The Oklahoma Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers program allows members of Farm Bureau, between the ages of 18 and 35, to develop leadership skills, to be involved in their local communities, to compete in contests to win valuable prizes and to develop long lasting friendships with people from across the state and country.
YF&R members plan and participate in a wide range of activities at all levels of Farm Bureau – county, state and national. All of these activities are designed to educate, develop leadership skills, and of course, be fun!
Young Farmers and Ranchers programs
Leadership Development Conferences
State YF&R Summer Conference
Every summer, young agriculturalists from around Oklahoma gather for our annual OKFB YF&R Summer Conference. YF&R members visit and tour a different area of the state every year, broadening their agricultural horizons and allowing them to connect with fellow YF&R members from around the state. The conference includes agriculture tours, seminars, speakers and plenty of time to relax and enjoy the company of fellow young farmers, ranchers and agriculturalists.
OKFB State Convention
The state YF&R Committee has an active role in planning state convention activities specifically designed for the YF&R members. Members also participate in all of the other aspects of the convention, including seminars and business sessions, which include the policy development process.
Legislative Leadership Day
This is an opportunity for YF&R members to meet personally with members of the state legislature and learn more about the issues being discussed at the state Capitol. We meet during the week so that we can have lunch at the state Capitol with our senators and representatives. A legislative update from our Public Policy Division is always included, and well as some leadership training.
American Farm Bureau FUSION Conference
The AFBF FUSION (Farmers United: Skills, Inspiration, Outreach and Networking) conference brings together Young Farmers & Ranchers from across the country to learn and grow together. With keynote speakers, breakout session, local farm tours and more, FUSION opens doors for young agriculturalists to learn and grow their leadership abilities while connecting with farmers, ranchers and agribusinesspeople to network and expand agricultural horizons. The collegiate discussion meet is also held during the FUSION Conference..
Contests and competitive events
This contest recognizes OKFB’s top young farm and ranch family or individual each year at our state convention in November. The award is judged on involvement in the community and Farm Bureau, as well as the quality of the contestant(s) farming operation and leadership activities. The winner receives a variety of prizes, including an expense-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau convention in January to compete in the national contest. Download the YF&R Achievement Award application from the American Farm Bureau Federation website.
Excellence in Agriculture
This contest recognizes YF&R members who do not derive the majority of their income from an owned agricultural operation, but still actively contribute and grow through their involvement in Farm Bureau and agriculture. Participants are judged on their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability, involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations (i.e., civic, service and community). The winner of the state contest receives an all-terrain vehicle courtesy of Farm Credit and an expense-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau convention in January to compete in the national contest. Download the Excellence in Agriculture Award application from the American Farm Bureau Federation website.
The YF&R Discussion Meet is a panel-type discussion in which YF&R members are judged on their ability to express ideas and opinions on the hottest issues in agriculture. Participants attempt to influence each other by posing and answering questions with the goal of reaching a solution to a stated agricultural problem. The winner of the contest, which is held at state convention in November, wins some great prizes and an expense-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau convention to compete in the national contest. Download the YF&R Discussion Meet registration form on the Applications Center page.
Charles Roff Award
This award recognizes Oklahoma’s top county YF&R committee. It encourages members to help build stronger county programs and to strengthen the organization by increasing participation in state activities. Applications are judged on the county’s activities throughout the year and must be accompanied by no more than three pages (front and back) of pictures and clippings for verification. The Charles L. Roff award winner will receive a traveling trophy at the state convention (shall be retired in any county winning the award three consecutive years). Download and print off a PDF application of the Charles Roff Award on the Applications Center page.
Outstanding County Event
This award recognizes a county YF&R committee for a single event it hosted or sponsored during the year. The award is designed to share ideas among counties and encourages county committees to be active and creative in educating the public and promoting agriculture. The Outstanding County Event recipient wins a traveling trophy.
State Fair Livestock Judging Contest
The OKFB YF&R Committee hosts a yearly livestock judging contest at the Oklahoma State Fair in Oklahoma City. The contest is open to 4-H and FFA members from across the state as they compete in junior and senior divisions. Prizes and plaques are awarded to the top individuals and teams in the four contest divisions.
OSU Big 3 Field Days
The OKFB YF&R Committee is an annual sponsor of the OSU Big 3 Field Days, which is a three-day livestock judging event in Stillwater held during the month of July. More than 1,000 youth from across the state come each year to test their sheep, cattle and swine judging skills. The OKFB YF&R Committee awards plaques to the winners of the judging contest.
High school discussion meet
The high school discussion meet, held during Big 3 Field Days in Stillwater, provides an opportunity for high school students to compete in Farm Bureau’s committee-style discussion meet contest to discuss issues facing agriculture. Students use their speaking, reasoning and cooperative abilities to reach solutions to our industry’s most pressing challenges and opportunities.
Oklahoma Youth Leading Agriculture Conference
OKFB’s four-day, three-night youth program improves leadership skills and expands the agricultural perspectives of top agriculture youth in the state. Oklahoma high school seniors learn and grow together as they develop new skills, deepen their understanding of agriculture and learn about the opportunities for their future.
Shotgun shoot fundraiser
The state YF&R committee sponsors a shotgun shoot fundraiser to raise money for the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture and the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Legal Foundation.
The shoot is a sporting clays tournament with teams competing in a variety of stages.
To participate, or for more information, contact OKFB YF&R Coordinator Zac Swartz or call (405) 523-2300.
The OKFB YF&R Committee presents scholarships each spring to nine high school seniors. An applicant’s family must be a voting member of Farm Bureau, and should be enrolling in a full-time agriculture major at one of Oklahoma’s colleges. For more information on all scholarships available through Farm Bureau, visit your county Farm Bureau office or contact OKFB YF&R Coordinator Zac Swartz.
If you have questions regarding any of the Young Farmers and Ranchers activities, please contact OKFB YF&R Coordinator Zac Swartz.