AFR Convention Agenda Addresses Major Policy Concerns and IssuesWed, 15 Feb 2012 18:12:45 CST
The American Farmers and Ranchers 107th Annual Convention is coming up this Friday and Saturday at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in Norman and AFR President Terry Detrick says the agenda is a full one.
Headlining the convention is House Agriculture Committee Chairman and Oklahoman Frank Lucas, (R-Cheyenne). This year’s convention theme is “AFR: Honor, Heritage, Responsibility.”
“When discussing a theme for this year’s convention, I thought back on the past year we’ve had and the three words, ‘Honor, Heritage, Responsibility,’ simplify our focus for 2012,” said AFR President Terry Detrick. “With agriculture being the second largest industry in Oklahoma, it is our responsibility to help this industry grow in our state and our farm organization and insurance companies want to do just that.”
On Saturday, attendees will be educated and entertained by a slate of speakers discussing legislative issues, water and environmental issues, transportation issues, education, youth program awards and more. Election results will be announced that afternoon and the convention will conclude with an evening banquet. Chairman Lucas will offer the keynote address and entertainment will be provided by the Dove Brothers Quartet, Salute to the American Farmer Tour.
Detrick said one of the major concerns on farmers' and ranchers' minds this past year has been the drought and how it affected their operations. He said one of the difficulties facing his members is working with lenders. He said there will be a seminar presented by the President and CEO of East Central Farm Credit on how farmers and ranchers can better communicate with their lenders.
Likewise, water policy and property rights are a huge issue. Policy resolutions to be discussed center around these two issues.
"Water is on everybody's agenda," Detrick said. "One of the things we're concerned about, one of the things that’s going to take priority is 'What’s going to happen to private property rights?' In Oklahoma, our laws are such that if you own the surface rights, you own the water under it. There are other states where that’s disappeared and they’ve taken that away. And we’re going to be very, very cautious about how things come together and that we’re able to protect our private property rights."
The AFR Convention will feature the annual business meeting for both Oklahoma Farmers Union Cooperative and the AFR Mutual Insurance Company as well as discussion and adoption of AFR’s legislative policy. On Friday evening, February 17th, the AFR Political Action Committee will hold an auction which will be followed by the campaign speeches from all candidates vying for the AFR Board of Directors and Officer seats. The night will conclude with a live band, Joe Settlemires & Showband from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha.
“We look forward to a positive convention and outcome,” Detrick said. “I hope that AFR’s membership continues to rise in order to better honor those around us and who have gone before us, remember where we came from and always be responsible for our future.”
American Farmers & Ranchers is a 107-year-old company, headquartered in Oklahoma City, providing educational, legislative, cooperative programs and insurance products across the state.
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