Our Voices Count on SQ777

Keith Gaddie

Keith Gaddie

OU Professor, Interview with KGOU Radio

“….The irony of this (SQ777) is the notion of farming free of government regulation or interference, well, we’ve got this thing called the Soil Bank, the Agriculture Adjustment Act, all this legislation that subsidizes American farming in order to keep the food supply safe and affordable. The reason it’s safe and affordable is because government regulators are involved. Because when you have unregulated farming, you get the Dust Bowl.”

Kamala Gamble

Kamala Gamble

Farmer and Chef

“SQ777 effectively outsources the control of agriculture into the hands of large multinational corporations. What motivation do these global corporations have to protect our land, our air and our water?”

Krystina Phillips

Krystina Phillips

Attorney & Partner at Indian & Environmental Law Group

“State Question 777 is a gigantic invitation to our federal government to come into the state and regulate Oklahoma entities. As Oklahomans, I think it’s widely held that we value local control and local input, and it seems to me that SQ777 is in direct contradiction to these values and goals.”

Russ Johnson

Russ Johnson

Chef/Owner, R&J Lounge and Supper Club & Ludivine

“I am the chef and owner of several restaurants in the OKC metro area and my customers are focused on knowing where and how their food is produced. So, it is very concerning that the language of SQ777 is so broad, as to make it virtually impossible to regulate in any way, any of these practices that can be construed by any individual to fall under the broad veil of either farming/ranching practices or agricultural technology, no matter who inhumane or detrimental to our health and natural resources it may be.”

Eric Lyons

Eric Lyons

Backyard Bounty Bakery

“I want transparency in the food that my family and I eat, as well as the ingredients I use in my bakery. My Voice Counts. Vote No on State Question 777.”

Elizabeth Waner

Elizabeth Waner

Edmond City Council, Ward 2

“We at the Edmond City Council are concerned about State Question 777 and it’s impact on our ability to provide fresh, clean water to our citizens. My Voice Counts.”

Steve Hill

Steve Hill owns Phocas Farms, a Community Supported Agriculture Farm, in Edmond, Oklahoma and opposes State Question 777.  “We’re a very small farm and truly an urban farm, trying to make the most of our small acreage. We’re a community supported farm and my customers are concerned about where their food comes from. Vote NO on SQ777.”

Bud Scott

Bud Scott is the director of the Oklahoma Farm and Food Alliance and has advocated for small family farms throughout his life. “Oklahomans are concerned about knowing where their food comes from, how it is produced, and the health impacts upon their bodies, families and communities.”

Shane Bevel

Shane Bevel is a business owner and photographer based in Tulsa, where he lives with his wife, son and two Llewellin setters. After spending more than a decade as a photojournalist covering major events like Hurricane Katrina and SEC football for newspapers, he moved to Tulsa to as a freelance editorial and commercial photographer. Shane and his wife are expecting a daughter in May and just like their son, she will spend a large amount of time camping with the family on Oklahoma public lands.

Randy Ross

In addition to serving as mayor of Choctaw, Randy is executive director of the Oklahoma Accountancy Board. He has received numerous honors for both his private business and public service. He was named 2011 Oklahoma Mayor of the Year (cities +5,000) and most recently was inducted into the Oklahoma Accounting Hall of Fame by the Oklahoma Society of CPAs. An all-American college wrestler, Randy enjoys weekends at the lake and scuba diving.

Ron Suttles

Ron Suttles

Retired Director of Wildlife Diversity, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

“As a career wildlife biologist, I am concerned about the impact of State Question 777 on water quality and aquatic species habitat. The idea of SQ777 didn’t originate in Oklahoma. It’s part of a national push by corporate agriculture interests, shopping this concept to several states, in hopes of limiting or eliminating state oversight of their industry. The version we ended up with places in the Oklahoma Constitution, agriculture as a protected industry. No other industry in Oklahoma has this special treatment. Not oil and gas, not manufacturing, not the financial industry. Nobody has that kind of protection. Once you put it in the Constitution, legislators, city councils and state agencies become powerless.”

Dev Vallencourt

Dev Vallencourt

Farmer

“As a vegetable farmer in Oklahoma, I know I have the right to farm, yet corporate agriculture interests continue to push family farmers out of the business. I’m concerned about State Question 777 and granting these interests a blanket exemption from new laws and regulations. My Voice Counts. Vote No on SQ777.”

