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Guymon Daily Herald

Jul
29
2016
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Biggs presented with the OCA


legislative appreciation award

BIGGS
Special to the GDH
Rep. Scott Biggs was
the recipient of the
Oklahoma Cattlemens
Association
OCA
Legislative Appreciation
Award during the recent
64th OCA Convention
and Trade Show in
Norman. The award was
established to recognize
elected officials who
support Oklahoma agriculture and look out for

Oklahoma cattlemen and


their needs.
Rep.
Biggs,
R-Chickasha, has been a
supporter of Oklahomas
farming and ranching
industry and has taken
great steps to protect the
hard working families
that grow Oklahomas
food and its economy.
Representative Biggs
is a cattleman serving
in the Legislature and
he therefore knows the
issues cattle producers
face every day, shared
Charlie Swanson, OCA
President. We sincerely
appreciate his foremost
clarity on his stance no
matter the issue and
especially his loyalty
and undying support for
Oklahoma agriculture
and the beef industry.
This has been shown
time and time again
through his work in getting SQ 777 Right to

Farm on the ballot in


November.
Swanson said OCA
is proud to work with
many legislators who
defend Oklahomas farmers and ranchers and
understand the importance of having family
farms and ranches as our
food and fiber producers.
Biggs has championed
the language of Right
to Farm on the House
floor, but also withstood
personal attacks from
outside interest groups
who oppose the constitutional amendment.
Representative
Biggs is a great friend
to Oklahoma agriculture. We are privileged
to have him serving in
public office and we are
proud to honor him with
our 2016 Legislative
Appreciation Award,
concluded Swanson.

Ultra Comfort Lift Chairs

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The Anadarko Daily News

Jul
30
2016
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have a great time.

Protecting right to change laws


The Journal Record
Oklahoma is home to 78,000
farming operations that cover 34.2
million acres, more than threefourths of the total area. Those
farms produce more than $7.1 billion of products each year, more
than $5.2 billion of that in livestock
and poultry, making Oklahoma the
11th-largest livestock producing
state and 23rd-largest ag-producing
state.
Most farmers will support State
Question 777 in November. The
measure would add a new section to
Article II of the Oklahoma Constitution. It would be four sentences
long.
The first sentence says the intent
is to protect farmers and ranchers
and ensure that they can keep farming and ranching forever. The third
and fourth sentences talk about
what the amendment does not do:
modify laws relating to trespass,
eminent domain, the dominance of
mineral rights, and so forth. There
is little in those three sentences with
which one might take issue.
The devil is the second sentence,
which reads: "The Legislature shall
pass no law which abridges the
right of citizens and lawful residents of Oklahoma to employ agricultural technology and livestock
production and ranching practices
without a compelling state interest."
According to Merriam-Webster's
Dictionary of Law, a compelling
state interest is, "a governmental in-

terest (as in educating children or


protecting the public) which is so
important that it outweighs individual rights."
A compelling state interest is an
extraordinarily high standard to
meet that requires the strict scrutiny
test. If the state were to adopt a law
regulating agriculture and it was
challenged, the state would have to
prove that the policy was necessary
and narrowly tailored to accomplish
the specific task. It's the same standard that was applied in Roe v.
Wade when the court found a person's privacy rights could not be
quashed by laws outlawing abortions.
The law was not written by local
farmers; ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, approved the model legislation in
1996 and again in 2013.
The state has a model; the Legislature can add, subtract and update
laws as the world changes. In 1776,
no one imagined a need for laws
governing self-driving cars, but the
public certainly can imagine the
value of those today. No one knows
how the agriculture industry will
grow and change in Oklahoma, but
the public representatives at the
Capitol must be allowed to help the
law adapt to whatever might surface.
We must not cede governance of
an industry to the industry. Voters
must defeat State Question 777 in
November.

The least business friendly


Property of OPS News Tracker and members of the Oklahoma Press Association.

