Wheat Industry Leaders Meet and Greet with Oklahoma Lawmakers During Wheat Day at the CapitolTue, 28 Mar 2017 18:31:48 CDT
Tuesday morning, producers and leaders active in the state’s wheat industry gathered at the Oklahoma Capitol to visit with legislators and government officials, in an effort to create awareness and foster relationships among Oklahoma’s lawmakers and wheat community. Wheat Day at the Capitol was coordinated by the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association as part of the organization’s renewed efforts to strengthen their position and amplify their collective voice. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn was on the scene and had the chance to speak with Jimmie Musick, a wheat producer from Sentinel and board member of both the state and national associations of wheat growers, who described the purpose behind the event. You can listen to Horn's interview with Musick, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of this story.
“We’re trying to visit with some legislators and get some things in place to protect our wheat producers across the state,” he said. “We hope that maybe by being here and showing them our interest and concern in some issue - that we’ll have some influence - maybe head some things off that could be going in the wrong direction.”
In discussions during the event with leaders of the state’s agriculture including Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Scooter Park, one issue among others cropped up that generated much conversation. House Bill 1374, which would allow municipalities to raise ad valorem taxes by a simple majority for public service expenses, recently passed the House and is currently headed to the State Senate for approval. Those at the table during the meeting expressed great concern that this legislation, if passed, would have significantly negative impacts on all Oklahomans, rural citizens in particular.
“As landowners and farmers and ranchers, we certainly do have some concerns about the ad valorem tax issue,” Musick confided. “I know the State of Oklahoma has some tremendous budget challenges, but they’re not the only ones. Some Oklahoma farmers have some budget challenges, too.”
Don’t misunderstand. Musick insists he and his peers want to pay their fair share to bring Oklahoma’s budget back online, but suggests that alternative measures be debated, such as changing the gross production tax. Musick expressed his confidence in the state’s leaders confirming that everyone remains on the same page and that a collective effort will be made to find the best possible solution for everyone.
The delegation concluded their day at the Capitol, visiting with their respective state representatives and senators, offering them a loaf of Oklahoma made bread provided by the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, complete with facts of the industry on the packaging to help spread the message of the state’s wheat industry.
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