA Convention on April 29. In addition to the honors, Blakley received the Governor's Trophy as well as a $2,000 cash award sponsored by Blue & Gold Sausage Co.
Blakley said she attributes much of her success to her family and
Oklahoma FFA. "Being raised on a very diverse, fifth-generation farming
and ranching operation, I always had the feeling that I would somehow play
a part in the sixth generation and would help carry that tradition forward
in today's ever-changing world," Blakley said. "However, I did not realize
how much agricultural education and the FFA would benefit me in my quest
to achieve this goal."
Charlcey Vinyard of Altus Claims Oklahoma FFA Star in Ag Placement Honors!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~We have written quite a bit about this young lady this year- as back in March, she had the Grand Champion Market Lamb at the Oklahoma Youth Expo (Click here to go back and read about that $22,000 payday.) Last night, the latest chapter in her story has her running across the FFA Convention stage as she heard her name called out as the 2009 Oklahoma State Star in Ag Placement.
Vinyard's Supervised Agricultural Experience program was rated the best in agricultural placement among the 684 FFA members who received the State FFA Degree during the 83rd annual State FFA Convention on April 29. In addition to this honor, Vinyard received the Governor's Trophy and a $2,000 cash award sponsored by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives.
Vinyard works on her family's farm, Vinyard Brothers Farms. She assists
the operation by helping with the irrigation system, marketing cotton and
controlling sheep and beef production. "My main thing is fiber crop
placement," Vinyard said. "I work alongside my dad in the cotton fields.
That is just something I am really passionate about. I'm happy to carry on
the fourth generation of our cotton farm, and it's just really exciting
that I've come to this point."
Governor Inks Conservation Bond Authorization- Oklahoma Ready to Receive Fed Money for Dam Rehab
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Conservation leaders today praised Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry for his approval of the $25 million Conservation bond. With the passage of this measure, the state will begin the process of repairing the damage to the Oklahoma conservation infrastructure caused by the devastating floods of 2007.
According to Clay Pope, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, the approval of the Conservation Bond comes just in time to match new federal dollars being generated by the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the Stimulus Plan.
"Oklahoma is in line to receive over $14 million for flood control dam rehabilitation from the recently passed stimulus plan," Pope said. "To get these funds, however, we needed this bond to provide the state match to these federal dollars. With the approval of this bond we can now insure that these dollars come to our state to help us repair this damage to our flood control infrastructure.
Thank You Oklahoma FFA
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Last night was a very special experience for me, as the Oklahoma FFA Association honored me with what they call their VIP Award. It is called the highest honor that they will bestow upon an adult supporter of the organization. As with so many of you that read this daily email, FFA has been a part of my life literally all of my life. I was born the son of a Vo-Ag teacher in Kentucky- and some of my earlier memories are following around behind the FFA boys at the Kentucky State Fair. Later, I was in first 4-H and then FFA as a teenager- and got to meet the first two farm broadcasters I remember hearing on the radio because of my FFA achievements. (Native Oklahoman Barney Arnold and Jack Crowner)
Later, as I became a farm radio broadcaster myself, first in Kansas and then in 1977 here in Oklahoma- FFA was one of those things that was a priority to cover. For several years early in my Oklahoma career, we would do interviews with Oklahoma FFA members that traveled to Kansas City and the National Convention. More than one of you have told me remembering how I interviewed you there in the facilities just off the main convention floor in Memorial Hall. Later, we started doing the annual Stars Over Oklahoma Presentation- and I am still trying to figure out what year in the 1980s that we began that tradition.
The reason I have invested the time to report on the FFA is really
simple. It's not a dollar and cents issue as many of the other things we
talk about- but it is all about the future- and an optimistic view of
where we are going together in this effort to feed and clothe this country
and really the entire world. FFA equips young people for the days ahead-
and those that achieve are worthy and deserving of our applause and of any
spotlight we can throw on them. It's more than just fifteen minutes of
fame. The stories we tell of FFA youth illustrates the vigor of American
Agriculture- and our ability to embrace what's coming as we go there in
the context of where we have been.
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