POTEAU—American Farmers & Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union (AFR/OFU) contributed more than $10,000 to the effort to rebuild the Poteau High School Agriculture Building after a February 2021 fire. The building housed many of the Poteau FFA Chapter’s activities.

“This has already been an extremely tough year for Oklahoma students,” said AFR/OFU Cooperative President Scott Blubaugh. “A loss like this can be devastating to an FFA chapter and we’re proud to help students at Poteau High School begin to rebuild what they’ve lost.

The total donation included funds from three AFR/OFU organizations. LeFlore County AFR/OFU donated $5,000 to the rebuilding fund. That amount was matched by the statewide AFR/OFU Foundation. Additionally, AFR/OFU Poteau Local #515 donated an additional $500 to the effort, bringing the final AFR/OFU donation amount to $10,500.

AFR/OFU Cooperative President Scott Blubaugh presented a check for the donation to Poteau FFA Advisor Crystal Shipman. In attendance were Poteau High School Assistant Principal Eric Hackler, Poteau High School Principal Joe Ballard, AFR Insurance Agent Mike Andrews (Heavener), AFR Insurance Agent Paul Fields (Panama), AFR Insurance Agent David Alexander (Poteau), Kaye Alexander, and Poteau School District Superintendent Dr. Don Sjoberg.

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.

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—Like many American farmers and ranchers, Clay Pope, Loyal, has experienced more frequent and severe weather extremes in recent years. But with the support of voluntary, incentive-based government programs, the American Farmers & Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union (AFR/OFU) member and sixth-generation rancher has made his family’s operation more resilient to unpredictable precipitation patterns and wild temperature swings.

He detailed this resiliency and the benefit of voluntary conservation programs during the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry hearing titled “Farmers and Foresters: Opportunities to Lead in Tackling Climate Change” held March 11.

During the hearing, four witnesses representing the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance’s (FACA) founding organizations – American Farm Bureau Federation, Environmental Defense Fund, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and National Farmers Union – testified on the agriculture, food and forestry sectors’ role in delivering climate solutions. Pope testified as the representative for National Farmers Union.

In accordance with FACA’s guiding principles, hearing testimony stressed that federal climate policy must be built upon voluntary, incentive-based programs and market-driven opportunities, promote resilience and adaptation in rural communities, and be grounded in scientific evidence. In addition, solutions proposed by Congress and the Biden administration must be strongly bipartisan and accommodate the diverse needs of producers and landowners, regardless of size, geographic region or commodity.

The effects of climate change vary drastically depending on region. For Pope, it has meant “ice storms, changes in rainfall patterns, milder overall winters, record wildfires and, most recently, a historic cold snap that broke all previous records.”

To adapt to these challenges, Pope and his family have shifted to production methods that “minimize soil disturbance, maintain residue cover on the soil, keep something growing on the land as much as possible, and incorporate livestock into the system.”

By building soil health, these practices have not only prepared his farm to bounce back more quickly from flooding, drought, freezes and heat, but it has also cut their input expenditures, increased yields, and reduced soil erosion. “Our investment in soil health has helped us better prepare our farm for climate change in a way that has helped both our productivity and the environment,” Pope told the Committee.

These kinds of adjustments often require a significant amount of time, money, and expertise, which is why Pope didn’t make them alone; he received “technical assistance and financial help from an Environmental Quality Incentive Program contract…NRCS, the local conservation district and…the Conservation Stewardship Program.”

The expansion of existing programs and the development of new ones could help farmers facing similar difficulties. In order to assist other farmers like him, Pope urged the committee to “build on the UDSA’s voluntary, incentive-based conservation programs that allow for produce choice and flexibility.”

On top of expanding these programs, legislators can bolster climate mitigation efforts with market-based solutions like carbon markets and biofuels production. In his testimony, Pope outlined recommendations for how to best implement these mechanisms in a way that “will strengthen producers’ bottom lines and provide major public goods through reduced greenhouse gas emissions, cleaner water, and a more stable and abundant food supply.”

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.