The Clinton Daily News

Protecting the right


to change laws

Jul
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From The Journal Record

klahoma is home to 78,000 farming operations that cover 34.2


million acres, more than threefourths of the total area. Those
farms produce more than $7.1 billion
of products each year, more than
$5.2 billion of that in livestock and
poultry, making Oklahoma the 11thlargest livestock producing state and
23rd-largest ag-producing state.
Most farmers will support State
Question 777 in November. The measure would add a new section to Article II of the Oklahoma Constitution.
It would be four sentences long.
The rst sentence says the intent
is to protect farmers and ranchers
and ensure that they can keep farming and ranching forever. The third
and fourth sentences talk about
what the amendment does not do:
modify laws relating to trespass,
eminent domain, the dominance of
mineral rights, and so forth. There
is little in those three sentences with
which one might take issue.
The devil is the second sentence,
which reads: "The Legislature shall
pass no law which abridges the right
of citizens and lawful residents of
Oklahoma to employ agricultural
technology and livestock production
and ranching practices without a
compelling state interest."
According to Merriam-Webster's

Dictionary of Law, a compelling state


interest is, "a governmental interest
(as in educating children or protecting the public) which is so important
that it outweighs individual rights."
A compelling state interest is an
extraordinarily high standard to meet
that requires the strict scrutiny test.
If the state were to adopt a law regulating agriculture and it was challenged, the state would have to prove
that the policy was necessary and
narrowly tailored to accomplish the
specic task. It's the same standard
that was applied in Roe v. Wade when
the court found a person's privacy
rights could not be quashed by laws
outlawing abortions.
The law was not written by local
farmers; ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, approved
the model legislation in 1996 and
again in 2013.
The state has a model; the Legislature can add, subtract and update
laws as the world changes. In 1776, no
one imagined a need for laws governing self-driving cars, but the public
certainly can imagine the value of
those today. No one knows how the
agriculture industry will grow and
change in Oklahoma, but the public
representatives at the Capitol must
be allowed to help the law adapt to
whatever might surface.
We must not cede governance of an
industry to the industry.

Property of OPS News Tracker and members of the Oklahoma Press Association.

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Guymon Daily Herald

Caseys Corner: State question


777 to be on November ballot

MURDOCK
Our state ballot will be packed with
questions come November. One state
question is of particular importance
to rural Oklahoma farmers and cattle

ranchers.
State Question 777 will be on the
Nov. 8 ballot asking voters whether or not to amend the Oklahoma
Constitution in a way that would guarantee Oklahomans the right to engage
in certain farming and ranching practices.
The measure would add Section
38 to Article II of the Oklahoma
Constitution, which would read:
To protect agriculture as a vital sector of Oklahomas economy, which provides food, energy, health benefits, and
security and is the foundation and stabilizing force of Oklahomas economy,
the rights of citizens and lawful residents of Oklahoma 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 citizens and lawful residents of Oklahoma to employ
agricultural technology and livestock
production and ranching practices

without a compelling state interest.


According to Oklahoma Secretary of
States website, the new section would
create the following guaranteed state
constitutional rights for those engaging in farming and ranching:
 7KH ULJKW WR PDNH XVH RI DJULFXOtural technology,
7KHULJKWWRPDNHXVHRIOLYHVWRFN
procedures, and
7KHULJKWWRPDNHXVHRIUDQFKLQJ
practices.
These constitutional rights receive
extra protection under this measure
that not all constitutional rights
receive. This extra protection is a limit
on lawmakers ability to interfere with
the exercise of these rights. Under this
extra protection, no law can interfere
with these rights, unless the law is
justified by a compelling state interest a clearly identified state interest
of the highest order. Additionally, the
law must be necessary to serve that
compelling state interest

Property of OPS News Tracker and members of the Oklahoma Press Association.

The measure and the protections


identified above do not apply to and
do not impact state laws related to:
7UHVSDVV
(PLQHQWGRPDLQ
(DVHPHQWV
 5LJKW RI ZD\ RU RWKHU SURSHUW\
rights, and
 $Q\ VWDWH VWDWXWHV DQG SROLWLFDO
subdivision ordinances enacted before
December 31, 2014.
The question on the ballot for voters
is, Shall the proposal be approved? A
vote for the proposal, or a yes vote, is a
vote to amend the state constitution to
include the right to farm and ranch. A
vote against the proposal, or a no vote,
is a vote against amending the constitution to include the right to farm and
ranch.
This question was added to the ballot as a result of passage of House
Joint Resolution 1012.

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The Ellis County Capital

State Question 777 To Be On November Ballot


By Rep. Casey Murdock

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State Question 777 will
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would guarantee Oklahomans the right to engage in
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the Oklahoma Constitution, which would read:
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right of citizens and lawful
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The right to make use of
agricultural technology,
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constitutional
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state interest of the highest
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laws related to:

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Gage Rotary Club News


Property of OPS News Tracker and members of the Oklahoma Press Association.

