PERSPECTIVE OKLAHOMA FARM BUREAU
November 2, 2012
OFB Annual Meeting Highlights Speakers and breakout sessions
U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe and Oklahoma Secretary of State Glenn Coffee will address OFB members during the general sessions. John Anderson, American Farm Bureau economist, will discuss the economics of food prices, and attorney Jim McCarthy will focus on wealth transfer and business succession during the two breakout sessions Friday afternoon.
A pair of custom boots, a 100X cowboy hat, OKC Thunder tickets, a guided hunting trip, a John Deere air compressor, Western art and other exclusive items will be featured in a live auction prior to the awards banquet Saturday evening. The proceeds of the auction will benefit the Oklahoma Farming and Ranching Foundation’s mission of promoting Oklahoma agriculture to the general public.
The annual awards banquet Saturday evening will include announcement of the Farm Bureau Farm Family of the Year, Young Farmer and Rancher contest winners, the Distinguished Service to OFB award, the coveted Lewis Munn and John I. Taylor awards and Farm Bureau’s new Lifetime Legacy Award.
The convention wraps up Sunday morning with a vespers service featuring inspirational speaker Paul Ott, who hosts a weekly radio show called “Listen to the Eagle” and is well known for sharing sincere messages about God, country and agriculture.
Throughout Friday and Saturday, convention participants will have the opportunity to visit OFB’s trade show on the first floor of the Cox Convention Center. The exhibits include farm ATV’s, trucks, tractors, farm supply businesses, and booth displays on health care, finances, arts and crafts.
Governor’s food drive
A unique feature of this year’s convention will include a food drive where convention attendees are invited to bring non-perishable food donations for Gov. Mary Fallin’s “Feeding Oklahoma” food drive campaign.
2012 OKLAHOMA FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING - NOV. 9-11 - OKLAHOMA CITY
In This Issue • 71st Annual Meeting • State Question 766 • State resolutions committee • McCloy Fellows • Acreage reporting deadlines
Oklahoma Farm Bureau supports State Question 766 Passage of State Question 766 is vital to Oklahoma farmers and ranchers, who could end up paying new property and business taxes if the voters were to reject it. “Our state’s farmers have been hit hard in recent years with drought and the economic downturn,” said Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Mike Spradling. “The prospect of numerous new property taxes would make it difficult to recover from these difficult times.” SQ 766 exempts all intangible personal property from ad valorem taxation. The ballot measure was necessary following a 2009 state Supreme Court decision which opened the door to widespread taxation of intangible property. Examples of intangible property include brand names and logos, cooperative agreements, leases, water and land use rights, unused mineral rights, regulatory approvals and exemptions, supplier contracts and distribution rights. In response to the court’s decision, the legislature created the business activity tax, or BAT, as a temporary fix. “Farmers and ranchers, like many business owners, are concerned about the BAT because of all the paperwork it has spawned, and what it would become if SQ 766 failed,” Spradling said. “SQ 766 is a permanent fix to the court’s ruling, and it repeals the BAT.” If SQ 766 fails, farmers and ranchers could be subject to a full-fledged gross receipts tax or another onerous new tax. (See State Question 766, page 3)
Member Benefits • PetPartners, Inc. offers health care for
your dog or cat. Don’t let the high cost of accidents or illness strain your budget. Visit www.petpartners.net or call 877-738-7888. OFB highlights a benefit 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.
OFB Calendar OFB Annual Meeting November 9-11 • Oklahoma City Contact: Monica Wilke, (405) 523-2303 FBW Rally November 30 - December 1 • Tulsa Contact: Marcia Irvin, (405) 523-2405 AFBF Annual Meeting January 13-16, 2013 • Nashville, TN Contact: Melisa Neal, (405) 523-2475
Natural disaster emergency fund, stronger crop insurance top priorities for resolutions committee A resolution calling for a $2.5 million state emergency fund to aid with damage from wildfires and other natural disasters was among more than 100 resolutions passed by the Oklahoma Farm Bureau state resolutions committee Oct. 16-17 in Oklahoma City. The proposal will be voted on during the annual OFB convention Nov. 9-11 in Oklahoma City. “We’ve dealt with a series of natural disasters in recent years and this emergency fund would with specifically help with ease the burden in rural areas of Oklahoma,” said Mike Spradling, Oklahoma Farm Bureau president. The committee also passed a resolution supporting a stronger crop insurance program. “If direct payments are excluded from the next farm bill, there should be more funds available to strengthen the crop insurance program,” Spradling said. “Risk management is extremely important as farmers deal with volatile markets and weather conditions.” The group voted to keep the federal estate tax exemption pegged
Oklahoma Farm Bureau Online Monitor the latest Farm Bureau and agricultural news and information online at okfarmbureau.org. Currently online: • OFB Annual Meeting – Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s 71st Annual Meeting is just a few weeks away. Visit the OFB homepage for the most up-todate schedule and information. • Harvest Watch – OFB’s four farming families are reviewing harvest and planning for other summer activities on the OFB Harvest Watch blog. See our OFB homepage to click on the logo.
