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March 18, 2016

Now is the time to step up for education By John Collison • OKFB Vice President of Public Policy reetings from the state Capitol, where we get a lot of things done, but I’m not sure many of them really matter. We now have spent six weeks on bills that had to get out of the House or Senate to remain alive in the process, but I’m not sure any of them make much of a difference. You can’t really blame the legislators of today because this is how the process is set up. I believe your legislators would like to focus on the budget, but the system is built to focus on policy due to deadlines and other issues. We’ve seen great wailing and gnashing of teeth at the Capitol on issues such as education, guns and – don’t forget – the budget. Over the past few weeks, I called on our membership to take an active role in the education of our children and how we affect the policy of that issue. Lately, too many bills have tried to pick education apart bit by bit, without creating any plan for the future. We have asked state

leaders for a road map for the future, so we have some idea how to fix the problems. While we need their help to solve the education crisis, they also need our help. We must be proactive in solving issues like funding, failing schools and all other problems in public education. For far too long, we have only tried to maintain the status quo; that will not work in the future. We must stop pitting rural and urban against each other and start looking at all underperforming schools. We also need to develop a funding formula that works for all and allow schools to have a normal existence. We are trying to work alongside the state superintendent of schools to come up with a plan for the future of Oklahoma’s public education. A plan of certainty and success. A plan that will stop legislators from trying to educate our students from 23rd and Lincoln. A plan that really starts educating and funding schools at the local level. We do have a problem in education, and that problem is a lack of vision and a lack of planning. With Farm Bureau’s help, I’m hopeful we can find a solution for education that will prepare our children for their future and for the future of Oklahoma.

Water, education, SQ 777 focus of conference ore than 150 farmers, ranchers and state leaders attended the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Legislative Leadership Conference March 7-8 at the Aloft Hotel in Oklahoma City. The two-day conference focused on State Question 777, or the Right to Farm, along with the state’s budget shortfall, education and water. “Our members lead the way in Oklahoma agricultural policy,” said Monica Wilke, OKFB executive director. “The Legislative

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Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt speaks on the role of government and his work combating federal overreach.

AFBF seeks responses for big data in agriculture survey he American Farm Bureau Federation recently launched an online survey to collect feedback from farmers about farm data. The survey, which is open to all farmers and ranchers, will help gauge progress on big data issues and give some important insight into new issues. When Farm Bureau conducted a similar survey on big data in September 2014, nearly 3,400 farmers responded. The top concerns at that time were: • 82 percent of farmers were unaware of all the ways a company intended to use their farm data and with whom it was being shared; • 77 percent of farmers were concerned that their data could get in the hands of an entity and be used for regulatory purposes; • 75 percent of farmers were concerned that their data could be used by a company or third party for market-sensitive commercial activities; and • More than half of farmers indicated that they were unsure whether or not their farm data could be shared with an off-farm company’s third party, business party or affiliate.   The results of the survey proved quite helpful in prioritizing the development of further actions on the issue of big data. For example, the survey showed 66 percent of farmers were interested in a neutral, independent data warehouse service designed to store their farm data. This led Farm Bureau to become one of ten founding members (and the only farm organization) of the Ag Data Coalition.

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Leadership conference (Continued from page one)

State Climatologist Gary McManus speaks to leadership conference attendees about rainfall differences using Mesonet data.

Conference gives our members another opportunity to engage in state issues and continue to lead our industry forward.” Conference attendees heard from various speakers including Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Rep. Doug Cox, Sen. Bryce Marlatt, Insurance Commissioner John Doak and State Climatologist Gary McManus. OKFB also honored its 2015 Champion Award winners and 100 Percent Club members at a reception and dinner. Following the conference, members traveled to the state Capitol to share issues and concerns with their state legislators.

Sen. Bryce Marlatt of Woodward tells conference attendees about the state of the legislative session.

