Farm Bureau Press - July 25, 2014
ArFB scholarship recipients; Tax exemption benefits rice farmers; Animal wellbeing symposium; Ag training for veterans; USA Rice scholarships; Brantley to chair USA Rice Federation; National Farmers Market Week; In the Market; O&L Conference.
A Publication of Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation July 25, 2014 • Vol. 17, No. 14 www.arfb.com Randy Veach of Manila gave his President’s Address to a packed house at the 66th Annual Officers and Leaders Conference in Springdale July 21. The theme of this year’s conference was “Engage.” “We must all move from knowledge of the issues to action on the issues,” said Veach. “We are a difference maker today, and we will continue to be a difference maker when we engage and work together.” The insert in this issue features conference highlights. Beebe; Elizabeth Moseley of Traskwood, a poultry science major at UA; Patrick Patterson of Piggott, an agricultural business major at UA; Lindsey Rucker of Pearcy, an ag business major with an emphasis in animal science at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville; and Blake Willems of Little Rock, a landscape design and turf management major with an agriculture business minor at UA. “Arkansas Farm Bureau has always been an advocate for higher education,” said ArFB President Randy Veach. “The future of Arkansas agriculture is dependent on As a result of his success in row crop farming, Andy Gill of McGehee has been selected as the 2014 Arkansas winner of the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year award. Gill joins nine other winners from the Southeast as finalists for the award. The overall winner will be announced Oct. 14 at the Sunbelt Ag Expo farm show in Moultrie, Ga. the young adults who are pursuing agricultural careers. Supporting them remains a priority for this organization.” Arkansas Farm Bureau and county Farm Bureau organizations have awarded more than $1 million to assist more than 2,000 youths pay for a portion of their college expenses. In addition to the foundation scholarship, the organization annually awards the Romeo E. Short scholarship to 10 Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences students at UA and the Marvin Vines Memorial scholarship to a broadcast journalism student at ASU. In Farm Bureau ArFB scholarship recipients The Arkansas Farm Bureau Scholarship Foundation Committee met recently to determine the 10 recipients of the $2,125 Farm Bureau Foundation scholarship for the 2014-15 school year. Scholarship recipients are Arkansas residents, members of a Farm Bureau family and enrolled as juniors or seniors in a state-accredited university. They also must be in pursuit of an agriculture-related degree. The scholarship recipients are Randy Burnett of Greenbrier, an animal science/ pre-veterinary medicine major at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville; Justin Carroll of Moro, an agricultural systems technology management major at UA; Allison Gurley of Piggott, a plant and soil science major at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro; Andrew Haggard of Griffithville, a mechanical engineering major with an emphasis in agriculture at UA; Misty Mahan of Sheridan, an animal science major at ASU; Lyndsie McGhee of Quitman, an animal science major at ASU- KEITH SUTTON photo KEITH SUTTON photo In Arkansas Tax exemption benefits rice farmers A tax exemption projected to save Arkansas farmers millions in annual utility costs took effect July 2. Act 1401 of the 2013 legislative session created a state and local sales tax exemption on utilities used by a grain drying and storage facility. Utilities include electricity, liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas. “Grain storage keeps the Arkansas rice industry globally competitive and helps farmers avoid selling grain when prices are low,” said Arkansas Rice Executive Director Ben Noble. “This exemption will deliver tax relief to farmers across the delta as they continue to feel the financial squeeze from reductions in federal farm support as well as increasing input costs.” According to Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration fiscal projections, the tax exemption will save Arkansas farmers $3.89 million in 2015 and $4.01 million by 2016. To receive the tax exemption, the utility must be separately metered and only used for on-farm grain storage or drying. Utilities used in irrigation do not apply. Farmers who want to claim this tax exemption must receive approval from the Arkansas Department of Finance and AdministraBRANDY CARROLL photo KEITH SUTTON photo On July 18, more than 370 county leaders at 14 locations around the state participated in ArFB’s policy development videoconference. Here, leaders from four eastern Arkansas counties who attended the meeting in Clarendon listen