Farm Bureau Press - June 13, 2014
New employees at ArFB; ArFB hires summer interns; M*A*S*H* camps set; Water project allocation; Updated ag trade forecast; In the Market.
A Publication of Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation June 13, 2014 • Vol. 17, No. 12 www.arfb.com Twenty-six students from across Arkansas attended the National Leadership Forum June 2-7 on the Harding University campus in Searcy. County Farm Bureaus sponsor the young leaders who attend the annual conference to learn more about leadership issues, family values, foreign policy, free enterprise and more. The American Studies Institute at Harding University plans and conducts the forum, which includes students from several states. degree from Yale University in 2006. Before his most-recent job with Wal-Mart, Bradley worked in the Arkansas attorney general’s office as public affairs director. He also worked for U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor’s office as a legislative correspondent. In 2012, Bradley was mentioned in Arkansas Business’ “20 in Their 20s” article for being among Arkansas’ most influential young adults in public service and intergovernmental affairs. Dunn is a 2012 graduate of the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and communications. He worked as an intern with U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor’s office and as a legislative aide with Noble Strategies. Dunn also worked as farm manager for Whitehead Dunn Farms in Marianna. Bradley will be responsible for the execution of lobbying activities, serve as a liaison to certain federal In Farm Bureau New employees at ArFB Arkansas Farm Bureau has hired Zac Bradley as director of public policy for national affairs, Ross Dunn as assistant director of public policy, local affairs and rural development, and Ethan Branscum assistant director of commodity activities and economics. Bradley comes to Farm Bureau after working as Wal-Mart’s manager of public affairs, campaign and policy. Dunn has been working as a special assistant in the attorney general’s office. “Both possess good experience and strong skill sets that will help us achieve our goals and objectives,” said Stanley Hill, Farm Bureau’s vice president of public policy. “I’m happy to have them looking out for the needs and interests of agriculture and rural Arkansas.” Bradley earned Bradley a Bachelor of Arts KEITH SUTTON photo ArFB state board member Tom Jones of Pottsville addressed animal care issues for those attending the summer commodity divisions meeting in Russellville on June 3. Members of the beef cattle, equine, poultry and swine divisions gathered at Lake Point Conference Center to learn about the latest news and trends in their respective areas of agriculture. KEITH SUTTON photo and state agencies and the Arkansas General Assembly, and will assist with Farm Bureau’s policy development and political education programs. Dunn will be assisting county Farm Bureaus with local issues and rural development efforts. He will research and maintain information pertaining local ordinances, zoning and regulatory activities. Branscum serves as staff liaison for the forestry and wheat/feed grains commodity divisions and assists with economic analysis of key agricultural issues. Branscum, a native of Marshall, is scheduled to complete his master’s degree in agricultural economics at the University of Arkansas this December. He earned an underBranscum graduate degree from UA in 2013, graduating with high distinction. He served as an intern for Farm Bureau, assisting with the commodity and regulatory affairs, public policy and organization and member services departments. “Ethan will continue our efforts to support the needs of farmers and ranchers across Arkansas,” said Warren Carter, ArFB’s vice president of commodity and regulatory affairs. “He offers a fresh perspective on some of the challenges WASHINGTON CO. FB photo On May 9, at an award ceremony at Springdale High School, Washington Co. FB Women’s Committee member Barbara Horn (center) presented $1,000 scholarships to seniors Christina Perez-Espinoza (left) and Taylor Wyatt. This year, Washington Co. FB presented a total of 15 $1,000 scholarships to local students planning to attend college this fall. facing our members, and is anxious to help implement Farm Bureau’s mission of advocacy, outreach and service.” ArFB hires summer interns Arkansas Farm Bureau has added two interns to its staff for the summer. Lindsey Mitchell is the intern for the Organization and Member Programs, Public Policy, and Commodity and Regulatory Affairs departments. The daughter of John and Sharon Mitchell of Sheridan, she developed an interest in Farm Bureau while a member of the Collegiate Farm KEN MOORE photo On May 27, Melanie Baden, director of the Museum of the Grand Prairie in Stuttgart, talked with local rice farmer Hank Bueker about the new rice plot on the museum’s grounds. Bueker volunteers his time to oversee the plot and talk to visitors about the importance of rice farming in Arkansas. The plot is sponsored by Arkansas County Farm Bureau. Bureau at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia. Mitchell will be a senior at SAU, studying toward a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business. “I’m honored to be chosen as