In Farm Bureau
ArFB announces promotions Several promotions have been announced at Arkansas Farm Bureau, according to Rodney Baker, ArFB’s executive vice president. The promotions were effective March 1. Stanley Hill has been promoted to vice president of public policy, where he will oversee the governmental affairs and policy development functions of the state’s largest agricultural advocacy organization. A native of Arkadelphia, Hill has worked for Farm Bureau for the past 20 years, most recently as associate director of governmental affairs. He serves as a member of the Arkansas Good Roads Council and the Arkansas Society of Professional Lobbyists. Hill is a past president of the Arkansas Society of Association Executives, past president of the Downtown Kiwanis Club, past president of the Central Arkansas Library System Board and serves as a board member of the UAMS Foundation. Hill is a 1983 graduate of the University
Young participants in the kids’ Olympic tractor races flew by the crowd at breakneck speeds during the Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference in Little Rock on Feb. 22. More than 300 YF&R members and their families attended the two-day event at the Embassy Suites hotel. For more on the conference, see the enclosed insert. of Arkansas and worked for Worthen Bank and First Commercial Bank before joining Farm Bureau. Warren Carter, Steve Eddington, Chuck Tucker, and Mike Solomon will continue to lead the commodity and regulatory affairs, public relations, organization and member programs and the finance and operations departments, respectively, and serve as vice presidents and members of the organization’s senior management team, along with Hill and Baker. United Soybean Board communications specialist Margaret Reeb demonstrates the use of the Inframatic 9500 NIR grain analyzer during USB’s “Beyond the Elevator” conference in Jonesboro on Feb. 19. The device provides a way for farmers to measure the moisture, protein and oil content of their soybeans in less than a minute.
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Two new directors have been named within the organization; Leigh Pruss in finance and Chris Wilson in public relations. Pruss, a Little Rock native, has worked as a finance manager at Farm Bureau since 2006. She is a certified public accountant and holds bachelors and master’s degrees from UCA and UALR, respectively. She worked for Thomas & Thomas LLP before joining Farm Bureau. Wilson has serviced as graphic design/
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A Publication of Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation
March 7, 2014 • Vol. 17, No. 5
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editorial coordinator for the organization since 2007. A former design editor at the Northwest Arkansas Times, Wilson is a graduate of the University of Arkansas. He has served as editor for Arkansas Farm Bureau’s consolidated newsfeed function. He also has led Farm Bureau’s creative design efforts, social media presence and managed the organization’s print shop staff. Additionally, Beau Bishop has been assigned to lead national affairs efforts for the organization. He has worked on local affairs and rural development at Farm Bureau for the past two years. His background also includes work as a political consultant and as a Washington, D.C.based staff member for Congressman Mike Ross. Bishop will serve as the liaison with Arkansas’ Congressional delegation on issues important to the organization’s membership. Bishop is a 2001 graduate of Ouachita Baptist University with a degree in accounting. MaLeta Stephens, a 35-year Farm Bureau employee, has assumed the duties of corporate events specialist, where she will manage the organization’s extensive scheduling for local, state and national events. Stephens’ efforts will focus primarily on activities involving Farm Bureau’s board of directors, volunteer leaders and staff. She will additionally coordinate allied events, such as the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Farm Family of the
Last month, the Scott Co. FB Women’s Committee donated food and supplies to Ronald McDonald House in Ft. Smith. Donated items will be used by families of children staying at the facility. Attending (l to r) were Women’s Committee members Belinda Wright, Regina Oliver, Linda Parish and Laurie Richardson, and Ronald McDonald House director Emma Gentry.
Victoria Maloch (second from left), daughter of State Sen. Bruce Maloch, won the UA Collegiate Farm Bureau discussion meet held on Feb. 13. With her (left to right) are the judges for the event: Washington Co. FB insurance agent Stuart Baber, Washington Co. FB Women’s Committee chair Cassie Davis and Washington Co. YF&R chair Grant Keenen.