closely as ArFB President Randy Veach of Manila describes the policy development process at the beginning of the session. On June 26, Miss Arkansas Rice contestants visited Stuttgart to learn more about the rice industry. (Left to right) Producers Rice Mill president Keith Glover; Anna Thrash, Miss Faulkner Co. Rice; Brittany Roedel, Miss Craighead Co. Rice; Jenna Martin, 2013-14 Miss Arkansas Rice; Abby Billingsley, Miss Lee Co. Rice; and Gennie Bariola, Miss Lonoke Co. Rice. tion by filling out a form found at www. arkansasricefarmers.org/taxexemption. Arkansas is the nation’s number one rice-producing state, accounting for almost 50 percent of U.S. rice production. Rice is the state’s second highest value commodity, top agricultural export and contributes more than $6 billion to the state’s economy annually. Animal wellbeing symposium Temple Grandin, a Colorado State ArFB Executive Vice President Rodney Baker was recognized July 14 by the Abandoned Pesticides Advisory Committee of the State Plant Board for his role in its establishment. Almost 2 million pounds of abandoned pesticides have been collected for proper disposal through this program. Arkansas leads the nation in collection of abandoned chemicals. In recognition of Arkansas Farm Bureau’s annual sponsorship of the Arkansas Rodeo Association’s barrelracing events, Leigh Anne Thomas (center), ARA’s director of barrel racing, recently presented a specially made jacket to ArFB President Randy Veach (right). ArFB Executive Vice President Rodney Baker (left) attended the presentation as well. University animal science professor and a designer of livestock handling facilities, and Joy Mench, director of the University of California-Davis Center for Animal Welfare, will be featured speakers at the Center for Food Animal Wellbeing’s fourth annual symposium Aug. 7 on advances and current issues in food animal wellbeing. The center is a unit of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. Grandin will speak on animal behavior and welfare. Mench will present her thoughts on the layer industry of the future. The event will be held in Old Main’s Giffels Auditorium on the UA campus. Other speakers presenting at the symposium include Elizabeth Rumley, National Agricultural Law Center at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture; David Newman, North Dakota State University; Janeal Yancy, University of Arkansas; Mark Cooper, Cobb-Vantress, Inc.; the Farm Foundation; and Paige Glover, Aviagen Poultry. The registration fee is $25. Registration information and the program are online at http://foodanimalwellbeing.uark.edu/AnnualSymposium.html. The deadline to register is July 31. Ag training for veterans Veterans and their spouses can apply to spend several days in September learning about sustainable, small-scale farming at Armed to Farm events in Arkansas STANLEY HILL photo LAUREN WALDRIP photo Elsewhere USA Rice scholarships The USA Rice Federation encourages high school seniors throughout rice country to invest some vacation time in planning an innovative promotion campaign for September, National Rice Month. A total of $8,500 in scholarship prizes, sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, is available. The grand prize is a $4,000 scholarship and a trip to the 2014 USA Rice Outlook Conference in Little Rock for the scholarship presentation. The second-place winner will receive $3,000 and third place, $1,500. Rising high school seniors from rice(Left to right) Scott Lirgg of Fayetteville, Regan Ridenoure of Winslow, Emily Brown of Fayetteville, Tehya Nash of Huntsville and Bijal Patel of Siloam Springs participated July 11 in CPR classes at UAMS Northwest in Fayetteville. They were among 19 students in the M*A*S*H Camp there, sponsored in part by Washington County Farm Bureau. growing counties in Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas can qualify to enter by conducting a promotion campaign in their local communities during September with U.S.-grown rice as the central theme. Entries are due Oct. 13. For more information and an entry form, visit www.usarice.com and click on the National Rice Month Scholarship Info icon. Brantley to chair USA Rice Federation During its July meeting in Dallas, Texas, the board of directors of the USA Rice Federation elected Arkansas rice producer Dow Brantley of England as its new chairman. Brantley serves as president of Lonoke Co. FB and was past chairman of ArFB’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee. Brantley will assume the two-year post taking over for Mark Denman, a Texas rice miller who has been chairman of the group since 2012. “Dow is going to make a great chairman,” Denman said. “He is an important producer in the number one rice producing state in the country, and has already begun to make his mark on the industry as the chairman