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Oklahoma's Latest Farm and Ranch News
Your Update from Ron Hays of RON
Will Right to Farm
be the Highest Profile State Question This Fall?
We still have more than five months before Election
Day- and things have already heated up in regards to the arguments
pro and con on State Question 777, what was called Right to Farm as
it was proposed by state lawmakers in 2015- and passed by the
Legislature last year to be placed on the November 2016 ballot.
The language that has been submitted by the Attorney
General to be voted on this November is fairly simple- and to remind
you and I what SQ777 actually
says- here it is:
This measure adds Section 38 to
Article II of the Oklahoma Constitution.
This new Section creates state
constitutional rights. It creates the following guaranteed rights to
engage in farming and ranching:
The right to make use of agricultural technology,
- The right to make use of
livestock procedures, and - The right to make use of ranching
These constitutional rights receive
extra protection under this measure that not all constitutional
rights receive. This extra protection is a limit on lawmakers'
ability to interfere with the exercise of these rights. Under this
extra protection, no law can interfere with these rights, unless the
law is justified by a compelling state interest - a clearly
identified state interest of the highest order. Additionally, the law
must be necessary to serve that compelling state interest.
The measure - and the protections
identified above - do not apply to and do not impact state laws
- Eminent domain,
- Dominance of
- Right of way or
other property rights, and
- Any state statutes
and political subdivision ordinances enacted before December 31,
SHALL THE PROPOSAL BE
In addition- to help clarify one area that has
been a point of contention- the state legislature this past session
approved a measure that declares Water Issues a compelling state
interest, which means that lawmakers are establishing any
water related issue that might impact farming and ranching won't
be affected by this amendment to the state constitution- if approved
by the voters this fall.
Early polling over the last year by proponents has shown
a substantial majority of Oklahoma voters would tend to vote in favor
of this State Question- but there will likely be well over a million
dollars spent by opponents of State Question 777 that will try to persuade them otherwise.
Proponents have a website and so does the opposition- and it's amazing to
me how many media stories have already been generated about this
State Question so far ahead of the election.
Part of that has been the proactive nature of those who
support SQ777- for example- click here to read a story from last
week's Edmond Sun that features comments from Tom Buchanan,
President of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau that came from a presentation
that Tom made to an Edmond civic club. Buchanan pushes back
against those who claim the State Question will empower corporate
farming interests to take over the state's farming and ranching- and
he also refutes those who claim that this measure will give farmers
any right to hurt the environment. The article also quotes State Rep Scott Biggs
as well as former Attorney General Drew Edmonson- Biggs advocating
for and Edmonson advocating against 777.
In the case of TV- News9 has already done multiple news
stories on the State Question already- and their
latest story on 777 features concerns raised by the Executive
Director of an Anti 777 group, Mickey
Thompson, over water and the environment- and has Roy Lee Lindsay of
the Pork Council responding on the worries about
water- "This has absolutely nothing to do with ownership of
water or sale of water or any of the rest of it. So anyone that's
reading that into the question is looking for a boogeyman that
Back to my question in the title of this story- there is
one thing for certain- with the war chest that the opposition is
planning to spend- think seven figures- and the response by
supporters of 777 that will also be a considerable sum- we will all
be hearing two dramatically different points of view on 777 between
now and early November.
Come November- a voter with no farm connection will
likely make his or her choice on 777 by which bullet points have
resonated with them.
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GM Crops Help Ensure
Global Food Security Through Higher Crop Yields
Farmers around the world who use seeds improved with
biotechnology continue to benefit economically while improving the
environmental sustainability of their farming operations according to
an updated global impacts study.
The economic benefits for farmers who use genetically modified (GM)
seeds amounted to an average of more than $100/hectare in 2014,
according to the report "GM Crops: Global Socio-Economic and
Environmental Impacts 1996-2014" released today by PG Economics.
"Where farmers have been given the choice of growing GM crops,
the economic benefits realized are clear and amounted to an average
of over $100/hectare in 2014," said Graham Brookes,
director of PG Economics, co-author of the report. "Two-thirds
of these benefits derive from higher yields and extra production,
with farmers in developing countries seeing the highest gains. The
environment is also benefiting as farmers increasingly adopt
conservation tillage practices, build their weed management practices
around more benign herbicides and replace insecticide use with insect
resistant GM crops."
Tom Cole Says- NOT a Do
It is easy to point an accusing finger at the US
Congress and say they have accomplished little if anything over the
last couple of years- but Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole
contends that is not correct or fair to say.
Republican who is part of the GOP Leadership in the US House told Sam Knipp with
the American Farmers and Ranchers that there is a whole list of
significant pieces of legislation that the current Congress has
tackled and completed, including the "first multi year Highway
Bill since 2005, first overhaul of K thru 12 education since 2002,
major legislation that changes how the Veterans Administration
operates, trying to make it more responsive to the individual
veteran, big time change in real cyber security legislation, human
trafficing legislation and veterans' suicide
Congressman Cole also mentioned the changes in the tax
code that farmers cheered at the end of 2015 that made permanent
Section 179 deductions for farmers and small business.
