State Question 777 FAQ

What is State Question 777?

This proposed state constitutional amendment would prohibit the Oklahoma Legislature or state regulatory agencies from passing laws or adopting rules and regulations that negatively impact the rights of farmers and ranchers “to employ agricultural technology and livestock production and ranching practices.”

Why is it called Right to Farm?

Some organizations are calling it the “Right to Farm” to mislead the general public. In the State of Oklahoma, everyone already has the Right to Farm, however, State Question 777 (SQ777) would amend the Oklahoma Constitution add provisions that would make it difficult for the State of Oklahoma to regulate anything related to farming.

Is State Question 777 Really About “Right to Farm”?

No, it isn’t. All 50 states in the U.S. already have statutes protecting the “right to farm.” This name is used to mislead the public into thinking the agriculture industry needs additional protections. We believe proponents have other significant motives for promoting this issue.

The Language of State Question 777

The following text would be added to the Oklahoma Constitution:

“To protect agriculture as a vital sector of Oklahoma’s economy, which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security and is the foundation and stabilizing force of Oklahoma’s economy, 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 without a compelling state interest.

Why Oppose State Question 777?

SQ 777 Takes Away Our Rights as Oklahomans

Oklahomans will lose our rights to demand action and accountability from our legislature and state regulatory agencies regarding future agriculture-related activities.

The Legislature must retain the ability to consider and enact laws and regulations on future agriculture practices that impact public health, water and air quality, soil conservation, property rights and other critical issues.

 

Farmers & Ranchers Don’t Need to be a Special, Protected Class

Farming and ranching are extremely important to our state’s economy. But
why do we need to create a special legal class only for agriculture?

No other industry in Oklahoma enjoys this exemption from regulation. What precedent would passage set for other industries to request similar status?
How does this proposed change square with the fundamental principle of equal rights for all citizens?

 

Water Rights, Water Quality and Habitat

The vague ballot language could threaten private and public water rights and municipal zoning authority, and throw the state’s complex water laws into chaos. The ballot measure could also have profound effects on water quality and habitat throughout the state.

Who will adjudicate Oklahoma’s water rights/ownership laws if the state government can no longer pass laws or regulations?

What agency of government will monitor water quality, air quality, soil conservation, etc., if the State Constitution bars the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality and Water Resources Board from regulating?

State Question 777 Educational Efforts

Oklahomans for Food, Farm & Family includes thousands of individuals, companies and organizations that represent a broad cross-section of Oklahoma:

  • Traditional, independent farmers/ranchers
  • Oklahoma Food, Farm & Family Coalition
  • The Oklahoma Municipal League
  • The Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma
  • Other Oklahoma-based conservation and wildlife organizations
  • Farm-to-table markets and restaurant owners
  • Oklahoma-based environmental organizations; local animal welfare advocates; local doctors, public health and nutrition professionals; local realtors and developers; and many others.