As 2020 comes to an end, Oklahoma Farm Bureau is reflecting on the past year and the work the organization has taken on to improve agriculture and rural Oklahoma.
While 2020 has not been a normal year, OKFB continued to support farmers, ranchers and rural Oklahomans through a variety of programs, events and activities – both in-person and virtually.
We have compiled a list of five of OKFB’s top accomplishments for 2020.
1. Farmers and ranchers continue producing.
Many people adapted to working remotely when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, but farmers and ranchers continued to work in their fields and pastures to produce food, fiber and fuel for Oklahomans. Farmers and ranchers faced their own struggles beyond the pandemic, but they continued to preserve through the hard times.
Watch this video of the Martens, a Major County Farm Bureau family, carrying on their annual tradition of harvesting wheat as a family back in June.
2. OKFB and Oklahoma 4-H opens ATV Training Facility.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau partnered with Oklahoma 4-H to open the OKFB/Oklahoma 4-H ATV Training Facility, which features a hands-on ATV safety course to children 10-years-old and above. By riding ATVs with trained instructors, participants learn basic safety techniques through a variety of exercises. The training facility is located in Guthrie near the Logan County Fairgrounds.
For more information, contact Burton Harmon at (405) 532-2419.
3. OKFB supports young agriculturalists.
Growing the future of the agriculture industry is one of OKFB’s main goals. In efforts to do this, OKFB hosted three interns over the summer – Emily Smith, communications intern; Cole Eschete, summer intern; and Ridge Hughbanks, government relations intern. The interns worked alongside OKFB staff as they undertook projects and helped with programs during the summer.
The OKFB Foundation for Agriculture and Women’s Leadership Committee donated 12 bushel baskets full of accurate agriculture books to teachers and librarians across the state. Learn more about the program and meet the recipients of the baskets here.
Additionally, OKFB Young Farmers and Ranchers awarded eight scholarships to high school students who will pursue a higher degree in agriculture.
4. OKFB awards members and counties.
Each year during OKFB’s annual convention, members and counties are recognized for their efforts to advance the organization, agriculture and rural Oklahoma. To ensure the health and safety of its members, OKFB opted to host a virtual convention in November, and award winners were honored throughout the whole month of November on the OKFB website and social media platforms.
Jenny Haken won the OKFB YF&R Discussion Meet held on Oct. 24 in conjunction with the OKFB YF&R caucus.
OKFB WLC honored nine Farm and Ranch families, all who uphold the best traditions of agriculture and rural Oklahoma as they raise food and fiber for our state and beyond.
Read more about our award winners and Farm and Ranch Families on our awards page.
5. OKFB elects new board members.
During OKFB’s virtual convention and district caucus meetings, Leon Richards of Texas County, Kerry Givens of Comanche County and Stacy Simunek of Kay County were chosen by voting delegates in districts one, four and seven, respectively, to serve a three-year term on the OKFB board of directors.
OKFB thanks the outgoing board members – Alan Jett, District 1; Jimmy Wayne Kinder, District 4; and Keith Kisling, District 7. These three grassroots leaders dedicated themselves to agriculture and rural Oklahoma as they served OKFB members on the state board.
Bonus: View our favorite photos of the year
Although 2020 presented new challenges and opportunities, OKFB still featured Oklahoma agriculture through photos taken throughout the year. We have compiled an album of our favorite photos taken throughout our state during the past year, which you can view on our flickr account.
While these are a few highlights of our year, you can find all of our news stories at okfarmbureau.org/news.
We look forward to a safe and prosperous 2021.