Resolutions Become Policy- Right to Farm and Combating EPA Priority Issues for Farm BureauSun, 16 Nov 2014 14:19:40 CST
On Saturday, three hundred fifty nine delegates set the policy for the coming year for Oklahoma's largest general farm organization, the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. Two resolutions were designated as "priority" items by the Resolutions Committee and were adopted as such by the delegates- the first having to do with right to farm and ranch legislation and the other condemning EPA's massive land grab, the Waters of the US Proposed Rule. For the Right to Farm and Ranch issue, the delegates approved the following language "We strongly support the Right to Farm and Ranch legisation that includes normal farming and ranching and other agricultural practices, defined as described by our land grant universities." Language for an amendment to the State Constitution was passed by the House and Senate last year- however, the language was not exactly the same and the bills were never reconcilled in 2014.
In talking with state President Tom Buchanan, he said he believes "it's an issue very important to modern production agriculture, not only in Oklahoma but across the nation." He did signal that they were looking at ways to get folks outside of agriculture comfortable with the language and would be working on that moving forward.
As for the other priority issue, delegates approved the following- "OKFB and AFBF need to continue to take the lead on making it a priority to continue combating EPArules and regulations like the proposed "Waters of the United States." We support AFBF's Ditch the Rule campaign." The Resolutions Committee noted that language that pointed this direction came from at least 28 counties from across Oklahoma.
Farm Director Ron Hays talked with President Buchanan about the resolutions process and the general mood of Farm Bureau members statewide as we wind down 2014. You can hear their conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
Besides the two priority issues- Farm Bureau delegates also affirmed current policy that says that Farm Bureau does not support the sale or transfer of water out of state. The policy adds that if such sales occur, the proceeds should be spent on statewide water and wastewater infrastructure. Delegates called on USDA to include APH- Actual Production History for all 2015 crops- including winter wheat. And the delegates agreed that they "oppose the Secretary of Agriculture intervening in the Beef Check-Off debate-discussion."
State policies approved by delegates give Farm Bureau lobbyists direction as they work with the new legislature in 2015, while those designated as "national policies" will be forwarded on to the American Farm Bureau for consideration in their policy process next month and then in January at the AFBF convention to be held in San Diego.
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