Jimmy and Ginger Emmons of Leedey, Okla. Honored with Inaugural Oklahoma Leopold Conservation Award
Thursday morning, Jimmy Emmons, a farmer from Leedey, Okla. and his wife, Ginger, were honored as part of the Conservation Day activities with the inaugural Leopold Conservation Award, named for renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold.
The prestigious award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation by American ranchers, farmers and foresters in 13 states. Apart from the honor, the award also includes a crystal and $10,000 cash.
Emmons’ farm was converted to no-till in 1995. Since then, Emmons has implemented crop rotations, cover crops and planned grazing management to decrease soil erosion while increasing water infiltration and the microbiology of the soil.
He was also one of the first farmers in his area to experiment with pollinator strips and companion crops – a natural approach to pest control.
“Jimmy and Ginger Emmons put their passion for conservation to work not only on their operation but also by channeling it into service through leadership and communication,” said Chad Ellis of the Noble Research Institute, one of the award’s sponsors. “When I think of the Leopold Conservation Award, I think of people who have a passionate desire to protect, conserve and regenerate our natural resources; when I think of protecting, conserving and regenerating our natural resources in Oklahoma, I think of the Emmons.”
Click or tap here
to read more about the award or listen to my conversation with Emmons recorded on the sidelines of his ceremony.
Midwest Farm Shows is proud to produce the two best Farm Shows in the State of Oklahoma annually- the Tulsa Farm Show each December and the Oklahoma City Farm Show each April.
Make Plans to attend the Oklahoma City Farm Show, coming April 19, 20 and 21, 2018.
Exhibits include all of the latest in agriculture with a full line of displays, including tractor, sprayer, tillage, harvest equipment, cattle management products, and more.
The Oklahoma City Farm Show is a don’t-miss event- and even- better- admission and parking are once again free.
|Farm Bill Reveal- Texas Congressman Mike Conaway Offers His Chairman’s Mark- HR 2- the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018
Americans got their first look at what the 2018 Farm Bill might look like, yesterday, when House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway introduced the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (HR-2) which features historic investments in opportunities for SNAP recipients.
The draft of the bill would make improvements to the farm safety net, according to Conaway, including the ARC and PLC programs, allowing reference prices to adjust to better market conditions. The bill also seeks to minimize the ARC program variations between counties. The bill makes changes to conservation programs, and adds funding for rural broadband, rural development, and seeks to address the rural opioid crisis. Additionally, the draft also includes a sought-after Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine bank with guidelines on how necessary funding should be initially allocated.
“Rural America is hurting,” Conaway said while introducing the bill. “Over the last five years, net farm income has been cut in half. Natural disasters and global markets distorted by predatory trade practices of foreign countries, including high and rising foreign subsidies, tariffs and non-tariff barriers, have resulted in huge production losses and chronically depressed prices that are today jeopardizing the future of America’s farm and ranch families.” Conaway continued to say his draft of the bill “keeps faith with our nation’s farmers and ranchers.”
To hear Conaway’s news conference during which he elaborated on his proposed bill, or to review the draft bill for yourself –
|House Ag Committee Ranking Member Weighs in on Farm Bill- and Lots More Reaction to Boot
Down through the years- the development of farm policy has been considered a bipartisan activity for Congress. However, the 2018 Farm Bill as released by the Chairman, Mike Conaway, is anything but that this spring.
Conaway contends that except for Nutrition- the rest of his Chairman’s Mark is a bipartisan bill- but Colin Peterson doubled down on that idea in a statement released shortly after Chairman Conaway dropped HR-2 into the hopper- being critical of both the Nutrition Title as well as the Federal Farm Safety Net- here is Peterson’s statement:
“It makes no sense to put the farmers and rural communities who rely on the farm bill’s safety net programs at risk in pursuit of partisan ideology on SNAP. Between record low farm incomes, and the escalating threat of a trade war and other market disruptions, farmers have enough to worry about. Breaking up the long-standing, bipartisan, urban-rural farm bill alliance is a dangerous and unproductive step that will only sow division and jeopardize both this and future farm bills.
“This bill attempts to change SNAP from a feeding program to a work program. The bill rejects the testimony of 89 witnesses, and instead includes ideological language that will force people off of SNAP to pay for massive state bureaucracies that won’t work and are a waste of money. This legislation is based on false perceptions and ignores reality.
“The bill also fails to make needed improvements to the farm safety net. American farmers are suffering from the largest drop in farm income since the Great Depression but the farm safety net in this bill is inadequate and won’t help farmers. Our farmers need a safety net that will address their current reality. This farm bill fails to provide the certainty farmers need during uncertain times.”
Beyond the Colin Peterson reaction- Ag Groups, Secretary Perdue and others have offered their comments- most of which are positive- especially to the point that Conaway is moving forward with the measure.
Here are a list of the Groups and others who have reacted- click on the name to see that comment as released on Thursday afternoon.
