Four Oklahomans, Including Gov. Fallin, Named To Trump's Ag Panel

Tuesday, August 16th 2016, 5:33 pm

By: Grant Hermes

Four Oklahoma officials were named to Donald Trump’s agricultural advisory committee, according to a campaign release on Tuesday. 

Gov. Mary Fallin, Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese, State Sen. Eddie Fields, R-Wynona, and Rep. Casey Murdock, R-Felt, were all named as members in the release which was sent via email. 

The 64-member committee is a mixture of current and former politicians along with agriculture business and lobby executives. The committee also includes several of Trump’s former primary rivals including former governors Rick Perry, R-Texas, and Jim Gilmore, R-Virginia.

“The members of my agricultural advisory committee represent the best that American can offer to help serve agricultural communities,” Trump said in the release.

The release also stated executive members of the committee would meet regularly but it did not specify who those members were.

In a statement, Fallin said she was honored to be a member of the committee. 

“A Donald Trump administration will stop the continued onslaught of regulations that American farmers have seen coming from Washington the past eight years,” she said. “He also will negotiate more fair trade deals, which will benefit our farmers by providing them better opportunities. The Trump administration will work closely with farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers to ensure their issues and concerns are being addressed.”

Trump’s committee is not the first time Fallin’s name has been brought up in his campaign. Before Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was named as the running mate, Fallin’s name was on several short lists for a vice presidential pick for the then-candidate Trump. She also declined to endorse any candidate during the primary but has said her party’s nominee has her full support.

“Agriculture is our second largest industry. This is a big honor to work on it at a national level,” Murdock said after the list was released.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, farming is not listed in the top five industries for neither Oklahoma nor the U.S.

Murdock endorsed former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Florida, during the GOP primary, but said the nominee now has his support “100 percent," although he did not officially endorse Trump.

“As Republicans, it is our job to make sure a Republican wins the White House,” he said.

Both Fields and Murdock have been vocal supporters of the so-called “Right to Farm” State Question 777. The question which will appear on the ballot Nov. 8 would prevent any state regulation on farming, ensuring current and future farming methods or practices would be “forever guaranteed,” according to legislation. The measure is backed by some of the state and the nation’s largest agriculture businesses and lobby groups, principally the Oklahoma Farm Bureau.

Fields was a co-author of the legislative measure that accompanies the state question. Fallin ordered SQ 777 be placed on the ballot in 2015. Reese is also named on the SQ 777 official site as a supporter. North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple, whose state is one of two that currently have laws similar to SQ 777, is also named in the committee.

While Trump is expected to take all seven of Oklahoma’s electoral votes in November, the announcement of this committee comes along side diminishing poll numbers in rural voting bloc states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, where Hillary Clinton is leading by nine and six points respectively, according to aggregate counts from The two candidates are also tied in Iowa. 

Neither Reese nor Fields responded to requests for a statement on the committee.


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