PERSPECTIVE OKLAHOMA FARM BUREAU
December 2, 2011
Foundation announces Beef 4 Battle Tulsa Farm Show Coalition to host private A dedicated group of Oklahoma Maj. Gen. cattle sale farmers, ranchers and related busiMyles Deering nesses working through the Oklahoma speaks during FARM (Farming and Ranching Matthe Beef 4 Battle ters) Foundation, are donating propress conference cessed beef sticks to Oklahoma troops on Nov. 15. serving in Afghanistan. Beef 4 Battle Coalition members announced the project Nov. 15, during a media event at the Rick Davis farm near Guthrie. “We are extremely pleased to promote agriculture and help our military at the same time,” said Monica Wilke, Executive Director of the Oklahoma FARM (Farming and Ranching Matters) Foundation. State officials in attendance included Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, the Adjutant General of the Oklahoma Army and Air National Guard Maj. Gen. Myles Deering, and Oklahoma Agriculture Secretary Jim Reese. “Today is a special day for Oklahoma agriculture as we go from the farm to the foxhole,” Lamb said. “I am honored to add my office to this effort as I have always been a strong proponent of Oklahoma agriculture. This is something other states should emulate.” “The Beef for Battle project is an example of what Oklahoma is all about,” Deering said. “This is a tremendous example of what Oklahoma has and wants to give to the military. This is something that each soldier is going to put in his pocket and tells him that Oklahomans care.” Reese emphasized the fact Oklahoma cattlemen are sharing their product during a time of record drought and difficult economic conditions. “This has been an extremely difficult year for Oklahoma agriculture and yet they are still stepping up and contributing cattle to our troops,” Reese said. “I couldn’t be more proud of this effort.” The Beef 4 Battle concept originated from retired engineer George Huggins of Blanchard. Huggins proposed the idea to the Oklahoma FARM (Farming and Ranching Matters) Foundation, Oklahoma Farm Bureau and the military in an effort to support our troops. Members of the Beef 4 Battle Coalition include the Oklahoma FARM (Farming and Ranching Matters) Foundation; the Robert M. Kerr Food and Agriculture Products Center at Oklahoma State University; Burt Buitenhuis, owner of Chickasha Meat Company; George Huggins; and Larry Schawb, owner of Schwab’s Finest.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau is sponsoring the Herd Builder Private Treaty Sale at the Tulsa Farm Show, Dec. 8-10, at the Tulsa State Fairgrounds. The three-day sale is open to all breeds of cattle for bulls, cows and heifers. More than 300 exhibitors attended last year’s Tulsa Farm Show. OFB’s Vice President of Field Services, Thad Doye, said the cattle sale is a good opportunity for producers to market their cattle to a large audience. All animals intended for sale at the Tulsa Farm Show are required to have a health certificate from a licensed veterinarian. Livestock owners must be present during the event and will be responsible for feed, water and stall upkeep of the cattle. For more information about participating in the private treaty sale, please call Thad Doye at (405) 523-2307.
Chickasha Meat Co.
Oklahoma FARM Foundation Farming and Ranching Matters
For more information about the Beef 4 Battle Coalition or to donate to the cause, please call Thad Doye at (405) 5232307. Financial contributions also can be mailed to the Beef 4 Battle Coalition, 2501 N. Stiles, Oklahoma City, OK 73105.
2011 Convention Awards continued... Encouraging YF&R Participation (BELOW) – Payne County Farm Bureau received Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Charles L. Roff award, Nov. 11. Payne County’s Amber Grant is pictured with 2011 YF&R Chairman Adam Martens.
• Lands End Business Outfitters – Offers members a 10 percent discount on catalog prices. Call 800-916-2255.
• The Sale Ring – Buy, sell or trade agricultural products and services at www. thesalering.com, where all OFB members can post online classifieds for free! Membership number required. 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.
ABOVE – The Oklahoman’s general news columnist Bryan Painter was honored as Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s Statewide Journalist of the Year. Also pictured are OFB’s Sam Knipp (left) and Mike Spradling (right).
YF&R State Committee Meeting December 9-10, 2011 • OKC Contact: Chris Kidd, (405) 228-4001
LEFT – Major County’s Young Farmers and Ranchers committee won the YF&R County Event of the Year award at OFB’s annual convention, Nov. 11. Major County YF&R representatives pictured are Pat and Daniel Koehn with 2011 YF&R Chairman Adam Martens.