Read more- and listen to the conversation that
Congressman Cole had with Sam Knipp by
Global Roundtable for Sustainable
Beef Looks for Continuous Improvement in Beef Sustainability with New
5 Year Plan
A five-year strategic plan was approved by a unanimous
vote from the Global
Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Board of Directors at
the GRSB Semi-Annual Board Meeting in Chicago, Illinois last month.
The Strategic Plan for 2016 - 2021 was developed to ensure the
success of the organization, providing a framework for prioritizing
goals and objectives that will guide the work of the GRSB, its
members, board and staff, in meeting various challenges and
Beef industry leaders that are a part of
the Global Roundtable zeroed in on the need to measure
improvements in beef sustainability- and then find ways to share
that information with the industry and the general public to paint a
positive picture of raising beef.
here to read more about this five year plan from the GRSB.
You may remember that the first chairman of the Global Roundtable was
of JBS- who we featured in a series of Beef Buzz shows last week
after we visited with him earlier this spring at the
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Convention in Ft. Worth.
You can go back and here his comments as we reported
them from the Beef Buzz by clicking on the following links:
We are pleased to
Farmers & Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company as
a regular sponsor of our daily update. On both the state and national
levels, full-time staff members serve as a "watchdog" for
family agriculture producers, mutual insurance company members and
life company members.
Click here to go
to their AFR website to learn more about their efforts
to serve rural America!
Wheat Farmer Kenneth Failes Reappointed as Board Member of the
Oklahoma Wheat Commission
Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture, Jim Reese, has
to a five-year term on the Oklahoma Wheat Commission Board. Failes, a
wheat producer from Cherokee, will represent District I, which
includes Alfalfa, Garfield, Grant and Major counties. He was
nominated by fellow wheat producers in May for consideration by
"We are excited that Kenneth Failes has been re-appointed to the
Oklahoma Wheat Commission board," said Mike Schulte,
Executive Director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission. "His
knowledge and experience with wheat production as a farmer and active
roles held with the OWC Board and U.S. Wheat Associates Board will
continue to make him a valuable leader for the wheat industry on both
state and national levels."
here to read more about the Failes appointment, who has been
serving as the Chairman of the Wheat Commission this year.
to Have the Latest Energy News Delivered to Your Inbox Daily?
broadcast journalist Jerry
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to cover the energy business here in the southern plains- Click here to
subscribe to his daily update of top Energy News.
Dr. Margaret Riley on the
Reality of Antimicrobials- When Antibiotics are Used, Resistance is
The message about antimicrobials that I picked up from
Dr. Margaret Riley
earlier this year is so important- I wanted to share it with you in a
special "Best of" edition of the Beef Buzz.
Earlier this year at the 2016 Bayer Agvocacy gathering
in New Orleans, I caught up with one of the leading experts in the
world of antibiotic resistance in Dr. Margaret Riley. After receiving
her Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1991, Dr. Riley joined the faculty
at Yale University, where she remained for 15 years while developing
an internationally renowned research program in antimicrobial drug
discovery. Today, she is a Professor in the Department of Biology at
the University of Massachusetts- Amherst.
Dr. Riley says "the reason that antibiotic
resistance is increasing is because whenever...whoever uses
antibiotics are selecting for resistance. Now the resistance already
exists in nature- it's been around for billions of years. As we consume
tons of antibiotics in agriculure, in human health, in aquaculture-
we are selecting for those resistant strains and they're not going to
She told me that we have to acknowledge that reality and then
"figure out where to go from here."
This N That: Superior
Sale on Friday, Peanut Butter Game and New CEO of the Pork Board
Coming up on Friday is your next Superior Video Livestock
Auction- the sale will start at 8:00 AM central time
and will be featuring right at 15,000 head- including
Calves on Cows
Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture and the National Peanut Board,
along with state peanut producer and industry organizations, have
launched a new My American Farm game geared for students in grades
3-5. Playing the Operation
Peanut Butter game online allows students to
follow peanuts from the field to the peanut butter on their
here to read more about this newest game that is designed to
capture the attention of young consumers with an accurate yet fun
message about how their food is produced- and help students polish
their math, science and social science skills.
The National Pork Board has a new CEO. Bill Even will
join the National Pork Board as its new Chief Executive Officer on
June 6, 2016. Currently based in South Dakota, Even is Global
Industry Relations Lead with DuPont Pioneer.
"As a fourth-generation farmer, I have deep, personal knowledge
of the challenges facing today's pork producers and I am impressed
with and completely support the Pork Checkoff's strategic plan that
guides and directs its programs," said Even. "I look forward
to working on behalf of America's more than 60,000 pig farmers to
build consumer trust, drive sustainable production and grow consumer
demand for pork."
You can read more about Even by clicking
here. He joins the Pork Board in time to be a part of the
World Pork Expo related events in Des Moines.
thanks to Midwest Farms Shows, P & K Equipment,
& Ranchers, Stillwater Milling Company, Oklahoma AgCredit, the Oklahoma Cattlemens
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