PERSPECTIVE OKLAHOMA FARM BUREAU
September 9, 2011
State agriculture ofﬁcials discuss drought recovery Close to 100 people attended the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Drought Recovery Summit on Aug 30. Several state agriculture leaders were on-hand to talk about how the drought is affecting Oklahoma’s economy and agricultural industry. Despite a projected $2 billion in economic losses, Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese said he is confident the state’s producers will survive the drought. “It will rain again and it will get better,” he said. “The crop losses can be partially offset with crop insurance and there are programs to help livestock producers.” Other drought summit speakers included Hugh Aljoe and Job Springer of the Noble
Foundation, Farm Service Agency Director Francie Tolle, Oklahoma Ag Mediation Director Andrea Braeutigam, Oklahoma State University sociologist Dr. Duane Gill and climatologist Gary McManus of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. “Some counties have only had four inches of rainfall since Oct. 1, 2010,” McManus said. “No longer do we have to talk about the legendary days of the past. We are living in a legendary year.” The Noble Foundation’s Hugh Aljoe also discussed how Oklahoma farmers and ranchers are now living in unchartered territory. His presentation focused on pasture management and long-term planning for cattle grazing.
“We’ve become accustomed to flying by the seat of our britches and I don’t think we’re going to be able to do that anymore,” Aljoe said.
The conference concluded on an optimistic note. Climatologist Gary McManus suggested cooler, fall weather is possible in the next couple of months.
BELOW – State Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese discusses economic losses due to drought during the OFB Drought Recovery Summit.
AUGUST IN REVIEW: District meetings round up policy ideas Oklahoma Farm Bureau has just completed a busy month of August Area Meetings, and OFB staff members are now moving on to resolutions meetings with plenty of policy ideas. OFB Vice President of Public Policy Tyler Norvell said the meetings were well-attended considering the drought and current status of the economy. (see meetings, page 2)
ABOVE – Atoka Co. Farm Bureau member Merle ABOVE – Woodward Co. FB board member Wes Crain Henderson asks a question to the OFB Public Policy makes comments during the District 1 August Area Meeting in team during the District 5 meeting in McAlester. Woodward on Aug. 23.
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OFB highlights a few benefits in each issue of Perspective as a reminder of the savings available to OFB members. Find a complete list of savings online at okfarmbureau.org.
OFB gears up for the 2012 Farm Bill
Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s Farm Bill committee continues to research the priorities of members and work on a new Farm Bill plan. Committee members met in Oklahoma City Aug. 24, to hear updates from agricultural officials. The following day, committee chairman Scott Neufeld attended a Farm Bill field hearing in Wichita hosted by U.S. Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas. Roberts testified on the Farm Bill along with Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and other members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. While the hearing’s main focus was on crop insurance, OFB committe chairman Neufeld said it is important to remember the significance of 2012 Farm Bill preparations. “What we do today affects our future,” he said. “It affects our young producers and it’s going to affect production agriculture for at least the next five years and it could be beyond.” LEFT – Bart Fisher, chief economist of the U.S. House Ag Committee, (center) stopped by the Oklahoma City ofﬁce Aug. 24, to give an update on Farm Bill-related activity in Washington D.C. Also pictured left and right are committee members Keith Kisling and Scott Neufeld.
OFB Calendar Convention Awards Deadline October 7, 2011 • Oklahoma City Contact: Marcia Irvin, (405) 523-2405 State Resolutions Meeting October 18-19, 2011 • Oklahoma City Contact: Tyler Norvell, (405) 523-2402 OFB Annual Meeting November 11-13 • Oklahoma City Contact: Marcia Irvin, (405) 523-2405
RIGHT – OFB Farm Bill Committee chairman Scott Neufeld also attended a Farm Bill hearing in Wichita, Aug. 25. Clear Channel Radio’s Senior Farm News Editor Don Atkinson (right) interviewed him about OFB’s Farm Bill priorities.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau Online Monitor the latest Farm Bureau and agricultural news and information online at okfarmbureau.org. Currently online: • Member Savings – Make your Farm Bureau membership work for you! Learn more about all of the great discounts you can receive by selecting the FB Discount Buyers Card tab under “Membership.” • OFB News – Read about Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s recent drought recovery summit and other agricultural news by selecting News Releases under the “News” tab.
(meetings, continued from page 1) “Water, truck weight regulations, and the Farm Bill were the most consistently discussed issues,” Norvell said. “People are concerned about the statewide water plan that will be presented to the legislature next session and also the lawsuit that was recently filed against the state by the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes.” August Area Meetings provide the foundation for OFB’s entire grassroots policy process allowing members to have an active voice in policy development. “The next step is for members to take these ideas and submit them through their county resolutions process,” Norvell said. “After that the state resolutions committee will meet and put together their state resolutions committee report, which will be presented to the voting delegates of OFB at state convention in November.” To see a photo gallery of the 2011 August Area Meeting season, visit okfarmbureau.org and select “galleries” under the News page.
Payne Co. YF&R Bucket Calf Show Payne Co. Farm Bureau’s YF&R group sponsored the Payne Co. Fair bucket calf show again this year. Around $1,700 in cash and prizes were awarded to the more than 30 exhibitors.
