PERSPECTIVE OKLAHOMA FARM BUREAU
July 26, 2013
OKFB Leadership Team holds annual summer conference More than 80 OKFB Leadership Team members gathered in Claremore July 12-13 for the group’s annual summer conference. Event highlights included an inspirational address from Donna McSpadden about the legendary life of her husband, Clem McSpadden, an open sharing of ways for OKFB women to get involved with their communities led by Sue Billiot of the AFBF Women’s Leadership Committee, and workshops geared toward empowering women and encouraging them to be more engaged in agriculture and OKFB. “We want these women to see the impact they can have when they are involved in agriculture,” said Kitty Beavers, OKFB Leadership Team chairman. “Whether it’s sharing messages on their Facebook pages, participating in Ag in the Classroom or spending time face-to-face with consumers, we can all do more to contribute to the agricultural industry and Oklahoma Farm Bureau.” The workshops addressed topics including social media, heart and women’s health and Ag in the Classroom. The women participated in discussions about ways to advocate for agriculture on Facebook and Twitter, things they can do to stay healthy and educational tools that can be used to teach young students about agriculture.
After dinner at the Nut House in Claremore on Friday evening, Native American storyteller Robert Lewis entertained the group by using them as characters in his stories. Laughter filled the room as members were pulled from the crowd to play parts in his tales. The Leadership Team members spent Saturday morning touring Shepherd’s Cross, a working sheep farm and agritourism site in Claremore. The group walked through the farm’s biblical gardens, learned about spinning sheep wool and took a hayride through the farm’s pastures as they learned more about the operation.
Rogers County Leadership Team member Mary Jane Delozier performs The Lord’s Prayer in Cherokee sign language during the 2013 summer conference. Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom Coordinator Audrey Harmon introduces “Penning Oklahoma,” a new fictional book describing the agricultural adventures of six Oklahoma fifth-graders.
2013 August Area Meetings scheduled for Aug. 12-27 District 1 - August 19 6:30 p.m. - Woodward (TBA) District 1 - August 27 6:30 p.m. - Guymon (TBA) District 2 - August 13 6:30 p.m. - Kiowa Co. FB Office District 3 - August 13 6:30 p.m. - Canadian Co. FB office
District 4 - August 19 11 a.m. - Marshall Co. FB office 6:30 p.m. - Stephens Co. FB office
District 7 - August 15 6:30 p.m. - Enid (Hoover Building at Garfield County Fairgrounds)
District 5 - August 27 6 p.m. - Western Sizzlin’, McAlester
District 8 - August 12 6 p.m. - Pontotoc Technology Center
District 6 - August 22 10 a.m. - Mayes Co. FB Office 6 p.m. - Muskogee Co. FB Office
District 9 - August 20 6 p.m. - Tulsa County FB Office
Member Benefits • Case IH provides Oklahoma Farm Bureau members with discounts on popular farm equipment and utility vehicles. Visit the OKFB website for a list of eligible products. OKFB highlights a benefit in each issue of Perspective as a reminder of the savings available to OKFB members. Find a complete list of savings online at www.okfarmbureau.org.
OKFB Calendar District Farm Family Applications Due August 1 • County Offices Contact: Marcia Irvin, (405) 523-2405 August Area Meetings August 12-27 • Statewide Contact: Thad Doye, (405) 523-2307 State Farm Family Applications Due August 15 • State Office Contact: Marcia Irvin, (405) 523-2405
Farm bill process continues into uncharted waters By John Collison OKFB Vice President of Public Policy and Media Relations My friends, we are in uncharted waters when it comes to the 2013 farm bill. As you are all aware by now the House and the Senate have each passed a farm bill off their respective floors. Both of the bills have passed with similar agriculture titles, but the House left out the SNAP provision, otherwise known as food stamps. This is where things get interesting in Congress. As far back as anyone can remember, we have always passed a farm bill with the nutrition title attached. We have also had a provision within the ag titles that stated if a farm bill was not reauthorized, we would revert back to the 1949 farm bill provisions. This 1949 Act will take effect if Congress does not act by Sept. 30, 2013, to reauthorize the bill. The ‘49 Act has always been the “poison pill” that encourages members to come to the table to renegotiate this bill every few years. If Congress is unable to come to a conclusion – at least on the ag titles – by the end of September, we will all be in a world of hurt. The Senate and the House have taken just the agriculture titles and have begun the conference process of reconciling both
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 agriculture-related story every day on its site. Read about both AFBF and state Farm Bureau news by visiting the homepage.