Paul Muegge

Paul Muegge

Former State Senator

“I’m a lifelong alfalfa farmer and rancher, as well as a former State Senator. As the sponsor of legislation in the 1990’s which created regulatory frameworks for Confined Animal Feeding Operations and waste management in Oklahoma, I know that under State Question 777 we would have been powerless to address the waste and vertical integration of the industry. Oklahoman’s should be wary anytime an industry is seeking exemptions from proper regulation, especially when hiding behind our family farmers. My Voice Counts. Vote No on SQ777.”

Paulette Rink

Paulette Rink

Rowdy Stickhorse Farm & Ranch

“I’m a certified naturally grown farmer and rancher and I oppose State Question 777.”

Judy Florida

Judy Florida

President of Oklahoma Marina Association

“As the general manager of Harbor View Marina on Grand Lake and as the President of the Oklahoma Marina Association I am very concerned about State Question 777 because it restricts our ability to preserve water quality on our lakes and directly effects our businesses. My Voice Counts. Vote No on SQ777.”

Andrew Reid

Andrew Reid

Rooted Farms

“As a local produce grower with customers focused on knowing where their food comes from, I’m concerned with State Question 777 because of food transparency. My Voice Counts.”

Harlan Hentges

Agriculture Attorney

“State Question 777 takes away constitutional rights from all Oklahomans. I do not see how limiting the rights of citizens is a good idea.”

Billy Spiva

“I see the writing on the wall in this legislation. State Question 777 will only allow big corporate farms to pollute and destroy our land, water and health. Those big corporate farms, after they are freed from proper regulatory restrains, will outcompete and destroy our small family farms in Oklahoma. NO on SQ777 and nothing will change my mind on this.”

Paul-Molly Wehrenberg

“Ignorance is bliss” State Question 777 came from ALEC and not the family farmer. This protects corporate farms. The family farmer already has the right to farm. We do not live in Cuba or Venezuela. VOTE NO”

Teresa Garrett Trammell

“Vote NO on SQ777. If it passes there will be no resources whatsoever if a large corporate farm pollutes land or water.”

Nancy Colpetzer

“State Question 777 is just an attempt to protect large corporate farm bad actors and only pretends to be a help to small family farms.”

Andrew Reid, Rooted Farms

Dev Vallencourt, High Tides & Green Fields

Elizabeth Waner, Edmond City Council

Eric Lyons, Backyard Bounty Bakery

Paulette Rink, Rowdy Stickhorse Farm

Paul Muegge, Oklahoma Stewardship Council

Ron Suttles, Conservation Coalition of Oklahoma

Russ Johnson, R&J Lounge and Ludavine

Claire Newsom

Enid, Oklahoma

“In state question debate, attacks on ‘corporate’ farming misguided” (Our Views, Oct. 7) gave statistics about corporate farming and said, “for many Americans, the reality of daily farming is as foreign as the reality of daily life in Indonesia.” Many Americans may not be farmers and may not know much about Indonesia, but they do understand representative government where rules and regulations are made for the benefit of the public at large. If State Question 777 passes, corporate agriculture will get to take refuge in the Oklahoma Constitution and will be immune to any new farming legislation that might be necessary.

The ag scenery is changing every day. ChemChina is poised to acquire Sygenta AG, one of the world’s largest producers of agricultural chemicals. Bayer, a German company, is positioned to take over U.S. seed giant Monsanto. Do we really want to give these foreign companies protection in the state constitution? Their existence will become just as protected as freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

SQ 777 is about much more than the price of eggs or the food we eat. It’s about an attempt to thwart our democracy. A “no” vote will help maintain our voices at the Oklahoma Capitol, including those of the Oklahoma farmer.”

Jim Beckham

Cattle Rancher

“Regarding “In state question debate, attacks on ‘corporate’ farming misguided” (Our Views, Oct. 7): Many farmers disagree with the editorial’s argument that “corporate farming actually reduces environmental harm,” and they point to what is arguably the result of corporate farming — the Dust Bowl. Many of us believe unregulated farming practices, using the one-way plow, created the Dust Bowl. “Suitcase farmers” or “corporate farmers” arrived from the East, buying thousands of Oklahoma prairie acres, to grow wheat. When wheat prices dropped, suitcase farmers abandoned the land, and took the Oklahoma topsoil with them.

I’m not saying that Oklahoma deregulation of foreign corporate farms would cause another Dust Bowl. I am saying that we should view with skepticism claims that foreign corporations will not harm Oklahoma’s environment. State Question 777, if approved, would prevent Oklahomans from passing any regulatory legislation for corporate farming (without a compelling state interest). Corporations are wealthy beyond imagination, and thus have the resources to block any Oklahoma regulatory legislation. Many ranchers have dubbed 777 “Right to Harm” instead of “Right to Farm.”