‘Right to Farm’ Debate: Sorting out a divisive state question

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Both sides they say they will protect the environment. Both sides say they will preserve animal rights.

Both sides say they are looking out for the best interests of the industry they hold so dear.

Yet the debate over State Question 777, sometimes referred to the “Right to Farm” or the “Right to Harm,” has proven to be a divisive issue, even among those in the agriculture industry.

“It divided our own family,” said Paulette Rink, who owns a farm in Covington. “Our oldest boy is caught in the middle between his dad and his uncle. And it's sad. It's very sad.”

Taking a stance against groups like the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, which supports SQ 777, has put Rink at odds with her neighbors and her friends, some of whom are behind the measure, which would make it much tougher for Oklahoma lawmakers to regulate the agriculture industry.

Rink fears the future of her farm if the question were to pass, just like Amanda Rosholt and David VonTungeln fear their future if the question were to fail.

“We care about doing what's right for the land and the animals and we want that opportunity to be available for future generations of our family,” said Rosholt, a fifth generation farmer and rancher in Calumet. “State Question 777 will ensure that we're able to do that: that we're able to continue to produce food for our families and for other families across the state.”

As the clock ticks toward Election Day and both sides spend time and money on advertising and campaigning, NewsChannel 4’s Lorne Fultonberg looks at the facts and the impact of the “Right to Farm” debate.  Look for his report tonight on NewsChannel 4 at 10.