Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

August 31, 2012

Life on the farm

TAHLEQUAH — Ron Reeves didn’t get into farming to get rich, but he can feed his family and pocket a few dollars here and there to help pay for extras, like nice gifts at Christmas.

Reeves is what’s known as a “smallholder” someone who raises livestock and gardens a small portion of land –  in Reeves’ case, about 10 acres. But despite his farm’s small size, he qualifies for tax-exempt status when it comes to certain items like feed, equipment and fuel used for his endeavor.

“My wife and I raise cows, hair sheep for meat, chickens and guineas,” said Reeves. “Gaining  tax-exempt status is fairly easy; you just fill out some forms, and review it annually, making any changes necessary. To qualify, you have to have equipment related to food production, like a tractor, and the permit is good for several years.”

Tax-exempt permit forms are available through the Cherokee County Assessor Marsha Trammel’s office.

Trammel said requirements for gaining the permits has changed over the years.

“An agriculture tax permit removes sales tax from various items, including feed, fencing and fuel purchased for the farm,” said Trammel. “The requirements are pretty simple. A person has to own property and an assessed need, meaning they own a tractor, livestock and produce food. They fill out the form and we mail it to the Oklahoma Tax Commission, where they review the information and grant the permits. Property taxes must be current to apply, and the property has to be used for agricultural purposes.”

Reeves said permitting is a fairly simple process and the benefits are helpful.

“Everyone at the assessor’s office is very helpful, and the permit gets you a break on the price of feed, since you’re not having to pay taxes on it,” said Reeves. “That’s been especially important the past couple of years because of the droughts. It’s also important to remember to keep accurate records of the sale and purchase of animals and feed, as it can be used when you file taxes at the end of the year.”

Gary Rogers, county executive director of the Farm Service Agency for Cherokee, Adair and Sequoyah counties, said in previous years, some farmers have taken advantage of a drought assistance program known as Livestock Forage Disaster Program. The program expired last year, but he hopes that it will be included in the new federal farm bill. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives, and will be mulled by the Senate in September.

LFP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers that suffered grazing losses for covered livestock on pasture land that occurred between Jan. 1, 2008 and Oct. 1, 2011.

“In the three counties we work in, we passed out about $2 million in LFP funds, and statewide, the funding was about $80 million,” said Rogers. “To qualify, a farmer had to have purchased pasture insurance, which cost s $250, or be a member of a socially disadvantaged group, a person of limited resources or a beginning farmer. In our part of the country [Northeast Oklahoma], we don’t have a lot of drought, so most people don’t purchase the drought pasture insurance. Most of the people who qualified for the LFP program were Native American, and we had about 500 participants.”

Rogers said the new farm bill may include the LFP, with a few changes.

“I don’t know all of the particulars, but it sounds like everyone who pays the $250 fee for the insurance will be eligible,” said Rogers. “It’s not a loan and there are no restrictions on how the funds are used. If you’re a commercial livestock producer with pasture, you can apply. They won’t allow rodeo contractors or people who raise cows and horses for pleasure or show to apply, though. While we don’t have any details yet, we keep telling everyone to call us every 30 days to check on the status.”

With this year’s drought, Rogers said he expects the number of applicants to triple.

“Right now, though, things are greening up, and [Tropical Storm] Isaac may bring some rain,” said Rogers. “I expect most applications will be to help defray the high cost of feed, as corn prices continue to rise.”

Reeves said he’s checked into receiving assistance from the Farm Service Agency.

“Since we have such a small acreage, we didn’t meet the requirements,” said Reeves. “But it was worth looking into just for the general information. The folks at FSA and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service are very helpful with information, especially if you’re just starting out in farming.”

Reeves has had his agriculture operation since 1995.

“It doesn’t equate to a lot of income, but you can definitely feed yourself on a small acreage,” said Reeves. “We have beef and lamb, and I have a friend who raises hogs, so we have access to pork. We have plenty of food in the freezer and fresh eggs every day. This summer, we had peaches and cucumbers and five different varieties of tomatoes.”


To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

Text Only
Local News
  • rf-poker-run-main.jpg Poker run

    Fundraiser was in the cards for local philanthropic group

    It was perfect weather, with temperatures in the high 80s Saturday, as boaters filled their vessels with friends for a fun afternoon on Lake Tenkiller. A crowd gathered at Cookson Bend Marina, and folks lined up to support a local charity event.
    As fundraisers go, the Beta Sigma Phi Mu Omega Poker Run last Saturday could be considered huge success, as nearly $9,000 was collected.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • bilbrey-anthony.jpg Man arrested for blackmailing woman for sex

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies put a man behind bars Monday night after he allegedly tried to blackmail a woman by threatening to post nude photos of her on the Internet if she did not meet him for sex.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peach_photo_2.jpg Peach crop lean, but fruit still available

    Summer is all about peaches in Porter – especially at Livesay Orchard.
    The Livesay Orchard is still busy a week after Porter’s annual peach festival. The orchard’s crop this year was cut in half from what had previously been expected, according to Kent Livesay, one of the owners of the orchard.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • jackson-jaymee.jpg Tot’s injuries prompt abuse charges for two local residents

    A Tahlequah couple was formally charged Tuesday with child neglect and child abuse after an 18-month-old girl was found with a number of injuries.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • proctor-micah.jpg Pair accused of threatening man

    Two men behind bars at the Cherokee County Detention Center are accused of wielding a knife and gun and assaulting a man at a trailer park on West Keetoowah Sunday afternoon.
    Tahlequah Officer Reed Felts spoke with Reinaldo Flores, who told officers he heard a knock on his door and went to answer it.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Reach Higher an innovative approach to college

    The “Reach Higher” degree completion program is helping many Oklahoma students go back to school without drastically changing their lives.
    “This program is designed for working adults,” said Tim McElroy, program coordinator at the NSU- Muskogee campus.

    July 30, 2014

  • City attorney, others questioned chamber use of tourism tax

    Letters written in 2006 by City Attorney Park Medearis to former city councilor and Tahlequah Area Tourism Council board member Jack Spears suggest money from a hotel-motel tax could be disbursed through an agent other than the Chamber of Commerce, without voter approval.

    July 30, 2014

  • Hulbert council discusses Internet service

    During a meeting Tuesday night, members of the Hulbert Town Council discussed the possibility of Lake Region Electric Cooperative’s extending its cable and Internet service.

    July 30, 2014

  • ts-marching-MAIN.jpg Marching in step

    Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band kicks off 2014 season with summer drills.

    The Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band has added 30-35 freshmen to its roster this year, and drills began for the newest members last Thursday.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • studie-roberta.jpg Woman accused of stealing cash, taking it to casino

    A 35-year-old Tahlequah woman is free on bond after she allegedly took $1,200 from a man who had been jailed for old warrants.
    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies said they spoke with Jason Jones last week after Jones was arrested by park rangers for the outstanding warrants. Jones said he came to Oklahoma to see family, and when he was arrested, he left his wallet and cash with one of his daughters.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways