ODAFF creates feral swine directoryOctober 3rd, 2011
The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry has created the Oklahoma Feral Swine Directory to help hunters and trappers locate landowners who want help in controlling feral swine.
The directory is intended for use as an online tool to help hunters and trappers who are willing to provide feral swine control locate landowners who want their help. Download PDF applications for landowners or hunters/trappers.
State Fair livestock judging results 2011September 19th, 2011
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers hosted its annual a livestock judging contest for youth at the Oklahoma State Fair in Oklahoma City on Friday, Sept. 16.
More than 700 4-H and FFA members from across the state gathered at the state fair to judge livestock and develop their judging skills for the upcoming school year.
Available photos for high individuals and first-place teams have been linked to the team or individual name. All photos are high-quality JPEG images, 4-inches by 6-inches at 300 dpi. Captions for the photos can be found after the results.
Agriculture losses from drought top $2 billionAugust 31st, 2011
Agriculture losses from the historic drought gripping Oklahoma are estimated at more than $2 billion and climbing. That figure was announced by Oklahoma Agriculture Secretary Jim Reese during Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s Drought Recovery Summit Aug. 30.
The figure includes losses for both livestock and grain producers. Reese said the number could grow substantially as the drought intensifies.
“The one billion dollars worth of cow crop that will not be harvested next year because we have sold those cows is significant,” said Reese.
Reese added his loss estimate did not include the higher cost of feed stocks as a result of the drought, but he remains optimistic the state’s agriculture industry will survive this natural disaster.
“It will rain again and it will get better,” Reese said. “The crop losses can be partially offset with crop insurance and there are programs to help livestock producers.”
More than 100 Oklahoma agriculture producers attended the drought summit. OFB President Mike Spradling said the conference focused on helping people recover from this on-going natural disaster.
“The information gained here today will help these guys cope with the stark realities of this severe drought,” Spradling said.
Dr. Duane Gill, Oklahoma State University Sociologist, told the group it is okay to ask for help.
“In stressful times like this it is hard to keep yourself in good mental health,” Gill said. “Droughts are one of the most miserable natural disasters that you can experience. It takes a toll mentally, physically, psychologically. You just need to be aware of those strains and reach out to others.”
That was good advice, especially considering the prediction by the state’s climatologist Gary McManus.
“There is better than a 50 percent chance of the La Nina effect returning this fall and winter and that could mean continued drought for Oklahoma,” McManus said.
If the drought continues into next spring, McManus said this would be a society changing event.
“This would be a shock to our system as many people today have not experienced this before,” McManus said.
The climatologist added a touch of good news, saying we are heading into our traditional second wet season of September and October. Also, a strong tropical storm could bring moisture into Oklahoma this fall.
Farm Bureau to host drought summit Aug. 30August 5th, 2011
In an effort to help Oklahoma farmers and ranchers deal with the on-going drought, Oklahoma Farm Bureau is hosting an informal summit Tuesday, Aug. 30, in the OFB cafeteria, 2501 N. Stiles, Oklahoma City.
The one day meeting will feature grassland and economic experts from the Noble Foundation, Agriculture Secretary Jim Reese, Climatologist Gary McManus, Andrea Breautigam, executive director of the Oklahoma Agriculture Mediation Program, FSA Director Francie Tolle and OSU Sociologist Dr. Duane Gill.
“We want to bring together some of the state’s top experts to help our producers manage this natural disaster,” said OFB President Mike Spradling. “We are especially interested in having Dr. Gill on the program as he has an established history of working with victims of natural disasters.”
Dr. Gill is part of a research team studying the human impacts of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. He has a global reputation for helping victims heal after such disasters as the Exxon Valdez Oil spill in Alaska and the BP oil spill in the gulf last summer.
Gary McManus, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, will look at the long-range projections and give producers an idea of what to expect in the coming months.
Noble Foundation staff members Hugh Aljoe and Job Springer will help producers understand the drought’s impact on grass pastures and the economic implications of livestock herd dispersal.
Agriculture Sec. Jim Reese will assess the economic impact on the state’s economy and, Andrea Breautigam will provide information on the state’s agriculture mediation program.
Francie Tolle, director of the Farm Service Agency, will explain federal drought assistance programs for crops and livestock and provide details on available government programs.
“We hope producers will consider this an opportunity to discuss the drought in an informal setting that will allow for the free flow of new ideas,” Spradling said. “It will rain again and we want to be ready from both a personal and business standpoint. This is an extremely important meeting for our producers as we hope to provide meaningful help during this critical time.”
For more information go to www.okfarmbureau.org. Please contact Staci Armstrong (405) 523-2320 or Kelli Beall (405) 523-2470 to register for the summit.
Farm Bureau launches foundationJuly 29th, 2011
Oklahoma farmers and ranchers faced with public opinion battles over food and fiber production are hoping a new nonprofit foundation will create a better understanding of agriculture.
The Oklahoma Farm Foundation will be launched Aug. 1 with the primary purpose of enhancing awareness and understanding of the importance of agriculture.
“We must educate people in urban cities and rural communities who want a plentiful supply of affordably priced food,” said Mike Spradling, president of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, and member of the foundation’s board of directors. “We continually find ourselves defending agriculture production methods. Why should farmers and ranchers have to ask permission to feed the world?” said Spradling.
The foundation provides a funding mechanism for like-minded contributors to support programs that meet the foundation’s purpose.
Examples of foundation-funded programs would include promoting beginning farmers and ranchers and educating Oklahoma young people on the importance of pursuing careers in agriculture-related fields.