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue
Former Chair of the House Ag Committee and Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas
Senate Ag Committee Leadership
American Farm Bureau
National Association of Wheat Growers
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
National Pork Producers Council
American Soybean Association
|Citizens Called to Action Against Legislation that Jeopardizes Wind’s Investment in Rural Oklahoma
Executive Director of the Oklahoma Wind Coalition Mark Yatesdropped by our studios yesterday to speak with our own Carson Horn, after word came that the Oklahoma Senate will entertain legislation on the floor this coming Tuesday that would retroactively cap the tax credit incentives promised to the industry when the state was actively recruiting new projects.
Yates says that if this legislation were to pass, it would be financially detrimental to the companies who have invested in these projects around the state and would in turn jeopardize the tax-based investment in Oklahoma’s rural communities.
Yates argues that a move like this by the state government would significantly tarnish the integrity and business reputation of Oklahoma. Yates made an appeal to Oklahomans everywhere that understand the wind industry’s economic importance to the state, to answer his call to action and contact their local and state representatives to demand an end to what he refers to as a “punitive punishment” to the industry.
Learn more about the wind industry’s contribution to Oklahoma’s rural economy and hear Yates and Carson talk about this latest attempt to exploit the industry’s coffers, by clicking here.
|Congressman Frank Lucas Participates in White House Agricultural Roundtable with President Trump
Congressman Frank Lucas joined President Donald Trump at the White House this week, along with leaders from several ag states to bring to the Administration’s attention the many challenges the agriculture industry faces in light of recent threats of trade tariffs. Lucas also talked about the importance of the Farm Bill legislation.
The congressman issued a statement following the meeting expressing his impression after visiting with the President.
“I was impressed with the president’s sincerity to expand trade opportunities for American products,” Lucas said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress and the Administration to promote fair trade deals that will strengthen our producers’ ability to compete globally.”
Take a look at the Congressman’s full remarks by clicking here
to jump over to the original statement released by Lucas’ office.
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|Drought Conditions Fuel the Flame – High Temps, Wind Raise Alarm for Fire Danger in Dry Northwest
Drought conditions across Oklahoma this week are little changed from last, according to the latest Drought Monitor, as dry conditions heighten the level of current fire danger in the state. Gary McManus, Oklahoma’s state climatologist, says high temperatures and winds over the next few days will continue to exacerbate these conditions.
High temperatures this week will be followed by another cold snap and a hard freeze over a large part of the state over the weekend.
Currently in Oklahoma, 58 percent of the state is in abnormally dry conditions or worse, 47 percent moderate drought or worse conditions, 42 percent severe drought or worse, 34 percent extreme drought or worse and 18 percent in exceptional drought- which is up three percentage points from a week ago.
With just over forty percent of the state not abnormally dry or in drought- AND getting rain this morning- this drought is ALL about Western Oklahoma.
For a closer look at the latest Drought Monitor map, or to read this week’s Mesonet Ticker report, click here
|Kim Anderson Says April WASDE Report Will Have Big Impact on Commodity Prices Across Okla.
This week on SUNUP – Dr. Kim Anderson reviews the latest USDA WASDE report for April and how it will affect the price of wheat here at home.
According to Anderson’s report, US wheat ending stocks arrived at 1.64 billion bu., which was higher than the 1.36 billion bu. that the trade was expecting. Worldwide, wheat stocks ended in April at just under 10 billion bu. total, breaking the previous record that was just shy of 9.4 billion bu.
Anderson says this will have a rather negative impact on prices in Oklahoma, stating that anytime US ending stocks are over a billion bushels, it is never good news for the market. He says it is especially bad in this case given that the actual number was even higher than the trade had anticipated.
Adding to the pressures of oversupply, recent reports suggest that Ukraine and Russia’s crop will exceed last year’s record production.
China’s trade war rhetoric has also injected uncertainty into the marketplace. The combination of all these factors has prompted Anderson to advise farmers to start thinking about alternative crops for the future. He says now is the time to start reevaluating your strategy and understand that until substantially more wheat is taken off the global marketplace, the financial situation is about to get very tight.
You can watch his segment tomorrow or Sunday on SUNUP- or you can hear Kim’s comments right now and see what else is on the lineup for this week’s episode by clicking here.
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|Introducing the 2018 FFA Northeast Area Star in Agriscience Riley Bingham of the Vinita FFA Chapter
Your Northeast Area Star in Agriscience, Riley Bingham of the Vinita FFA Chapter shared with us recently his passion for structural design and functionality. It’s something he managed to turn into an agriscience project.
Riley examined how earthquakes, high wind speeds and drastic temperature changes impact buildings in Oklahoma. He then tested different types of structural reinforcements such as hurricane clips and roof sheathing to determine what worked best at minimizing extreme weather’s impact.
“I found that putting a half-inch sheathing on a home or barn will prevent the wind damage and movement during an earthquake as well as keep the home or barn cooler and help cut down on energy costs to heat or cool the structure during the winter and summer months,” he explained. “Literally one solution can help solve all three problems.”
He says FFA has helped him develop his work ethic and a sense of commitment to the things he is passionate about, which truly shines through in his project.
“FFA has opened me up as a person and showed me these new opportunities in life I can pursue,” he said, “and really helped me to pick out a path for myself.”
You can read more and hear our entire conversation by clicking or tapping here. Special thanks to American Farmers & Ranchers and AFR Insurance for sponsoring our coverage of this year’s Area FFA Stars.