Oklahoma Students Become Lawmakers For A Day At The State Capitol

Wednesday, July 13th 2022, 5:19 pm


The Oklahoma Farm Bureau sponsored 4-H and FFA high school students for a two-day conference at the Capitol.  

Students wrote and worked on bills before debating them on the House floor.  

The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy also partnered with leaders for the event. 

Statewide president of 4-H in Oklahoma Elizabeth Chambers encourages members to take advantage of leadership opportunities like this.  

“Policy is very, very important to agricultural producers,” Chambers said.  

The ongoing drought – making it hard for farmers and ranchers to make ends meet. 

“We’re in a real tight spot. I know that farmers and ranchers, rural Oklahoma, we’re used to having adversity,” said Sen. Blake ‘Cowboy’ Stephens (R-Tahlequah).  

But what’s the fix when there’s no water? 

“You can only pray so much for rain,” said Stillwater 4-H member Ryne Crosthwait.  

High school 4-H and FFA students – trying to produce an answer. 

“Help with money or hay as there’s a major hay shortage right now…I don’t know exactly what the solution is right now, but we just need some rain,” he said.  

It's a question of economics.  

“If your demand is high, your supply is low, your prices are out the roof,” said Sen. Stephens. 

And questions with no answers.  

“There are people having to pay off their livestock everywhere. Yes, it would be nice to see a little bit of relief policy, but there’s only so much that the government can do to help us,” said Crosthwait.  

The work of lawmaking is tough.  

“It is very, very hard to pass a bill, is what I’ve learned here,” Crosthwait said.  

“It really opened my eyes to just how hard it is to make a law happen,” said Lexi Zuniga, of Fairview FFA.  

But Zuniga brought ideas to the table anyway.  

“To lower property taxes so one, smaller farmers can compete, and the producers, if they don’t have to pay taxes, can lower the prices for consumers,” she said.