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—A.J. and Aliene Bristow, McAlester, have been recognized for their dedication to rural Oklahoma with the National Farmers Union (NFU) Bruce Miller Membership Award. The award honors Farmers Union members who demonstrate the mission and vision of National farmers Union. The Bristows are longtime American Farmers & Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union (AFR/OFU) members in Pittsburg County.
Award recipients display a passion for family farming and rural America, while promoting the work of Farmers Union. In many cases, they attract additional members, invite guests to get involved with the organization, and build public awareness of Farmers Union. Overall, the award celebrates individuals who are standout leaders, strong advocates and outstanding members.
“A.J. and Aliene Bristow have consistently shown dedication and enthusiasm for Farmers Union,” said AFR/OFU Cooperative President Scott Blubaugh. “For many years, they have given selflessly to both AFR/OFU and rural Southeast Oklahoma. They are very deserving of recognition and a great example to other Farmers Union members and their fellow Oklahomans.”
The Bristows have been active AFR/OFU members since they arrived in Oklahoma. A.J. has served on local and county Farmers Union boards, and has also served as a delegate to the organization’s state and national conventions. He was also the Southeast Oklahoma AFR/OFU Field Representative for many years, serving until his retirement in 2020. Aliene has served as secretary of the Pittsburg County Farmers Union and served as member of her local Farmers Union board for more than 20 years.
The Bristows’ dedication to AFR/OFU has led them beyond their expectations. They have both volunteered at the state level and traveled across state lines to advocate for the family farmer and rancher. A.J. also traveled to Washington, D.C., where he toured the White House and met with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman and Reps. Tom Coburn and Wes Watkins.
The Bristows continue to farm and ranch in Pittsburg County. They have two children, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
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.
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OKLAHOMA CITY—American Farmers & Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union (AFR/OFU) Cooperative has selected Tailor Fields, Pauls Valley, to lead the AFR Youth Program. As AFR/OFU Youth Coordinator, Fields will plan and lead youth activities, and play an active role in guiding the program as it continues to grow.

“The AFR Youth Program is the premier agricultural youth program in Oklahoma,” said AFR/OFU Cooperative President Scott Blubaugh. “Education is one of the founding principles of our organization and I have no doubt Tailor Fields will improve upon our long history of promoting education in rural Oklahoma. She will make an excellent addition to our team.”

Fields was involved in the AFR Youth Program as an Oklahoma youth and is familiar with all aspects of the program. She was raised on a cow-calf operation in Osage County and graduated from Cleveland High School, where she showed cattle and was heavily involved in 4-H and FFA.

Fields was a member of the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Livestock Judging Team and graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications. During her time at OSU, Fields worked with Sen. Kim David (R-Porter) and with the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University Communications and Marketing.

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.

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OKLAHOMA CITY—American Farmers & Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union (AFR/OFU) Foundation Winter Weather Hardship grants are now available through local AFR Insurance agencies.

The AFR/OFU Winter Weather Hardship Grants are intended as emergency relief for Oklahomans facing financial hardship caused by the recent extreme winter weather. Use of awarded funds is restricted to repair of damaged plumbing or heating and air units, high or unexpected electricity, natural gas or propane bills, purchases of additional space heaters or radiators, weatherization items, and other household cold weather expenses. The funds may not be used for any business expense or replacement/repair of any items covered by insurance.

Grants will be awarded on a “first come, first serve” basis. Grant selection is needs based, with preference given to AFR/OFU members. All grant applications must be submitted through a local AFR Insurance agency.

The Winter Weather Hardship Grant program is a joint effort between the AFR/OFU Foundation and Farmers Union Enterprises, which represents Farmers Union members in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and Wisconsin.

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.

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WARNER—American Farmers & Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union (AFR/OFU) Cooperative has gifted Connors State College (CSC) an endowment scholarship of $10,000. The gift will be used to fund a scholarship award for the CSC Top Agricultural Student each year.

“We are so pleased to announce this addition to our education platform,” said AFR/OFU Cooperative President Scott Blubaugh. “Throughout our history, the AFR/OFU Cooperative’s three core principles—‘Education, Legislation and Cooperation’—have remained central to our mission. Today, we continue to work toward a better rural Oklahoma and what better way to contribute to that cause than to contribute to the education of the future leaders of our state and our industry.”

While AFR/OFU Cooperative supports agricultural postsecondary education throughout the state, the organization’s link to Connors State College is special. CSC’s namesake, John P. Connor, served as the first vice president of Oklahoma Farmers Union. The partnership between AFR/OFU and Connor, and by extension CSC, dates back to statehood.

“AFR/OFU has been a longtime supporter of our students at Connors,” said CSC President Ron Ramming. “We are proud of our students and grateful AFR/OFU saw our students the same way we do—bright and full of potential to make a difference in the world.”

Contributing to postsecondary education is just one part of AFR/OFU Cooperative’s dedication to the youth of Oklahoma. The organization also hosts a youth leadership summit, statewide scholarships, speech contests, livestock judging and grading competitions, and many other development opportunities. For more information, visit the AFR/OFU Cooperative website at www.afrcoop.org.

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.

