PERSPECTIVE OKLAHOMA FARM BUREAU
DOL to reconsider exemption of child labor rule The Labor Department’s announcement to reconsider the ‘parental exemption’ regulations in its proposed child labor rule is good news for Oklahoma farm families, according to Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Mike Spradling. “I’m really thankful the DOL is taking into account our comments to take another look at their proposal,” Spradling said. The DOL received thousands of complaints from the agriculture industry after it announced plans last fall to propose strict, new child labor guidelines on the farm. The agency now says it will take more time to reconsider the parental exemption and hear comments from the public. “Farm Bureau members have made it clear the DOL proposal was wrong and we’re glad the DOL listened to our concerns,” Spradling said. The Sand Springs rancher said the proposal could have impacted agriculture’s future. “If we are to prosper in the future, we need the younger generation to understand agriculture production and having these young people work on the farm fosters that appreciation needed for them to pursue an agricultural career,” Spradling said. The U.S. Department of Labor has not made a final ruling on this issue, but will continue to review public comments regarding the proposed rules, which will fundamentally alter and narrow the application of the parental exemption by preventing any familyowned corporation, LLC, or partnership from qualifying for the exemption. To learn more about this proposed rule, leave a public comment or ask your senator to join the campaign to keep families farming, visit www.keepfamiliesfarming.com. Members are urged to voice their concerns by March 1.
February 10, 2012
In This Issue • DOL child labor rule • Governor supports OLRC • Congressional Action Tour • YF&R upcoming events • Lankford transportation bill
LEADERSHIP conference 2012 Feb. 20-21 • OKC Marriott Hotel
To view a 2012 OFB Leadership Conference agenda and learn more about Farm Bureau Week, visit www.okfarmbureau.org.
Farm Farm Bureau Bureau Week Week
2012 February 20-24
Livestock coalition garners governor’s support Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin endorsed the newly formed Oklahoma Livestock Relief Coalition during a press conference at the state capitol Jan. 23. The coalition provides a funding channel for people to support the efforts of livestock producers and law enforcement agencies who are often given the task of caring for abandoned and neglected livestock. “It’s a great example of the private sector coming together with law enforcement agencies to properly take care of animals,” Fallin said. Oklahoma Agriculture Secretary Jim Reese noted last summer’s drought created a difficult situation for livestock owners and the lingering effects still impact livestock producers. “We had the hottest and driest summer on record, creating hay shortages that continue today,” Reese said. OLRC Spokesperson Dr. Carey Floyd said veterinarians are working closely with law enforcement agencies to handle calls on neglected and abused large animals. “We are receiving many phone calls from people about starving animals,” said Dr. Carey Floyd, President of the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association. “People don’t have any hay, there is no pasture left. Some people are really struggling to properly care for the animals.” Gov. Fallin encouraged the public to help the OLRC take care of these animals. “This takes money so I would like to encourage Oklahomans who want to help to make a donation to the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association Foundation.” The OLRC mission is to provide emergency financial resources to local law enforcement agencies that have seized abused and neglected large animals and ensure (See Livestock Coalition, page 2)
Gov. Mary Fallin speaks during the OLRC press conference, Jan. 23, at the state capitol. She praised livestock producers and law enforcement for teaming up to care for neglected and abandoned livestock.
• Grainger – Offers 10 percent off catalog prices as well as special pricing on other merchandise. Order at 877-202-2594 or www.grainger.com. • Fasttrack Airport Parking – near OKC’s Will Rogers Airport. Offers 10 percent off parking and auto benefits. Mention OFB to parking attendant.
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.
(Livestock Coalition, from page 1) humane care of the animals. The OLRC structure allows concerned citizens to donate funds intended to assist Oklahoma law enforcement agencies with large animal neglect, abuse, and abandonment cases. Contributions will be used to proLivestock Relief vide feed and reasonable emergency care for seized animals during the initial 30-day phase of these cases. Donations may be made through the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Foundation, a 501(c)(3) at www.okvma.org or send to OVMF, PO Box 14521, Oklahoma City, OK 73113. Checks can be made payable to OLRC or OVMF. For more information, please call (405) 478-1002.
OFB Calendar National YF&R Leadership Conference February 17-20, 2012 • Grand Rapids, MI Contact: Holly Carroll, (405) 205-0069 Commodity Advisory Comm. Meeting February 19-25, 2012 • Anaheim, CA Contact: Todd Honer, (405) 205-0090 OFB State Leadership Conference February 20-21, 2012 • Oklahoma City Contact: Melisa Neal, (405) 343-2475
ABOVE – Charter members of the new Oklahoma Livestock Relief Coalition team up to show their support during the press event.
Oklahoma Livestock Relief Coalition Charter Members • •
Oklahoma Farm Bureau Online Monitor the latest Farm Bureau and agricultural news and information online at okfarmbureau.org. Currently online: • Legislative Action – The 2012 state legislative session is in progress! See OFB’s home page for the latest legislative updates from the OFB public policy division. • OFB Leadership Conference – OFB’s annual leadership conference is Feb. 20-21, in Oklahoma City. Visit the OFB home page for more information about the event and how to make reservations to attend.
