Tahlequah Daily Press

April 30, 2014

Right to Farm bill a pig in poke


Staff

TAHLEQUAH — Editor, Daily Press:

House Joint Resolution 1006, the so-called Right to Farm Bill, is an election year pig in a poke pushed by the Farm Bureau. It calls for a vote of the people to change the Oklahoma Constitution to allow the following:

“...the rights of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state.... The Legislature shall pass no law which abridges the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural technology and livestock production and ranching practices.”

Further, the resolution explains: “It protects the rights of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices. It prohibits the Legislature from passing laws that would take away the right to employ agricultural technology and livestock production and ranching practices. It provides for interpretation of the section.”

Both the House and the Senate have approved HJR 1006 and it is headed to conference.

What is the Farm Bureau really attempting to do with HJR 1006? If approved by the Legislature and passed by voters, could farmers and ranchers ignore water quality regulations? Could they get away with no tail lights on their vehicles? Why do good farmers even need constitutional protection?

If we are to have a Right to Farm Bill, then let’s also have a Right to Sell Used Cars Bill. Then you and I could sell a clunker to the Farm Bureau, just as the Farm Bureau has so far sold a clunker to the Oklahoma Legislature.

Ed Brocksmith

Tahlequah