OCA's Top Hand Michael Kelsey Catches Up on a Busy Year Talking Wildfire, Convention and PolicyWed, 23 May 2018 11:35:50 CDT
This week, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays spoke with Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Executive Vice President Michael Kelsey for a brief update on the association’s recent activities. According to Kelsey, much of their time has been occupied coordinating wildfire relief initiatives, planning the 2018 OCA Convention and Trade Show and monitoring the work of state lawmakers during the legislative session that recently adjourned. You can listen to Kelsey and Hays discuss these topics in depth, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
Regarding the OCA’s efforts to assist producers affected by damage and loss caused by wildfires that sparked earlier this spring across northwest Oklahoma, Kelsey reports that the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation is preparing to review applications for assistance and hopes to achieve its goal of dispersing funds within a 90-day window since the fires occurred.
“The funding continues to come in. We just continue to be amazed at folks’ generosity,” he said. “Right now, the fund is sitting at about $400,000. So, we encourage folks to apply.”
The deadline to apply for assistance through the OCF, will arrive on June 1st. The one-page application can be printed from the OCA’s website, here. You do not have to be a member of the OCA to qualify for assistance. To donate to this fund, click here.
In addition, Kelsey and his team led by the guidance of their members, have also been busy organizing the association’s 66th Annual Convention and Trade Show which will take place July 20-21st at the Embassy Suites in Norman, Okla.
“Our committee this year has really wanted us to focus on the business of the cattle business,” Kelsey said. “And so, all five of our Cattlemen’s College sessions are really targeted towards the business side… For instance - on the first session we’re going to look at the business of genetics and Neogen is graciously providing that session for us.”
Other sessions will cover business oriented content including a “Protein Panel” featuring various stakeholders in the beef chain from producer to consumer to speak on their involvement in each segment of the beef industry; an informational session on crop insurance; a look into muscle fabrication and the role that segment of the industry plays; and a panel discussion featuring producers from other states who will talk about the differences and commonalities of their operations and the various opportunities they see as being advantageous for the industry. The whole convention kicks-off, though, with an overview of the cattle industry, presented by the highly knowledgeable experts from CattleFax. Plus, Kelsey says this year’s trade show will be the biggest and best one yet - a veritable one-stop-shop for all your farm and ranch needs.
“Really, what we’re trying to do with our convention is, we’re trying to make it the premiere cattle industry event in the state of Oklahoma,” he remarked. “If you’re in the cattle business, then you really need to come to this event.”
Registration is open now for those planning to attend. Click here to sign up, online.
Finally, Kelsey has taken a moment since the state legislature adjourned, to reflect on this session. He says overall, the ag industry came out of it considerably well. However, he fears the stage has been set for new threats on the horizon. His fear, is that the ag sales tax exemption has caught the attention of legislators looking for new revenue streams.
“There were more frontal assaults on that this year than I’ve ever seen,” he said. “Tax policy is going to be very important for agriculture as we move forward. If nothing else, this session helped us chart a map forward as to what the strategy needs to be to not only protect, but promote agriculture at the state capitol for years to come.”
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