Path Home Shows 2011 Show Archive August 2011 Show 1134 OALP Washington

OALP Washington

A new Farm Bill is set to be written next year, and what is in it… is important to both farmers and consumers. We discuss the role that bill, and conservation, plays on today's farms.
OALP Washington

Ag Leadership Program

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Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program

Show Dates

Show 1134: OALP Washington

Air date: August 21, 2011

 

Transcript

ROB MCCLENDON:  WELL AS FAR AS I CAN TELL, THE LOVE / HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH WASHINGTON GOES BACK GENERATIONS FOR PEOPLE THAT LEARN, LIVE ON THE FARM.  AND, A NEW FARM BILL IS ABOUT TO BE WRITTEN IN 2012.  DANIELLE, I WOULD LIKE TO START WITH YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE A USDA CONSERVATIONIST; WHAT ROLE DOES THE FARM BILL AND CONSERVATION PLAY IN OUR RURAL COMMUNITIES?

DANIELLE WHALEY:  WELL I THINK IT’S AN IMPORTANT PART, NOT JUST AS A FARM SERVICE AGENCY OR THE SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE WHICH IS NOW NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE.  BUT, IT THINK IT, AS BEING A PRODUCER OF THE LAND, MOST OF THE PRODUCERS THAT I KNOW ARE GREAT STEWARDS OF THE LAND AS WELL; AND, THAT CAN BE VERY COSTLY.  AND, THEY’VE DONE IT FOR MANY YEARS AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE, MADE IMPROVEMENTS, SWITCHED TECHNOLOGY, ADVANCED IN WAYS THAT HAVE COST THEM A LOT OF MONEY.  AND WITH THE NEW FARM BILL, THIS LAST PASSED FARM BILL, WE RECEIVED THE CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM.  I THINK THAT’S GREATLY HELPED ADD SOME VALUE TO THE THINGS THAT PRODUCERS HAVE ALREADY DONE.  IN THE TERMS OF WATERSHED PROJECTS, I THINK THAT’S UH, GONNA BE A HIGH INFLUENCE IN THE NEXT FARM BILL AND WHAT KIND OF MONEY WE’RE GONNA SEE COME OUT FOR WATERSHED AID AND PROTECTION, EMERGENCY WATERSHED PROTECTION MONEY.

ROB:  YOU KNOW, WE’VE TALKED A LOT TODAY ABOUT WHAT WILL BE GOOD FOR OKLAHOMA AGRICULTURE; BUT, LET’S PUT THE SHOE ON THE OTHER FOOT.  WHY IS OKLAHOMA AGRICULTURE GOOD FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD?  AND SHANNON, LET’S START WITH YOU.

SHANNON CUNNINGHAM:  I THINK THAT’S A GREAT POINT, A GREAT QUESTION THAT YOU BRING UP ROB, BECAUSE WHAT YOU SEE IS, WHAT IS GOOD FOR AGRICULTURE TRULY IS GOOD FOR EVERYONE ELSE.  ONE OF THE GREATEST CHALLENGES THAT WE FACE AS AGRICULTURALIST IS, HOW ARE WE GONNA PRODUCE ENOUGH FOOD THAT’S SAFE AND OF HIGH QUALITY TO BE ABLE TO FEED NOT ONLY OUR STATE AND NATION, BUT THE WORLD POPULATIONS?  YOU CAN READ STATISTIC AFTER STATISTIC ON HOW THESE POPULATIONS ARE GROWING AT EXPONENTIAL RATES; SO, AS AGRICULTURALISTS WE HAVE TO ADDRESS THIS CHALLENGE BECAUSE IT’S NOT GONNA GO AWAY ON ITS OWN.  SO EVERYTHING THAT WE’VE TALKED ABOUT TODAY, REGULATIONS FROM GOVERNMENT ENTITIES, OUR PASSION FOR FARMING, ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE DRIVEN BY THE FACT THAT WE’VE GOT TO PRODUCE A HIGH QUALITY PRODUCT AND ONE THAT’S GONNA FEED THE WORLD.

BRIAN:  YOU ALSO HAVE TO LOOK AT IT AS FOOD, AND ALSO SAFETY.  PEOPLE ARE, ARE ANGRY WHEN THEY’RE HUNGRY.  IF PEOPLE ARE WELL-FED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, THEY’RE MUCH MORE SATISFIED, THEY’RE MUCH HAPPIER; ESPECIALLY WHEN THE FOOD QUALITY INCREASES; FOOD QUALITY INCREASES, QUALITY OF LIFE INCREASES, THEY’RE MUCH HAPPIER.  THE MOST PROBLEM THE WORLD HAS RIGHT NOW, IF YOU LOOK AT THE AREAS THAT ARE THE MOST UNREST, THEY ALSO HAVE THE WORST FOOD.  THEY HAVE THE LEAST ACCESS TO GOOD QUALITY FOOD.  HUNGRY PEOPLE, PEOPLE THAT HAVE HUNGRY CHILDREN, ARE THE ONES THAT, THAT ARE HURTING THE MOST.  AGRICULTURE HAS TO PROVIDE A GOOD, SAFE, AND SUSTAINABLE FOOD SOURCE FROM NOW AND THE FUTURE.  OKLAHOMA DOES THAT AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO THAT IN THE FUTURE.

ROB:  WHEN WE RETURN, SOME FINAL THOUGHTS.