Oklahoma Farm Bureau presented the first-ever OKFB County Excellence Award to Payne and Rogers County Farm Bureau on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the organization’s 81st annual meeting in Norman.
Modeled after the American Farm Bureau Federation’s County Activities of Excellence Award, this award recognizes county Farm Bureaus with the most outstanding or unique local program, activity or event.
Payne County hosted Payne County Palooza, a cattle clinic for students to learn basic cattle management practices as well as skills for the show ring. Participants visited several educational and interactive stations, including stations on calving, ear tagging, administering vaccinations and more. Students also had the opportunity to practice their showmanship skills with their own cattle or provided animals.
“It really is an opportunity for us to educate the attendees at the event how to present themselves,” said Nancy German, Payne County Farm Bureau president. “Starting at a young age, it gives us an opportunity to share with these kids something you cannot teach them from a schoolbook.”
Rogers County Farm Bureau hosted a steer and hog feed-out contest for Rogers County students from Pre-K through high school. Participants chose to feed either a steer or hog for 120-160 days, then the animals were processed and judged on both carcass merit and a daily rate of gain. At the conclusion of the contest, each student had the chance to learn from the judges how their animal’s carcass was evaluated. Awards were given to the top-five individuals in each contest, as well as for rate of gain, carcass merit, largest ribeye and loineye bonus.
“This program is really important because it is more focused on the production side of agriculture rather than the show ring,” said Chris Hoskins, contest chairman. “It has a little more of a real-world application. Through the different phases of the contest, they learn proper animal care and handling as we’re doing the processing on the front end. They also learn a little about nutrition and how to properly feed those animals out, and at the end of it, the meat judging team shows the carcasses and explains why the animals graded the way they did, and they can see the differences in what we are producing for the consumer.”
The award is given to one small and one large county Farm Bureau based on membership.
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau Annual Meeting is the organization’s largest gathering of farmers and ranchers every year. At the event, 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 okfarmbureau.org.