The Oklahoma Plan for NFU- Pull Them Back to More Moderate Policy Positions- Terry Detrick of AFR/OFUMon, 10 Mar 2014 06:00:02 CDT
The National Farmers Union 2014 Annual Convention is underway in Santa Fe, New Mexico- and the largest state affiliate of the NFU, the American Farmers & Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union, has a total of 25 delegates set to help make policy decisions for the group in the coming year.
According to Terry Detrick of Ames, Oklahoma- the President of AFR/OFU, Oklahoma is the largest state Farmers Union in the country by a large margin- with 26,000 more members than the second largest state Farmers Union, North Dakota. Together, Oklahoma and North Dakota have over half of the membership that is claimed by the national group. Detrick acknowledges that the national group has in recent years been a lot more liberal than is comfortable for most members of his organization- and one of his ongoing goals is to have Oklahoma pull the general farm organization back towards the middle of the policy road.
Among the issues that are likely to come up- a "Special Order" that will demand that the Cattlemen's Beef Board stop contracting with any policy group for checkoff related work. Detrick and dairy farmer Brett Morris, who is representing Oklahoma on the National Policy Committee this week in Santa Fe, say that this is a thinly veiled attack on the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, who is the principle contractor of the CBB for promotion, education and research using beef checkoff dollars. Some NFU members that have pushed this high priority policy position are angry over comments made by NCBA officials at the end of the 2014 Farm Bill debate in urging a "no" vote since Conferees refused to eliminate or modify COOL law.
Morris says that the Special Order would require changing the law that the beef checkoff operates under- and says it is unlikely that lawmakers would be willing to open up the underlying legislation that established the beef checkoff in the 1980s for this major change in how the beef checkoff is administered. Morris says that he believes that the Special Order should be defeated, although it is likely that even if Oklahoma demanded a weighted vote on this issue, it would pass.
Farm Director Ron Hays is in Santa Fe at the NFU Convention and talked with Terry Detrick about the Oklahoma delegation and its role at the 112th Annual meeting of the group- you can hear that conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
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