74th Annual Speech Contest – Southwest District

The 2018 American Farmers & Ranchers Southwest District speech contest was held Nov. 8 in Cache, Okla.

The winners include:

AFR/OFU Novice: 1st: Addy Schneberger, Carnegie; 2nd: Merrick Ballou, Elgin; 3rd: Peyton Deel, Elgin

AFR/OFU Junior: 1st: Maci McCorkle, Snyder

AFR/OFU Intermediate: 1st: Karla McConnell, Calumet; 2nd: Paige Huckaby, Snyder; 3rd: Kelby Shumaker, Navajo

AFR/OFU Senior: 1st: Tanner Stevens, Yukon; 2nd: Emily Moore, Hammon

Science & Natural Resources Junior: 1st: Cherokee Sanders, Snyder; 2nd: Konner Shebester, Alex; 3rd: Emily Alexander, Mangum

Science & Natural Resources Intermediate: 1st: Grace Schneberger, Burns Flat-Dill City; 2nd: Morgan Bailey, Tipton; 3rd: Lana Sherry, Yukon

Science & Natural Resources Senior: 1st: Landri Chaplin, Weatherford; 2nd: Tayten Lierle, Hydro-Eakly; 3rd: Tiffani Snow, Lawton

Agribusiness Junior: 1st: Wyatt Jensen, Altus; 2nd: Luke Gallager, Altus

Agribusiness Intermediate: 1st: Connor Brooks, Granite; 2nd: Austin Smith, Hydro-Eakly; 3rd: Abbie Johnston, Snyder

Agribusiness Senior: 1st: Allie Dixon, Burns Flat-Dill City; 2nd: Gabby Barber, Lawton; 3rd: Dixie Boyce-Smith, Cheyenne

Ag Advocacy & Policy Junior: 1st: Kylee Dodd, Cache; 2nd: Jett McIntyre, Temple

Ag Advocacy & Policy Intermediate: 1st: Jesse Bui, Elk City; 2nd: Colter Esparza, Granite; 3rd: Caleb Rainwater, Thomas-Fay-Custer

Ag Advocacy & Policy Senior: 1st: Madison Stephens, Weatherford; 2nd: Jordan Mason, Burns Flat-Dill City; 3rd: Alison Moore, Hammon

The AFR Speech Contests consist of five district contests and a state contest. At each contest, students in grades 4-12 compete in one of four categories – American Farmers and Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union, Science & Natural Resources, Agribusiness and Ag Advocacy & Policy. First and second place winners of each category will advance to the state speech contest to be held at Oklahoma State University on Dec. 1.

This year will mark the 74th year of the AFR speech contests.

“We are proud to host a contest that highlights outstanding youth across Oklahoma,” said Micaela Danker, AFR/OFU youth development coordinator. “The fall speech contests prove to be a successful event every year. It gives students the opportunity to gain knowledge about current issues and topics facing the agricultural industry as well as improve their public speaking skills.”

The AFR speech contests are just one of several ways for Oklahoma’s youth to become involved in AFR. Poster contests, summer youth leadership summit, statewide scholarships, livestock handling and skills contest, livestock judging and grading contests and many other leadership opportunities are available.

AFR/OFU had its beginning in 1905 and is headquartered in Oklahoma City. The organization is actively supportive of Oklahoma’s agricultural industry and rural population, and provides educational, legislative and youth leadership development programs across the state. AFR Insurance provides automobile, home, farm and life insurance with an emphasis on quality products and exceptional customer service. Available statewide, AFR Insurance is recognized as a leading domestic insurance carrier with 162 agencies serving communities throughout Oklahoma.

Photos of the winners will be posted to the AFR youth Facebook page.

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74th Annual Speech Contest – Southeast District

The 2018 American Farmers & Ranchers Southeast District speech contest was held Nov. 6 in Wilburton, Okla.

