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Agricultural News

Horse Slaughter, New Farm Bill, Free Enterprise Top Concerns for AFR President

Thu, 14 Mar 2013 21:48:18 CDT

Horse Slaughter, New Farm Bill, Free Enterprise Top Concerns for AFR President
At a recent news conference at the state capital, farm groups representing Oklahoma expressed their support for legislation to allow horse slaughter facilities to once again operate in Oklahoma.

Terry Detrick, president of American Farmers and Ranchers, spoke with Radio Oklahoma Network's Ron Hays. He will also be Ron's guest on this Saturday's "In the Field" segment on News 9 Saturday morning about 6:40 a.m.

Detrick said it is imperative that Oklahoma producers be allowed to care for their animals and to have adequate, affordable, and humane means available to them when it is necessary to dispose of them. He, along with representatives from other farm groups, took exception with national animal rights groups that have made the capitol a battleground over this fundamental issue.

He also said that, as the president of an insurance company, there are very important issues that they are tracking throughout the legislative session.

"There is a major issue with us as an insurance company in that the state-funded group that handles workers comp is now wanting to branch out into other areas of insurance. And it's hard enough to compete in Oklahoma just to make sure we keep our rates competitive and we're still there to pay the bills with all the storms we've had. The last five years in Oklahoma have just been horrible for insurance companies especially on the property insurance side. If we've got to compete with some government-funded company where they get assistance from the outside, that's not going to be good for free enterprise. It's just not going to work."

Detrick said there are a number of national issues that they are also tracking for their members, the largest of which is the writing of a new comprehensive farm bill. He said House and Senate leaders are talking about the need to craft new legislation, but they're probably not going to get anything going until May or June, if then.

"Collin Peterson says that if they get wrapped up in the Ryan budget that he presented yesterday, there's no way we'll get a farm bill this year.

He said that such talk is worrisome, but, at the end of the day, it's just talk.

"Well, both sides are going to talk in extremes. Hopefully we can come together in the middle and do it quickly, but the important thing is our people in the countryside, because we got an extension on the farm bill, they've become complacent. They think 'OK. We're OK. We'll keep on doing what we're done.' And they're not making those phone calls. And people in Washington, D.C., when I was there three weeks ago, they were telling me, 'You've got to go home and tell your people they've got to get busy.' We've got to prompt our legislators to get on the ball and get this worked out because it takes a long time to work out a very, very complicated farm bill."

Detrick also said that he thinks the extensive Country Of Origin Labeling proposed by the USDA will be burdensome for producers and difficult to implement.

You can hear Ron Hays's full conversation with Terry Detrick by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.


Terry Detrick talks about the top concerns of the AFR.
right-click to download mp3


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