Oklahoma’s Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Here is your daily Oklahoma farm and ranch news update.
— NCBA President Craig Uden Has Multiple Reasons to Celebrate at this Year’s NCBA Summer Meeting
— Farm Bureau’s John Collison Prepares for a Frank Discussion with Members Regarding State Politics at the Upcoming August Area Meetings
— Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Meets this Week Continuing Mission to Improve the Value Chain and Develop Consumer Trust
— Congressman Frank Lucas Requests Regulatory Relief from House Appropriations Subcommittee
— Swine Veterinarians Visiting DC Urge Congressional Leaders to Establish an Offshore Vaccine Bank
— Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Celebrating the National Day of the Cowboy at Annual Convention Next Week
— Bits and Pieces from the Mile High City as Cattlemen and Ladies Gather
UdenNCBA President Craig Uden Has Multiple Reasons to Celebrate at this Year’s NCBA Summer
This week, we are in Denver for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association summer business meeting which got underway Wednesday.
I had the chance to catch up with Craig Uden, NCBA president, now halfway through his term of office. He told me, this is one year members will have more than enough reasons to spend their time in Denver, celebrating the recent successes in the beef industry.
“We’ve had a lot of successes this year,” Uden said. “There is a lot of good things, even as we’re here at this convention. Trade’s been very, very beneficial.”
That’s almost an understatement. According to Uden, US beef exports have risen as high as 20 percent this year alone, with exports to Japan up 46 percent. Uden says NCBA is committed to maintaining that strength by making a bilateral agreement with Japan a top priority.
In addition, Uden praised EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for his efforts in repealing the Waters of the US rule, and his invitation to include NCBA in the process.
“Administrator Pruitt has invited our input into this rewrite of the Waters rule,” he said, “and consequently, we are adamantly working on that with many different states and producers on that so we can get a bill out there that we can live with in our production models.”
You can listen to my full conversation with Uden about his experiences and success stories at the helm of NCBA, so far, by clicking or tapping here.
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CollisonFarm Bureau’s John Collison Prepares for a Frank Discussion with Members Regarding State Politics
Oklahoma Farm Bureau Vice President of Public Policy John Collison joined me in studio this week, to reflect on this past legislative session here in Oklahoma. Suffice it to say, Collison was less than impressed by the performance he saw of our state lawmakers at the capitol this year. He went so far as to say that this year’s session was nothing short of “a disaster.”
“We have a lot of problems in the state right now,” Collison said bluntly. “I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the problem at the capitol today is – we don’t really have any leadership. We don’t have any vision of where we’re trying to go as a state.”
Collison insists nothing at all was accomplished during this session – which is both good and bad, considering what was even on the table.
“We have this new paradigm shift where cities, municipalities, want to come in and take property tax and start funding fire and police and I know what happens next,” he said. “We start funding salaries at schools and it just snowballs from there.”
Desperate to find a solution to reconciling the state budget, lawmakers were willing to actually consider this as an option. Thanks to the efforts of Collison and likeminded influencers, this situation was avoided. However, Collison says the fight isn’t over. He says this was just the start, and that it will be back next year – if not this year, predicting an emergency session to be called. As OFB’s area conferences draw near, Collison is now preparing his thoughts to explain to the members what policy threats lie on the horizon.
“We’re going to go out and have a frank discussion with our membership and they need to see, we have to be the voice when it comes to rural education, rural property, rural everything,” he insists. “I encourage all our members to come. This is a grassroots organization. We need to hear from you.”
Collison will join me for our weekly In the Field segment on KWTV News9 in the Oklahoma City area on Saturday morning at 6:40 a.m. In the meantime, you can listen to our off-camera conversation by clicking here.
BUZZRoundtable for Sustainable Beef Meets this Week Continuing Mission to Improve the Value Chain and Develop Consumer Trust
Just ahead of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association summer business meeting in Denver this week, 130 representatives across the beef value chain gathered in Denver for the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef General Assembly Meeting, to share accomplishments from the past year and the direction of efforts moving forward. Helping to organize the Roundtable, is NCBA’s Senior Director of Sustainability Ashley McDonald. She spoke with me this week on what the roundtable is really all about, and what it has become since it was formed nearly three years ago in 2015.
“It was started as an effort to have a multi-stakeholder collaboration,” McDonald said. “We have all segments of the supply chain together to have those discussions about how we can improve the sustainability of the beef industry.”
The members meet periodically to continue their mission of inspiring sustainable beef production practices throughout the entire US beef supply chain, but also hear from scientists with the latest research as well as producers from the field who offer vital feedback to the Roundtable on their efforts that have been implemented.
“When we come together, it’s really a great forum to discuss what consumers are talking about, what producers are doing on farms and ranches and feedlots across this country – and to share that knowledge between these different sectors,” she said. “We need that feedback so that collectively we can all move forward as a beef value chain to improve the sustainability of our industry and to develop trust with consumers.”
During this week’s meeting, the different working groups within the USRSB, reported on the status of their respective projects. Moving forward, the organization will focus on finalizing the sector-specific metrics, developing the Sustainability Assessment Guides and supporting pilot projects, field trials and research with leadership from the Engagement, Measurement and Progress Working Group.
Also, coming out of this session, were the results of the new board of directors election. You can find those results here.
Listen to McDonald and I discuss the mission of the US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and how its work is helping to grow consumer confidence in the beef industry, on yesterday’s Beef Buzz – click here.
