OKFB members explored Oklahoma’s “Red Carpet Country” around Woodward May 4-6 to learn more about the area’s diverse agricultural industry and history during the 2016 OKFB Commodity Tour.
The first stop on the tour was Plymouth Valley Cellars in Fairview, Okla. Dennis and Elaine Flaming, 2006 OKFB Farm Family of the Year, raise nine varieties of grapes on 4.5 acres. OKFB members learned about the winery’s production practices, water usage and pesticide application. The Flamings produce approximately two bottles of wine from each plant and sells about 6,000 bottles of wine annually.
During lunch at the Sale Barn Café in Woodward, Duane Mote spoke to members about Superior Livestock Auction. OKFB members then toured the Woodward Sale Barn. Owner Jerry Nine spoke with members about the history of the sale barn and his streamlined livestock auction process.
“Always do your best, be honest, and don’t worry about it,” Nine said when asked about his success with the sale barn.
The next stop on the tour was Cudd Quarter Horses in Woodward. Renee Cudd, owner, explained the history of the ranch and her marketing techniques. Founded on the stud “Goldseeker Bars,” the program is centered on the production of fast, athletic, and intelligent horses. The ranch is known nationwide for Cudd’s high quality horses.
Next, members had the opportunity to learn more about Wes Sander’s longhorn steers. As part of the Chain Ranch, the longhorn steers attend several parades across the U.S. The Chain Ranch includes a series of ranches in Woodward, Oklahoma; Medicine Lodge, Kansas; Sharon, Kansas; and Kiowa, Kansas.
The day ended with a tour of a farm owned by Mervin Compton, Woodward County Farm Bureau board member president. Woodward County Farm Bureau sponsored a shrimp boil for members at Compton’s farm.
Day two kicked off at CF Industries’ Woodward Complex, located on 456 acres west of Woodward. Members learned about the production of anhydrous ammonia, urea ammonium nitrate solutions, urea liquor and diesel exhaust fluid. The annual capacity of the Woodward Complex is up to 1.325 million tons of nitrogen products for agricultural and industrial use. During the tour of the facility, members also learned about CF Industries’ transportation methods.
After lunch, a tour of the Cargill Salt Plant in Fairview, Oklahoma, offered a look into the production of salt. Members were guided through the solar evaporation process, which allows salt water captured in shallow ponds to naturally evaporate by means of the sun and wind.
Members traveled to Maddux Charolais Ranch to tour the history of farm machinery presented in 1/16-scale replicas collected by Elmer Maddux. Members looked at more than 2,500 pieces that represented 100 years of history.
An impromptu stop at Boiling Springs State Park allowed members to enjoy the beauty of nature while learning about the natural boiling spring.
John Grunewald, president and CEO of Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma, greeted members at the Woodward Convention Center for dinner. The day ended with a group picture on the convention center’s balcony.
The final day began with a tour of the Southern Plains Research Station located on 280 acres on the southwest edge of Woodward. Members learned about the quality of experimental and available pasture and range forages. A visit to prescribed burning sites allowed members to observe recent research trials.
A visit to Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma allowed members to meet the staff and tour their offices. Members enjoyed a chicken fried steak or seafood buffet lunch at Big Dan’s before heading back to Oklahoma City.