Year programs. Additionally, Ethan Branscum of Marshall, a University of Arkansas graduate student, has been hired as assistant director of commodity activities and economics. He will begin work in May and serve as staff liaison for the forestry and wheat/feed grains commodity divisions.
as part of Farm Bureau’s “Harvest for All” program in partnership with Feeding America. Combined, the monetary and food donations also reached a record level of the equivalent of more than 34 million meals. Now in its 11th year, Harvest for All is spearheaded by members of Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers program, but Farm Bureau members of all ages from across the nation contribute to the effort. “We are encouraged by what we can accomplish by working together and sharing our bounty, to help nourish those who need help the most,” said Jake Carter, the AFBF YF&R committee chair.
FB donations feed America The farm and ranch families of Farm Bureau raised more than $810,000 and donated a record of more than 32 million pounds of food to assist hungry Americans
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Desha County fire fighter Scott Gilbreth found himself waist-deep in corn during ArFB’s grain bin safety training program in Dumas on February 26. Jones portrayed a grain-engulfment accident victim. Those portraying rescuers surrounded him with a Res-Q tube used to protect victims during extraction. More than 120 farmers and first responders attended the training.
On Feb. 11 at the ASU College of Agriculture & Technology in Jonesboro, (left to right) J.R Haywood, Dillion Boles, Ryan Sullivan, Wesley McMullen, Stevie Overby and Chad Easton competed in the ASU Collegiate FB discussion meet. Sullivan, of Burdette, won the meet and went on to represent ASU in the state discussion meet competition.
Pesticide collection The Arkansas State Plant Board will conduct pesticide collections for Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Arkansas, Lincoln, Lonoke, Prairie, Drew, Desha and Jefferson counties at designated drop-off locations during March. Known as the Abandoned Pesticide Program, it provides a way for farmers to dispose of unwanted chemicals, whether the items are outlawed or expired. Those disposing of pesticides will not be required to provide their names or details on the chemicals. The disposal service is free. “Since 2005, we’ve collected 1.5 million pounds of unwanted chemicals,” said Zach Heathscott, director of the Abandoned Pesticide Program.
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Safety grants announced Safety grants up to $10,000 each are being offered by the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America, with the potential for 12 projects being funded in 2014. Information regarding eligibility, priorities, application instructions and funding levels is available at www.ashca. org. For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org. The application deadline is March 26.
Arkansas Farm Bureau and the Rural Medicine Student Leadership Association co-sponsored a free community health screening March 1 in Arkadelphia. UAMS medical students like Sarah Franklin (right) assisted, providing blood pressure and glucose checks, risk assessments, answers to health questions and more. Clark Co. FB Women’s Committee members provided snacks.
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The Abandoned Pesticide Program began in 2005, providing 10 collection events a year. This year, the program will expand to 20 collection events with eight scheduled in March. The collection events will be open from 8 a.m.–1p.m. at these locations: March 10, Ashley/Bradley counties, John Deere, 406 Hwy. 165 N., Portland; March 12, Chicot County, County Road Shop, 287 Airport Road, Lake Village; March 13, Arkansas County, County Road Shop, 1421 Tip Lane, Dewitt; March 14, Lincoln County, County Recycle Center, 30238 Hwy. 11 S., Star City; March 19, Lonoke County, Pettus Gin, 103 Bransford Road, Lonoke; March 21, Prairie County, County Fairgrounds, 205 Fair Road, Des Arc; March 26, Drew/Desha counties, Roadside Park, intersection of Hwy. 65 and 277, Tillar; and March 28, Jefferson County, County Road Shop, Seventh and Sycamore, Pine Bluff.
