AFR/OFU President Scott Blubaugh Pleased with Selection of Rob Larew to be New President of the National Farmers UnionMon, 02 Mar 2020 18:44:50 CST
Tonkawa rancher and AFR/OFU President Scott Blubaugh talked with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays via telephone from Savanah, Georgia on Monday afternoon where the National Farmers Union convention is underway this week.
Topping the headlines was the election of Rob Larew to replace retiring NFU President Roger Johnson.
Larew was elected by a large margin, 74 percent of the vote, as the NFU delegates believed his experience on Capitol Hill as their senior policy analyst the past few years will make it a smooth transition to the top job and provide continuity for NFU policy.
“We’re going to miss Roger immensely, but Larew brings a lot of experience to the table,” Blubaugh said.
The Oklahoma delegation, with 32 delegates, is the largest NFU affiliate and the Oklahoma group flexed its muscles helping elect Larew and will continue to do so Tuesday as delegates determine NFU policy.
Another highlight of the NFU convention was the appearance of USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue on Monday.
“He understands the tough times we’re having,” Blubaugh said.
The Oklahoma leader added Perdue told the NFU members there could be a third round of Market Facilitation Payments, especially if the trade issues are not completely resolved. Perdue is not convinced that a 2020 set of MFP payments will be necessary- but says the President will not hesitate to offer them if the circumstances are right
A new addition to the NFU convention this year were several days of training for volunteers to counsel those suffering from farm stress.
“Oklahoma has taken the lead on this,” Blubaugh said, “as we remember the very difficult times of the 1980’s that resulted in many tragedies.”
Three Oklahomans participated in the training and are now certified to help with program. Blubaugh said they will be holding sessions this spring in Oklahoma, targeting bank managers, co-op managers and even FFA advisors who may be on the front lines and recognizing some of the early signs of stress.
You can hear the complete interview with Blubaugh and Hays by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
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