Young farmers group supports SQ777 (Right to Farm)

Oklahoma Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) has officially announced its support for State Question 777, Oklahoma’s Right to Farm.

The group said the proposed amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution would protect farming and ranching practices for Oklahoma farmers and ranchers, both large and small.

“SQ 777 will decide the course of agriculture for future Oklahomans,” said Josh Emerson, YF&R State Chairman. “As the state’s younger generation of farmers and ranchers, we believe these decisions should be made by the agriculturalists of the state, not out-of-state special interest groups. We support Right to Farm and encourage our members and fellow Oklahomans to vote yes on SQ 777 this November.”

For Farm Bureau members ages 18 to 35, YF&R provides leadership development, works to preserve individual freedoms and to expand agricultural opportunities. Through competitive events, agriculture advocacy training and more, YF&R aims to grow its members both professionally and personally, demonstrating a vested interest in the future of Oklahoma’s farmers, ranchers and agriculture.

The Oklahoma Farm Bureau YF&R program provides an opportunity for young farmers and ranchers to connect with fellow passionate individuals with the same professional challenges.

Members are able to not only develop agricultural leadership and improve their daily farm operations, but to help promote modern agriculture.

Another group, “Oklahoma Farmers Care,” is complaining about misleading statements in TV ads against passage of SQ777. Former Attorney General Drew Edmondson is the chief spokesman for the opposition.

“As we continue to educate voters on State Question 777, Oklahoma’s Right to Farm, we had hoped that messaging on both sides of the issue would remain truthful. Unfortunately, that is not the case,” the group said in a statement.  “The Oklahoma Stewardship Council and Drew Edmondson showed their true colors as they released a new television ad blatantly twisting words of some of Oklahoma agriculture’s top leaders in order to push their opposing agenda.

“State Question 777 is supported by dozens of groups made up of Oklahoma family farmers and the state’s leading agriculture organizations. These organizations continue to support State Question 777 and any statement that would suggest otherwise is false.

“We encourage voters to read State Question 777 for themselves and realize that Right to Farm would protect family farmers, not empower corporate farms. Right to Farm would also ensure that necessary regulations are still in place in order to keep Oklahoma’s land and water safe.

“It is unfortunate that opponents of State Question 777 have yet again chosen fear-mongering to confuse and mislead Oklahomans.” Tom Buchanan, president of Oklahoma Farm Bureau, blasted the negative ads.

“The Right to Farm amendment is perfect in its form, and protects both agriculture and the people of Oklahoma into the future,” Buchanan said. “However, critics of the measure have twisted my words in another attempt to mislead voters. They will continue to use lies and deceit to fool Oklahomans. Join me in the fight to protect family farmers just like me.”

Michael Kelsey, Executive Vice President of Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, echoed that the ads are misleading.

“It is disheartening that opponents would stoop to twisting words to further their scare based hollow talking points. State Question 777 protects Oklahoma’s farmers and ranchers and it protects our precious resources such as water. Oklahoma Cattlemen will stick to the facts during this campaign,” Kelsey said.

SQ777 has been endorsed by the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, the Oklahoma Pork Council, The Oklahoma Agricultural Cooperative Council, The Poultry Federation of Arkansas and Oklahoma, The American Farmers and Ranchers, The Oklahoma Cotton Council, the Oklahoma Sorghum Association, Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association, Oklahoma Agri-Women, and other agricultural groups.

SQ777 is opposed by the liberal League of Women Voters, the liberal Oklahoma Conference of Churches, the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes, the Humane Society of the United States, the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals, the Humane Society of Tulsa, the Oklahoma Chapter of the Sierra Club, the liberal Tulsa World, the Norman Transcript, the Muskogee Phoenix and the Journal Record.