• OKFB Harvest Watch Blog – The second annual OKFB Harvest Watch blog season is underway. Visit www.okfarmbureau.org and click on the OKFB Harvest Watch link to follow the six farm families.
bills to get one for the president to sign. Every day there is speculation on both sides of what this means and what will happen with the bill. I have heard many of you state your different John Collison opinions on what this lack of the SNAP provision means for the future of the farm community. For those of you not aware, SNAP makes up 80 percent of the cost of the entire farm bill. I think privately we would all like to be able to stand on our own as a community and let Congress pass a farm bill every few years that has to do with just farm issues. Trust me, I would be first in line for that idea. However, with the shrinking size of agricultural influence in Washington, D.C., these days, that makes it harder and harder to do. I’m going to go out on a limb and let you know what I think will happen. Due to the fact that 100 percent of the United States Senate represents some sort of ag constituents and most would like to see a bill passed for their voters, I feel there is a real interest for the Senate to try and pass an ag bill with the House. This will be a pure ag bill, with nothing happening to the SNAP program. If you’re for food stamps, this is your best option. The House has all ready shown its hand in wanting to cut billions of dollars from SNAP. If nothing is done by either chamber on SNAP this year, it moves forward untouched. The SNAP provision of the bill does not have to be reauthorized like the ag titles do. As I mentioned, we are in uncharted waters. This is just what I think could happen. Time will tell, but know this – we need the House, the Senate and the president to pass and sign an ag bill if America wants to continue down the road of prosperity in agriculture.
OKFB redesigns website The newly redesigned OKFB website offers updated features and more agricultural news for viewers. Social media feeds, commodity market reports and weather forecasts have been added to the homepage, and the Oklahoma Farm Bureau news section has been expanded, making it a one-stop shop for agricultural information. Links to an audio feature of the day and OKFB’s YouTube channel give users access to several multimedia forms of communication. In addition, each webpage now has a social media sharing toolbar, allowing users to easily share their favorite stories and content from the site. Viewers will appreciate the “Application Center,” which hosts all awards, recognition and other application forms that were previously located on various pages throughout the site. Finally, the member benefits page has been updated, making it easier to browse the variety of member benefits OKFB offers. More features are in the works, so visit the site often to stay connected with OKFB.
