Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur Seeks First-hand Industry Insight, Plans Statewide TourMon, 18 Feb 2019 13:51:54 CST
As the newly appointed Secretary of Agriculture, Blayne Arthur understands supporting the needs of Oklahoma agricultural producers is a primary responsibility of the position. In order to uphold this responsibility, Secretary Arthur plans to prioritize understanding the challenges facing producers by seeing agriculture in action.
In addition to cultivating close relationships with agriculture groups and industry leaders, Sec. Arthur will embark on a series of tours and interactive public events that will allow producers to share their successes and challenges with the Secretary in the agriculture industry and in their communities.
“From a leadership prospective, I fully recognize the importance of understanding the needs of the people this department represents,” Sec. Arthur said. “As a producer, I know first-hand the benefit of seeing those operations in action.”
During the American Farmers & Ranchers / Oklahoma Farmers Union Convention over the weekend, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays had the chance to catch up with Secretary Arthur to talk more in depth about this tour series and what expectations she has, in addition to other topics of interest. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
Arthur explained in that interview that one of her primary goals is to address an issue of growing concern that is occuring not just in Oklahoma agriculture, but nationwide. According to Arthur, many members of the younger generation that grew up in agriculture are leaving the industry to pursue other opportunities. She believes part of this is due to a lack accessibility or opportunity for younger, unestablished people to viably engage in the industry. She hopes in speaking with prodcuers around the state, she can identify possible solutions that might foster a friendly environment for this demographic to succeed in.
"We want to reach out to them and say we want you to stay in ag... we want to give you those opportunities, give you those resources," she said. "We just need to make sure we are having that conversation and that dialogue so we can bring them back to rural parts of the state and continue to be great ag producers like their family has been before them."
The Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry is accepting suggestions and opportunities from the public. To submit your agriculture operation or your community for consideration, email Ashley.email@example.com or call 405-522-5509 by April 1 for more information. To extend an invitation to the Secretary, please send details of your operation, location, estimated time for tour, at least three photos of your tour property and a brief overview of what the tour would entail.
Any tours hosting Sec. Arthur that are open to the public will be released on the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry’s Facebook page.
Source - Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry
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