PERSPECTIVE OKLAHOMA FARM BUREAU
March 7, 2014
Legislators, state officials discuss key issues during annual OKFB Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City RIGHT – Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt addresses members during the OKFB Leadership Conference. Pruitt specifically talked about his office’s efforts to investigate HSUS fundraising activity in the state.
ABOVE – U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin (right) visits with one of his constituents, Adair County FB member David Leatherwood, during the OKFB Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City. Mullin also spoke to members about his efforts to protect Oklahoma in Washington, D.C.
LEFT – U.S. Rep. James Lankford gives OKFB members an update on issues in Washington, D.C., during the OKFB Leadership Conference, held Feb. 17 - 18, in Oklahoma City. Read more about the annual event in John Collison’s Legislative Update on page 2.
Harvest Watch blog returns for 2014 growing season Follow the action this spring as Oklahoma Farm Bureau YF&R state committee members share their families’ farming and ranching experiences on the OKFB Harvest Watch blog. From stories about life on the farm, to notes on production numbers and schedules, readers will find valuable information about rural life in Oklahoma. Visit okfbharvestwatch.wordpress.com to follow the families’ adventures.
Member Benefits • Storm Safe offers OKFB members a $100 discount on the purchase of a qualifying Storm Safe in-ground shelter. Call (405) 606-2563 or visit www.stormsafeshelters.com for more information. 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/benefits.
OKFB Calendar Oklahoma Youth Expo Mar. 12-21 • Oklahoma City Contact: Jennie Bruning (405) 530-2696 YF&R Legislative Day Mar. 26 • Oklahoma City Contact: Holly Carroll (405) 530-2681 Ag Day at the Capitol Mar. 26 • Oklahoma City Contact: Jennie Bruning (405) 530-2696
By John Collison OKFB Vice President of Public Policy and Media Relations We recently gathered at the Skirvin Hotel for our annual OKFB Leadership Conference. If you were able to attend, then you already know what a great line up of speakers and guests we had join us. We were also able to see many friends and familiar faces whom we had not seen since we gathered in Norman last November. I want to thank each and every one of you who took time to travel and participate in our meeting. That includes our elected officials who took time out of their hectic schedules to visit with us about the federal and state issues that are affecting you and the Farm Bureau. Congressman Mullin kicked off the event with news from Washington, D.C. We have visited with the Congressman many times on issues relating to OKFB. Congressman Mullin filled us in on what
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 families from the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee.
we need to be doing in the future to continue to work on issues such as water, EPA over regulation, WRDA and a few others. We need to remember that the Congressman has worked hard for us and voted with us when we have asked. John Collison We appreciate the work he does. During his address, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt took off the gloves and put HSUS on notice that if they are going to play in Oklahoma, they are going to pay in Oklahoma. He talked of the unethical practices of raising money here and spending it elsewhere. It is against the law to falsely advertise, and that is exactly what the HSUS is doing. We look forward to Attorney General Pruitt setting the record straight on this radical animal rights group. He also talked of the need to make sure Oklahoma is using its resources to the fullest extent. We look forward to continuing our discussion of these pressing matters. Our night was capped off with more than 75 legislators and Gov. Fallin joining us for dinner. We were extremely excited to be able to present a few of them, including the governor, with our Oklahoma Farm Bureau Champion Award. We want to thank the members who took time to show their support of Oklahoma Farm Bureau members. When you see these legislators at home, make sure you let them know you appreciate what they do for you at the Capitol. Like any good OKFB event, we started the next day before the roosters crowed and were not disappointed with a discussion with Congressman Lankford. This is
(See Update, page 3)
Kingfisher County FB member Matt Alig (left)and OKFB’s Crop Insurance Manager Thad Doye visit during the Texoma Cattlemen’s Conference in Ardmore, Feb. 27. The conference provided cattle producers with market outlook and risk management information.
OKFB Grown for You commodity trailer visits southwest Oklahoma LEFT – OKFB Women’s Leadership Team member Margaret Ann Kinder (left) and OKFB Field Rep Brittany Mikles (right) use the Grown for You commodity trailer to teach students from Walters Public Schools about Oklahoma agriculture. RIGHT – OKFB Director Jimmy Wayne Kinder thanks students for participating in the Grown for You commodity trailer course, Feb. 19, in Walters. The trailer is a mobile classroom that provides a fun and factual look at commodity crops grown in the state.
Save the date for Farm City Festival The OKFB Women’s Leadership Team will host its annual Farm City Festival at the state Capitol on April 15. The luncheon promotes agricultural and commodity awareness to Oklahoma legislators and their staffs. To learn more about Farm City Festival, call OKFB Leadership Team Director Marcia Irvin at (405) 523-2405.