at $5 million per person. The current estate tax law expires at the end of the year, reverting to a $1 million exemption. “The old law is unacceptable to farmer and ranchers because we have worked extremely hard all our lives, paying taxes and building equity,” Spradling said. “This amounts to double taxation since we have already paid taxes on these assets throughout the years.” Other proposed resolutions include a measure to prevent energy companies from completely depleting streams and ponds when drilling for oil for gas; the Oklahoma Water Resources Board members should represent all regions of the state; retain the sales tax exemption for agricultural producers.
State resolutions committee members (from left) Terry Caldwell of Choctaw County; Tony Morris of Nowata County and Mike Casady of Pontotoc County review numerous policy proposals during a resolutions subcommittee meeting.
House Speaker-designate T.W. Shannon (left) stopped by the state resolutions committee meeting on Oct. 16 to learn more about OFB’s grassroots policy development process and to commend committee members for their commitment to agriculture.
German McCloy Fellows explore Oklahoma’s agricultural industry Four German agricultural leaders visited Oklahoma Oct. 19-22 as part of the McCloy Fellowship program, which allows German and American agricultural leaders to exchange information while touring each other’s respective countries. The program was named after former American ambassador to Germany John J. McCloy, who worked to help rebuild Germany following WWII. Participant Jorn Dwehus serves as the CEO of the Lower Saxony Farm Bureau (Landvolk Niedersachsen). He was sur-
prised to learn that Oklahoma farmers and ranchers are dealing with some of the same issues as those in Lower Saxony. “Environmental questions and animal welfare are high on the agenda for Farm Bureau in Germany,” Dwehus said. The group spent four days in Oklahoma visiting a variety of agricultural enterprises, including dairies, a horse farm, an oilseed processing plant and several cattle and farming operations. While learning about Oklahoma agriculture, the group was hosted by Alfalfa County Farm Bureau leader Hope Pjesky, a 2009 McCloy Fellow. “I think it’s good for all of us to know what’s happening in other parts of the world in the same industry we’re in,” Pjesky said. “I’ve been blessed and honored to travel to several countries and very much enjoyed my experiences. I think it’s great that people from other countries understand what we do too.”
TOP – McCloy Fellows Andrea Bahrenberg (left) and Matthias Kick visit with manager Gary Poupard (right) at OFB member Rick Davis’ dairy near Guthrie Oct. 20. RIGHT – German agriculturists (from left) Jorn Dwehus, Andrea Bahrenberg, Matthias Kick and Roger Fechler tour the Oklahoma City Stockyards Oct. 22.
(State Question 766, from page 1) Farmers and ranchers would not be the only ones forced to dip into their wallets by the new tax. “Everyone would be impacted because companies would just pass along any cost increases to the consumer,” Spradling said. This is not the first time Oklahoma voters have been asked to exempt intangible property from taxation. “Some of our members may remember voting to protect their intangible property
from taxation in 1968,” Spradling said. “Because of the supreme court action, we must repeat our vote to protect intangible property from taxation, by voting ‘yes’ on SQ 766.” Protecting farmers and ranchers from high ad valorem taxes has been a longtime priority of OFB. “Agricultural producers are one of the major land owners and are more sensitive to property tax increases,” Spradling said.
