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Agricultural News

Oklahoma Farm Bureau's August Area Meetings Underway, Setting the Stage for Next Year's Policy

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 15:57:12 CDT

Oklahoma Farm Bureau's August Area Meetings Underway, Setting the Stage for Next Year's Policy Oklahoma Farm Bureau kicked off its annual August area meetings around the state this week. Their first stop was in Krebs, Okla. on Monday. This Tuesday, though, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays caught up with OFB President Tom Buchanan at their stop in Okarche, Okla. for an update on the progress of the meetings and what issues have so far risen to the top of discussions. You can hear Hays and Buchanan’s conversation from today, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.

“The August area meetings are a very exciting time for us - that’s where our grassroots process really starts,” Buchanan said. “Members can hear from us what we believe are issues that we’ve learned the last couple of sessions - regulatory issues that are coming down. But then more importantly, it’s for us to hear from them. What are their concerns and their needs; what are their wishes.”

With only three of the nine meetings for this year under their belt, Buchanan says several issues have already cropped up in discussions, that are likely to be policy priorities for the coming year. These issues include continuing to defend property rights, maintaining the integrity of ad valorem taxes and working with Oklahoma’s Congressional delegation on contributing their views to the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill.

“What I’ve heard so far - certainly some of it to be expected,” he said, listing the aforementioned topics. “Those issues are certainly there. What we want to be is the organization that educates and illustrates how certain policy decisions will impact Oklahoma agriculture and rural Oklahoma. But at the same time, be at the table to offer potential solutions that our membership will support.”

This strategy is more important than ever, Buchanan says, as the socio-political landscape has changed so drastically in our state since the organization was founded 75 years ago. Buchanan says the organization is committed to continuing the organization’s tradition of safeguarding the interests of rural Oklahomans.

Part of that commitment, led to the board’s earlier decision to part ways with two top leaders in the organization - former executive director, Monica Wilke, and former vice president of public policy and corporate communications, John Collison. In the former’s place, longtime OFB employee, Thad Doye, was named interim executive director.

“Mr. Thad Doye is someone all of Oklahoma Farm Bureau knows, and I would tell you the majority of Oklahoma knows him, too,” Buchanan said.

Buchanan suggests that the board of directors is in no rush to hire a permanent replacement for Wilke. He says the board intends to take its time making the right decision, but has full confidence in Doye to keep business running as usual in the meantime.

If you are interested in attending one of the remaining OFB August area meetings, click here to view their complete meeting schedule.



Listen to Ron Hays and Tom Buchanan speak about this year's discussion at OFB's Area Meetings
right-click to download mp3


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