AFBF Annual Meeting January 8-11, 2012 • Honolulu, Hawaii Contact: Melisa Neal, (405) 523-2475 Oklahoma Legislature Convenes February 6, 2012 • OKC Contact: Tyler Norvell, (405) 523-2402
Oklahoma Farm Bureau Online Monitor the latest Farm Bureau and agricultural news and information online at okfarmbureau.org. Currently online: • Agricultural News – Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s home page is updated daily with agricultural stories from both Oklahoma and around the country. Also, see our News page to read the latest on the recent Beef 4 Battle event. • OFB Calendar – The year may be drawing to a close, but OFB’s calendar of events is building for 2012. See the calendar on the left side bar of OFB’s home page for event dates and times.
Public policy division hosts campaign school Around 20 possible future elected officials attended Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s annual Campaign School Nov. 28-29, in Oklahoma City. The two-day training is hosted by OFB’s public policy division to help individuals learn more about winning election to a public office. Seminar attendees covered topics including choosing a campaign theme, campaign strategies and handling media interviews. Public policy team members also discussed campaign finance management, fundraising, volunteer recruitment and campaign structure. With an election year on the horizon, Public Policy Division Vice President Tyler Norvell said it is important possible candidates take advantage of any and all candidate training. See the Dec. 16, issue of Perspective for campaign school photos.
AFBF opposes changes to child labor requirements on farm The American Farm Bureau Federation continues to oppose the U.S. Department of Labor’s new strict proposals for farm and ranch employers. The possible guidelines would place restrictions on the amount of work youth can do on the farm. In response to the proposal, the AFBF has prepared a set of comments to submit to the DOL, and it encourages Farm Bureau members to continue submitting their opinions. In addition to the comments, the AFBF is preparing a request to the DOL to extend the comment period deadline. The most recent deadline was Dec. 1. The AFBF has several concerns about the proposed child labor rule change including: • Restricting the “Parental Exemption” rule so that farms operated by partnerships and corporations may not benefit. The “family farm” exemption would be limited to the children of the farm owner or operator, and other family youth (nieces, nephews, or grandchildren)
would be restricted in what jobs they could do on the family farm. • Calling into question longstanding practices in agriculture, such as livestock welfare, planting, operating a tractor and working near grain bins and elevators. • Setting a maximum height restriction of 6 feet, thereby limiting young hired workers from working in areas such as barn lofts. • Prohibiting young hired workers from engaging and assisting in many animal husbandry practices, including herding animals on horseback. A link to submit comments to the DOL can be found at regulations.gov.
ABOVE – The children of Jackson County Farm Bureau’s Matt and Kellie Muller showed their opposition for the DOL farm labor proposal at Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s recent annual convention, Nov. 11-13. Pictured left to right are Taylor Muller, Lincoln Muller, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, Luke Muller and Levi Muller.
England predicts a wild winter Oklahoma City’s well-known Channel 9 meteorologist Gary England was recently featured as a guest speaker at Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s 70th Annual Convention. While visiting with Farm Bureau members, England spoke candidly about current weather conditions and told farmers and ranchers his best prediction of the 2012 winter. According to the veteran meteorologist, current La Nina weather patterns will continue into January and February.
“We probably will be close to normal temperatures and have below normal rainfall, but there is a fly in the ointment,” he said. England said another long-standing weather pattern called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is much stronger now, causing more storms and heavier rains compared to last year. “There’s a lot of things going on, which suggests the winter may not end up like we expected,” he said. “I would expect a couple winter storms, maybe an ice storm. We could expect a few tornadoes even in the winter, a dust storm coming out of west Texas, a little bit of flash flooding. It’s just such a mixed bag.”
GM discount available to OFB members Oklahoma Farm Bureau members considering a new vehicle purchase are encouraged to The 2012 check out GMC Acadia OFB’s special General Motors discount. Eligible OFB members can now receive a $500 manufacturer’s discount on any qualifying 2011 or 2012 Chevrolet, GMC or Buick vehicle they purchase or lease. The Farm Bureau GM private offer is available on 26 GM models, including the 2011 Motor Trend Truck of the Year, the Silverado HD pickup. To qualify for the offer, individuals must be current Farm Bureau members for at least 60 days prior to the date of delivery of the selected vehicle. Members may receive the incentive for the purchase or lease of multiple vehicles, including fleet vehicles purchased through GM’s National Fleet Purchase Program. To obtain a membership authorization number, visit fbverify.com/gm. For more information on the OFB GM private offer, call the OFB Field Services division at (405) 523-2470.
