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News Update

August 18, 2011

Missouri Farmers Care Food Drive Collects 6,500 Pounds of Food

Missouri Farmers Care announced the successful completion of a summer-long food drive to benefit Missouri’s six food banks. The coalition worked with Ford auto dealers and the State Fair to collect 6,500 pounds (lb.) of nonperishable food items.

“Missouri farmers care about Missouri families, which is why we work daily to feed families across the state,” said Don Nikodim, chairman of Missouri Farmers Care. “It’s easy to think that everyone has enough to eat here in the Midwest, where agriculture is prominent, but that is not always the case.”

Starting in June, Ford dealerships began collecting donations in return for dollar-off Missouri State Fair admission coupons. The program ended on Missouri Farmers Care Day at the State Fair Tuesday, Aug. 16, when food donations were accepted at the fair gates by Missouri Farmers Care volunteers. The 6,500 lb. of food donated will be distributed to the six Missouri food banks that serve the state’s 114 counties.

This program is a huge success for the nearly 16% of Missourians that face food insecurity,” said Scott Baker, the state director of the Missouri Food Bank Association. “Not only has this partnership provided an incredible donation, it has also raised statewide awareness of the growing hunger problems in Missouri.”

When it comes to hunger, rural regions have the highest concentrations of high-need counties in Missouri.

“Oftentimes, when we think of hungry people, we think of other countries or big cities. But Missouri’s hungry live in our towns and neighborhoods,” said Mark Wolfe, director of the Missouri State Fair. “I am proud that the Missouri State Fair could serve as a platform to provide food for those in both rural and urban parts of Missouri.”

Concluding the announcement, Nikodim said, “The partnership between Missouri Farmers Care, Ford dealerships and the State Fair was a huge success. Missouri farmers want everyone to have access to high-quality, affordable food, and we will continue to work toward that end.”

Additional information regarding Missouri Farmers Care and Missouri agriculture can be found at

Missouri 4-H Hall of Fame Honors 46 4-H Legacies

Making the best better for generations of Missouri 4-H’ers, 46 4-H luminaries joined the Missouri 4-H Hall of Fame, Aug. 14 at the Missouri State Fair. Inductees from 35 counties established a legacy totaling 1,600 years of service to 4-H. A record crowd of 650 family members and friends attended the fifth annual event.

“This celebration acknowledges the contributions of distinguished 4-H leaders — past and present,” said Missouri 4-H Foundation Chair Ruth Tofle. The Missouri 4-H Foundation recognizes individuals who have created a legacy of service to 4-H by honoring them with membership in the Missouri 4-H Hall of Fame.

“These leaders have made exceptional contributions to the lives of Missouri 4-H members,” said Missouri 4-H Foundation Executive Director Cheryl Reams. The 2011 inductees include John Duncan, Andrew; Truman and the late Mary Coolley, Audrain; Linda and the late Richard Morgan, Barton; the late Jenna Lee Ficken, Benton; Marcia Martin, Boone; Phyllis Fisher, Buchanan; Alta O’Neal, Carroll; Linda Gordy, Clark; Myrna Riechers, Franklin; Courtney and Mariam Goforth, Gentry; the Posler Family, Harrison; Alvin Crooks, Henry; Cheryl Adams, Howard; Marge and Ivan Slaughter, Jackson; Joan Wilson, Jasper; the late Nellie Mabel Jones Turner, Johnson; Martha Hawthorne, Lafayette; Lewis & Marion County Cattlemen, Lewis; Sharon Keim, Lincoln; Inez Preston, Linn; Luzenia Arthaud, Livingston; Stephen and Brenda Coulson, Macon; the Wanda Rothweiler Family, Marion; Sherry Cox, Moniteau; Robert and Mary Beth Mitchell, Monroe; the late Richard and June Kasak, Pettis; Fay Miller, Pike; Gene Stroker, Ralls; Ester Lee and the late Merlin Riley, Randolph; Kaye Wright, Saline; W.O. Poe, Schuyler; the late Denis “Deny” Clatt, Scotland; the Rutter Family, Shelby; the late Ethel Rohlfing, Saint Clair; Joe and Virginia Habjan, Vernon; Frank Graham, State Award; and Nelson Trickey, State Award.

Beef Financial Management Conference to Address Economic Impact of Drought and Risk Management

Two of the most pressing issues facing the beef industry, drought and risk management, will be addressed, among other related topics, at the 2011 Beef Financial Management Conference Oct. 6 at the Ambassador Hotel in Amarillo, Texas.

“Building on the success of last year’s conference, we have assembled another great panel of experts to present at the event this October,” said Rob Gunther, CPA, of Frost PLLC. “Two of the most pressing issues this year for beef producers, drought conditions and risk management, will be covered by nationally known experts in their fields.”

The purpose of the Beef Financial Management Conference is to address the needs of the beef production industry by offering insight into current trends and issues. It will include in-depth financial information, including the 2011 drought and its economic impact to beef producers, estate planning considerations with new tax law changes, risk management strategies, legislative updates and an overall analysis on the outlook of cattle, grain and ethanol.

Keynote speaker John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas State climatologist, will speak on the current drought climate and economic implications to all facets of beef production. The conference will also feature William Murphy, administrator, Risk Management Agency for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Murphy will explain current economic protection and risk management tools available to America’s farmers and ranchers.

The event will take place at the Ambassador Hotel in Amarillo from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a special reception from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Cost will be free for feedlot operators, cattlemen and packers. Cattle industry associates will have a $100 admission fee for the conference. Registration for the conference is available online at

The sponsors for the conference are Frost PLLC; Great Plains Ag Credit; Commodity Risk Management; Commodity and Ingredient Hedging LLC; and Brock Thompson Trading LLC. For more information about the conference, please contact Martha Hill at 501-376-9241 or or Heath Wilson at 806-376-4669 or

Hired Workers Down 5%, Wage Rates Up 1% From a Year Ago

There were 1,186,000 hired workers on the Nation’s farms and ranches during the week of July 10-16, 2011, down 5% from a year ago. Of these hired workers, 836,000 were hired directly by farm operators. Agricultural service employees on farms and ranches made up the remaining 350,000 workers.

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $10.90 per hour during the July 2011 reference week, up 11¢ from a year earlier.

Field workers received an average of $10.24 per hour, up 15¢ from last July, while livestock workers earned $10.28 per hour compared with $10.15 a year earlier. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate, at $10.25 per hour, was up 14¢ from last year. The number of hours worked averaged 41.3 for hired workers during the survey week, up 1% from a year ago.

The largest decreases in the number of hired workers from last year occurred in California and in the Pacific (Oregon and Washington), Northern Plains (Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota), and Corn Belt I (Illinois, Indiana and Ohio) regions. In California and in the Pacific region, the wet spring and cooler-than-normal summer temperatures delayed crop development, reducing the demand for hired workers. Above-normal temperatures, heavy rains and high winds in the Northern Plains and Corn Belt I regions discouraged crop progress and slowed field activity. Therefore, fewer hired workers were needed.

The largest increases in the number of hired workers from last year occurred in the Lake (Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin) and Appalachian II (Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia) regions and in Florida. In the Lake and Appalachian II regions, the wet conditions during last year’s reference week slowed field activity for two days. Drier conditions this year allowed fieldwork to progress rapidly, increasing the demand for hired workers. Recent rains in Florida improved crop growth, which led to heightened activity on farms causing more hired workers to be necessary. Hired worker wage rates were generally above a year ago in most regions. The largest increases occurred in Florida and in the Corn Belt II (Iowa and Missouri), Appalachian II and Southern Plains (Oklahoma and Texas) regions.

The higher wages in Florida were due to strong demand from the nursery and greenhouse industry. In the Corn Belt II region, the higher wages were due to a lower proportion of part time workers. There was also a larger percentage of more highly skilled machine operators on grain farms. Fewer hours worked combined with fewer part time workers in the Appalachian II region led to the increase in wages. In the Southern Plains region, there were more salaried workers working fewer hours, which pushed the average wage up.


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