PERSPECTIVE OKLAHOMA FARM BUREAU
May 7, 2010
2 0 1 0 Final session deadline before adjournment By Tyler Norvell, OFB Director of State Affairs
The deadline for bills to be passed out of their opposite house of origin has come and gone. There are now three weeks left in the 2010 legislative session. The biggest issue left this session is determining the budget. There has been a lot of negotiating between leadership in the House and Senate and the governor’s office. The one certain with this year’s budget is that there will be more cuts coming to all state agencies. On a good note, many pieces of legislation supported by the Oklahoma Farm Bureau have already been signed into law while others continue to move through the legislative process. Legislation signed into law: PROTECTING TRADITIONAL ANIMAL HUSBANDRY PRACTICES HB 3202 clarifies that acts of animal husbandry are not prohibited by the Veterinary Practice Act. It also requires that of the five veterinarian members of the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (Board), one must be an equine practitioner and one must be a large animal practitioner. (See Legislative Update, page 3)
Farmers and ranchers ﬁlled out surveys about agricultural challenges at the Farm Bureau display during the 2010 Farm Show in Oklahoma City. From left, are Letisha and Joshua Miller, Stanley Miller and Glenn Patterson.
Survey shows farmers, young and old, concerned about government intrusion An informal survey of participants at the Oklahoma City Farm Show (April 15-17) and the Oklahoma FFA Convention (April 27-28) revealed most are concerned about too much government involvement in agriculture. The survey was conducted when participants visited the Oklahoma Farm Bureau booth during the events. (See Survey shows, page 2)
State FFA Convention
State YF&R Committee Member Nicole Martens, left, gave away promotional items to FFA students from across the state while promoting YF&R during the annual State FFA Convention, which was held in Oklahoma City April 27-28.
INTERN SCHOLARSHIP – Sam Knipp, left, OFB vice president of Corporate Communications/Public Relations, presented Karolyn Bolay with an intern scholarship during a recent banquet at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. Bolay is an OSU agricultural communications student. She will begin her summer internship with OFB’s Communications Division in late May. During her internship, Bolay will gain experience in all areas of communications, including radio, video, print and marketing.
Member Benefits • Car Rentals – Both National Car Rental
and Hertz Rent A Car offer members special discounts. 800-Car-Rent, 800-654-3131
• Fasttrack Airport Parking – Near Will Rogers
World Airport in OKC, Fasttrack offers 10 percent off parking and auto services to members.
OFB will highlight 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 www.okfarmbureau.org.
OFB Calendar State Legislature Adjourns May 28 • Oklahoma City Contact: Lori Peterson, 405-523-2539 OFB Safety Seminar June 7-9 • Tatanka Ranch in Stroud Contact: Justin Grego, 405-850-6479 National Ag in the Classroom Mtg. June 24-27 • Baltimore, MD Contact: Marcia Irvin, 405-523-2405
Oklahoma Farm Bureau Online Monitor the latest Farm Bureau and agricultural news and information online at www.okfarmbureau.org. Currently online: • “News” Page – Visit the “News” page on OFB’s website for each day’s top agricultural stories, audiovisual presentations, weekly Ag-First radio programs, photo galleries, high resolution photos for download, and the latest OFB publications, including Perspective and Oklahoma Country. • Calendar – Summer is packed with Farm Bureau events and activities. To keep up with what’s happening, view the Calendar from OFB’s home page.
Survey shows...... (continued from page 1) The survey was composed of three questions: What are the critical farm issues today?; Are you doing anything different on your farm this spring?; and What is the biggest challenge for your business today? Almost half of all farm show participants surveyed said they are concerned about too much government control. “Everything from the government health care plan to energy costs to environmental regulations is causing a strain on the family farm,” said Glenn Patterson of Keota. The high cost of inputs also drew a large percentage of responses. “The biggest challenge to my farm today is rising fuel costs,” said John Pfeiffer of Mulhall. At the State FFA convention, 47 percent said they are concerned about government regulations and the prospect of higher taxes. Also drawing attention were animal welfare, public misunderstanding of agriculture and the availability of land for young farmers. “The biggest challenge is an uninformed public about agriculture,” said Chacey Schoeppel, Fairview FFA. “They (public) don’t understand the link between the producer and the consumer.” “The surprising solidarity between the young FFA leaders and the older agriculturalists indicates to me the kids are paying attention when their parents discuss the issues,” said Thad Doye, OFB vice president of Field Services. Doye helped coordinate the survey and noted the ease in attracting survey participants. “They were more than willing to share their thoughts,” Doye said.
Legislative Update... (continued from page 1)
Climate Change It’s ofﬁcial: climate bill coming before immigration
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has made it oﬃcial: The Senate will consider a climate change and energy bill before an immigration bill. “I am going to move forward on energy first,” Reid said. However, the Senate’s top Democrat said he is committed to passing immigration reform this year. Meanwhile, Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) have sent a draft of their new climate change bill to the Environmental Protection Agency for an economic analysis, a sign that the senators are continuing to prepare for possible floor debate even though the bill has stalled on Capitol Hill. The EPA analysis is expected to take roughly five weeks and will yield forecasts of effects such as predicted household costs.
