Catch Up on the Latest from Blayne Arhtur at the Oklahoma State FairThu, 16 Sep 2021 16:11:16 CDT
Today, the Oklahoma State Fair kicked off at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds. The fair offers a great opportunity for local businesses. Radio Oklahoma’s own KC Sheperd spoke with Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur, as they toured the Made in Oklahoma store.
“If you are coming to the State Fair, make sure to swing by,” Arthur said. “You can get anything you need and more.”
This year, the Made in Oklahoma (MIO) store has more than 600 different products to choose from - all produced by local businesses. Arthur said the store offers some great Christmas shopping opportunities for you early shoppers.
Aside from the MIO store, there is always much to do at the State Fair. Great food, thrilling rides and thought-provoking exhibits offer fun for the whole family. The State Fair is also home to the always-beloved animal exhibits. For some families, the animal exhibits offer the only chance to get up-close with farm animals all year.
For the State’s team of livestock inspectors keeping everyone healthy is no easy feat.
“Our livestock inspectors and the whole team that works with Dr. Hall are here during the entirety of the fair,” Arthur said. “They are making certain that as these animals move in and out, that they have got the proper documentation.”
Although a visit to the State Fair sounds like fun, Arthur rarely takes a day off when it comes to her duties and today is no different.
“Something that has been taking up a lot of our time is the medical marijuana industry and how that is impacting our agricultural producers,” Arthur said.
Arthur said the State is continuing to work towards finding solutions for farmers and ranchers impacted by the State’s booming medical marijuana industry. She said just yesterday leadership gathered to listen to findings from an interim study in regard to drift and liability of medical marijuana growing facilities.
“There is new leadership at the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA),” Arthur said. “We look forward to working with them. I think we all have to figure out how to be good neighbors.”
Another issue Arthur said she and her team are tackling is talk of agricultural sales tax exemptions.
“That (has been) a big topic over the past six to eight months here in Oklahoma,” Arthur said.
This year, the State Tax Commission changed parts of the process for applying for tax exemptions in Oklahoma, which made it difficult for agricultural producers, according to Arthur.
“I anticipate we will probably have some bills filed this session to navigate through that process,” Arthur said. “Our priority is to make sure for producers who need that sales tax exemption, the process is straightforward.”
Arthur said regulatory office state officials are following Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt’s lead on rolling back the red tape, allowing producers to focus on running their operations.
Hit the LISTEN BAR below to hear KC’s whole conversation with Blayne Arthur.
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