Beef Day at the Capitol Highlights Success of Oklahoma's Cattle Producers, State's #1 Ag IndustryWed, 15 May 2019 17:37:20 CDT
Cattlemen, beef industry stakeholders and state policymakers gathered at the Oklahoma State Capitol Wednesday to celebrate Beef Day at the Capitol, hosted by the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association. During the event, OCA staff, members and leadership highlighted Oklahoma’s No. 1 ag industry sector and expressed its appreciation to state lawmakers for their cooperation in what has been a significantly positive Legislative Session for the state’s beef producers - serving 600 steak sandwiches to attendees featuring Oklahoma’s new official State Steak, the ribeye. OCA Executive Vice President Michael Kelsey took a moment to speak with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn about the event and the current state of the Oklahoma beef industry. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“This is a lot of fun for us - it’s an opportunity to promote the beef industry here at the State Capitol and highlight some of the different things going on in our industry. A great opportunity for hats and boots to come to the Capitol,” Kelsey said. “We’ve had a really good session. We’ve probably played offense more this session than we have in a long time so very positive in terms of some of the bill we’ve been able to pass.”
Among those bills Kelsey mentioned, was of course legislation making the ribeye Oklahoma’s Official State Steak. But, beyond that, the OCA celebrated Wednesday the passage of legislation that protects the integrity of beef product labels here in the state and a bill that caps non-economic damages in nuisance lawsuits which was spearheaded by the Oklahoma Pork Council. In addition, a bill was recently carried through that now allows cattlemen and women to transport their cattle without a DOT Number, if they are driving their own truck and pulling their own trailer.
“Now if you’re hauling commercially, that’s another issue,” he remarked. “But, we thought that was a good thing, removing the regulatory burden. So, a lot of positive action this session.”
Coming off the heels of a productive Legislative Session and wet, cool spring, Kelsey says producers in the state are optimistic about the future and what is in store for the balance of the year. Kelsey says the ample moisture has given the promise of good forage potential this year. He says some warm weather is needed though to rebuild hay supplies that were reportedly depleted over the winter. And while markets aren’t exactly where producers would hope they would be, he says demand is strong.
“I think most of our folks are cautiously optimistic and excited about the summer,” he said. “We’re seeing a lot of young folks come in business. They’re doing it a little different than how Grandad did it. But I think they’re very creative. So, yeah, I think there is a lot of optimism out there. We raise the greatest tasting, most nutritious animal protein product in the world and we’re very proud of that. Very optimistic about it right now.”
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