Oklahoma Ag Secretary Blayne Arthur Hosts Peers from Across Region to Highlight State's Ag IndustryMon, 24 Jun 2019 15:47:29 CDT
This week, Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur is hosting a group of her peers from across the Midwestern region of the United States. This past Sunday, several heads of various state agriculture departments arrived in Oklahoma City for a four-day visit to tour Oklahoma’s agricultural industry, meet with its leaders and come together to discuss pressing matters of policy. During a visit to Stockyards City outside of Downtown OKC on Monday, Secretary Arthur took a moment from the group to speak with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays about this event organized by the Midwestern Association of State Departments of Agriculture (MASDA). You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“This is the first time for us to host them here in Oklahoma City. It’s a great opportunity for us to really highlight our ag producers here in the state and the things we’re very proud of from an ag perspective,” Arthur said. “So, it’s a good time to show these other commissioners around and we’ll do some policy work on Wednesday as well.”
Arthur attests that her department’s involvement with the association has been extremely beneficial for the state as a resource that offers a wealth of meaningful connections and access to the collective experience and knowledge of its members.
“It is a tremendous resource for us from a state perspective,” Arthur said. “When we run into policy issues that can be very specific - we can reach out to those neighboring states. And so, having had the chance to make those relationships and connections and ask for advice - it is a huge resource just being able to pick up the phone and know the person on the other end of the line.”
Many times, Arthur says the group will come together as a region to work on policy and to interface with the US Department of Agriculture on certain matters. In these cases, she says it is usually to keep particular things from becoming a larger issue than it needs to be and proactively resolving them before problems arise. In addition, the group functions as a way to share information and to advocate for their states’ interests. For example, during this visit USDA Undersecretary Bill Northey will join the group in Oklahoma to tour the devastation that occurred in eastern Oklahoma as a result of the recent flood event. Arthur hopes to highlight the impact this has had on affected producers and their need for assistance in order to recover.
“I hate that it is that way. I wish it was not the case, but I think it will be really, really evident just how devastating the rain and flooding has been to our producers,” Arthur said. “It has just been pretty incredible in a really negative way for our Oklahoma producers this spring.”
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