an intern for the Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation,” Mitchell said. “Growing up on a farm has taught me a lot about Mitchell the agriculture industry, and now I’m excited to learn more about a different side of agriculture. I’m proud to represent such a respected organization, and I look forward to gaining valuable hands-on experience.” Lauren Waldrip is the intern for the Public Relations Department. She is the daughter of Mark and Angela Waldrip of Moro. Waldrip received undergraduate degrees from the University of Arkansas in marketing and public relations. She first became interested in public relations during her time serving as student body vice Waldrip president. Waldrip is currently pursuing an MBA at the Sam M. Walton Graduate School of Business. “I’m grateful to have this opportunity to combine my passions for people and agriculture.” Waldrip said. “I look forward STEVE EDDINGTON photo Fred Nickerson (left), Pulaski Co. FB vice president, visited June 5 at the Benton Events Center with ArFB staff member Evan Teague (right) before a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service meeting on proposed critical habitat designations for two endangered Arkansas mussel species. This was the fourth round of public comment since the designations were announced in September. IZARD CO. FB photo Izard Co. FB donated $2,500 to Ozarka College for building a new Student Service Center on the campus in Melbourne. Attending the presentation were (left to right) State Rep./Izard Co. FB board member Tommy Wren, Ozarka College foundation board member Matt Rush, Izard Co. FB agency manager Phillip Steed and Izard Co. FB president Kendal Morrison. M*A*S*H* camps set M*A*S*H (Medical Applications of Science for Health) camps will be held in 32 communities throughout Arkansas this summer. A location change for UAMS South to Magnolia will allow the regional center to host camps at four facilities this year. These include Camden, El Dorado, Magnolia and Warren. The two-week M*A*S*H camps are designed to expose rising high-school juniors and seniors to health care-related vocations. Most of the camps are conducted at rural medical centers in hopes of attracting local students. “This M*A*S*H program provides wonderful opportunities for hundreds of Arkansas students interested in medical Members of the 2014 President’s Leadership Council posed for a group photo after a reception and dinner at Little Rock’s Copper Grill on May 30. Linda Lou Moore of Paragould, a professional etiquette consultant, was guest speaker at the meeting where PLC members learned the customary code of polite behavior to use at business meals. careers,” said Jennifer Victory, rural health specialist for Arkansas Farm Bureau. “It allows them to receive hands-on experience and gain knowledge that cannot be learned in the classroom. Many of these students are from rural areas, and M*A*S*H gives them a chance to see the careers available in health care, while encouraging them to eventually return to practice in those rural areas.” County Farm Bureau organizations and the Arkansas Medical Mentor Partnership sponsor students so they may attend the camps at no cost. The partnership includes the University of Arkansas for Medical Science’s regional centers, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Arkansas Farm Bureau, Baptist Health and the Arkansas Health Department’s Office of Oral Health. sion hosted the national meeting. The $975,000 will be used for water quality issues in the Bayou Bartholomew watershed in southeast Arkansas. At 359 miles, Bayou Bartholomew is the world’s longest bayou. Since 2012, Arkansas has allocated more than $2.6 million to water quality projects under the NWQI. Elsewhere Updated ag trade forecast The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released its Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade report. USDA estimates that fiscal year 2014 agricultural exports will reach $149.5 billion, an estimated $6.9 billion higher than previous estimates and, if realized, a record for American agricultural exports. The report indicates that the record growth is due not just to rising prices, which have driven export numbers in the past, but also to an increase in the volume of U.S. agricultural exports, which are projected to increase by 31 percent between fiscal years 2013 and 2014. Last fiscal year, agricultural exports reached $140.9 billion and supported nearly 1 million jobs here at home. Fiscal years 2009 to 2013 represent the strongest five years in history for agricultural trade, with U.S. agricultural product exports totaling $619 billion over those five years. Editor Keith Sutton KEITH SUTTON photo In Arkansas Hope McAlee of McRae (pictured) and James Martin of Ward were winners at the 57th annual Arkansas Dairy Foods Contest held June 4 in Little Rock. McAlee, 15, took first in the Main Dish competition with her “Toasted Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon Sandwich.” Martin, 13, took first in the Party Idea competition with “Mac N Cheese Balls.” Water project allocation Arkansas will receive $975,000 as its share of a $33 million allocation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the National Water Quality Initiative. Ann Mills, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, made