Governor extends order on hay transportation Gov. Mary Fallin issued an extension to an executive order on Nov. 18, that allows truckers to transport larger loads of hay. This is the governor’s second extension due to an ongoing shortage of hay and forage for livestock around the state. Although Oklahoma has experienced recent fall rains, drought conditions from the summer still cripple the state’s hay supply. As a result, ranchers are purchasing hay out of state and transporting it to Oklahoma. Current rules limit hay haulers to trailer dimensions of 11 feet wide, but Fallin’s executive order increases the limit to 12 feet. The executive order also temporarily suspends the requirement for an oversized vehicle permit within these limits. The latest extension to the executive order is set to expire in 60 days.
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Perspective/Online News Editor Traci Morgan, 523-2346 Monica Wilke, 523-2303 Perspective/Online News Editor Executive Director Sam Sam Knipp, Knipp, 523-2347 523-2347 Vice Vice President President of of Communications/PR Communications/PR Tyler Norvell, 523-2402 Vice Norvell, President of Public Policy Tyler 523-2402
Marla Peek, 523-2437 Vice President of Public Policy Director of Regulatory Affairs Marla Peek, 523-2437 Kinsey Money, 523-2539 Directorofof Regulatory Affairs Director Research & Policy Development
Holiday meals costing more in 2011 With Thanksgiving in the books and Christmas approaching, the traditional meals prepared for holiday dinner tables are proving to be a little more expense this year. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the retail cost of menu items for a classic Thanksgiving dinner including turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the basic trimmings increased about 13 percent in 2011. AFBF’s 26th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicated the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 was $49.20, a $5.73 price increase from last year’s average of $43.47. “The cost of this year’s meal remains a bargain, at just under $5 per person,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman, a rice and cattle producer from Texas. “The quality and variety of food produced for our dinner tables on America’s diverse farms and ranches sets us apart from our contemporaries around the world. It is an honor for our farm and ranch families to produce the food from our nation’s land for family Thanksgiving celebrations.” The AFBF survey shopping list included turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and beverages of coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10. The big ticket item was a 16-pound turkey, which came in at $21.57 this year. That was roughly $1.35 per pound, an increase of about 25 cents per pound. “Turkey prices are higher this year primarily due to strong consumer demand both here in the U.S. and globally,” said John Anderson, an AFBF senior economist. In addition, “the era of grocers holding the line on retail food cost increases is basically over,” Anderson explained. “Retailers are being more aggressive about passing on higher costs for shipping, processing and storing food to consumers, although turkeys may still be featured in special sales and promotions close to Thanksgiving. “Although we’ll pay a bit more this year, on a per-person basis, our traditional Thanksgiving feast remains a better value than most fastfood value meals, plus it’s a wholesome, homecooked meal,” Anderson said. A total of 141 volunteer shoppers from 35 states participated in this year’s survey.
Overall food prices expected to climb in 2012 While the price of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner is up, economists with the American Farm Bureau Federation said consumers should prepare for a rise in overall food prices next year as well. AFBF chief economist Bob Young recently said food prices for 2012 will increase, especially in the meat sector. “Prices will rise because of the strong demand we’re getting not just here at home but around the world,” he said. Young said a decrease in cattle inventory also will influence food prices. “Because of the drought we had in Texas, for example, the beef herd is down,” he said. “The supplies aren’t there at the same time the rest of the world is discovering our beef.” Beef is not the only meat that will become more expensive. According to Young, pork prices also will be adjusted higher in 2012. “I think you’re just going to have to expect that animal protein prices in 2012 are going to be noticeably higher than they were in 2011,” he said. Data from the United States Department of Agriculture supports Young’s claim about future higher prices. The Consumer Price Index for all food was projected to increase 3.5 to 4.5 percent in 2011 due to higher food commodity and energy prices and a strengthening global food demand.