In November Oklahomans will be given the chance to vote on a very important agriculture issue, in return amending the state constitution. State Question 777, more commonly known as “The Right to Farm,” will make a huge impact on one of Oklahoma’s most important industries. This SQ will give farmers and ranchers the freedom to continue using the same farming and ranching techniques that are currently is use without any backlash from the government.
While every state in the nation already has some kind of variation of a "right to farm" bill, this state question would hold more authority and give more protection to Oklahoma farmers and ranchers. This constitutional amendment would give one of Oklahoma's largest and most important industries protection against unwarranted laws and regulations that could take away or hinder their right to farm.
As a fourth-generation cattle and wheat farmer, I think Oklahoma needs this law now more than ever. As a nation, we are already seeing more unnecessary regulation put on the agriculture industry through the Veterinary Feed Directive that will be coming into effect in January. With the passing of this amendment it makes it harder for third party non-interest groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and Humane Society of America, to come and dictate how Oklahoma produces food and fiber.
From a consumer standpoint, the passing of this amendment would allow for your food costs to stay low. The more regulation producers face the more it costs to produce, This is why the passing of SQ 777 is not only good for producers but for consumers as well.
This legislation is not only helping producers in the long run, it is helping preserve the past and history of agriculture. The agriculture industry is one that is rooted in tradition. Many farms in Oklahoma have been passed down from one generation to the next, with knowledge being shared between one generation to the next. This industry is a completely different from others around the world. Its not just a job, its a lifestyle. With the passing of this SQ you are not only helping protect an important economical industry, but you are preserving a lifestyle for generations to come.
Those who oppose this SQ are afraid that this is opening up a door for commercial farms to come in and have no regulation in Oklahoma. This couldn't be farther from the truth. With the passing of this legislation, there are still state and federal regulations in place that would prevent this from happening.
As a young adult who is returning to the farm after college, I fully support the passing of this SQ. The "right to farm" will ensure that I am able to continue the practices that my father taught me and pass that knowledge down to my children one day.