Oklahoma Farm Bureau members have set the organization’s legislative priorities ahead of Oklahoma’s 2024 legislative session.
These priority issues, designed to guide the work of Farm Bureau members and staff at the state Capitol, are broken down into four primary focus areas, including rural infrastructure, Oklahoma’s future, agricultural production and taxation.
Farm Bureau members have long supported the expansion of high-speed internet and wireless phone service in Oklahoma’s most rural areas. Both are critical technological tools to ensure rural Oklahoma stays vibrant for years to come.
Continued vibrance in rural communities coincides with a thriving rural economy and access to rural health services, which is why OKFB supports investments in rural physician residency programs and programs and partnerships that increase economic opportunities in rural communities.
OKFB supports funding for improved maintenance to roads and bridges in Oklahoma to ensure residents can safely travel to and from their homes and companies can conduct business and transport products.
OKFB members understand the important mission of land-grant universities and support increased funding for growth and modernization of the OSU Cooperative Extension Service.
Farm Bureau members take pride in engaging in civic efforts and participating in local, state and national elections. In recent years, OKFB members have become increasingly concerned with the requirements for a proposal to appear on a statewide ballot and strongly support state initiative petition reform to ensure the integrity of the petition process is upheld.
As farmers and ranchers, OKFB members know the value of fair compensation for honest work, but members oppose linking the Oklahoma minimum wage to a national urban cost-of-living statistic that inaccurately represents many parts of Oklahoma’s economy.
Farm Bureau members support tribal governments working with the state of Oklahoma to resolve jurisdictional questions and conflicts in light of the ongoing repercussions of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2020 McGirt decision.
OKFB also supports increased funding for agricultural education programs and instructors in schools around the state.
OKFB members strongly oppose all forms of increased county zoning authority as the increase in local authority could place an unnecessary burden on farmers and ranchers through restriction or prohibition of everyday agricultural practices.
Farm Bureau members strive to be excellent stewards of the land and livestock that are often their livelihoods. OKFB supports livestock regulations that are science based, economical and consistent with industry standards. OKFB also supports improved land management practices by the Commissioners of the Land Office.
Farm Bureau members oppose new or increased ad valorem taxes as these property taxes unfairly burden farmers and ranchers who often have a large amount of land and capital that does not always generate a profit. Similarly, OKFB supports the exemption of livestock and unmanufactured farm products from ad valorem taxation.
OKFB also opposes the elimination of the state income tax as members are concerned that the state may turn to property taxes to recoup lost revenue from the tax cuts.
To learn more about OKFB’s top issues, visit okfarmbureau.org/advocacy/issues.