Oklahoma Farm Bureau Delegates Set Policy- President Tom Buchanan Reflects on Right to Farm FightMon, 14 Nov 2016 05:40:46 CST
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau delegate body reaffirmed its backing of feral hog eradication during the organization’s annual meeting Nov. 12 in Oklahoma City. Members from all 77 county Farm Bureaus gathered to set policy to direct the organization throughout the coming year. The delegates called the feral hog issue a "high priority for the upcoming session" of the state legislature.
Feral, or wild, hogs are an invasive species found in all 77 counties costing farmers and ranchers millions of dollars in damage to property, equipment and facilities.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Tom Buchanan says “Feral hogs are still an onerous burden for farmers and ranchers across the state. We fought for eradication last year and will continue to do so until the invasive species is no longer a problem.”
OKFB feral hog policy states, “ODAFF should take action through the administrative rules process to end the transportation of live feral hogs in Oklahoma. We support the eradication of feral hogs as an invasive species. All landowners should be encouraged to eradicate feral hogs on their land by any means possible. We do not support commercial sport hunting of feral hogs.”
The feral hog resolution was one of three that invoked "priority" in it. The second resolution that was called a priority involved funding OSU County Extension offices. Delegates approved "It should be a priority issue to maintain funding for county extension so that there are no more consolidations. We support at least one county agent/extension agricultural educator per county." After debate on whether this should be a higher priority than other policy positions, delegates said it should and approved with a 94% Yes vote.
The third resolution that was called a priority that delegates gave thumbs up to involved over regulation by the Federal Government. "OKFB needs to make it a priority to continue to work for private property rights, the repeal of WOTUS and all other burdensome rules and regulations that interfere with farming and ranching." It was approved by a voice vote.
As the convention wound down Sunday morning, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays talked with Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Tom Buchanan about the work by the delegates, as well as his President's Address on Saturday that turned out to be a review of the defeat of State Question 777, which Oklahoma Farm Bureau was strongly in favor of. Buchanan told members on Saturday that he learned a lot about how far removed the vast majority of citizens in Oklahoma are from actually being involved in farming or ranching. He says that generational separation made passage of Right to Farm a very difficult proposition. In talking with Hays, Buchanan says consumers don't have any idea how food is produced these days and adds "I don't think consumers understand that its very good for them what is being done."
Buchanan said that as he returned to Oklahoma City on Thursday after the Tuesday election defeat to help lead the general farm organization in its 75th annual convention that he did not know what to expect from members after the Right to Farm defeat. Buchanan told Hays "I'm greatly encouraged as I walked the halls, as I sat in on meetings, as I had discussions with groups or individuals- frustation is there with them, too- but they are even more rallied, more ready to continue the effort" and added "Oklahoma agriculture needs an advocate and we are going to be that moving forward."
You can hear the full conversation that Hays and Buchanan had by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
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