Pontotoc County Farm Bureau members Billy and Janet Gibson visit with Sen. Susan Paddack of Ada in her office during a Capitol visit following the leadership conference.

Cotton County board members Roger Fisher (left) and Mike Vache (right) visit with Sen. Don Barrington of Lawton during the legislative reception at the 2016 leadership conference. Rep. Doug Cox of Grove shares his plan to develop water infrastructure by using our state’s abundant natural resources.

Linda Fox pins a Yes on SQ 777 pin onto fellow Women’s Leadership Committee member Paula Sawatzky before the conference.

Oklahoma Farm Bureau Online Legislative Leadership Conference photos View our full album of photos from the 2016 Legislative Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City on Flickr. Photos of speakers, members and 2015 Champion Award Winners are available for viewing and downloading.



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Rep. Cox’s water plan During leadership conference, Rep. Doug Cox outlined his plan for developing Oklahoma’s water resources. A video and accompanying article on his water plan and his thoughts on developing Oklahoma’s water are available at OKAgPolicy.org.




Commodity tour heads to northwest Oklahoma OKFB celebrates May 4-6 2015 Champion klahoma Farm Bureau members will Wednesday, May 4 award winners at have an opportunity to learn more 8 a.m. Load buses at OKFB home office about agriculture around Woodward during Valley Cellars Winery leadership conference OKFB’s annual commodity tour May 4-6. 1012:30a.m. Plymouth p.m. Woodward Livestock Auction tour and welve state leaders and legislators were honored Monday, March 7, with the 2015 Oklahoma Farm Bureau Champion Award for their support of agriculture and rural Oklahoma. The award was presented to state leaders who demonstrated an exceptional commitment to protecting agriculture and rural Oklahoma in the 2015 legislative session. “As the state’s largest general farm organization, Oklahoma Farm Bureau is dedicated to preserving the livelihood of Oklahoma’s farmers and ranchers,” said Tom Buchanan, OKFB president. “We’re honored to recognize these state leaders for their support of agriculture in 2015.” The 12 state leaders receiving the award include Attorney General Scott Pruitt; Rep. Scott Biggs, Chickasha; Rep. James Leewright, Bristow; Rep. Charles McCall, Atoka; Rep. Tom Newell, Seminole; Rep. Charles Ortega, Altus; Rep. Roger Thompson, Okemah; Sen. Don Barrington, Lawton; Sen. Brian Bingman, Sapulpa; Sen. Ron Justice, Chickasha; Sen. Mike Schulz, Altus; and Sen. Jason Smalley, Stroud. Nominations for the awards were received from county Farm Bureaus and the OKFB board of directors.

The three-day tour will include stops at a variety of farms and agribusinesses, including a CF Industries fertilizer plant, a visit to Cudd’s Quarter Horses, a tour of the Cargill salt facility and much more. The latest tour schedule is provided, and updated schedules will be available on the OKFB website as tour details become finalized. Buses will load for the tour at the OKFB home office in Oklahoma City. Tour attendees will stay two nights at the Northwest Inn in Woodward. Meals will be provided during the tour. A few spots are still available for members who wish to attend the tour. The cost is $250 for an individual or $300 for two people sharing a room. For more details and to sign up, call Marcia Irvin at (405) 523-2405.

lunch sponsored by Superior Livestock 2:30 p.m. Cudd’s Quarter Horses w/Renee Cudd 4:00 p.m. Longhorn Steers with Wes Sanders 5:30 p.m. Tour – Mervin Compton Farm, dinner to follow

Thursday, May 5 9 a.m. Tour CF Industries 11:30 a.m. Lunch 1:30 p.m. Tour Cargill Salt Plant TBA 6:30 pm Dinner sponsored by Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma

Friday, May 6 8:00 a.m. Southern Plains Research Station 11:15 a.m. Tour Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma 12 p.m. Lunch at Big Dan’s After lunch head back to OKC (2 ½ hours)

