The Oklahoma Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers hosted their annual summer conference July 29-31 in Enid.
The nearly 60 Farm Bureau members ages 18-35 toured local agricultural facilities, competed in a discussion meet and networked with fellow farmers and ranchers.
The weekend kicked off Friday, July 29 with dinner and tour of Schnaithman Farms near Garber, where the family primarily grows wheat and raises cattle. Members competed in friendly competitions of volleyball and cornhole while making lifelong friends.
The first tour stop on Saturday featured a fertilizer plant specializing in creating ammonia and urea for agricultural uses. Koch Fertilizer of Enid gave members a first-hand look at how fertilizer is created, handled and shipped on a day-to-day basis.
Garber Fire Department hosted lunch, where volunteer firefighter Brady Bond reiterated the importance of and serving on a rural department. Bond showcased the equipment used by the fire department.
A look into the grain grown in Garfield County and the surrounding area was provided by ADM Grain Terminal in Enid. Members visited the grain holding sites where the company accepts wheat, corn, soybeans and other crops.
Garfield County Farm Bureau member Brady Sidwell shared two value-added agricultural business ventures he started in the Enid area. Chisholm Trail Milling uses stone mills to create flour with locally grown wheat and ships the artesian flour across the U.S. Another venture of Sidwell’s is Enid Brewing Company and Eatery, producing farm-to-table beer with inputs grown around the area along with serving beef raised by Sidwell.
Rounding out the tour-filled day, members enjoyed the musical talents of Johnny Cooper at the Stride Bank Center.
OKFB Safety and Special Projects Coordinator Burton Harmon provided a devotional for members Sunday morning before the discussion meet.
The discussion meet, a committee-style discussion, was held for members to improve their ability to offer constructive input, cooperation and communication while analyzing agricultural problems and developing solutions. The meet served as an introduction to the event and a round of practice before the OKFB Annual Meeting discussion meet to be held Friday, Nov. 11.
Five members competed in two, 15-minute rounds before Okmulgee County Farm Bureau member Tim Taylor was named the winner and received a $500 cash prize. Clint Tolle, Grant County Farm Bureau; Autumn Courtney, Mayes County Farm Bureau; Leslie Lewis, Okmulgee County Farm Bureau; and Austin Jackson, Payne County Farm Bureau also participated in the competitive event.
For more information about YF&R, contact YF&R Coordinator Zac Swartz at (405) 523-2300.