OKLAHOMA CITY—American Farmers & Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union (AFR/OFU) Cooperative hosted National Farmers Union (NFU) President Rob Larew on a tour of Northeast Oklahoma Nov. 12. The tour showcased the area’s agriculture and provided an opportunity for AFR/OFU leadership and Larew to visit one-on-one with area producers.
The AFR/OFU-NFU group began Thursday’s tour at J-M Farms, a mushroom producer in Miami. J-M Farms is a family-owned operation that provides 25 million pounds of fresh mushrooms to the Midwest and Southwest. At the facility, the AFR/OFU-NFU tour group learned about the composting process and how the farm maximizes its yield with careful management.
While in Miami, the AFR/OFU-NFU tour group also visited the Quapaw Cattle Company’s meat processing facility. The new facility provides a place for Quapaw Cattle Company and other local cattle producers to process their beef for direct sale to consumers. The facility is known for its transparency and is an excellent example of how small-scale meat processing can thrive, provide jobs for area residents and contribute to the surrounding economy.
From Miami, the AFR/OFU-NFU tour group traveled to Tahlequah where AFR/OFU President Scott Blubaugh and Larew met with Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr., and Cherokee Nation Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner. The leaders talked about plans for a meat processing facility in Tahlequah, as well as potential areas for collaboration, including agribusiness development, conservation and K-12 education.
The AFR/OFU-NFU tour group wrapped up the day back in Oklahoma City with a dinner to celebrate a successful week. Larew and Blubaugh both addressed the group, highlighting the current lack of rural representation in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate and the upcoming change in administration. They also summarized the week’s discussions with Oklahoma producers and pointed out that the number one issue over the last few days has been concentration, both in beef processing specifically and agriculture as a whole.
AFR/OFU Cooperative is a membership services organization established in 1905 as Oklahoma Farmers Union. AFR/OFU provides educational, legislative and cooperative programs across the state and serves as a watchdog for Oklahoma’s family farmers and ranchers and rural communities. The organization is actively supportive of the state’s agricultural industry and rural population with membership consisting of farmers actively involved in production agriculture and non-farmers adding their voice in support of AFR/OFU principles.