PERSPECTIVE OKLAHOMA FARM BUREAU
January 25, 2013
OFB members attend 94th AFBF Annual Meeting in Music City, USA OFB delegates (from right) Mason Bolay, Alan Jett, Gary Crawley, Gary Johnson and Mike Spradling listen as resolutions affecting several agricultural issues are discussed during the delegate session of the AFBF Annual Meeting, Jan. 15, in Nashville.
OFB Women’s Committee Chairman Kitty Beavers (center) accepts recognition for the committee’s “Pig to Plate” DVD. Each state was given a copy of the popular educational resource during the AFBF Annual Meeting.
Passage of a new five-year farm bill topped the list of priority issues for the American Farm Bureau, announced following the conclusion of the organization’s 94th annual convention, Jan. 15, in Nashville, Tenn. The priority issues are determined by the AFBF board of directors, including Sand Springs farmer Mike Spradling, who was re-elected to his fourth, two-year term. “These are critical issues that need our immediate attention,” Spradling said. “We will use all available resources to work on these issues.” (See Issues, page 3)
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau booth was a big hit during the AFBF trade show. OFB members partnered with the Oklahoma Wheat Commission to serve fresh wheat bread and cinnamon rolls to thousands of attendees.
Alfalfa County YF&R members Steve and Mindi Clark tell their story during the AFBF Excellence in Agriculture competition finals, Jan. 13, in Nashville. In addition to working full-time jobs off the farm, Steve and Mindi also operate a farm near Burlington.
Farm Bureau announces national priority issues
Plan now to participate in Farm Bureau Week activities Farm Bureau Week is Feb. 18-22, 2013, and Oklahoma Farm Bureau is planning several events to celebrate. Newspaper ads are available for counties to use in local media. The ads promote OFB membership and involvement. For more information, contact Kelli Beall, OFB Field Services Division, at (405) 523-2470. Other FB Week activities include: Feb. 17-23 – Food Check-Out Week The OFB Women’s Committee will deliver Braum’s and McDonald’s coupons and grocery items to the Ronald McDonald House charities in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, while also talking to consumers about purchasing healthy foods on a budget. Contact: Marcia Irvin, (405) 523-2405 Feb. 18-19 – OFB Leadership Conference Find more details on page 3 or online at www.okfarmbureau.org
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OFB leaders appointed to governor’s water policy advisory council
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. Tom Buchanan
OFB Calendar Oklahoma Legislature Convenes February 4, 2013 • OKC Contact: John Collison, (405) 523-2539 National YF&R Leadership Conference February 7-11, 2013 • Phoenix, AZ Contact: Holly Carroll, (405) 205-0069 National Leadership Conference February 7-11, 2013 • Phoenix, AZ Contact: Melisa Neal, (405) 523-2475
Gov. Mary Fallin appointed two Oklahoma Farm Bureau leaders to her Water Policy for 2060 Advisory Council. Tom Buchanan of Altus and Bob Drake of Davis were selected to fill new positions on the advisory board. “We are happy to see rural Oklahoma and rural water interests so well represented on the governor’s advisory council,” said Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Mike Spradling. “Tom and Bob represent Oklahoma agriculture in the many rolls they fill in their communities and in our state, and we know they will continue to speak for rural Oklahoma on the governor’s water policy council.” Buchanan represents OFB’s second district on the OFB state board of directors. He farms in southwest Oklahoma and manages the Lugert-Altus Irrigation District. Buchanan also serves on the Oklahoma Water Resources Board. Drake is president of Murray County Farm Bureau and has previously served on the OFB state board. He farms and ranches in southern Oklahoma, and he is a current member of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board. Drake also served on the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality Board. The Water Policy for 2060 Advisory Council was formed during the 2012 Oklahoma legislative session to make recommendations for the governor and legislature to ensure Oklahoma’s water needs are met through conservation.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau Online Monitor the latest Farm Bureau and agricultural news and information online at okfarmbureau.org. Currently online: • Agricultural News – Oklahoma Farm Bureau features a new agriculturerelated story every day on its site. Read about both AFBF and state Farm Bureau news by visiting the homepage. • OFB 2013 Calendar – Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s staff is gearing up for a busy schedule in 2013. From the upcoming legislative session to summer conferences, see our lineup of events!
OFB leader re-elected to national board OFB President Mike Spradling was re-elected Jan. 15 to serve a two-year term on the American Farm Bureau board of directors. The election occurred during the 94 annual AFBF convention in Nashville, Tenn. Mike Spradling “I am extremely proud to represent Oklahoma on the AFBF board,” Spradling said. “I will continue to push for critical issues impacting Oklahoma agriculture, including a new farm bill, immigration reform and reducing government regulations.” Representing the southern region, Spradling joins 16 other state Farm Bureau presidents on the AFBF board. The Oklahoma leader was first elected to the national board in 2007.