The Gage Record

Aug
02
2016
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6WDWH4XHVWLRQ7R%H2Q1RYHPEHU%DOORW

no law which abridges the


Our state ballot will right of citizens and lawful
be packed with questions residents of Oklahoma to
come November. One state employ agricultural techquestion is of particular nology and livestock proimportance to rural Okla- duction and ranching prachoma farmers and cattle tices without a compelling
ranchers.
state interest.
State Question 777 will
According to Oklahoma
be on the Nov. 8 ballot ask- Secretary of States webing voters whether or not site, the new section would
to amend the Oklahoma create the following guarConstitution in a way that anteed state constitutional
would guarantee Oklaho- rights for those engaging in
mans the right to engage in farming and ranching:
certain farming and ranchThe right to make use of
ing practices.
agricultural technology,
The measure would add
The right to make use of
Section 38 to Article II of livestock procedures, and
the Oklahoma ConstituThe right to make use of
tion, which would read:
ranching practices.
To protect agriculture as
These
constitutional
a vital sector of Oklaho- rights receive extra promas economy, which pro- tection under this measure
vides food, energy, health that not all constitutional
EHQHWV DQG VHFXULW\ DQG rights receive. This exis the foundation and stabi- tra protection is a limit on
lizing force of Oklahomas lawmakers ability to ineconomy, the rights of cit- terfere with the exercise of
izens and lawful residents these rights. Under this exof Oklahoma to engage tra protection, no law can
in farming and ranching interfere with these rights,
practices shall be forever XQOHVV WKH ODZ LV MXVWLHG
guaranteed in this state. by a compelling state interThe Legislature shall pass HVW  D FOHDUO\ LGHQWLHG
By Rep. Casey Murdock

state interest of the highest


order. Additionally, the law
must be necessary to serve
that compelling state interest.
The measure and
WKH SURWHFWLRQV LGHQWLHG
above do not apply to
and do not impact state
laws related to:
Trespass,
Eminent domain,
Easements,
Right of way or other
property rights, and
Any state statutes and
political subdivision ordinances enacted before December 31, 2014.
The question on the ballot for voters is, Shall the
proposal be approved? A
vote for the proposal, or a
yes vote, is a vote to amend
the state constitution to include the right to farm and
ranch. A vote against the
proposal, or a no vote, is a
vote against amending the
constitution to include the
right to farm and ranch.
This question was added to the ballot as a result
of passage of House Joint
Resolution 1012.

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Muskogee Phoenix

THE PEOPLE SPEAK


Look at who supports
State Question 777

port from outside our


state.
They want to focus on
everything except OklaIn response to Juhoma it seems. When
ly 24ths SQ777 foes
you start to look at who
cheer as Nebraska
is in favor of SQ 777
agricultural leaders
drop support for similar and the Right to Farm,
measure, Right to Farm its people like me our
opponents continue con- Oklahoma farmers and
ranchers. Your relatives,
ating this issue with
unrelated issues in oth- neighbors, classmates,
and friends. My family
er states (see the July
24 article in this paper) works every day for our
because these opponents farm and we are certainly not being pushed
get most of their sup-

O i

li

This is about Oklahoma and we can make


up our own minds about
what is right for our
state. We dont need
to take cues from anywhere else.
On Election Day,
please look to your
neighbors in rural
Oklahoma to see who is
supporting SQ 777 and
the Right to Farm and
Ranch.
KELLY NAUMANN
Boynton

around by some big


agri boogeyman.
We support SQ 777 because we want our children and grandchildren
to have the same opportunity to grow food, fuel
and ber that we did.
Thats why farmer-led
organizations Farm
Bureau, Cattlemens,
Pork Producers, American Farmers and Ranchers and many more
are leading the charge to
pass Right to Farm.

i i @

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Vinita Daily Journal

Aug
03
2016
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More than $1 million raised in support of


Oklahoma SQ 777; opposers say its bad policy
By Brianna Bailey
The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City
716 $XJ&DPSDLJQOLQJVVKRZWKH
Oklahoma Pork Council is a major supporter
of a state question that would make it harder
to pass new laws to regulate agriculture in the
state, and the Humane Society of the United
States is the single largest donor opposing the
measure.
The political action committee Oklahoma
Farmers Care SQ 777 has raised more than
$1 million to support the state question this
year, including $586,726 in the second quarter of the year, according to Oklahoma Ethics
Commission documents.
The Pork Council, which represents pork
producers in the state, has donated $76,586
to Oklahoma Farmers, as well as another
$2,772 in in-kind donations. The Pork Council was the single largest donor to the campaign in the second quarter, the documents
show.
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. donated $100,000 in support of SQ
777.
Government overreach
Roy Lee Lindsey, executive director of the
Oklahoma Pork Council, said the group is
concerned about government overreach that
could make it harder for pork producers to do
business in the state, as well as raise prices
for consumers.
We believe it is an incredibly important
question for the state of agriculture in the
state of Oklahoma, Lindsey said. State
Question 777 ensures that farmers have the
right to make those choices and it also ensures that the Legislature still has oversight if
there is a compelling state interest.
Paul Muegge, Oklahoma Stewardship
Council co-chair and former state senator,
said SQ 777 would prevent pork producers in
the state from being subject to any new laws.

