Oklahoma Farm Bureau Connecting with Members to Develop Policy at Annual August Area MeetingsFri, 14 Aug 2015 19:01:40 CDT
Oklahoma Farm Bureau is hearing from members this month about the issues that are impacting their livelihood. It's a tradition for the organization's public policy staff to visit each of the districts in the state for its annual August area meetings. Oklahoma Farm Bureau Director of National Affairs LeeAnna McNally said this is the start of public policy development for the upcoming legislative session. In visiting with the state's farmers and ranchers, she said they are thankful for the return of precipitation, but they also remain cautious that the drought will return and she said there is still a need to update the state's water policy.
"So our members want to be prepared as best they can and really develop a policy that is beneficial state wide," McNally said.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays interviewed LeeAnna McNally about the remaining August area meetings. Click or tap on the LISTENBAR below for the full interview.
The August meetings also allow the grassroots organization to discuss State Question 777, known as the 'Right to Farm' amendment. Oklahomans will be voting on the legislation in November 2016. If the legislation passes, it would make farming and ranching a constitutional right. McNally said the effort has agricultural and commodity organizations united. Agricultural leaders have already started speaking at numerous meetings and community gatherings across the state. She said they are explaining what 'Right to Farm' does and why Oklahoma Farm Bureau believes the legislation is needed.
With the collapse of oil prices, the state is looking at tougher times ahead in terms of fiscal policy. During the 2015 legislative session, the state's lawmakers addressed the $600 million shortfall and every sector of state government had budget cuts. She anticipates deeper budget cuts in 2016.
McNally said there is also concern and need to address the growing population of feral hogs. These hogs cause damage to crops and property.
On a federal level, she said the top concern is the 'Waters of the US' legislation that goes into effect later on this month. McNally said this will greatly expand the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency over water and land use.
All Oklahoma Farm Bureau members are encouraged to attend the August Area Meeting for their district. Here is the list of the remaining meetings that will be held August 17-20th.
Aug. 17 -12 p.m.
Hunny's BBQ in Guymon
Aug. 17 - 6 p.m.
Northwest Inn (The Grill) in Woodward
Aug. 20 - 11:30 a.m.
Kiowa County Farm Bureau Office in Hobart
Aug. 20 - 6:30 p.m.
Canadian County Farm Bureau Office in El Reno
Aug. 18 - 12 p.m.
Pete's Place in Krebbs
Aug. 18 - 6 p.m.
Aldridge Hotel in Ada
For more information, contact the Public Policy Division of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau at 405-523-2300.
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