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NORMAN— American Farmers & Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union (AFR/OFU) Cooperative set legislative policy for the upcoming year at the 116th Annual AFR/OFU Convention Feb. 12-13. With a partially virtual format, this year’s policy changes were primarily focused on 2021 Special Orders of Business. Each year, these “special orders of business” address recent, current or future issues of significant importance to rural Oklahoma and agriculture at large.

Adopted AFR/OFU policy is truly grassroots—proposed policy begins as resolutions at the local and county level. Because of this approach, the organization’s policy document represents members’ interests from across Oklahoma. While the organization focused on special orders of the business this year, these policy statements were still a result of resolutions brought from local and county organizations from across the state.

“The AFR/OFU policy process is a model of grassroots legislative efforts in action,” said AFR/OFU Cooperative President Scott Blubaugh. “Because many of our policies originate from resolutions crafted in our local and county organizations, AFR/OFU members know their voices are heard at the state and national level.”

This year’s additions to AFR/OFU Special Orders include:

Broadband: “We support greater access to high-speed broadband internet in rural Oklahoma. We support a consistent and transparent per-pole attachment fee to promote adequate broadband service to rural Oklahoma.”

For far too long, rural Oklahomans have known the challenges associated with lack of access to reliable high-speed internet, and the Covid-19 pandemic has only exacerbated those challenges. With public schools across the state teaching virtually, rural students are increasingly put at risk of falling behind their urban counterparts. The same is true for rural businesses as they compete for market share in the digital age. The 2021 AFR/OFU Policy Committee supports a multi-level and transparent approach to illuminating rural areas with broadband internet service.

Minimum Negotiated Trade: “We support the exploration of minimum negotiated cash trade as it relates to the fed cattle industry. We encourage thorough research on the implications of a national or regional mandatory minimum to the concept of true price discovery in the marketplace.”

Over the last two decades, the number of cattle sold on a negotiated cash basis (i.e. through an auction barn) has diminished significantly. The percentage of cattle sold through negotiated cash sale is now so small, some industry experts warn the beef cattle industry lacks a market baseline. In light of this, the 2021 AFR/OFU Policy Committee strongly encourages urgent and sincere research on the potential for requiring large meatpackers to purchase a minimum percentage of their cattle inventory through the cash market.

Ag Sales Tax Exemption: “We support the state agriculture sales tax exemption and oppose regulations that increase or cause undue burden on agricultural producers during the ag tax exemption application process.”

Due to the many significant barriers to building a successful farming or ranching operation, including additional hurdles for young or beginning producers, the 2021 AFR/OFU Policy Committee feels strongly that adding tax expenses or even a difficult application process to obtain tax exemption was an unnecessary burden for Oklahoma’s farmers and ranchers.

In addition to these new special orders, several special orders from last year were retained. The 2021 AFR/OFU Policy Committee felt these retained orders were not only still relevant, but of extreme importance.

Packers and Stockyards Act: “We demand the enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act in regard to the anti-trust issues surrounding the packing segment of the beef industry in the United States.”

Four major packing firms control more than 80 percent of all beef slaughtered in the United States. Because they have such an overwhelming market share, these corporations are poised to influence and potentially manipulate U.S. beef prices. This issue has been at the forefront of beef industry discussion since August 2019 and was on full display during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. In an effort to limit the potential for antitrust behavior in what is most certainly a year’s long battle, the 2021 AFR/OFU Policy Committee demands proper enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act.

Truth in Labeling Standards: “We oppose the use of food product labeling that misleads consumers, including the use of ‘Product of USA’ labeling. We demand the USDA enforce truth in labeling.”

Cattle or beef that is imported into the U.S. and undergoes further processing or handling at a USDA-inspected facility can be labeled “Product of the United States.” Because this practice can mislead consumers, and be detrimental to U.S. beef markets, the 2021 AFR/OFU Policy Committee opposes the practice and demands increased truth in labeling. The Committee concedes this issue will continue to be a concern for the foreseeable future.

Electronic Animal Identification: “We support a producer’s voluntary application of technology, age verification and trace back methods which can enhance producer profits. We support current non-electronic animal identification methods. We oppose any mandatory electronic animal identification requirements, whether mandated by state or federal authorities.”

Citing strong concerns over market manipulation, producer autonomy and data security, the 2021 AFR/OFU Policy Committee has chosen to continue a strong stance again mandatory electronic animal identification. This special order is also include in permanent organization policy.

Right to Repair: “We support farmers and ranchers having the right to repair their own equipment and cause to be repaired through third-party non-manufacturers. We further support access to service manuals, product guides, on-board diagnostics and other information to identify and repair machinery, parts and software.”