State legislative session begins Feb. 4
(Issues, from page 1)
By John Collison OFB Vice President of Public Policy and Media Relations
The national farm group said its 2013 strategic action agenda will include: • Work for passage of a new farm bill that meets core principles by Sept. 13, 2013. Core principles include a farm income safety net and risk management programs to protect farmers from catastrophes, and programs that provide emergency assistance for livestock and tree producers not covered by federal crop insurance programs; • Work for passage of Water Resources Development Act and for reform of harbor maintenance trust fund and inland waterways trust fund; • Defend standards and incentives necessary to further develop U.S. renewable fuels industry; • Work for legislation in early 2013 that addresses both long- and shortterm agricultural labor needs; • Oppose EPA efforts to expand scope of “navigable waters “subject to federal regulations under the Clean Water Act; • Oppose expansion of federal Clean Water Act permit requirements for poultry and livestock farmers and ranchers; • Protect farmers’ and ranchers’ business tax interests in debate on fiscal policy and tax reform; • Protect farmers’ and ranchers’ interests in development of FDA food safety regulations.
As we look forward to the 54th legislative meeting, we see a lot of the same familiar faces and names that we have grown to know over the years. We have familiar names such as Fallin, Shannon, Bingman, Fields, DeWitt, Armes and Jackson. Many of these legislators we call friends, and some we just call family. On Feb. 4, 2013, the regular meeting of the Oklahoma Legislature will reconvene to look over bills and ideas presented by the citizens of Oklahoma. Some of these bills will be ones that our Farm Bureau membership worked so hard on over the summer months. Some of these will be bills that were crafted through our grassroots process and will see the light of day, and some of them may never make it off the desk. Such is the nature of the business. One bill OFB is excited to run this year is the Right to Farm bill. This will be a piece of legislation introduced by Rep. Scott Biggs of Chickasha that will bestow your right and the right of your children to farm and ranch in Oklahoma for as long as the sun rises and sets. This will be a constitutional right and will appear as a state question on the ballot in 2014. While we do not currently have a problem with this issue, states like Oklahoma see an ever-increasing fight against agriculture from radicals when it comes to raising livestock and employing
modern farming techniques. Farm Bureau looks forward to taking this question to the public and educating them on the importance of this issue. As I type this, nearly 2,400 bills have just been John Collison introduced to the Oklahoma Legislature. Some of these bills will be friendly and some will challenge the way we live and do business. The OFB Public Policy Division will be closely monitoring these bills and will provide a bill tracking feature on the Oklahoma Farm Bureau website at www.okfarmbureau.org. This resource will include status updates on the issues that affect our members most. While we will face challenges in areas such as water rights, aerial imagery, private property rights, feral hogs and Eastern red cedars this session, rest assured Oklahoma Farm Bureau takes these issues very seriously and will do our best to make sure they have a positive outcome on behalf of our members.
2013 OFB Congressional Action Tour April 14-18 • Washington, D.C.
Registration Deadline - March 11
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau Leadership Conference is an opportunity for OFB members to hear from a variety of influential speakers while learning more about the issues affecting Oklahoma agriculture. Sessions on the farm bill, state water issues and social media are planned, and AFBF President Bob Stallman will provide an outlook on upcoming national issues. The two-day conference will end with a visit to the state Capitol. For more information, contact the OFB Public Policy Division at (405) 530-2681.
More information and registration forms are available on the OFB website at www.okfarmbureau.org or contact the OFB Public Policy Division at (405) 530-2681.
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Grazing management, energy industry highlight upcoming forum for regional agricultural producers The Society for Range Management will hold two Successful Ranching Producer Forum sessions on Tuesday, Feb. 5, in conjunction with its annual meeting at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. The morning session will be from 8 to 11:30 a.m. and will focus on grazing management. This session will feature ranchers from Oklahoma and Kansas who will speak on how their management and stewardship practices help make their ranch successful and sustainable. Speakers will cover rotational grazing, patch burn grazing, wildlife management
and other management tools they use to be successful stewards of their range resource. The afternoon session will be from 1:30 to 4 p.m. and will focus on coping with the energy industry. Many landowners must share their range resources with the energy industry and learn how to co-exist and be successful while coping with the effects. Producers will learn areas in which they can have success in mitigation of surface damages, ranch infrastructure development, water development and strategies to make the best out of an often tough situation.
“It is the rancher’s management ability to understand the limitations and demands of their range resources,” said James Rogers, assistant professor. “Producers should develop a system that works best to sustain and enhance those resources that lead to success rather than choosing a method of grazing off the shelf that may or may not fit their operation.” For additional details, please visit the Society of Range Management website at www.rangelands.org.
OFB sponsors booth at KNID Agrifest, Jan. 11-12 LEFT – Garfield County YF&R member Lacey Voth visits with a KNID 107.1 reporter about the YF&R Committee’s annual activities. YF&R members helped work the OFB booth during the 2013 KNID Agrifest in Enid, Jan. 11.
RIGHT – Garfield County YF&R members Tyler Goss (right) and Dalton LaFosse (left) visit with KNID Agrifest attendees about the benefits of being an Oklahoma Farm Bureau member.