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Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry Oklahoma Farm Bureau Oklahoma Humane Federation Oklahoma Livestock Marketing Association Oklahoma State University, Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Oklahoma State University, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences Oklahoma Veterinary Technician Association Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Foundation Oklahoma State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners American Farmers and Ranchers Murray State College, Veterinary Technology Poultry Federation of Oklahoma Oklahoma Pork Council Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association
AFBF Women’s Recognition Luncheon Honolulu, Hawaii
Congressional Action Tour reservation deadline is Feb. 20 Only a few days remain to reserve your spot on the 2012 Oklahoma Farm Bureau Congressional Action Tour. OFB members will have the opportunity to meet and discuss important agricultural issues with Oklahoma senators and congressmen during the Washington, D.C. , trip, March 25-29. The event also includes one extra day for other capital city tours and sightseeing. OFB members can choose to depart from either Oklahoma City or Tulsa. For more information about the Congressional Action Tour, contact Marcia Irvin at (405) 523-2405. The RSVP deadline is Feb. 20.
OFB Women – Oklahoma Farm Bureau Women’s Committee Chairman Kitty Beavers accepts an Outstanding Women’s Leadership Program award from American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman and AFBF Women’s Leadership Committee Chair Terry Gilbert (far left). The OFB women’s efforts in leadership were recognized during a luncheon at the AFBF Annual Meeting, Jan. 8-11. Legislative Breakfast – State Rep. R.C. Pruett of District 19 speaks to a group of LeFlore County Farm Bureau members during the county’s legislative breakfast in Poteau, Jan. 27. Members had the opportunity to visit with legislators and discuss hot topics of the 2012 legislative session.
Lankford promotes transportation bill Fifth District Congressman James Lankford recently announced his efforts to fit a pending piece of transportation legislation into the current House Republican transportation bill, introduced on Jan. 31. In a recent interview with Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Lankford said the legislation is a common sense approach to reducing the amount of transportation regulations farmers and ranchers are currently required to follow. “It’s a simple, straightforward rule saying if you have a farm truck or a farm tagged vehicle you should be able to drive the vehicle without going through all of the commercial permitting that is typically required,” Lankford said. The congressman said farmers and ranchers should not be asked to take drug tests, maintain log books, provide medical certification and prove other additional licensing when their mode of transportation is something as simple as a Ford F-250 pickup and stock trailer. His proposal also would exempt children, family members and direct employees of farmers and ranchers from strict transportation rules. Lankford said the legislation should give farmers more flexibility when hauling commodities to market. He said he expects the bill to move out of the U.S. House by mid-February. Farm Bureau members are encouraged to contact their congressman and voice their support of Lankford’s legislation.
ofb|yf&r Upcoming Events • YF&R Speech Contest, March 26 This year’s YF&R speech contest will be held at the OFB home office on March 26. The event is open to both 4-H and FFA students in three age divisions. Applications can be downloaded and printed off from the OFB home page at www.okfarmbureau.org. The application deadline is March 10. • YF&R Scholarship, March 15 One graduating high school senior from each of OFB’s nine districts will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Applicants must be a member of a Farm Bureau voting family and also enrolled in an agriculture program at an accredited Oklahoma institution of higher learning. Scholarship applications must be postmarked by March 15. • YF&R Legislative Day, April 5 • Leadership Conference, April 12-15 For additional information on these YF&R activities or any other YF&Rrelated events, please contact coordinator Holly Carroll at (405) 205-0069 or Holly. Carroll@okfb.org.
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OSU Animal Ag Advocacy
LEFT – National Legislative Programs Director Garrett Hawkins of Missouri Farm Bureau speaks to a class of Oklahoma State University students on Jan. 27, in Stillwater. The students are enrolled in OSU’s Animal Agriculture Advocacy and Policy class and listened to a Farm Bureau panel talk about animal ag production issues in the industry.
Oklahoma A&M Regents visit OFB
OFB to host spring cattle sale Oklahoma Farm Bureau plans to hold its private treaty cattle sale again this year at the Southern Plains Farm Show in Oklahoma City, April 19-21. The herd builder sale is open to all breeds and includes heifers, bred heifers and bulls. Owners are required to provide health certification for all animals and are responsible for feeding, watering and stall upkeep. The Southern Plains Farm Show will be held at Oklahoma City’s State Fair Park. For more information about the OFB private treaty cattle sale, please call Vice President of Field Services Thad Doye at (405) 523-2307. Also, look for more information about the sale in upcoming issues of Perspective. LEFT, REGENTS VISIT – Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College Board of Regents member Doug Burns (third from right) speaks to the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Federation board of directors during an OFB board meeting on Jan. 24. Burns and fellow regent board member Rick Davis (Burns’ immediate left) took questions from the group about the status of the OSU Board of Regents and their land grant university mission. The OFB board met Jan. 24-25, in Oklahoma City.