(Update, from page 2) the second year in a row he has talked with us, and judging by the critique sheets, he is one of your favorites. He discussed a number of issues of interest to our members. Maybe the one that was talked about most was his decision to step down from the U.S. House of Representatives and run for the open Senate seat. By the time you read this, the race for the primary will be less than four months away. All the candidates have a lot of road and chicken dinners in front of them if they hope to get your vote. We will miss Congressman Lankford in the House, as he has been a true champion for OKFB. As we already have a month behind us at the Oklahoma Capitol and our trip to D.C. is only a few weeks away, I encourage each one of you to be involved. We can only elect good Farm Bureau supporters if you get out there and let your voice be heard. It is up to you to make sure you send good, qualified people to represent you in Oklahoma City and in Washington, D.C. Thanks again to all who made our conference a huge success. We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. - Sir Winston Churchill
Sen. Tom Ivester (right) and Rep. Todd Russ (center) meet with more than 35 Farm Bureau members from Beckham and Roger Mills Counties during a legislative dinner in Sayre, Feb. 27. The elected officials talked about their experiences during the current legislative session and discussed issues affecting western Oklahoma, including ad valorem taxes, wind energy development and water. OKFB’s John Collison (left) also spoke to the group about Farm Bureau’s efforts at the state Capitol and encouraged them to be involved in the legislative process.
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Staff Directory Staff Directory Monica Wilke, 523-2303
Oklahoma Farm Bureau 2501 N. Stiles Oklahoma City, OK 73105-3126
Non-Profit U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 131 Okla. City, OK.
Traci Morgan, 523-2346 John Collison, 523-2539 Perspective/Online News Editor
VP of Public Policy and Media Relations
Macey Hedges, 523-2346 Sam Knipp, 523-2347 Director of Corporate Communications Vice President of Communications/PR Sam Knipp, 523-2347 Director of Corporate Communications Tyler Norvell, 523-2402
Dustin Mielke, 530-2640 Vice President of Public Policy
Director of Corporate Communications
Karolyn Marla Peek, Bolay, 523-2437 523-2320 Communications SpecialistAffairs Director of Regulatory
2012 Census of Agriculture preliminary results now available Preliminary findings in the 2012 Census of Agriculture counted 2,109,363 farms in the United States, according to results recently issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The number of reported U.S. farms decreased by 4 percent since the 2007 Census of Agriculture. In Oklahoma, the number of farms had a larger decline, by 7 percent, and was estimated at 80,245 farms. “The Census of Agriculture is a complete count of the Nation’s farms and ranches, and the people who operate them,” said Wilbert Hundl, Jr., state statistician for the NASS Oklahoma Field Office. “It provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every county in the Nation.” The 2012 Census reported several historic changes in value of sales for agriculture producers in the United States: In 2012, crop sales of $212.4 billion exceeded livestock sales of $182.2 billion. This occurred for only the second time in Census history; the other time was 1974. Between 2007 and 2012, per farm average value of sales increased from $137,807 to $187,093, continuing a steady 30-year upward trend. The increase of $52,285 was the largest rise in Census history. “In addition to looking at all aspects of farming, the Census of Agriculture provides the most comprehensive look at operator demographics - an area in which operators continue to become more diverse, both in
Oklahoma and across the United States,” Hundl said. The 2012 Census counted fewer female principal farm operators in Oklahoma compared to the 2007 Census; however, counts of American Indian, Asian and Black or African American farm operators continued to trend upward. For more information about the Census, including access to the current 2012 Census of Agriculture preliminary report, additional materials and full final report when it is released in May, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.
OYE seeks historical information, photos for commemorative book To celebrate 100 years of the world’s largest junior livestock show, the Oklahoma Youth Expo is preparing a commemorative book highlighting the Expo’s history and contribution to Oklahoma and its youth. From its early days as “The Oklahoma City Fat Stock Show” to its time as part of the Oklahoma Spring Fair, the Expo has evolved into the largest youth event in the state. “The Oklahoma Youth Expo has a rich history of providing a venue and program to display some of the finest livestock in the country, while funding higher education opportunities for youth pursuing studies in agriculture,” said Tyler Norvell, executive director of the Oklahoma Youth Expo. “This book will pay tribute to those who have benefited from this program and to those who have contributed to its success.” In preparation for the book’s fall 2014 release, the Expo is asking for pictures and information on the history of the Expo from past participants, boosters, ag teachers and spectators. Those interested in sharing photos and memories should contact Kinsey Money at (918) 520-4532 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to submit information to the Expo for consideration in the book is March 31, 2014.