 

The winners include:

AFR/OFU Novice: 1st: Kyleigh Eppler, Silo; 2nd: Isabella Whitlock, Silo; 3rd: Kale Brister, Silo

AFR/OFU Junior: 1st: Gage Bradley, Silo; 2nd: Madison Walker, Red Oak; 3rd: Claycey Rowland, Silo

AFR/OFU Intermediate: 1st: Hayley Lundry, Haworth; 2nd: Kendyl Eppler, Silo; 3rd: Jordan Jones, Haworth

AFR/OFU Senior: 1st: Colt Crowson, Madill; 2nd: Cord McDonald, Silo; 3rd: Kaylan Plemmons, Battiest

Science & Natural Resources Junior: 1st: Sam Whitlock, Silo; 2nd: Scotlynn Hatton, Vanoss; 3rd: Caleb Willoughby, Byng

Science & Natural Resources Intermediate: 1st: Hayden Harper, Madill; 2nd: Mollie Westfall, Canadian; 3rd: Sydney Williams, Durant

Science & Natural Resources Senior: 1st: Britt Duncan, Silo; 2nd: Jaycie Shelburne, Durant; 3rd: Natalee Richardson, Latta

Agribusiness Junior: 1st: Kayla Poling, Silo; 2nd: Carlee Harrington, Vanoss; 3rd: Raegan Reid, Silo

Agribusiness Intermediate: 1st: Halle Rowland, Silo; 2nd: Kristian Thralls, Calera; 3rd: Abby Inman, Byng

Agribusiness Senior: 1st: Kaycee Reeves, Latta; 2nd: Brett Forgy, Silo; 3rd: Calley Martin, Byng

Ag Advocacy & Policy Junior: 1st: Brooklyn Toney, Silo; 2nd: Lexi Nations, Silo; 3rd: Mary Alice Wise, Vanoss

Ag Advocacy & Policy Intermediate: 1st: Andrea Martin, Byng; 2nd: Preston Pratt, Silo; 3rd: Ashlynn Barnes, Byng

Ag Advocacy & Policy Senior: 1st: Rio Bonham, Madill; 2nd: Krista Carroll, Tishomingo; 3rd: Paxton Hutchings, Achille

The AFR Speech Contests consist of five district contests and a state contest. At each contest, students in grades 4-12 compete in one of four categories – American Farmers and Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union, Science & Natural Resources, Agribusiness and Ag Advocacy & Policy. First and second place winners of each category will advance to the state speech contest to be held at Oklahoma State University on Dec. 1.

This year will mark the 74th year of the AFR speech contests.

“We are proud to host a contest that highlights outstanding youth across Oklahoma,” said Micaela Danker, AFR/OFU youth development coordinator. “The fall speech contests prove to be a successful event every year. It gives students the opportunity to gain knowledge about current issues and topics facing the agricultural industry as well as improve their public speaking skills.”

The AFR speech contests are just one of several ways for Oklahoma’s youth to become involved in AFR. Poster contests, summer youth leadership summit, statewide scholarships, livestock handling and skills contest, livestock judging and grading contests and many other leadership opportunities are available.

AFR/OFU had its beginning in 1905 and is headquartered in Oklahoma City. The organization is actively supportive of Oklahoma’s agricultural industry and rural population, and provides educational, legislative and youth leadership development programs across the state. AFR Insurance provides automobile, home, farm and life insurance with an emphasis on quality products and exceptional customer service. Available statewide, AFR Insurance is recognized as a leading domestic insurance carrier with 162 agencies serving communities throughout Oklahoma.

Photos of the winners will be posted to the AFR youth Facebook page.

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Oklahoma City, Okla. ­- The 2018 American Farmers & Ranchers Northeast District speech contest was held Nov. 1 in Sapulpa, Okla.