The second annual President’s Leadership Council kicked off Feb. 28 at Farm Bureau Center in Little Rock. Motivational speaker Randy Frazier (left) of Wye Mountain presented the keynote speech, “Leadership Defined.” The 18 council members will attend three two-day seminars designed to broaden their knowledge of Farm Bureau and enhance their leadership abilities. ASHCA is a coalition of organizations, businesses, federal agencies and safety professionals seeking to improve the health and safety of farmers, ranchers and agricultural workers. The purpose of the ASHCA Safety Grants Program is to encourage and provide financial support for safety interventions at the local and/or regional level in order to promote evidence-based safety/health strategies. Ag census The Agriculture Department’s National Agricultural Statistics Service has released selected data for farmers, ranchers and their farms for each state and the nation as part of its preliminary report on the 2012 Census of Agriculture, available online at http://1.usa.gov/MeZzi3. “Anyone with an interest in numbers will find a treasure trove of data in the ag census,” said Bob Young, chief economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation. “Also revealed are important trends about farmers that relate to their role in the economic health of rural America and the agriculture sector overall. Information about who farmers and ranchers are, how old they are and what type of food or farm animals they raise is available,” he said. Ag census data includes information on number of farms, land in farms and market value of agricultural products. Information on background, terms and
methodology also is available. “The preliminary set of data has been released and really just looked at overall farm numbers as well as some breakouts of special demographic characteristics of farms,” explained Young. “Between the sequester last fall and associated furloughs, NASS faced a number of unusual challenges with this census, consequently, the agency has more work to do before full details are available.” Young also pointed out that unlike other government agencies, NASS is prohibited by law from releasing any information related to individual farmers. The full report is slated for release by NASS in May. Farm Mom of the Year Once again, Monsanto will recognize America’s farm moms with the 2014 Farm Mom of the Year program. Do you know a farm mom who amazes you every day with her contributions to her family, farm, community and agriculture? Between now and March 31, you can nominate her for the chance to win $10,000. Anyone can nominate an outstanding farm mom. She can be your mother, sister, wife, daughter, friend or neighbor. She can even be you. For more information, go to www.americasfarmers.com/recognitionprograms/farm-momprogram-overview/. Editor Keith Sutton
In the Market As of March 5, 2014
July wheat reaches three-month high The current unrest in the Ukraine is adding support to grain markets. Concern about potential disruptions in exports from that country has traders worried about global wheat trade. U.S. exports of wheat have reflected this, showing some strength in recent weeks supporting some of these concerns. Prices for wheat have rallied almost 90 cents since the end of January, and producers once again have an opportunity to book wheat for around $6.50 in many parts of the state. However, these prices will likely be difficult to maintain at these levels through harvest time in June. We have seen these markets turn quickly in the past and will likely see it again. Technically, this market is overbought and due a correction. As the recent unrest in Ukraine settles, prices will begin to soften and likely move back to $6 or less. In the long term, global fundamentals remain bearish for wheat. Stocks-to-use of more than 26 percent shows ample global wheat supplies. These stocks are made worse by the fact that global wheat production of 711.89 million MT in 2014 continues to outpace consumption of only 703.99 million MT, which is a supply of 8 million MT. While 2014 production may be down there will remain significant wheat supplies, which will limit long-term gains in this market. South America crops drives soybeans Weather issues across Brazil, ranging from excessive rain to drought conditions, continue to support prices. Nearby soybean prices exceed $14 for the first time since September,
and new crop bids in some instances top $12. While the South American crop is still forecast to be a record, private analysts have reduced their forecast for this year by as much as 3 million MT in some instances, and these levels were already less than the USDA February estimate. The market will watch the March 10 USDA report closely to see what changes are made to the crops in Brazil and Argentina. To compound the issue, the annual logistics and supply-chain issues are beginning in both countries, preventing producers from being able to move this record crop to the export market. This in turn has allowed the U.S. to remain active in the export market as shown in recent sales and export reports. Another positive for this market is that earlier concerns about China canceling sales have yet to be seen. Global demand for soybeans remains strong and will likely continue to help support prices into the fall. However, the planting intentions report later this month could dampen prices if the acreage forecast comes in near 80 million acres. Livestock prices reach new highs Livestock and cattle prices continue to post new highs. While many thought this rally was over a few weeks ago and that prices had gone as high as the market could bare, prices began rallying again and posted new highs of more than $140 per cwt. While prices have softened some this week, extreme winter weather and tight supplies continue to add support. Concerns about high prices leading to sharp declines in demand have yet to happen as boxed-beef demand remains strong and prices continue to set new records. Look for cattle prices to remain strong over the next two to three years minimum as the market works to rebuild the herd. With continued drought in parts of Texas and other parts of the Plains, this rebuilding of the herd could take longer than normal.
