AFBF Convention Focuses on Cattle IndustryMon, 10 Jan 2022 14:22:30 CST
In November 2021, the Oklahoma Farm Bureau held its 80th Annual Meeting where members from all 77 counties gave leadership their marching orders for the next year. Fast forward to this week, and OKFB leadership is representing the state at the American Farm Bureau Convention is going on in Atlanta, Ga.
Ron Hays, senior reporter for the Oklahoma Farm Report spoke with Steve Thompson, the vice president of public policy for OKFB, on how the event is going so far. They specifically discuss a few issues coming to the National Convention that are specific to Oklahoma.
"The hottest topic here is the cattle business," Thompson said. "A huge majority of it centers around whether or not we would like to support legislation by Congress to require packers to purchase a certain minimum amount on the open market vs. (alternative marketing agreements)."
Thompson said historically, Oklahoma has been a free-market state.
"We think producers and businesses should be able to buy and sell however they see fit," Thompson said. "There is always a concern for the price of cattle. Things have rebounded pretty well recently, and we would like to make sure the government does not screw that up."
However, there are resolutions at the AFBF convention from other states that seek to force the packers to change the way they do business.
"We just got out of a breakout session with (Dr. Koontz, an agricultural economist at Colorado State University) who was pretty blunt with the crowd," Thompson said. "(They said,) if Congress was to implement a mandate there, it would cost cow-calf producers billions of dollars."
Despite many economists warning the cattle industry and Congress of the dangers of silver-bullet mandates for such a complex industry, there are producers who still support mandates which will inevitably punish the whole beef supply chain.
"Producers are just so angry at the packers, that they would like to try to inflict some pain on them," Thompson said. "They do not realize that it will come back to hurt them as well."
Thompson said there are some resolutions coming from Oklahoma that guide AFBF in examining while making sure to follow the facts provided by data and economics.
Hit the LISTEN BAR below to hear Ron Hays and Steve Thompson talk about the 2022 American Farm Bureau Convention taking place now in Atlanta, Ga.
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