Oklahoma state vegetable: ‘Goodbye, but hello, too!’
Oklahomans are celebrating another good day: They are being served up delicious baked vegetables for a few dollars a pop.
Oklahoma state lawmakers voted Thursday to make it legal to serve baked potato and baked carrots at farmers markets in the state, a step that is expected to make an immediate impact on the prices of baked potatoes and carrots sold in grocery stores nationwide.
The measure was backed by Oklahoma Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who is also a member of the Senate agriculture committee.
He said the bill was necessary to give farmers a chance to sell their produce in a safe and healthy environment.
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm labor union, said in a statement Thursday that the legislation will allow farmers to sell the produce at market prices, without a sales tax.
“Farmers can sell the product at fair market value,” the farm bureau said.
“With a sales rate of less than one cent per pound, the average price per pound of the products sold at farmers’ markets is a fraction of the retail price.”
The state’s farm bureau, which represents about 12,000 farms, said that it will continue to lobby lawmakers to pass the legislation.
Oklahoma Farm Board Chairman John Sommers said the state will continue its efforts to pass a bill that would allow farmers and other business owners to sell vegetables for lower prices than the wholesale prices.
“We’ll continue to work with our legislators to pass that legislation,” Sommes said.
The legislation will also allow farmers who sell their own produce to have a market, and farmers can sell a wide variety of produce to customers.
State Sen. Todd C. Strain, a Democrat who represents the western part of the state near the Oklahoma border, said the measure is important to help the state grow its food economy and diversify its agricultural exports.
“This is a great day for Oklahoman families, for Okla.
This is a wonderful day for our state,” Strain said in an interview.
“It’s a great thing to do.”