Oklahomans need to do more to support agricultural jobs, but the solution is not one-size-fits-all, according to the state’s agriculture commissioner.
In a new report, Oklahoma Agriculture Commissioner Brad Siegel argues that there are ways to promote local jobs without relying on federal assistance, but says that some of the measures could be costly and slow down the economy.
“It’s very important for us to continue to invest in our agricultural sector, to invest our farmers and ranchers,” Siegel said.
“But when we look at the federal government, there are some things that we can do that are not necessarily part of the federal budget that are actually pretty expensive, but we can’t get away from that.”
The report outlines the five ways to create jobs that can take place in rural Oklahoma without relying solely on federal funds.
“One is to create a market-based incentive for farmers to take on some of those additional jobs,” Sauer said.
If the USDA doesn’t want to help, Oklahoma farmers can look at partnering with their neighbors or business partners to provide jobs.
“We have to recognize that a market is not the only way that we create jobs,” he said.
Siegel points out that a study commissioned by the Oklahoma Farm Bureau found that many farmers are also looking for work elsewhere.
“A lot of them are in agriculture.
A lot of the folks in Oklahoma are farmers.
They are not going to go to a government agency and say, ‘Hey, we want to work for the government, we’re looking for some jobs.’
They’re going to look for jobs that are in their community.
They’re not going out to get government jobs.”
But there are a number of ways to encourage local businesses to expand their operations in rural areas.
Oklahoma is home to a number businesses that are interested in bringing jobs to rural Oklahoma.
One of the biggest challenges is that rural Oklahoma is in a transition period.
In the 1990s, there were many farm jobs, and the economy was recovering from the Great Recession.
But those jobs are disappearing.
According to the USDA, the number of farms in the state has declined by 27 percent since 2007.
Sauer also wants to create more opportunities for rural Oklahoms to create their own businesses.
“I think it’s important that people in rural America are able to make their own decisions,” Sasser said.
That’s why the state recently launched the Oklahoma Rural Economic Development Authority.
The agency is working with small businesses, local government and businesses to offer economic development opportunities to rural residents.
The goal is to offer businesses a chance to establish their own business, grow their business, expand their product and make some money.
“The economic development is really important to rural Okla., and that’s really what we’re focused on,” Sacher said.
He believes the state can get out from under its dependence on federal funding by creating incentives for local businesses.