MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

July 23, 2013

Ag camp important to state’s future

Agriculture is a proud tradition in Green Country and Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb reminded the attendees of the Be a Champ Camp of just how important a role agriculture plays in our great state.

“Because of what you do, I will be able to eat in the future,” Lamb told the campers. “Take away agriculture and you have no Oklahoma.”

That is not an exaggeration, nor is it meant as a feel-good statement.

The agriculture industry accounts for more than a $6 billion impact in the state and roughly 10 percent of the state’s gross product.

Oklahoma is the No. 5 leading source of beef in the country. and the No. 8 leading source of hogs.

There are more than 86,000 farms in Oklahoma. To put that in perspective, that’s more than two farms for each person in Muskogee.

Lamb, who grew up raising cattle near Enid, said working with livestock “lays the foundation and the groundwork for a work ethic.”

 The four-day camp, which teaches kids from age 9 to 18 how to work with cattle and sheep, was founded by State Rep. Jerry McPeak, D-Warner and is hosted on the Connors State College campus.

This camp is important to Oklahoma’s future.

The average age of an Oklahoma farmer is 57.

Camps like this will ensure the agriculture industry in Oklahoma will thrive for years to come.

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