Oklahoma Ag Secretary Blayne Arthur Says There is a Positive Dynamic in The Oklahoma Ag Industry TodayThu, 13 May 2021 08:59:55 CDT
During this week’s “billboard burger bash” Oklahoma Agriculture Secretary Blayne Arthur talked with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director and Editor KC Sheperd about several current issues including an update on the grants given to Oklahoma small packing plants.
We’ve had tremendous progress with some of those facilities, Arthur said.
We have one facility on the western side of the state that is a ground-up construction that is close to being done, Arthur said.
We’re seeing job creation in those rural areas and that’s great, she added.
When you combine the value-added programs, such as Oklahoma Certified Beef and OCA’s hamburger labels (Oklahoma Prairie Beef Soltuions), all that is more dollars for our producers, Arthur said.
We saw last year consumers really care where their food comes from and they want to buy from local producers, she said.
Arthur said increased vocational training for the meat packing industry is also having a positive impact.
Once students have that certification, they immediately have a job, Arthur said.
Another job creation industry in rural Oklahoma is the medical marijuana growing facilities.
She noted Oklahoma voters wanted the industry and the legislature has had to quickly ramp up rules to govern that industry.
However, Arthur said we have a lot of issues ranging from spray drift concerns to land ownership.
Before we change anything in statute, we want to make sure it is something that is good for all involved, she said.
I get more calls on this than anything else, she said.
It is not unusual to have issues crop up like this when you have different types of ag operations, Arthur said.
We have to take into consideration everyone that is involved in the process, she said.
The Ag. Secretary also said she is getting calls from cattle producers about challenges with price transparency in the markets.
Arthur was quick to add she is also hearing many positive calls from farmers optimistic about the upcoming wheat harvest and strong grain prices.
Overall, it is a pretty positive dynamic in the Oklahoma ag industry right now, Arthur said.
You can click on the listen bar below to hear more of KC’s interview with Blayne Arthur.
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