Member Benevts



Ag Day at the Capitol March 30 – Oklahoma City Contact: Marcia Irvin 405-523-2405

New for 2016, OKFB members receive even more savings on Grainger products in 12 categories. The discounts range from 10 percent to 30 percent off the catalog prices on more than 1 million products: • 30 percent off motors and electrical • 25 percent off cleaning consumables and janitorial supplies; plumbing pipe, valves and fittings; worker safety equipment, hand tools and welding • 20 percent off outdoor equipment, power tools and facility safety • At least 10 percent off all other products found in Grainger catalogs


YF&R District Scholarship Deadline April 1 Contact: Holly Carroll 405-523-2307 Congressional Action Tour April 10 – 14 • Washington, D.C. Contact: Tasha Duncan 405-530-2681

oklahoma farm bureau | 3

Published by Oklahoma Farm Bureau Published Oklahoma Farm Bureau Postmaster:by Send address corrections to: Postmaster: Send address corrections to: Perspective, P.O. B. 53332, OKC, OK 73152-3332 Perspective, P.O. B. 53332, OKC, OK 73152-3332


Oklahoma Farm Bureau 2501 N. Stiles Oklahoma City, OK 73105-3126

Non-Profit U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 131 Okla. City, OK.

Executive Director Monica Wilke 405-523-2303 VP of Strategic Corporate Communications Becky Samples 405-523-2528 VP of Public Policy John Collison 405-523-2539 Director of Corporate Communications Dustin Mielke 405-530-2640 Director of Public Policy Communications Hannah Nemecek 405-523-2346

Big data

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Recently, the coalition announced its plans to build a data repository where farmers can securely store and oversee the information collected by their tractors, harvesters, drones and other devices. If farmers wish to have their data simply stored in a location where it cannot be used for regulatory purposes or market-sensitive commercial activities, so be it. If they wish to share it with their agronomist, their seed dealer, their equipment manufacturer or others, it can be shared with the push of a button.

Through Farm Bureau’s recently launched follow-up survey, AFBF will be checking to see if any progress has been made in raising farmers’ awareness, addressing their concerns and ensuring AFBF is properly focusing their upcoming efforts on the most important big data issues to farmers. AFBF will use the feedback from the survey to develop recommendations on how Farm Bureau can move forward to ensure farmers understand what is going on with farm data and ways to best enhance usage of that data.

“Farmers must retain ownership and control of the private agricultural data that originates from the work they do in their fields,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. “Harnessing that proprietary information for field-level efficiency and effectiveness is the key that will unlock more profitability and the greater adoption of precision agriculture. That’s good for business and the environment, too.” Take the survey through March 31 at: http://fbbigdata2016.questionpro.com/.

YF&R Golf Tournament OKFB Women’s Leadership Committee to host to be held May 6 annual youth safety day June 3 klahoma Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers will hold their 14th annual golf tournament Friday, May 6 at Roman Nose Golf Course near Watonga. Both teams and individuals can register for the scramble-style tournament, and hole sponsorship opportunities are available for companies and organizations. Full details will be included in the next issue of Perspective, but be sure to mark your calendars and start practicing your swing for this year’s tournament.

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he Oklahoma Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee will hold their annual Youth Safety Day in conjunction with OKFB Safety Services on Friday, June 3 at the OKFB home office in Oklahoma City. Safety Day is for students in grades 5-9 and will focus on a variety of safety lessons that will help students both on the farm and off. Programs will include fire safety, ATV safety, vehicle rollover prevention and tractor safety, just to name a few.

y t e f a S Day 2016

Registration will begin at 9 a.m. with activities ending at 2 p.m. Lunch will be provided for participants. Applications are being accepted for the event and must be returned to the home office by May 24. More details and information will be available on the OKFB website as safety day events are confirmed. Applications can be found on the OKFB website applications center. For more information, contact Marcia Irvin at (405) 523-2405.

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March 18, 2016  

March 18, 2016