of the Arkansas Rice Federation and the Arkansas Rice Farmers and through his service on several USA Rice committees and task groups.” “Mark Denman guided our industry through some trying times: the farm bill, trade and marketing challenges, and other critical issues,” said Brantley. “He was also at the helm during our recent strategic planning that resulted in a solid viability plan for the industry and the organization. He served all segments of the industry with distinction, and I’m looking forward to keeping us moving in that right direction.” National Farmers Market Week U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared Aug. 3-9 National Farmers Market Week. Throughout the week, USDA will celebrate our nation’s thousands of farmers markets, farmers who make them possible and the communities that host them. “National Farmers Market Week is a great opportunity for farmers markets across the country to host special events to showcase all the tremendous services they provide,” said Vilsack. “Farmers markets play a key role in developing local and regional food systems that support family farms, and help grow rural economies. They bring communities together, connecting cities with the farms that support them and provide Americans across the country with fresh, healthy food.” Editor Keith Sutton KEITH SUTTON photo The week of July 14, three judges traveled more than 1,600 miles to visit with the eight district finalists for the 68th Annual Arkansas Farm Family of the Year Program. The Broach family of Vandervoort (left to right, Tyler, Trevon, Tayden, Jennifer and Richard) is among those vying for top honors. The winner will be announced at a Dec. 11 luncheon in North Little Rock. firstname.lastname@example.org KEITH SUTTON photo and Mississippi. Armed to Farm will be a dynamic blend of farm tours and handson experience with classroom instruction. Participants will learn about business planning, budgeting, recordkeeping, marketing, livestock production, fruit and vegetable production and more. The two events are hosted by the National Center for Appropriate Technology. The first will be held Sept. 14-19 in Fayetteville. The second will be Sept. 22-26 in Jackson, Miss. Applications are due Aug. 1. For more info and to register, visit www.ncat.org/ armedtofarm/. In the Market As of July 24, 2014 Prices set new lows in recent weeks During the last two weeks, newcrop corn, soybeans, cotton and rice have put in new contract lows. While each of these markets is at or near being technically oversold, weak fundamentals continue to prevent any kind of meaningful recovery. Even large export sales and good export inspection reports have done little to help support these prices. As we head toward what look to be strong yields in each of these, market prices are likely to weaken further: soybeans that start with a 9, corn in the low $3, cotton near 65 cents and rice below $13/cwt. are not out of the realm of possibility. Crop conditions still outstanding The USDA continues to report 76 percent of the corn crop and 73 percent of the soybean crop is in good to excellent condition. These high crop ratings continue to pressure prices and limit gains in both markets. Cotton and rice crop ratings also remain good as cotton is rated 52 percent and rice is rated 69 percent good to excellent. Strong U.S. export sales As prices weaken, international buyers are purchasing more U.S. grains and soybeans for delivery in 2014-15. This week the USDA reported the U.S. sold more than 2.4 million tons of soybeans, with a little over half of those beans destined for China. In addition to strong 2014-15 sales, these low prices also are bringing in buyers for old-crop products. While sales for corn and soybeans remain strong, we have not seen the market get excited about these sales yet as large supplies this fall will require additional demand to prevent significant stock building in 2014-15. While soybean and corn sales have been strong, the market has been less impressed with rice and cotton sales. Sales of rice remain weak as U.S. rice continues to have difficulty competing in many markets. Cotton sales for the next marketing year are running some 1.1 million bales behind year-ago levels. Prices remain relatively strong for 2015 corn and soybeans December 2015 corn continues to hold near $4, while November 2015 soybeans are just below $11. While these prices are significantly lower than what producers have seen in recent years, they are likely going to be great prices for next year’s crop as stocks for corn and soybeans are likely to exceed 2 billion bushels and 400 million bushels, respectively. Combine the large stocks in the U.S. with the large global supplies, and prices will be pressured lower. Demand for Chinese state-owned soybeans remains light China sold 54,945 MT of stateowned soybeans out of 