Tom Buchanan of Jackson County Elected President of Oklahoma Farm BureauSun, 17 Nov 2013 14:58:28 CST
The second time was the charm for the new President of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Tom Buchanan of Jackson County. After two ballots on Saturday at the 72nd Annual Convention of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Buchanan and the delegates and guests heard his name called by the afternoon chair of the organization, Jimmy Kinder. Buchanan ran unsuccessfully in 2011 against incumbent Mike Spradling. Moments after his election, Farm Director Ron hays had a brief word with him as he was surrounded by Farm Bureau members wishing to congratulate him. Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear those comments.
In his nomination speech to Farm Bureau delegates, The 57 year old Buchanan spoke of the values of hard work he learned from his family growing up, of being drawn back after college to southwestern Oklahoma where he grew up and getting involved in farming, of his involvement with the Lugert-Altus Irrigation District as well as his understanding of Farm Bureau insurance issues, which he reminded delegates was the "cash cow" for the farm organization.
Buchanan currently operates a beef cattle operation and also raises winter wheat and has been an irrigated cotton farmer in southwest Oklahoma when irrigation has been available.
Buchanan highlighted his understanding of water issues as the current Vice Chairman of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to the delegates. On the OWRB, he represents irrigation water use interests. Buchanan is an At Large member and his term on the Water Board expires in May 2018.
Buchanan has briefed Farm Bureau members more than once on water issues at state events. At their 2013 Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City- he provided an overview of where the state of Oklahoma stands on water development and use- click here to read our coverage and to listen to our conversation with Buchanan at that meeting.
Before the election process began on Saturday afternoon, an unprecedented Executive session was called for by the Board of the farm organizaion, with all staff, non delegate members and media asked to leave for 45 minutes. Based on comments gleaned from members once the doors were reopened- the chair for the afternoon session provided an overview of board decisions regarding the Previous President dating back several months forward to the convention itself. One older delegate remarked to Farm Director Ron Hays upon returning that he heard no real new information or further explanation and added, "I guess you just have to trust the board" on decisions that were made.
Buchanan defeated Lotsee Spradling of Tulsa County and Roland Pederson of Alfalfa County to earn the two year term as President of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau. In reaction to his election, he told Hays "It's a great honor" and that Farm Bureau is a "grassroots organization and we have shown that today" adding that "I am greatly encouraged by the show of support from the membership."
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