the announcement May 21 at the annual meeting of the Mississippi River Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force in Little Rock. The Arkansas Natural Resources Commis- email@example.com KEITH SUTTON photo to working for an organization that has played a significant part in my life and to be able to serve as an advocate for agriculture.” Mitchell and Waldrip are both the third generation in a farm family. The internship will last 12 weeks. Mitchell is working with the commodity divisions, along with the county Farm Bureaus. She also is working on organizational policy development. Waldrip is helping the organization with a number of its summer activities and will contribute to its different publications. She’ll also working with social media and marketing strategies. In the Market As of June 12, 2014 USDA report has few surprises Wednesday’s Supply and Demand Report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture did little to excite markets. The report included no changes in corn and only minor changes in soybeans and wheat. While the changes were more profound in cotton and rice, the market was expecting them. No changes in corn The corn balance sheet remains unchanged from last month. While some expected the USDA to lower exports, those changes did not occur. Corn prices remain focused on good weather that has some 75 percent of the crop rated good to excellent. The market continues to expect record yields, but has some questions about acreage. With the recent increase in soybeans relative to corn, there may have been some acres lost to soybeans. The USDA will answer this question at the end of June when it releases its final acreage report for 2014. Look for corn prices to continue to move lower as weather remains favorable and likelihood of an El Niño increases. Soybean demand remains robust The USDA again increased soybean demand this month. They increased crush by some 5 million bushels from last month as monthly NOPA crush numbers remain strong. This resulted in another reduction in stocks to just 125 million bushels. While normally we would expect prices to strengthen as a result of this bullish news, the market quickly digested the 2013-14 estimates and turned to the 2014-15 forecast. With more than 87 percent of the soybean crop planted and more than 70 percent rated good to excellent, we are likely going to see record production in 2014. Additionally, as discussed with corn, we could see additional soybean acres. Relatively strong prices may have pulled additional soybean acres into production, which would further pressure prices. The USDA continues to forecast soybean prices between $9.75 and $11.75 for 2014-15. If the acreage number is adjusted higher, soybeans could fall quickly to $11 or less. Wheat demand remains weak While the USDA reduced wheat production in the United States, reductions in demand more than offset production losses, leading to an increase in stocks. Additionally, global supplies remain more than adequate to meet demand as high wheat prices are reducing wheat competitiveness in the feed market. Wheat prices fell back below $6 this week, and while prices are technically oversold, they continue to struggle for fundamental support to help support prices. Feed prices trending lower Good weather across many of the major growing areas in the United States has the market expecting bumper crops for most major feed ingredients. Lower feed prices continue to improve profitability for livestock producers as feeder margins are near record levels. Rice demand remains weak The USDA again trimmed U.S. rice exports as export sales continue to remain weak. The 3 million cwt decline in 2013-14 exports went straight in stocks and flowed through to this year’s stocks. U.S. exports remain depressed as countries like Vietnam are some $200 per ton cheaper than U.S. rice. Countries like Haiti, where the U.S. has a distinct shipping advantage, have even started importing Vietnam rice. In fact, Vietnam rice was even imported into Texas last fall. Larger supplies in 2014-15 are forecast to pressure prices lower as the USDA estimates rice prices between $14.40 and $15.40 next year. These lower prices will be necessary for the U.S. to become competitive in the international market. Rains wash cotton prices downriver Beneficial rains in the southern plains led to increases in 2014-15 cotton production as the USDA lowered its abandonment of cotton in that area. While production increased, demand did not, and the USDA now forecasts cotton stocks to be some 4.3 million bales in 2014-15, up from 2.7 million bales this year. These stocks will likely prevent any type of meaningful recovery in the cotton market. Prices could move even lower if demand from China fails to materialize. Record cattle prices Live cattle prices put in new all-time highs this week ahead of the USDA report. The June supply and demand report tightened beef supplies even further, which will provide additional support for this market through the summer. While prices are at record levels, in some cases exceeding $2 per pound, demand remains strong. U.S. consumption shows little change, and exports continue to be strong as a weak dollar supports U.S. exports despite high prices. 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