354,470 MT put up for auction this week. The average sales price was 4,052 yuan (around $653) per ton. The sales percentage and average sales price were slightly lower than a week ago as Chinese processor demand for these older stateowned reserves remains limited. Argentine ports back to normal for now Argentine dockworkers returned to work Monday, calling off the strike they started late last week as union leaders negotiate with government officials over better wages and working conditions. Argentine truckers also called off a strike that was supposed to start yesterday. If talks between union heads and the Argentine government this week don’t go well, strikes could resume. Bullish cattle market fundamentals Choice and select boxed-beef prices surged to record levels this week before backing off slightly. The combination of surging wholesale beef prices and tighter show-list supplies has traders looking higher at cash cattle. In addition, frozen beef stocks at the end of June came in 5.3 percent lower than May and 25.7 percent under a year ago. Arkansas cattle prices remain strong Last week, the USDA again reported strong prices for cattle in Arkansas. The current high prices have changed producer marketing strategies as more 400-pound steers were sold than any other weight class as lower weight steers are bring nearly the same money as larger cows. Prices for last week: 400-pound steers sold between $2.40 and $2.90 per pound; 500-pound steers sold between $2.10 and $2.55 per pound; 600-pound steers sold between $2.07 and $2.43 per pound; 400-pound heifers sold between $2.16 and $2.58 per pound; and 500-pound heifers sold between $2.00 and $2.35 per pound. Initial farm bill decision aid now online for farmers While the USDA-Farm Service Agency’s interpretation of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the farm bill) is still likely months from being finalized, the Agricultural and Food Policy Center at Texas A&M University has released the preliminary version of its farm bill decision aid tool for farmers. The tool is now available online through the AFPC website, https://afpc.tamu.edu/ models/decisionaid.php. CONTACT • Matt King 501-228-1297, email@example.com rkansas Farm Bureau’s 66th annual Officers and Leaders Conference drew more than 500 members to the Holiday Inn and Northwest Arkansas Convention Center in Springdale July 21-22. A variety of workshops focusing on issues important to farm and ranch leaders combined with key speakers and a technology exposition to produce a highly successful midsummer leaders’ gathering. Highlights included the President’s Address by Randy Veach, a Food Morality talk by Kevin Murphy with Food-Chain Communications and a gubernatorial candidates forum with Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson. • photos by Keith Sutton A 2014 O&L CONFERENCE Dr. Mark Cochran, UA’s Vice President for Agriculture, opened the conference with an update on programs within the university’s Division of Agriculture. Above: Keynote speaker Kevin Murphy, owner and founder of Food-Chain Communications, challenged Farm Bureau members to take control of the moral high ground on food production issues, stressing the importance of individual engagement within the agriculture industry. Above right: Dean Gammill, Stone Co. FB board member, led the crowd in singing the Star Spangled Banner. Right: Sam Arnett, an estate planning specialist with Arkansas Farm Bureau Insurance Company, led a session on “Estate Planning: Creating Your Legacy.” Right: Rich Hillman, Arkansas Farm Bureau vice president, presided over the opening general session and introduced President Randy Veach. Bottom right: Bobby Hall with UA’s Division of Agriculture taught conference goers about parliamentary procedure and how to conduct a proper board meeting. Above: Nine representatives from Baxter County were among 25 groups that showed up for county photos to be taken and sent to their hometown newspapers. Farm Bureau Press Insert — Vol.17 No.14 Far left: American Farm Bureau Federation’s Johnna Miller led a session on “Understanding Generational Differences.” Left: Farm Bureau members gathered outside at 7 a.m. to see demonstrations of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, presented by the staff of Precision Ag Partners of Carlisle. 2014 O&L CONFERENCE A highlight of the conference was the gubernatorial candidate forum between Democratic nominee Mike Ross (right) and Republican nominee Asa Hutchinson (left). Summer PR intern Lauren Waldrip (left) and vice president of public relations Steve Eddington unveiled ArFB’s new “Agvocacy” program during a Tuesday morning session. Above: Josh Gaskamp with the Sam Roberts Noble Foundation demonstrated the new Boar Buster Hog Trap, which can be used to catch up to 40 feral hogs at a time. Farm Bureau Press Insert — Vol.17 No.14