Farmers pass the hat to fight hunger
Enough money was raised for approximately 1,000 meals during the opening luncheon for the Oklahoma Farm Bureau state resolutions committee Oct. 16 in Oklahoma City. In his address to the committee, Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Mike Spradling encouraged the group to contribute just one dollar apiece for Gov. Fallin’s third annual Feeding Oklahoma Food and Fund Drive. According to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, every dollar contributed equals five meals. “This is a good way to show farmers care about those less fortunate Oklahomans who worry about where their next meal will come from.” Spradling said. “I encourage every Oklahoman to contribute a dollar to this worthy campaign.” The resolutions committee meets each year prior to the group’s annual convention (Nov. 9-11) to work on proposed resolutions that have been submitted by county Farm Bureaus. The resolutions are then voted on by delegates attending the state convention. Each year, Farm Bureau members bring non-perishable food items to the annual Farm Bureau convention. Most recently the farm group has announced partnership in the Beef for Back Pack program where nutritional beef sticks are added to hungry children’s back packs for use on weekends and holidays. The food drive is conducted in partnership with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, which serves community soup kitchens, food banks and shelters in all 77 counties. The food drive is Oct. 15 to Nov. 15. Farm Bureau offices throughout the state are serving as drop off points for the food drive. The most needed items include: canned meat, vegetables, fruit and tuna, peanut butter, rice and beans.
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Macey Panach, 523-2346 Traci Morgan, 523-2346 Perspective/Online News Editor Perspective/Online News Editor Monica Wilke, 523-2303 Executive Director Sam Knipp, 523-2347 Sam 523-2347 ViceKnipp, President of Communications/PR Vice President of Communications/PR Marla Peek, 523-2437 Tyler Norvell, 523-2402 Director of Regulatory Vice President of PublicAffairs Policy
Chris Kidd, 523-2539 Director of State and National Affairs Marla Peek, 523-2437 Director of Regulatory Affairs
Farm Bureau leader appointed to DEQ board OFB District 4 Director Jimmy Wayne Kinder has been appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin to serve a five-year term on the Environmental Quality Board of Directors. The Oklahoma Legislature Jimmy Wayne Kinder established the Environmental Quality Board comprised of Oklahoma citizens to provide guidance to the Department of Environmental Quality. Board members have a variety of backgrounds in manufacturing, hazardous waste management, solid waste management, petroleum industry, agriculture, recreation, conservation, rural water systems, and statewide environmental groups. Responsibilities of the board are the appointment of the DEQ’s Executive Director and the adoption of rules that determine operation of the Department. Kinder and his wife Margaret Ann operate a diversified family farm near Walters. Commodities produced on the Kinder farm include wheat, canola, grain sorghum, sesame and beef cattle.
OFB county offices participate in annual membership drive OFB county offices across the state are participating in a new membership drive promotion called “We’re Now Even Better” during the month of November. The offices are divided into three categories based on current membership, and the counties that add the highest percentage of new members based on the county quota will be recognized with a catered meal and prizes. “Membership is the core of who we are
as an organization,” said OFB Executive Director Monica Wilke. “This friendly competition will help promote the many benefits Farm Bureau offers to Oklahomans and strengthen our presence in all 77 counties. “I encourage each of our current members to reach out to friends and neighbors to let them know the important role Farm Bureau plays in Oklahoma agriculture.”
FSA reminds producers of new acreage reporting deadlines Francie Tolle, executive director for Oklahoma Farm Service Agency, reminds producers of new deadlines for submitting their annual report of acreage to local FSA county offices. Producers of perennial forage crops (grass, hay, alfalfa, and pasture) must submit a 2013 acreage report for those crops by Nov. 15, 2012. Producers of fall seeded grains (including winter wheat) and canola must submit a 2013 acreage report for those crops by Dec. 17, 2012. The normal deadline is Dec. 15, 2012 but since the 15th falls on a Saturday, producers will have until Dec. 17, 2012 to report their acreage. This is also the same date for these crops to be reported to your crop insurance agent when carrying federal crop insurance. “In prior years, reports for these crops were not due to FSA until later in the spring and summer. This change is part of an initiative at the national level to align acre-
age reporting dates between FSA and Risk Management Agency and reduce the crop reporting burden on producers,” said Tolle. All acreage must be reported for a farm, including crops on non-cropland such as hayed or grazed grassland. It is also important to accurately report crops’ intended use. Intended use is used to determine eligibility in many FSA programs and cannot be revised once reported. Producers should contact their local FSA county office if they are uncertain about reporting deadlines. In order to meet FSA program eligibility requirements, producers must submit timely acreage reports. Reports filed after the established deadlines must meet certain requirements to be accepted and may be charged late fees. For more information on FSA crop reporting requirements, visit your local FSA office or visit us online at www.fsa.usda.gov/ok.