Prospective planting report will be market focus in coming weeks As we head toward the end of March, one of the most anticipated USDA reports of the year, the Perspective Planting Report, will be released. This report will be the USDA’s first survey-based forecast for the 2014 crop. While many expect soybean acres will be up and corn acres down, the devil remains in the details. As the market waits for this report, the numbers of most interest will be corn and soybean forecasts. The baseline forecast released by the USDA in February showed 93.5 million planted acres for corn and 78 million acres for soybeans. While most of the trade expects corn to come in at 94 million acres or better, the jury is still out on soybeans. Estimates range from 78 million acres all the way up to 80 million acres. The higher this soybean number goes, the better the stock number will look for 2014. Bringing this down to the state level, 2013 was a unique year for crop production in Arkansas as we saw a reduction in rice and cotton acres in favor of more corn and soybeans. Given the current price forecast of each crop, Arkansas is not expected to see a significant increase in cotton acres, but could see a rebound in rice acres.
CONTACT •Brandy Carroll (501) 228-1268, email@example.com. •Bruce Tencleve (501) 228-1856, firstname.lastname@example.org. •Matt King (501) 228-1297, email@example.com.
2014 YF&R CONFERENCE
ore than 300 members and their families from throughout the state attended Arkansas Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference Feb. 21-22 at Embassy Suites in Little Rock. Attendees participated in workshops on crops, livestock and lifestyle and listened to inspirational speeches by ArFB President Randy Veach and guest speakers. There were ag education sessions, a wide variety of kids’ activities and family-oriented fun like the Farm Bureau Olympics.
• photos by KEITH SUTTON •
Among the many participants in Friday night’s Olympic sawing contest were UA Collegiate Farm Bureau members Andrew Haggard (left) and Andrew Hawthorne.
Above: YF&R state committee member Caleb Plyler of Hope (left) entertained the crowd as Farm Bureau Olympics emcee. Here he interviews young Olympian Garin Wood after presenting the youngster’s medal. Above right: Tim Smith with Precision Partners gave a talk on precision planting to a large group of interested attendees. Right: On Saturday, magician Derrick Rose of Little Rock entertained the kids with puppets and magic tricks. Right: Bailey Moon of Marianna, the former Miss Lee County Rice, took a whack at the poly pipe tube in the Farm Bureau Olympics. Bottom right: Paten Oxner, the son of Sarah and Michael Oxner of Searcy, was all smiles after winning a trophy in the kids’ tractor race.
Above: YF&R chair Brent Lassiter of Newport welcomed everyone to the conference.
Farm Bureau Press Insert — Vol. 17, No. 5
Right: State YF&R Committee members posed for a photo between events. Far right: Dr. Terry Griffin, an independent data consultant, spoke on Data Collection and Mapping in one of the crops workshops.
2014 YF&R CONFERENCE
Left: The use of wireless traps for capturing feral hogs was discussed by Joshua Gaskamp with the Noble Foundation. Above: These smiling folks from Cross County were among the many Young Farmers and Ranchers from throughout the state in attendance. (Left to right, adults) Leigh Schmitz-Nicholson, Will Nicholson, Christopher and Ginger Wood, and Kaley and Jay Boeckmann.
Above: Young Kipton Moore and his dad Allen from Lincoln are all smiles after Kipton won a gold medal in the Farm Bureau Olympics. Farm Bureau Press Insert — Vol. 17, No. 5
Above: Jason Johnson of Judsonia helped his daughter Madalyn make a bird feeder during Saturday’s children’s activities. Left: Staying on the bull was one of the hardest challenges for Olympic competitors, including ASU Collegiate Farm Bureau member Ryan Walls.