Oklahoma Farm Bureau members from all 77 counties met in Norman Nov. 5-7 for the organization’s 80th annual meeting where they elected new leaders, set organizational policy for the coming year, recognized outstanding members with numerous awards and learned from outstanding speakers and presenters.
“We are grateful to gather in-person as a Farm Bureau family once again,” said Rodd Moesel, OKFB president. “It gives Farm Bureau members a chance to celebrate, fellowship and learn while growing our grassroots organization.”
Board members, new leaders elected
Rodd Moesel was re-elected to serve his third presidential two-year term. Three OKFB members were re-elected to serve on the state board of directors for a three-year term. Monte Tucker of Roger Mills County was re-elected to the board representing District Two, Michael Clark of Le Flore County was elected to represent District Five and Mike Leverett of McClain County was elected to serve District Eight.
The OKFB Women’s Leadership Committee delegates re-elected Paula Sawatzky of Custer County to represent District Two on the committee, while Arlene LeMaster of Le Flore County was re-elected to represent District Five and Jan Long of Pontotoc County was re-elected to represent District Eight.
The OKFB Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee elected Logan and Brittany Hukill of Caddo County to serve as committee chairmen for a one-year term. Will and Leslie Lewis of Okmulgee County were elected as vice chairmen and Chris Hoskins of Rogers County will serve as committee secretary. Additional committee members elected this year include Gaven and Taylor Harting, Jackson County, District Two; Cody and Kara Goodknight, Comanche County, District Four; Jared and Bay Engler, McCurtain County, District Five; Jaden Brunnemer, Woods County, District Seven: LC and Jaclyn Darling, Coal County, District Eight; Austin Jackson, Payne County, At-Large and Newlin Humphrey, Payne County, Collegiate.
Members set grassroots policy for 2022
The annual meeting also served as the culmination of this year’s grassroots policy development season. First drafted by members in county Farm Bureaus, a number of proposed policies were considered by the full delegate body during a business session on Saturday. The rapid expansion of the medical marijuana industry, the meat packing industry, private property rights, government efficiencies and H-2A worker concerns were some of the leading issues evaluated by members. The policies approved by members during the meeting will guide the organization’s efforts at the state Capitol over the next year.
Awards presented to members, counties
The OKFB Women’s Leadership Committee recognized the organization’s top farming and ranching families with the District Farm and Ranch Family Recognition awards: Joe and Sally Wayland, Ellis County, District One; Kerald and Donna Searcey, Harmon County, District Two; Steve and Donna Standridge, Grady County, District Three; Zeno and Becca McMillan, Johnston County, District Four; Jeff and Paula Penz, Bryan County, District Five; Jared and Alisen Anderson, Ottawa County, District Six; Charlie and Lindsey Brandon, Kay County, District Seven; Jack and Beverly Chapman, Hughes County, District Eight; and Eddie and Chris Fields, Osage County, District Nine.
Okmulgee County was named the top county Farm Bureau as the winner of the John I. Taylor Award, and Comanche County was recognized for its programs with the Lewis H. Munn Award. Various county Farm Bureaus also were honored for excellence with Presidential Star Awards.
Dr. Thomas Coon was honored with the Distinguished Service to OKFB Award; River and Elizabeth Mitchell of Comanche County received the YF&R Achievement Award; Will and Leslie Lewis of Okmulgee County earned the YF&R Excellence in Agriculture Award; and Tim Taylor of Okmulgee County was the YF&R Discussion Meet winner. Storme Jones of News9 was named OKFB’s Journalist of the Year.
Members learn from various presenters
Sen. James Lankford presented an inspirational sermon for Farm Bureau members during the worship service and breakfast on Sunday morning. Members also heard about the future of agriculture and the importance of the grassroots organization from Blayne Arthur, Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture, on Saturday evening.
Gov. Kevin Stitt gave an update on the work to make Oklahoma a top 10 state in the U.S., while Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor gave an update on the top issues facing Oklahomans, especially agriculturalists, on Friday afternoon. Additionally, Dr. Kayse Shrum, Oklahoma State University president, shared her hopes of advancing medical care in rural areas along with the future goals of the university.
Members also had the opportunity to receive continuing education credits for a private pesticide applicators license taught by Dr. Todd Baughman, Dr. John Long and Misha Manuchehri of OSU. Farm Bureau Financial Services Wealth Management Adviser Kara Goodknight provided members information about retirement.
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.