The winners include:

AFR/OFU Novice: 1st: Jancie Cantrell, Dewey; 2nd: Dade DeLozier, Adair; 3rd: Danika Spaulding, Keys

AFR/OFU Junior: 1st: Jack Taylor, Adair; 2nd: Lacey Laymon, Keys

AFR/OFU Intermediate: 1st: Dax DeLozier, Adair; 2nd: Tanner Franklin, Porum; 3rd: Laine Forrest, Keys

AFR/OFU Senior: 1st: Payton McGowin, Keys

Science & Natural Resources Junior: 1st: Grace VanWagner, Cleveland; 2nd: Ellie Walls, Keys; 3rd: Braden Hopkins, Keys

Science & Natural Resources Intermediate: 1st: Kadie Kellogg, Oologah; 2nd: Lillie Plane, Kiefer; 3rd: Averee Murray, Owasso

Science & Natural Resources Senior: 1st: Carley Schroeder, Sequoyah; 2nd: Tanner Taylor, Adair; 3rd: Allie McCracken, Claremore

Agribusiness Intermediate: 1st: Blake Long, Adair; 2nd: Paige Kitterman, South Coffeyville

Agribusiness Senior: 1st: Madison Hutton, Owasso; 2nd: Emma Lewellen, Oologah; 3rd: Ryan Clark, Henryetta

Ag Advocacy & Policy Junior: 1st: Josie Heston, Olive 4-H; 2nd: Jaycie Gideon, Keys; 3rd: Sage Budde, Sequoyah

Ag Advocacy & Policy Intermediate: 1st: Rebekah Rake, Owasso; 2nd: Callie Moseley, Owasso; 3rd: Emily Dangott, Kiefer

Ag Advocacy & Policy Senior: 1st: Kayli Hasselbring, Owasso; 2nd: Madalynn Banks, Kellyville; 3rd: Lara Hays, Sequoyah

The AFR Speech Contests consist of five district contests and a state contest. At each contest, students in grades 4-12 compete in one of four categories – American Farmers and Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union, Science & Natural Resources, Agribusiness and Ag Advocacy & Policy. First and second place winners of each category will advance to the state speech contest to be held at Oklahoma State University on Dec. 1.

This year will mark the 74th year of the AFR speech contests.

“We are proud to host a contest that highlights outstanding youth across Oklahoma,” said Micaela Danker, AFR/OFU youth development coordinator. “The fall speech contests prove to be a successful event every year. It gives students the opportunity to gain knowledge about current issues and topics facing the agricultural industry as well as improve their public speaking skills.”

The AFR speech contests are just one of several ways for Oklahoma’s youth to become involved in AFR. Poster contests, summer youth leadership summit, statewide scholarships, livestock handling and skills contest, livestock judging and grading contests and many other leadership opportunities are available.

AFR/OFU had its beginning in 1905 and is headquartered in Oklahoma City. The organization is actively supportive of Oklahoma’s agricultural industry and rural population, and provides educational, legislative and youth leadership development programs across the state. AFR Insurance provides automobile, home, farm and life insurance with an emphasis on quality products and exceptional customer service. Available statewide, AFR Insurance is recognized as a leading domestic insurance carrier with 162 agencies serving communities throughout Oklahoma.

Photos of the winners will be posted to the AFR youth Facebook page.

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The special connection between humans and animals was never more evident than during the Gold Star Classic-AFR Special Needs Livestock Show, Aug. 30, at the Grady County fairgrounds in Chickasha.

“This is why we wanted to put on this livestock show, to provide an opportunity for special needs students to interact with and exhibit livestock,” said Terry Detrick, president of AFR/OFU.

The inaugural event featured 19 special needs students, mostly from the Grady County area. Each student was paired with two volunteers who helped lead the student and animal through the exhibit ring.  Area 4-H and FFA members provided livestock for the show.

Medallions, banners and a stuffed animal replica were presented to each participant.

After showing their respective animals, the students had the opportunity to further interact with livestock in a separate petting farm corral. This area featured ponies, a baby lamb, pigs, goats and a bucket calf.

“Our youth are passionate about the livestock industry and they love caring for livestock so they wanted to share that passion with special needs students,” said Micaela Danker, AFR/OFU youth development coordinator.