ABOVE – OFB employee Whitney Bender interviews Payne Co. 4-H’er Delaney-Linn Corter about her bucket calf project. RIGHT – Bucket calf show exhibitors (left to right) JayQuin Carpenter, Anthony Zetterberg, and Rayanne Bowman wait to talk on the microphone. 4-H’ers are asked questions about the feed and health of their projects during the interview portion of the competition.
State Fair season is here Oklahoma State Fair
Oklahoma City, Sept. 15-25 okstatefair.com Get your fill of fried food, carnival rides, livestock shows and all things agriculture at this year’s two major state fairs. Oklahoma Farm Bureau plans to attend the Oklahoma State Fair with a booth display and involvement in other activities such as hosting a livestock judging contest at the fairgrounds Sept. 16. For more information about the livestock judging event, contact Chris Kidd at email@example.com.
Tulsa State Fair to celebrate two centuries of fair seasons 2011 marks the 200th anniversary of agricultural fairs. In September 1811, the first agricultural fair attracted more than 3,000 farmers and townspeople in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Founder Elkanah Watson recognized the need for farmers to improve everyday practices, so he organized what grew into a traditional annual gathering called a fair - part education, part entertainment and part competition. From livestock shows to garden produce and two primitive rides, this first fair gave birth to the pattern of fairs that continue today. This year, the Tulsa State Fair will continue to promote the rich fair season heritage and celebrate its own 108th anniversary.
Holcomb inducted into Ag Teacher Hall of Fame Creek Co. Farm Bureau member Tom Holcomb of Kellyville was recently inducted into the Oklahoma Ag Teachers Hall of Fame. The honor was announced last month at the 44th Annual Career Tech Summer Conference in Tulsa. The purpose of the award is to recognize educators who have dedicated their lives to agriculture education and have made a positive impact on their students, peers and communities. Now retired and working full time on his fifth-generation ranch, Holcomb said he was humbled by the Hall of Fame recognition. “I feel very honored,” he said. “I taught ag for 29 years, and hopefully the program, not me personally, but the program affected a lot of students. I personally feel the FFA is one of the greatest youth organizations, and the ag program in schools I think is probably one of the best general education courses that you can ever offer in a public school.” Holcomb’s background includes an associate’s degree from Conners State College and a vocational agriculture bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University. He graduated from college and began teaching agriculture alongside fellow ag educator Larry Beggs in 1968, but in 1975 Holcomb was given the opportunity to establish an agriculture education department in his hometown of Kellyville. He and his wife, Phyllis, purchased land near his family operation and set to work building an agriculture program in the Kellyville school system. The Holcombs quickly built a solid agriculture education program that is still running strong today. Tom taught vocational and agriculture courses and sponsored the Kellyville FFA chapter while Phyllis led the area’s 4-H program. Both Holcomb and his wife retired from teaching in 1996 to devote more time to their commercial Angus cattle ranch. They have three sons; Thad, Treycer and Teyte, and Phyllis currently serves as Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s District 9 Director.
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Inhofe Town Hall Meeting
ABOVE – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe tells Oklahoma Farm Bureau members what he is concerned about in Washington D.C. The senator visited the Oklahoma Farm Bureau ofﬁce in Oklahoma City on Aug. 24, for a town hall meeting. He discussed four key areas of government of which he would like to see improvement; military funding. excessive regulations, spending, and America’s ability to generate its own energy.
Excessive heat could cause early fall calving Oklahoma State University livestock experts are warning cattle producers fall calves may be born earlier than normal this year because of the summer’s extreme heat. “It’s a good idea for producers to begin their routine heifer and cow checks at least a week to 10 days prior to the normally expected first-calving date,” said Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension emeritus cattle specialist. OSU animal science research studying
early fall and late fall calving cows indicates that calves may arrive several days ahead of “textbook gestation table” dates. Selk said data from a two-year study in crossbred cows showed the average maximum temperature the week before calving was 93 degrees Fahrenheit for the “early” fall group. The average maximum temperature the week before parturition in the “late” calving group was 66 degrees Fahrenheit.
Buchanan is newest OWRB member
Oklahoma Farm Bureau Vice President and District 2 Director Tom Buchanan was selected earlier this summer by Gov. Mary Fallin to serve on the Oklahoma Water Resources Board. The Jackson Co. farmer has farmed for more than 30 years in the Altus area and is currently general manager of the Lugert-Altus Irrigation District. Through his position on the OWRB, Buchanan will represent irrigation water interests as an at-large member. “With water being the critical input for all of agriculture, it’s important that Oklahoma agriculture have a voice at the Oklahoma Water Resources Board,” he said. “With my recent appointment, I look forward to being that voice.” Buchanan is one of nine OWRB members chosen to help define policy and manage the state’s water management and protection activities. He will serve a sevenyear term on the board. Oklahoma water law has been defined as a development law and is seen as friendly to agriculture,” Buchanan said. “The challenge will be to maintain that same atmosphere. I readily accept that challenge and look forward to representing Oklahoma agriculture and rural Oklahoma on the OWRB.”