OKLAHOMA CITY – The right-to-farm proposition, State Question 777, failed to secure support from a majority of state voters in the Tuesday, November 8 election.
Although it garnered support from 528,506 Oklahoma voters (40.59 percent), it had 852,641 opponents (59.41 percent of the total vote). The measure, which came to the ballot as a result of legislative action, would have required strict scrutiny in litigation, and a compelling state interest, for future regulation of agriculture in the Sooner State.
Oklahoma Farmers Care, the umbrella support group for the proposition, released the following statement after State Question 777, Oklahoma’s Right to Farm, failed at the ballot.
Tom Buchanan, President, Oklahoma Farm Bureau:
“On behalf of the more than 26,000 family farmers and ranchers, Oklahoma Farm Bureau wants to thank the thousands of Oklahomans who voted for State Question 777, Oklahoma’s Right to Farm. Family farmers and ranchers of Oklahoma work hard to provide the safest, most affordable food this Nation has seen. Although we are disappointed in [Tuesday]’s vote, we will not waver in our commitment to ensuring our family farmers and ranchers can continue to operate without fear from outside interest groups and provide consumers with choice when they go to the grocery store. This has always been the charge of Oklahoma Farm Bureau and we will continue in this endeavor.”
Terry Detrick, President, American Farmers & Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union:
“We are strongly disappointed voters decided against an amendment that would protect the very industry that we all depend on to feed and clothe our families. The opposition purposefully confused voters with misleading ads and false information. Oklahoma farmers and ranchers are resilient people and we will continue to work hard growing food and fiber while protecting the environment.”
Joe Neal Hampton, CEO, Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association, Oklahoma Grain and Feed/Agribusiness Retailers Association:
“On behalf of Oklahoma’s wheat producers and agribusiness industries, we want to thank the many Oklahoma’s who voted for State Question 777 – Oklahoma’s Right to Farm. While we are disappointed that out-of-state interests prevailed, we will continue to do our best to be stewards of the environment while providing a safe and abundant food supply at a very reasonable price.”
Roy Lee Lindsey, okPORK Executive Director:
“Oklahoma’s hog farmers want to thank the thousands and thousands of Oklahomans who voted for State Question 777 – Oklahoma’s Right to Farm. We have said consistently throughout the Right to Farm campaign that we start each day with an ethical responsibility to care for our animals, and our natural resources, and to produce safe food for our families and yours. Nothing in today’s vote will change our commitment to these responsibilities. Clearly we are disappointed in the outcome, but we will continue to operate our farms in a manner that is deserving of the trust of the citizens of Oklahoma.”
Charlie Swanson, President of Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association:
“While we are disappointed that State Question 777 has failed, we appreciate the dialogue that the question has afforded agriculture. We implore consumers to learn more about all sizes and types of agriculture which are vitally important for a robust and affordable food supply. As Oklahoma beef cattle raisers, we hold our stewardship responsibility for the land, water and our animals in the highest importance and promise to continue that integrity in raising safe and wholesome beef for your family and ours to enjoy.”