Farm Bill Vilsack calls for safety net, rural jobs provision In the first official hearing recently on the 2012 farm bill, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the House Agriculture Committee that the Obama administration will leave writing of the bill largely to congressional agriculture committees, but the administration believes the bill should contain a safety net for farmers plus provisions to help create better off-farm jobs in rural America. Vilsack said the administration would provide an outline of a bill, but has no intention of providing a complete farm bill. In questioning, ranking member Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) expressed concern to Vilsack that the Obama administration wants to turn rural America into a bedroom community where people drive to work and drive back, but Vilsack said that is not the goal. He said that jobs in biorefineries and firms using broadband Internet service would help people stay in rural America.
HB 3202 also sets up a certification process for equine teeth floaters under the Board. INVASIVE SPECIES SB 1330 will set up a task force to look at invasive species, particularly musk thistle and what efforts the state can take to help mitigate this problem. The legislation was authored by Sen. Mike Schulz and Rep. Don Armes. REMOVAL OF W HEAT COMMISSION FROM THE CENTRAL PURCHASING ACT HB 3204 has been signed into law by Gov. Henry. The bill, authored by Rep. Don Armes and Sen. Ron Justice, removes the Wheat Commission from the requirement of the Central Purchasing Act. HB 3204 is a cost saving measure for the Wheat Commission, a non-appropriated agency that runs completely on producer dollars. ANNEXATION REFORM SB 1864, authored by Sen. Brian Bingman and Rep. Skye McNiel, will allow a landowner who was wrongfully annexed to recover attorney fees and would also allow owners of (See Legislative Update, page 4)
Sen. Patrick Anderson addressed a large group of county and state Farm Bureau leaders in Enid during a legislative dinner hosted by Garﬁeld, Noble and Major counties on April 22.
LEFT – Rep. Harold Wright spoke to Farm Bureau members attending the KingﬁsherBlaine legislative dinner on Thursday, April 8, at the Chisholm Trail Technology Center. More than 70 farm and ranch leaders turned out to hear updates on legislation from their elected ofﬁcials.
Ralph Morgan, center, visited with Rep. Phil Richardson, right, and Sen. Don Barrington during Grady County Farm Bureau’s legislative dinner April 29 in Chickasha.
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Traci Morgan, 523-2346 Perspective/Online News Editor Sam Knipp, 523-2347 Vice President of Communications/PR Lori Kromer Peterson, 523-2539 Vice President of Public Policy Marla Peek, 523-2437 Director of Regulatory Affairs Tyler Norvell, 523-2402 Director of State Affairs
Legislative Update (continued from page 3)
agriculture land previously annexed to have an exemption from municipal ordinances relating to agriculture use of the land. The legislation addressed sections of law relating to annexation by towns just as legislation in 2009 addressed annexation laws for cities. Legislation still alive:
LANDOWNER RIGHTS FOR W IND ENERGY DEVELOPMENT HB 2973 and SB 2132 have passed the Senate and now await hearings on the House floor. Both bills, authored by Rep. Mike Sanders and Sen. Bryce Marlatt, seek to address some concerns for landowners wishing to develop wind rights, such as the decommissioning of commercial wind energy facilities while still encouraging wind development in Oklahoma.
Both bills are in conference committee for additional work before final passage. SB 1787, by Sen. Mike Schulz and Rep. Fred Jordan, would prohibit the severance of wind rights from the surface. SB 1787 is now in conference committee. PAVING DISTRICTS HB 3160, authored by Rep. Leslie Osborn and Sen. Ron Justice, seeks to exempt agriculture property owners from unwanted assessments by paving districts. For agriculture property owners who do not wish to develop their property, the paving assessment is an unwanted tax. This piece of legislation is currently in conference committee.
County Farm Bureau Capitol Visits
INCREASED F INES FOR SHOOTING FROM THE ROAD SB 2093, by Sen. John Sparks and Rep. Mike Sanders, seeks to increase the fine for shooting from the road from $100 to no less than $500 or more than $1,500 for a first offense, and no less than $1,500 or more than $2,500 for a second offense. These are the
current fine levels for trespassing and hunting without permission on agriculture land. SB 2093 is now headed back to the Senate for acceptance of House amendments, before heading to the governor’s desk.
District 7 leaders visited with their legislators during a Capitol Visit April 21. From left, are Bob Bolay, Dennis Flaming, Juanita Bolay, Roland Pederson, Elaine Flaming, Sen. David Myers, Jim Hadwiger, Clara Wichert, Richard Castle, Linda Krejsek, Kenny Ferda and Margaret Watsek.
Sen. John Sparks, right, met with Cleveland County Farm Bureau Vice President Bill Seiter, left, and Director Ronnie Lee during the county leaders’ Capitol Visit April 27. As the 2010 legislative session nears an end, the state budget has taken center stage.