The human-animal connection was important for the students, said Keith Alcorn, Alex, and father of a special needs son.

“This is just amazing, as it gives the students a chance to interact with the animals,” Alcorn said.

Debbie Fancher, special services coordinator and teacher at Alex Public Schools, brought five students to the livestock show.

“It’s very meaningful for these students to be around animals and other young people,” said Debbie Fancher, special services coordinator and teacher at Alex Public Schools. “They learn by touch, watching others, and become more like other kids, rather than different.”

Fancher said this is a great educational opportunity.

“One of my students said this was the first time she had touched a sheep and said it was soft and fluffy,” Fancher said. “So we will go back and do things with wool so she can make that connection.”

Fancher added the students really connected with the animals.

“Sometimes the student may find it difficult to communicate with people, but there is not that barrier with animals,” Fancher said. “They feel secure and happy when they are with the animals.”

Danker said the event showcased the tremendous caring nature and generosity of Oklahomans.

“We had 80 volunteers, mostly FFA and 4-H students, from around the state help shepherd the special needs students,” Detrick said.

“It’s really great these students wanted to give up their free time to come here and help with this event,” Danker said.

Payton Reynolds, a member of the Harrah FFA, said volunteer work is very rewarding.

“For me, to see the smiles on their faces, it just makes me smile too,” Reynolds said.

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PHOTO CAPTION:

The Gold Star Classic-AFR Special Needs Livestock Show, Aug. 30, at the Grady County fairgrounds in Chickasha featured 19 special needs students, mostly from the Grady County area. Each student was paired with two volunteers who helped lead the student and animal through the exhibit ring.  More than 80 volunteers from around the state helped with the event.

 

Saving lives through blood donations was the focus at the AFR Women’s Cooperative sponsored blood drive at the Tulsa State Fair, Oct. 2.

The blood drive is part of an on-going effort by the AFR Women’s Cooperative and the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) to increase blood donations throughout the state.

Greeting blood donors during the blood drive was Kathryn Frazee, a member of the AFR Women’s Cooperative from Miami, Okla. She said it was a great opportunity to help others.

“It’s (volunteering) the right thing to do,” Frazee said. “It’s a privilege to help save lives.”

“From our very beginning, more than 100 years ago, we have focused on serving rural Oklahoma communities,” Terry Detrick, AFR/OFU president, said. “Improving the lives of rural Oklahomans has always been our priority.”

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Kathryn Frazee, left, and Lakesha Hawkins, members of the AFR Women’s Cooperative, worked as volunteers during the AFR Women’s Cooperative sponsored blood drive at the Tulsa State Fair, Oct. 2.

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While the turbulence of Hurricane Florence swirled about the perimeter of Washington, D.C., a group of Oklahoma farm leaders dealt with a different turbulence inside the Capitol beltway. Terry Detrick, AFR/OFU president, lead a delegation on a four-day lobbying effort Sept. 11-14, focusing on the farm bill and trade war. The Oklahomans were participating in the annual NFU Fly In, which saw a record number of participants this year.

The current farm bill expires Sept. 30 and Detrick said farmers need the new farm bill passed quickly.

“We need the certainty and stability of a new farm program, Detrick said. “As our farmers plant their winter wheat crop it is important to know there will continue to be an adequate safety net.”

USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue addressed the farmers during a session in the USDA auditorium and agreed on the need to have a farm income safety net.

“There’s nothing more sustainable than profitability,” Perdue said.

Perdue told the farmers he is working to expand markets as they search to replace the hole left by the trade spat with China. Perdue defended the tariffs by pointing his finger at China.

“China has not been playing by the rules,” Perdue said. He cited their track record for stealing trade secrets such as corn genetics and other technology.

Gregg Doud, Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, told the group China is the biggest challenge. He noted China’s large grain subsidies which lead to surpluses weighing on the global market.

“China must understand they have be to a better partner in global economy when it comes to supply and demand,” Doud said.

