The Pryor Times

Agriculture

March 22, 2012

OFB president praises Inhofe for federal transportation bill

Oklahoma farmers and ranchers owe a huge debt of gratitude to U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe for his work on amending the federal transportation bill with language exempting farm trucks from burdensome commercial vehicle regulations.

This legislation will allow our members to more efficiently transport and market their commodities. It is especially critical to farmers and ranchers living near state borders that often need to transport commodities to markets across the state line.

Currently, farm trucks must comply with lengthy, burdensome commercial vehicle regulations when moving farm products, especially when they cross state borders. Farmers are not commercial truckers who are on the roads every day. Sen. Inhofe’s amendment allows farm trucks a limited commercial exemption from the federal regulations when they travel within 150 air-miles of their farm.

It is important to understand farmers want to make sure the roads remain safe for the traveling public and we are not asking for safety exemptions.

Oklahoma Farm Bureau has been working for several years to get this language in federal legislation, going back to the early days of then-Congresswoman Mary Fallin’s tenure. Congressman James Lankford picked up the effort when Mary moved to the Governor’s mansion and has been greatly aided by Congressman Dan Boren.

In addition to exempting farm trucks from federal rules, the transportation bill also provides funding for construction projects to improve Oklahoma’s roads and bridges. A strong, reliable highway system is vital for transporting our products to market and will improve both the rural and general economy.

We appreciate Sen. Inhofe’s efforts, as well as our entire Oklahoma delegation for working hard to keep Oklahoma agriculture healthy and moving this great state forward.

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