They want this clear path where they


wont have any rules and regulations to get
in their way, Muegge said.
Bad public policy
In 1998, Muegge, then a Democratic state
senator from Tonkawa, authored a landmark
bill that put restrictions on pork producers to
prevent hog waste from contaminating water
supplies.
In Oklahoma, we have a right to farm,
thats not the issue, Muegge said. This is
bad public policy and we ask the voters to
vote no on something that is this complex
and far reaching.
The Humane Society of the United States
donated $17,500 in cash to the Oklahoma
Stewardship Council, the committee organized to oppose SQ 777.
The Humane Society of the United States
also has made $80,692 in in-kind contributions consisting of compensation and travel
to the Stewardship Council, campaign reSRUWVOHG)ULGD\ZLWKWKH2NODKRPD(WKLFV
Commission show.
In Oklahoma, the Humane Society proYLGHV WUDLQLQJ IRU ODZ HQIRUFHPHQW RIFHUV
and prosecutors on animal issues, and assists
local animal welfare groups and shelters, the
Stewardship Council said.
The report shows the Oklahoma Stewardship Council has raised a total of $34,016.63
in cash contribution.
SQ 777 is a constitutional amendment that
would prevent Oklahoma lawmakers from
passing legislation to regulate agriculture unless it has a compelling state interest. The
state is set to vote on the ballot measure in
November.
The state question would not reverse any
state statutes or ordinances enacted before
Dec. 31, 2014, but any law regulating agriculture passed after that date would be subject to repeal.

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The Tonkawa News

OKLAHOMA WILL DECIDE QUESTION IN NOVEMBER BALLOT

Tonkawa farmer applauds Nebraska right to farm opposition


A coalition of Nebraska agricultural groups has announced it will
no longer pursue a constitutional right to farm proposal in that
state. Oklahoma voters will decide a similar issue here in November
with State Question 777.
We are united in our belief that protecting our members interests
and the future of agriculture isnt about a single ballot measure or
initiative, Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president, said in a
news release. He added that his organization would be working to ensure high property tax burdens arent the reason families are pushed
out of agriculture.
Farmer Paul Muegge, of Tonkawa, a former state senator and co-

ter, land and livestock. I can understand why the corporations want
to be free from scrutiny and regulation, but I cannot understand why
Oklahoma should let them. Voters should not be fooled by this proposal.
Numerous organizations and individuals, including many farmers,
are standing together to defeat State Question 777. Those opposing
the proposal include Save the Illinois River, Inter-Tribal Council of
the Five Civilized Tribes, Oklahoma Municipal League, League of
Women Voters, Edmond City Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma,
Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Legislative Fund, Bella Foundation, Oklahoma for Food, Farm and Family, Oklahoma Food Cooperative, Sierra Club, Oklahoma Welfare
League, Oklahoma Alliance for Animals and Oklahoma Coalition of
Animal Rescuers.
The Oklahoma Stewardship Council is a coalition of family farma facility that performs numer- rience. Make sure you are ready ers, community leaders and concerned citizens opposing State Quesous procedures each year. Lower for the changes and are ready to tion 777. For more information about the OSC, visit www.votenoon777.com.
complication rates have been benet for them.
found for high-volume surgeons
and facilities
chair of the Oklahoma Stewardship Council, applauded the Nebraska
Farm Bureau for its decision to work in the interests of its members
who are family farmers, rather than carry water for the corporate interests who want state questons like 777 to pass in agriculture-producing states.
SQ 777 takes away the power of the legislature and municipal
governments to regulate agricultural practices to protect water and
other natural resources and individuals property rights, Muegge
said. In this world of industrial agriculture, it is large corporations
who will benet from the unprecedented blank check that SQ 777
gives them, not generational farmers who have always protected wa-

Joint replacement: When and where?


More than a million Americans
will get new hips or knees this
year. Will you be one of them?
Before answering that question you and your doctor will

in the buttock, be sure you get a


complete evaluation and try nonsurgical approaches rst.
Many persons with arthritis of
the hip also have knee pain The

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