U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer will address Farm Bureau members attending the annual Oklahoma Farm Bureau convention Nov. 14 at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.
“This is the first time a standing USDA secretary has spoken at an Oklahoma Farm Bureau convention,” said Mike Spradling, OFB president. “We are extremely pleased and honored to have Secretary Schafer as our keynote speaker.”
The USDA secretary, scheduled for a 2 p.m. address, is expected to discuss the new farm bill and how it will impact Oklahoma producers. Another favorite topic of the secretary’s is the current strong agriculture economy. Schafer believes the agriculture industry is in good shape today, but is concerned that high input costs coupled with lower commodity prices could hurt the industry in 2009.
In addition to Schafer, there are break out sessions on agri-terrorism featuring OSU livestock economist Darrell Peel and a farm commodity outlook by American Farm Bureau Federation economist Jim Sartwell. Nationally syndicated columnist and humorist Trent Loos and former professional football player and inspirational speaker John “the bull” Bramlett also are on the program.
American Farm Bureau Vice President Barry Bushue will address the Oklahoma group during the opening general session Nov. 14. Bushue is a nursery and fruit producer from Boring, Oregon.
The theme for the 67th OFB annual convention, “Service through Generations,” holds great meaning as the farm organization will recognize generations of excellent leadership, said Matt Wilson, OFB and affiliated companies’ executive director.
“Oklahoma Farm Bureau is literally service through generations,” Wilson said. “We will keep our eyes on the future while honoring those who came before.”
During the awards and recognition program, the organization will announce its Farm Family of the Year, top young farmer and rancher and winners of other state and county awards.
The true grassroots nature of the farm organization will be evident during the business session as voting delegates will decide policy issues with input from all 77 county Farm Bureaus. The policies will then guide the organization during the coming year.