LucasELDsCongressman Frank Lucas Requests Regulatory Relief from House Appropriations Subcommittee
Congressman Frank Lucas, along with Congressman Roger Marshall and Congressman Jason Smith, highlighted the unique nature of transporting livestock, in a letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. writing, “in this industry, it is imperative the animals arrive to their destination as quickly as possible, with limited offloading.”
Inspiring this note – the burden left to shoulder by beef producers under the rule requiring livestock haulers to install electronic logging devices (ELDs) in their rigs, allowing them only limited time throughout the day to haul their cattle.
“This mandate disproportionately impacts livestock haulers and could lead to fewer transportation options, steeper trucking costs, and stress or damage to cattle,” said Congressman Lucas. “In order to ensure ranchers can reliably and affordably access markets, we must provide flexibility to livestock haulers as we explore the implications of this rule and develop long-term solutions.”
The Congressmen suggest in the letter, the rule be delayed for a year while possible solutions are investigated.
To read the full letter, click over to our website and follow the link provided by Congressman Lucas’ office.
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SwinVetsSwine Veterinarians Visiting DC Urge Congressional Leaders to Establish an Offshore Vaccine Bank
As part of the National Pork Producers Council’s Swine Veterinarian Public Policy Advocacy Program, 23 swine vets flew into DC recently to speak with policy makers and advocate for industry priorities.
Topping their list, an offshore FMD vaccine bank. Something they say is imperative to the health of not only the American swine herd, but the health of the American pork industry as well, not to mention those industries that will be impacted as collateral damage to a hypothetical Foot & Mouth Disease outbreak.
According to Iowa State University economists, an FMD outbreak in the United States, which would prompt countries to close their markets to U.S. meat exports and create a surplus of meat on the domestic market, would cost the beef and pork industries a combined $128 billion over 10 years if livestock producers weren’t able to combat the disease through vaccination. The corn and soybean industries would lose over a decade $44 billion and $25 billion, respectively; and economy-wide job losses would top 1.5 million.
“The U.S. swine industry needs the capacity to produce enough FMD vaccine to quickly stop the virus from spreading and then to eradicate this pathogen, and we need Congress to provide the funds to make that happen,” said Dr. Gordon Spronk, a swine veterinarian who practices in Minnesota and surrounding states, who participated in the program. “The U.S. pork industry, indeed the entire U.S. economy, would be severely affected by an FMD outbreak, which has become more likely in this country with the free flow around the globe of goods and people.”
An FMD vaccine bank, is estimated to cost approximately $150 million annually, an amount that pales in comparison to the $20 billion yearly cost of an outbreak to the beef, pork, corn and soybean sectors alone, NPPC has pointed out, in its appeal to Congress to provide these funds in the next Farm Bill.
To read more about this story from the NPPC, you can click or tap here.
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OCAConventionOklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Celebrating the National Day of the Cowboy at Annual Convention Next Week
The Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association’s 65th Annual Convention and Trade Show will take place at the Embassy Suites in Norman, Okla. on July 21-22, 2017 which happens to coincide with the ‘National Day of the Cowboy’.
“While many things have changed in the beef industry since 1953, OCA continues to provide firm, steadfast support to our membership,” said Charlie Swanson, OCA President, referring to the first OCA Convention. “I look forward to celebrating ‘The National Day of the Cowboy’ by recognizing OCA members and industry partners who have displayed loyalty and commitment to this great industry.”
‘Loyal to the cowboy for 65 years’, will be the central theme of the two-day family event.
Make plans today to attend the convention for your chance to participate in OCA policy discussions, Cattlemen’s College sessions and the awards banquet celebrating Oklahoma Cattlemen and their achievements over the past year. And don’t forget about the trade show featuring all your preferred allied industry vendors.
Be sure to register today – to find out how, click or tap here.
BitsPiecesBits and Pieces from the Mile High City as Cattlemen and Ladies Gather
As you receive this farm and ranch news this morning in your inbox- we are getting ready for a busy day here in Denver where about 700 cattle industry leaders have gathered to work and fellowship.
At the top of the list for today- the unveiling of the 2016 National Beef Quality Audit which is a study that has been repeated every five years or so since the 1990s which gives the industry a benchmark of how things are going in providing a safer and hopefully better eating experience for consumers.
OSU’s Dr. Deb VanOverbeke is one of the presenters this morning for the Audit- and we will be tweeting from the session that starts around 9 AM central time.
Details about the Audit will be spotlighted tomorrow morning in our email.
Yesterday in Denver- we talked with Brett Morris of Ninnekah who is the current Chairman of the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion Board- click or tap here and you can hear our conversation with Brett as we pulled him out into the hallway for a quick conversation during a CBB Executive Committee session on Wednesday afternoon.
As Carson wrote in our top story this morning that featured Craig Uden who is the President of the NCBA here in 2017- there is a lot to celebrate at this year’s meetings- China, WOTUS, Beef Exports in general and the market(for the most part)- but there are challenges too- including those who don’t like NCBA who claims the high ground in presenting the cattle industry.
That can be seen in a story we posted on our website yesterday that is based on an email from the Organization for Competitive Markets- claiming that NCBA does not represent cattle producers- and that they have mislead the Trump Administration in what is best for the rank and file producer- in this case as it concerns trade with China. OCM wants a “redo” on the deal with China for US beef- you can read their reasoning by clicking or tapping here.
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