OKFB's Steve Thompson Says August Area Meetings willl Tackle Important Topics for ProducersFri, 30 Jul 2021 15:46:16 CDT
An annual rite of passage for Oklahoma Farm Bureau is the August area meetings.
Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays spoke with Steve Thompson, senior director of public policy for Oklahoma Farm Bureau, and said he is excited about the quickly-approaching meetings.
We look forward to these year-round, especially now as we come off of a year of the pandemic, Thompson said.
There are 11 August area meetings all around the state where we get to travel and see everyone, Thompson said.
Every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday night for the much of August will consist of OKFB team members in communities to hear what is on the minds of our members, he added.
This time period is really the beginning of our policy development process, Thompson said.
We have conversations, Thompson said, and from there they move into each county’s resolutions process.
“It is truly one of the highlights of our year to be able to spend so much time with our members not just asking them to travel to Oklahoma City, but packing up our team and go them,” Thompson said.
There is something special about meeting them on their terms and hearing about their current community happenings, he added.
OKFB has been working with other agriculture organizations to combat current issues seen within the industry, so policy is always something on the mind.
Policy expected to come from the August area meetings include legislation and conversation related to the growing marijuana industry and its rules and regulations, Thompson said.
Thompson said he also expects extensive discussion about the cattle market, particularly pressures currently faced by beef cattle producers across the state.
We have also been working with the Tax Commission on our agricultural sales tax exemption carrying over from this past year, so we hope to find out what is working and what is not, Thompson said.
He added it was a rough summer in terms of permit renewal, but we think things are better and looking up.
“We hope to learn about topics we need to be working on in the Oklahoma City office that we may not have previously known about,” Thompson said. “We look forward to learning something new from each community we go to.”
This has the potential to spur the conversation county leadership needs to hear prior to local resolutions meetings, Thompson said. This will then lead to county meetings and those approved will move forward to the October state resolutions meetings, he added.
This is how we will develop our policy priorities for 2022.
To hear Ron’s complete conversation with Steve Thompson, click or tap below.
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