October 9, 2018
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Cherokee Nation applauded a decision today by the Oklahoma Board of Agriculture to temporarily suspend the acceptance of new poultry farm permits in the state. This allows time for the tribe, state of Oklahoma and area residents to work together on a plan for responsible growth of the poultry industry in many eastern Oklahoma counties.
“We are pleased the Oklahoma Board of Agriculture has temporarily suspended acceptance and processing of poultry farm registration applications, effectively immediately. The Cherokee Nation is very supportive of this temporary suspension,” said Chuck Hoskin, Jr., Cherokee Nation secretary of state. “With this suspension in place and the Coordinating Council on Poultry Growth bringing together agricultural interests and concerned neighbors, there are great opportunities to improve the balance of interests between the agricultural industry and the eastern Oklahoma communities where many new poultry feeding operations have been built over the last year.”
The Coordinating Council on Poultry Growth was announced by Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin in September. Its purpose is to evaluate the expansion of poultry growth in northeast Oklahoma, and its impacts on rural communities and citizens in the region.
The council consists of state and tribal agencies, scientific researchers, representatives from the agricultural industry and residents living near current or proposed poultry operations. The council is co-chaired by Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese and Cherokee Nation Secretary of Natural Resources Sara Hill. The suspension announced by the state of Oklahoma will continue while the council examines issues that have been raised by local community members, poultry producers and poultry integrators.
“This suspension is truly welcomed by the Cherokee Nation,” said Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “This pause is a meaningful step that allows thoughtful changes to public policy be proposed, if the council finds changes are needed. We look forward to continuing to work with the state of Oklahoma and local stakeholders to protect investment in agriculture and local communities.”