Oklahoma Farm Bureau members from across the state met in Norman Nov. 10-12 for the 2017 OKFB Annual Meeting where they elected new leaders, set organizational policy for the coming year, and recognized the contributions of outstanding members with numerous awards.
Voting delegates at the meeting elected Rodd Moesel of Oklahoma County to lead the organization as president for the next two years. David VonTunglen of Canadian County was elected by members of District Three to fulfill the remaining two years of Moesel’s term on the state board.
Three state board members also were re-elected to represent their districts for a three-year term. Alan Jett of Beaver County was re-elected to the board representing District One, Jimmy Wayne Kinder of Cotton County was re-elected to represent District Six and Keith Kisling of Alfalfa County was re-elected to serve District Seven.
The OKFB Women’s Leadership Committee re-elected two board members: Linda Fox of District One and Mignon Bolay of District Seven. Sandra Berry of Stephens County was elected to serve a three-year term representing District Four, and Misty Dowell of Seminole County will represent District Eight.
The OKFB Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee elected Brent and Jennifer Howard of Jackson County to serve as chairman for a one-year term. Brent and Jenny Haken of Payne County were elected as vice chairmen. Additional new committee members include: Brice Hicks, District One; Brittany Krehbiel and Logan Hukill, District Three; Josh Anderson, District Four; Hunter Shaufelberger, District Five; Steve and Mindi Clark, District Seven; Corey Holman, District Eight; and Baylie Cooper and Blake Rea, At-Large.
Several awards were presented during the annual meeting, as the OKFB Women’s Leadership Committee recognized the organization’s top farming and ranching families. The District Farm and Ranch Family Recognition was presented to: Britt and K’dawn Hilton family of Beaver County, District One; Dale and Lori Kennemer of Beckham County, District Two; Bruce and Mary Wilson of Oklahoma County, District Three; Clarence and Betty Vache of Cotton County, District Four; Terry Caldwell of Choctaw County, District Five; Jonathan and Bessie Scheffel of Mayes County, District Six; Wayne and Carla Hafner of Logan County, District Seven; John and Janice Stotts of Pottawatomie County, District Eight; and Kenneth and Debbie Fisher of Creek County, District Nine.
Phyllis Holcomb of Creek County was honored with the Distinguished Service to OKFB Award; Chad Selman of Tulsa County received the YF&R Achievement Award; Dell Farris of Stephens County received the YF&R Excellence in Agriculture Award; and Brent Howard of Jackson County was the YF&R Discussion Meet winner.
Taxes and rural healthcare were at the top of the list as members finalized the organization’s 2018 policy during the annual meeting business session. All 77 county Farm Bureaus submitted resolutions to the OKFB policy book which were reviewed by a statewide committee and voted on by the delegate body during the annual meeting.
As the state of Oklahoma continues to grapple with budget shortfalls, state lawmakers have attempted to raise revenue by implementing various tax increases. Members this year heavily considered the organization’s stance on a number of tax issues including fuel tax, ad valorem tax, wind production tax incentives and the agricultural sales tax exemption.Members supported a 6-cent increase on gas and diesel tax dedicated to roads and bridges, opposed any ad valorem tax increases by a municipality, and backed the elimination of wind production taxes.
Members also encouraged increased funding to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry for feral swine population control, and reversed its water policy by opposing out-of-state water sales.
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau Annual Meeting is the organization’s largest gathering of farmers and ranchers every year. At the three-day convention, members vote on grassroots policy, elect leaders and award outstanding individuals. OKFB has a presence in all 77 Oklahoma counties and serves as the voice of agriculture and the rural way of life. To learn more, visit www.okfarmbureau.org.