Oklahoma Farm Bureau members gathered in Oklahoma City Nov. 10-12 for the organization’s 82nd annual meeting where they elected new leaders, set organizational policy for the coming year, recognized outstanding members and learned from several speakers and presenters.
“Our convention is a chance for farmers and ranchers to get together, visit with one another, renew their friendships and learn how much they have in common with their farming and ranching counterparts from across the state,” said Rodd Moesel, OKFB president. “There is a special camaraderie that develops from gathering together and a reassurance that you’re not the only person out there who is facing issues. There is comfort, encouragement and inspiration that comes from togetherness, so I think that gathering in person is very important.”
OKFB president, other leaders elected
Rodd Moesel was re-elected to serve his final two-year term as OKFB president. Moesel has served as OKFB president since 2017. Three OKFB members were re-elected to serve another three-year term on OKFB’s board of directors, including Leon Richards of Texas County, who was re-elected to represent District One; Kerry Givens of Comanche County, who was re-elected to represent District Four; and Stacy Simunek of Kay County, who was re-elected to represent District Seven.
Jacey Fye of Cotton County was elected to represent District Four on the OKFB Women’s Leadership Committee.
OKFB Young Farmers and Ranchers elected Jacob and Chastity Beck of Logan County to serve a one-year term as YF&R chair and re-elected Katie Richards of Texas County to serve as the District One representative. Additional members elected include Ethan and Allison Theis of Comanche County, District Four; Garrett Haskins of Kay County, District Seven, Tommy and Chalaynna Salisbury of Tulsa County, at-large; and Taylor Fent of Ottawa County, collegiate representative.
Members set 2024 grassroots policy
Farm Bureau voting delegates considered 75 policy resolutions throughout the weekend’s business sessions, including resolutions on emergency drought commission funding, cooperative extension service funding, ad valorem taxes on unmanufactured farm products, surface water rights and more.
The grassroots policy resolutions presented on the floor in Oklahoma City began as county-submitted positions and advanced through the state resolutions process in the early fall. The policies adopted by OKFB members during the annual meeting will help to guide the work of the organization at the state Capitol for years to come.
OKFB members also voted to approve changes to the organization’s bylaws after a multi-year process with input from the grassroots members. The changes update, clean up and modernize the governing document.
OKFB members, counties recognized
The OKFB WLC recognized nine farm and ranch families from around the state with the annual OKFB District Farm and Ranch Family Recognition awards. This year’s honorees were Jerod and Julie McDaniel, Texas County, District One; James and Tracy Taylor, Roger Mills County, District Two; John and Gaye Pfeiffer, Logan County, District Three; Steve and Karen Eddings, Marshall County, District Four; Mike and Pam Parsons, McCurtain County, District Five; Chris and Ashley Hoskins, Rogers County, District Six; Craig and Sierra Regier, Grant County, District Seven; Brock and Sheila Karges, McClain County, District Eight; and Carl and Karen Williams, Payne County, District Nine.
Okmulgee County was honored as the top county Farm Bureau with the John I. Taylor Award, and Garfield County was recognized for its programs with the Lewis H. Munn Award. Ottawa County was presented with the Charles L. Roff Award for the most outstanding county YF&R committee.
Ottawa and Comanche County Farm Bureaus were recognized for an outstanding county activity with County Excellence Awards, and more than 45 county Farm Bureaus were presented with OKFB Presidential Star Awards.
Jake and Meggie Gibbs of Ottawa County and LC and Jaclyn Darling of Coal County received the 2023 and 2024 YF&R Excellence in Agriculture Awards, respectively; Jake and Kelly Decker of Noble County and Garrett Haskins of Kay County received the 2023 and 2024 YF&R Achievement Awards, respectively; Jacob Beck of Logan County was the YF&R Discussion Meet winner; and Cassidy Cashen of Oklahoma State University was the YF&R Collegiate Discussion Meet winner.
Terry Stowers received the Distinguished Service to OKFB Award, KC Sheperd received the OKFB Journalist of the Year Award and Northeastern Oklahoma A&M was honored as the top Collegiate Farm Bureau chapter with the YF&R Moesel Award.
Members learn from speakers, presenters
Farm Bureau members heard from American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall, Oklahoma State University Vice President and Dean of Agriculture Dr. Jayson Lusk, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, AFBF WLC Chair Isabella Chism and Vivayic’s Tobin Redwine throughout the weekend.
Members had the opportunity to attend one of three breakout sessions on Friday, Nov. 10, including reports from Oklahoma’s AFBF Issue Advisory Committee members, a mental health workshop with Tobin Redwine and an update on OKFB’s new Oklahoma Grassroots Rural and Ag Business Accelerators program.
Outside of the general sessions, OKFB members heard inspirational messages from Maj. Ed Pulido of the United States Army (Ret.) during the Saturday awards banquet and LaDonna Gatlin during the Sunday morning worship service.
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 about the 2023 OKFB Annual Meeting, visit okfb.news/Meeting23.