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AFR members pass issues critical to rural Oklahoma

During the American Farmers & Ranchers annual convention, Feb. 19-21, voting delegates adopted policies on water, health care, State Question 777, earthquakes and other issues critical to rural Oklahoma.

“Our members spoke with a strong, united voice on these issues,” said Terry Detrick, AFR president.  “This was true grassroots policy development.”

On the issue of water, delegates said “We support legislation defining water quality and water quantity as compelling state interests.”  In addition, they adopted new language stating “We support continued studies on underground aquifer water storage, recharge and recovery.”

The delegates strongly supported State Question 777, Right to Farm.  The measure, which will give protection to consumers and production agriculture, is on the general election ballot in November.

“We are working hard to make sure everyone understands the need for voters to pass this issue in November,” Detrick said.

Rural health care received a boost when delegates said “We support continuation of Oklahoma teaching hospitals and associated training which primarily returns physicians to rural Oklahoma.”

“High quality health care is vitally important,” Detrick said.  “We want to do everything possible to make sure rural residents receive the health care they need.”

In addition, AFR will place special emphasis on rural health care, including facilities, this legislative session.

The surge in earthquakes in Oklahoma attracted the farm group’s attention as they stated “We support research to determine if there are man-made causes contributing to earthquakes and/or seismic activity.”

Other policies adopted by the AFR delegates included language designating cottonseed as an “other oilseed” for purposes of the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs, as well as supporting  development of reasonable regulations for the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, while protecting  private property rights.