Oklahoma Farm Bureau members from all 77 counties met in Norman, Oklahoma, Nov. 16-18 for the organization’s 77th annual meeting where they recognized outstanding members with numerous awards, set organizational policy for the coming year, and elected new leaders.
The OKFB Women’s Leadership Committee recognized the organization’s top farming and ranching families with the District Farm and Ranch Family Recognition awards: Terry and Robin Bryant family of Dewey County, District One; Brian and Misty Johnson of Kiowa County, District Two; Lonnie and Sharon King of Caddo County, District Three; Russell and Jimmi Kriz of Comanche County, District Four; Jeff and Holly Cooper of LeFlore County, District Five; Bart and Kelly Wiedel of Muskogee County, District Six; Scott and Allison Armbruster of Alfalfa County, District Seven; Carrel and Louise Bryant of Pontotoc County, District Eight; and Arnold and Roselle Herrmann of Lincoln County, District Nine.
Alfalfa County was named the top county Farm Bureau as the winner of the John I. Taylor Award, while Texas County was recognized for its safety programs with the Lewis H. Munn Award. Various county Farm Bureaus also were honored for excellence as with Presidential Star Awards.
John Grunewald, president and CEO of Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma, was honored with the Distinguished Service to OKFB Award; Nocona and Jordan Cook of Washita County received the YF&R Achievement Award; Joshua Anderson of Johnston County earned the YF&R Excellence in Agriculture Award; and Emma Jumper of Payne County was the YF&R Discussion Meet winner. Caitlin Williams, an anchor for KSWO 7 News in Lawton, was named OKFB’s Journalist of the Year.
Extension services, the agriculture sales tax exemption and feral hogs were issues prioritized by members as they worked to set the organization’s 2019 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. The policy sets the direction of the organization for the next year.
“It’s not just the power of our public policy staff, it’s not just the power of our board,” said Rodd Moesel, OKFB president. “It’s the power of our members in all 77 counties meeting today and all of our members speaking out on these issues.
“The policy may have started in Grant County, it may have started in Pontotoc County or it may have started in Jackson County, but it ends up here (at the annual meeting) when all 77 counties take action and vote and set the agenda for the next year.”
Members also voted to oppose mandatory Country of Origin Labeling, urge cell-cultured food products to be labeled properly, encourage research on industrial hemp production, and affirm support for free and fair international trade.
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, Gary Crawley of Pittsburg County was re-elected to represent District Five and John Grundmann of Pottawatomie County was re-elected to serve District Eight.
The OKFB Women’s Leadership Committee chose Mignon Bolay of Noble County to lead the committee as chair for the next two years. She replaces Kitty Beavers, who was term-limited following eight years as WLC chair.
Farm Bureau women also re-elected Paula Sawatzky of Custer County to represent District Two on the WLC. Three new members were elected to the state committee including Arlene Lemaster of LeFlore County, chosen to represent District Five; Terry Pederson of Alfalfa County, District Seven; and Jan Long of Pontotoc County, District Eight.
The OKFB Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee elected Brent and Jenny Haken of Payne County to serve as chairmen for a one-year term. Justin and Chrissy Maxey of Nowata County were elected as vice chairmen and Logan and Brittany Hukill of Caddo County will serve as committee secretary. Additional committee members elected this year include Nocona and Jordan Cook, Washita County, District Two; Corey Holman, Pottawatomie County, District Eight; Chism Sander, Dewey County, at-large; Will and Leslie Lewis, Okmulgee County, at-large; and Ethan and Roxanne Mock, Tulsa County, at-large.
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.