Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association Building Its Presence with On-going Membership CampaignMon, 13 Mar 2017 15:10:55 CDT
Last May, the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association came under the management of Joe Neal Hampton as its president and chief executive officer. In his new role representing wheat growers in Oklahoma, Hampton attended his first Commodity Classic this year in San Antonio. During the conference, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn caught up with Hampton to find out what the association has been up to since he took over its management. You can listen to Horn and Hampton speaking at the 2017 Commodity Classic by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of this story.
According to Hampton, his efforts leading the OWGA over the last year have focused primarily on recruiting members.
“We have just been trying to get the organization going again,” Hampton said, explaining that the organization’s only members at the time he took over were basically just the board members. “We’re up over 150 now. Our goal is to increase membership certainly much more than 150.”
As the organization’s membership campaign continues to build momentum, Hampton is working hard to fight for the issues his current members are concerned about. And much like the rest of the wheat community, their main concern is over the low prices and large stockpiles.
“We’ve got grain piled on the ground from Texas to Canada,” Hampton remarked. “We’re, domestically, not going to eat our way out of this and we’ve got to find a way to move this product out of the country.”
Hampton agrees with the strategy Dr. Kim Anderson has been preaching to farmers in Oklahoma, advocating that they take advantage of added inputs to produce a quality product with high test weight and protein levels for increased marketability.
“I totally agree with that - we really need a good quality crop,” Hampton insisted. “I encourage the producers to take a serious look at using fungicides. Fungicides can make a big difference in the test weight component of wheat.”
Aside from the immediate focus of the upcoming harvest, Hampton is also turning his attentions to policy matters, specifically related to the Farm Bill. He says his organization is very supportive of the federal crop insurance programs and is excited about the air of change at the Environmental Protection Agency under the leadership of Oklahoma’s own Scott Pruitt.
“We’re going to get rid of some of these crazy regulations that’s been coming down the pipeline,” he concluded.
To learn more about the OWGA, click here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org find out how to get involved.
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