Doud, who grew up on a Kansas farm, said he understands the pain of the current trade war but said we “must deal with China.”

“There is never a good time to do this, but now is the time,” Doud said.

He said China has laid out a plan to dominate in several industrial sectors, including agricultural machinery.

“They intend to build and dominate that sector by 2025,” Doud said. “This is why President Trump has said now is the time to do something.”

Doud said there is a large imbalance of trade between China and the U.S.

“We import $500 billion worth of products from China and we sell only $150 billion,” Doud said.

The Oklahoma group visited each of their congressional offices where, in addition to the farm bill and trade war, they talked about rural health care, crop insurance and trucking regulations.

“I feel like our congressmen understand the issues and it was nice to be able to sit down face-to-face with them,” Adam Wyatt, Chattanooga, said. “When the opportunity arises, we need to have these conversations and have our voices heard.”

For David Zummallen, Okarche, it was his first opportunity to visit the nation’s Capital and he wanted to take full advantage by discussing rural health care.

“There are a lot of rural hospitals faced with closure and I would like to see fewer restrictions on Medicaid spending,” Zummallen said. “Health care is vitally important to rural areas and the hospitals play a critical role.”

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PHOTO CAPTION:

Terry Detrick, AFR/OFU president, right, lead a delegation on a four-day lobbying effort to Washington, D.C., Sept. 11-14, focusing on the farm bill and trade war. Others participating in the trip were (Left to right), Steve Thompson, Mason Mungle, Adam Wyatt, Wayne Herriman, Paul Jackson, David Zummallen and Mike Mayberry.

 

 

 

 

 

Five outstanding Oklahoma high school students have been selected by their peers to serve on the 2018-19 AFR Youth Advisory Council. The selection was made July 27 following the AFR Leadership Summit senior session.

The Council consists of high school juniors and seniors representing AFR youth from across the state. Members of the new Council are: Seth Jackson, Bethel; Elizabeth Schneider, Seiling; Kabrin Martin, Harrah; Alison Moore, Hammon and Peyton Burns, Kingfisher.

Council members participate in agriculture-based service projects throughout the year and assist in planning many AFR Youth Program activities. They also facilitate AFR events and act as mentors for younger Oklahoma youth.

“AFR is proud to invest in the future of Oklahoma through these young people,” said Terry Detrick, AFR president. “Our leadership summit and the AFR Youth Advisory Council demonstrate that investment across Oklahoma.”

The selection process includes a written application, an interview conducted by a panel of AFR members and leadership professionals and a speech given in front of the candidates’ peers. In addition to interview and application scores, a vote is cast by students attending Summit, allowing all attendees to be involved in the selection process.

AFR Leadership Summit develops leadership skills in junior high and high school youth that will prepare them for future educational and professional experiences. Attendees learn such skills as setting and achieving short- and long-term goals and working in teams. They also learn the value of personal responsibility, respect for their peers and many other positive attributes.

“The AFR Leadership Summit is an excellent way for the youth of Oklahoma to learn skills that will benefit them in their futures,” said Micaela Danker, AFR/OFU youth development coordinator.

AFR provides Oklahoma youth many opportunities to develop into the leaders of tomorrow. Leadership Summit is just one of several exciting AFR Youth Program traditions. The organization also hosts a poster contest, an agricultural achievement contest, fall speech contests, statewide scholarships, livestock handling and skills contests, livestock judging and grading competitions and many other leadership opportunities.

For more information on the Summit or other AFR youth opportunities, contact AFR Youth Development Coordinator Micaela Danker at (405) 218-5561, or mdanker@afrmic.com.

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The council consists of high school juniors and seniors representing AFR youth from across the state. Council members participate in agriculture-based service projects throughout the year and assist in planning many AFR youth program activities. They also facilitate AFR events and act as mentors for younger Oklahoma youth.

 

3rd Annual AFR Golf Tournament, Whitmore Farms – A Family Affair, Fighting Childhood Hunger, More….