Oklahoma Farm Report masthead graphic with wheat on the left and cattle on the right.
Howdy Neighbors!
Ron Hays, Director of Farm and Ranch Programming, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network  |  2401 Exchange Ave, Suite F, Oklahoma City, Ok 73108  |  (405) 601-9211


Agricultural News

USDA's Rural Development Lead Anne Hazlett Opens Opioid Crisis Dialogue with Oklahoma Leaders

Wed, 06 Jun 2018 12:47:33 CDT

USDA's Rural Development Lead Anne Hazlett Opens Opioid Crisis Dialogue with Oklahoma Leaders The misuse of opioids has reached critical levels in recent years and Oklahoma’s rural communities are feeling the impact of this nationwide crisis. According to an advisory from the US Department of Agriculture, there were 444 opioid-related deaths in Oklahoma in 2016. Prescription drug overdoses kill more Oklahomans than motor vehicle crashes, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. As this crisis rises to a boiling point in the state, its impact is beginning to affect the available workforce, thereby weighing on economic conditions in rural Oklahoma.

In an effort to bring light to this intensifying situation and open a dialogue among community leaders, the USDA, Wednesday, hosted the Oklahoma Opioid Roundtable in El Reno, Okla. at the Canadian Valley Career Tech Center. USDA Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett appeared to hear the concerns of local leaders and discuss possible solutions to this issue, offering USDA’s partnership and resources to help combat this epidemic. Prior to the Roundtable’s commencement, Hazlett spoke with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn about this issue and others she is working on in her role within USDA’s Rural Development office. You can hear their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.

“No corner of the country has gone untouched by this issue, but we know that rural communities have been particularly impacted,” Hazlett said. “So, today will be a learning opportunity for me to hear first-hand from people who are dealing with this challenge on the frontlines and then seeing how we can be a stronger partner with our resources, as well as some of the model practices we see working in other parts of the country that might be adopted here.”

Not only are Oklahoma’s rural communities heavily burdened with this issue, but so too are its tribal communities where the crisis has become significantly prevalent. Hazlett says in this case, it will be important to find ways of providing culturally and traditionally appropriate means of care and treatment that align with the unique needs of tribal nations.

“I always hate to focus on the numbers, because of course, every life matters. But, the numbers truly are staggering,” Hazlett said reporting that last year, 64,000 people gave their life to opioid abuse, or roughly 174 people each day. “When you step back and look at the numbers, it can be overwhelming - but importantly there are simple solutions that each of us can take up and move forward with.”

As the USDA and its partners continue to work on getting their arms wrapped around this problem to develop a strategic plan for reversing it - Hazlett says there are some initial program investment opportunities including a robust telemedicine program, which helps treat those without local access to treatment facilities; available grant funding for equipment and infrastructure upgrades; and programs that address some of the broader needs in fighting this crisis such as transitional housing and workforce development.

“A lot of this goes beyond USDA,” she said, “and it is important for us to be working very closely with some of our other partners both at the federal and state level to make sure that our resources align with their missions as well.”



You can hear their complete conversation on this issue and others by clicking the LISTEN BAR below
right-click to download mp3


WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI


Top Agricultural News

  • Wednesday Preopening Market Update with Dave Lanning  Wed, 22 May 2019 07:14:04 CDT
  • ICYMI: Slaughter Cows Mostly Steady to 2.00 Higher, Slaughter Bulls 2.00 to 3.00 Lower Monday at OKC West Livestock   Tue, 21 May 2019 16:08:46 CDT
  • OSU's Glenn Selk Talks About the Importance of Docile Females in Your Program  Tue, 21 May 2019 15:30:54 CDT
  • Oklahoma Grain Elevator Cash Bids as of 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, 2019  Tue, 21 May 2019 15:17:28 CDT
  • Tuesday Market Wrap-Up with Justin Lewis  Tue, 21 May 2019 14:30:19 CDT
  • Tuesday Afternoon Market Wrap-Up with Carson Horn  Tue, 21 May 2019 14:25:11 CDT
  • Senate Approves State Budget 37-11 with $3.1 Million Earmarked for Rural Infrastructure, Resources  Tue, 21 May 2019 14:18:57 CDT
  • Syngenta Enhances Company's Grow More Experience and Agronomy in Action Engagement in 2019  Tue, 21 May 2019 12:48:14 CDT

  • More Headlines...


    Ron salutes our daily email sponsors!

    Herbs Herb Oklahoma Ag Credit Oklahoma Farm Bureau National Livestock Credit P&K Equipment Tulsa Farm Show AFR Insurance Stillwater Milling KIS FUTURES, INC. Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association

    Search OklahomaFarmReport.com

    © 2008-2019 Oklahoma Farm Report
    Email Ron   |   Newsletter Signup   |    Current Spots   |    Program Links

    WebReady powered by WireReady® Inc.