Legislators recognized for supporting rural Oklahoma Oklahoma Farm Bureau recently announced 84 state legislators received initiation into OKFB’s 100 Percent Club. The award is based on a 100 percent voting record on key Farm Bureau legislative measures during the 2013 Oklahoma legislative session. “We want to recognize these legislators for their outstanding support and leadership this year,”said John Collison, OKFB vice president of public policy and media affairs. Collison said the bills used to score the legislators exemplified Farm Bureau’s mission of improving the lives of rural Oklahomans. “Farm Bureau is a grass roots organization with a strong belief in protecting personal property rights, keeping taxes low and boost-
ing agricultural and rural business,” Collison said. The following 29 senators received the designation: Cliff Aldridge, Mark Allen, Patrick Anderson, Roger Ballenger, Don Barrington, Brian Bingman, Larry Boggs, Josh Brecheen, Corey Brooks, Sean Burrage, Harry Coates, Kim David, Jerry Ellis, Eddie Fields, John Ford, A.J. Griffin, Tom Ivester, Rob Johnson, Clark Jolley, Ron Justice, Kyle Loveless, Bryce Marlatt, Dan Newberry, Mike Schulz, Ralph Shortey, Frank Simpson, John Sparks, Anthony Sykes, Charles Wyrick. In the House, the list includes 55 representatives: Don Armes, John Bennett, Scott Biggs, Lisa J. Billy, Gus Blackwell, Ed Cannaday, Dennis Casey, Mike Christian,
Josh Cockroft, Donnie Condit, Ann Coody, Doug Cox, Lee Denney, Dale DeWitt, Joe Dorman, John Enns, Dan Fisher, William Fourkiller, Larry Glenn, Tommy Hardin, Jeff W. Hickman, Arthur Hulbert, Mike Jackson, Dennis Johnson, Charlie Joyner, Dan Kirby, Steve Kouplen, James Lockhart, Scott Martin, Steve Martin, Mark McBride, Charles A. McCall, Curtis McDaniel, Skye McNiel, Tom Newell, Terry O’Donnell, Charles Ortega, Leslie Osborn, Pat Ownbey, David L. Perryman, Marty Quinn, Brian Renegar, Dustin Roberts, Sean Roberts, Wade Rousselot, Mike Sanders, Colby Schwartz, Earl Sears, T.W. Shannon, Jerry Shoemake, Todd Thomsen, John Trebilcock, Steve Vaughan, Justin F. Wood, Harold Wright.
Big Three Field Days
Vice President of Public Policy and Media Relations John Collison discusses OKFB’s many recent legislative victories and encourages members to be involved in the policy process during the annual Noble County FB ice cream social in Perry, July 8.
FFA and 4-H members evaluate a class of commercial market hogs during the 2013 Big Three Field Days in Stillwater, July 16-18. More than 1,400 youth from Oklahoma and across the country participated in the judging contest.
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Prescribed Fire Community of Practice goes live The eXtension Prescribed Fire Community of Practice is officially live as of July 1. The CoP is comprised of a leadership team of prescribed fire professionals from across the country. The diversity of the team helps provide a wide variety of knowledge from different ecosystems. The CoP was created to provide a clearinghouse for information on conducting controlled burns and the effects of fire on plants and wildlife. The CoP provides information on fire through articles and frequently asked questions from the nation’s
top prescribed fire personnel. If the information you need is not covered, the “Ask an Expert” tool is offered to provide a quick response by a fire professional from your region. The CoP also supplies up to date fire news and events. Most plant communities across North America are adapted to fire, and many plant and wildlife species are dependent upon fire for their survival. Fire suppression following European settlement in North America has caused these areas to dramatically change. Grasslands and prairies are being invaded
by trees; savannas and open woodlands are becoming closed canopy forests; and prairie birds are declining with some species now threatened or endangered. It is critical that fire be restored to create and maintain the conditions necessary for our native plants and wildlife. Prescribed fire, sometimes also known as controlled burning, is the way land managers safely and effectively get fire back into these natural areas. The Prescribed Fire CoP URL is: www. extension.org/prescribed_fire
AITC participates in Vision 2020 LEFT - Teachers attending the Oklahoma State Department of Education Vision 2020 Conference participate in an Ag in the Classroom workshop led by Frank Hardin from the Noble Foundation.
RIGHT - Garvin Co. YF&R Committee member Letisha Miller attends an Ag in the Classroom workshop during the Vision 2020 Conference in Oklahoma City, July 10. Miller is a third grade teacher at Lindsay Elementary School.
Garfield Co. FB President Gary Johnson (left), Nowata Co. FB member Scottie Herriman (center) and Major Co. FB President Scott Neufeld visit during the Kansas-Oklahoma Winter Canola Conference in Enid, July 17. Nearly 400 participants attended the event to learn more about science-proven methods of maximizing canola crops in various areas of the state. A second conference was held in Altus on July 18.