In the media
With the lack of agricultural ties to urban areas, the animal rights movement began in the 1980s. At this point, the public was further removed from the farm and began questions farming and ranching practices and techniques. OKFB recognized the need for farmers and ranchers to have the opportunity to tell their story.
With James Lockett as president, OKFB became a leader in agricultural media. When an issue concerning farmers and ranchers arose, media outlets turned to OKFB to speak for the wishes of their members. Lockett spoke with numerous local and national media personnel to define the policies of OKFB and its members on a wide range of issues, such as agricultural pesticides, the cattle market, estate taxes, property rights, and more.
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s Women’s Leadership Committee held their first Farm City Festival in 1981. Many women from across the state came to Oklahoma City with food items made from Oklahoma crops and livestock products to serve at a reception with legislators and state employees. The event was designed to help educate lawmakers and their staff about the Oklahoma agriculture sector. This tradition continues to be one of the WLC’s most popular activities.
At the Capitol
The 1980s saw a string of legislative victories for Oklahoma Farm Bureau, including estate tax exemption changes, water resources development and strengthening litter and trespass laws.
In 1980, OKFB was responsible for the passage of a bill to give farmers protection from nuisance suits filed because of normal odor, dust, or other conditions caused by their farming operations.
With several other industry sectors vying for the allocation of funds, OKFB stood strong for farmers and ranchers. After the legislature raised the gasoline tax by a dime in 1985, OKFB worked to see that $22 million of the revenue was dedicated to rural roads in 1985.