The increasing difficulty of repairing late model farm equipment is a growing concern to farmers and ranchers statewide. The inability to conduct on-farm repairs adds unnecessary production costs and labor hours to what is already a stressful season for producers. As one of the most discussed topics in this year’s policy sessions, this special order is also include in permanent organization policy.

This year, two previous special orders were updated to include more specific language:

Education: “We support the Oklahoma State Legislature continuing to address the crisis in public education funding. No public school should be funded at a lower per student rate than any charter school.”

Healthcare: “We believe Oklahoma should make increased access to healthcare in rural areas a priority and work to preserve rural hospitals. We recommend reopening any structurally-viable rural hospitals that are currently closed.”

Citing concern over the health of Oklahoma’s rural institutions and the impact declining schools and hospitals can have on a rural community, the 2021 AFR/OFU Policy Committee has outlined the organization’s commitment to these institutions as they face increasing challenges to operating. Additionally, the Committee voices an urgent interest in reopening rural hospitals that are structurally viable.

The 2021 AFR/OFU Policy Committee also doubled down on its support for the Farm Stress Management program spearheaded by National Farmers Union and other national agriculture groups. The program is designed to help agriculture producers cope with the financial and emotional stress that currently accompanies much of production agriculture.

The 2021 AFR/OFU Policy Committee also included several new commendations in this year’s policy book:

“We commend the American people, especially first responders, frontline healthcare workers, and medical researchers, who played a part in combatting the first global pandemic in more than 100 years.”

“We commend our AFR/OFU Farm Stress Management team members—Brent Brewer, Terrell Coffey and Rick Shelby—who act as “farm stress first responders” for fellow producers throughout Oklahoma.”

“We commend former Chairman of the House Ag Committee Colin Peterson (Minn.) for his years of exemplary service to the agriculture community and ag policy at large.”

Each year, AFR/OFU selects policy committee members from across the state. The appointed individuals are an accomplished and diverse group representing the broadest spectrum possible of the general AFR membership. This year’s committee members include Bob Adrian, Tahlequah; Kara Barger, Pawnee; Tim Bates, Mutual; Joel Carpenter, Erick; Andy Cunningham, Rosston; Ed Fite, Tahlequah; Ashley Hawkins, Antlers; Hope Hutchings, Hendrix; Jerry McPeak, Warner; David Misener, Elk City; George Roberts, Holdenville; Dillon Travis, Maramec; Ron Vick, Okemah; Gary Vinson, Allen; Tom Way, Lawton; and Jennifer York, Durham. Jordan Shearer, Laverne, chaired the committee.

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.

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NORMAN—American Farmers & Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union (AFR/OFU) hosted the organization’s 116th annual state convention at the Embassy Suites & Conference Center – Norman Feb. 12-13. The event was virtual, with the exception of in-person adoption of AFR/OFU legislative policy and officer elections.

“This year’s event is unlike any previous convention,” said AFR/OFU Cooperative President Scott Blubaugh. “While we can’t bring everyone together this year, we’re glad to find a format that allows us to take care of necessary business and elect organization leadership.”

This year, member delegates voted on two contested seats on the AFR/OFU Board of Directors—Northwest District 1 Agent Director and Southwest District 2 Independent Director. Additionally, the seats AFR/OFU Southeast District 4 Agent Director and OFU Vice President were filled by candidates who ran unopposed.

In the race for Northwest District 1 Agent Director Director, incumbent Kyndell Nichols, Ringwood, was defeated by challenger John Porter, Edmond. Porter is the former OFU Vice President.

Porter is a third-generation AFR Insurance agent with more than 35 years with AFR/OFU. He served as AFR/OFU Cooperative Vice President from 2010 to 2021, opting not to run for re-election this year. He attended the University of Central Oklahoma, was a member of the Oklahoma National Guard, has been inducted into the Oklahoma Softball Hall of Fame as a player, and is a retired Oklahoma High School basketball and football referee.

The Southwest District 2 Independent Director seat did not have an incumbent—AFR/OFU Director Joe Ed Kinder retired this year and chose not to seek an additional term. In that race, Johnny Mann, Stratford, and Ethan Treadwell, Frederick, were defeated by Brett Morris, Ninnekah.

A former dairyman, Morris now runs a diversified farming and cattle operation and the Washita Fertilizer Company. He has been active with AFR/OFU since the early 1990s and currently serves as the organization’s representative on the Oklahoma Beef Council. In 2017, he was elected chairman of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board; he has been involved with the Beef Checkoff since 2007.

Landon Jestis, Bokchito, ran unopposed for the Southeast District 4 Agent Director seat. Jestis owns Jestis Insurance Agency in Durant and earned a degree from East Central University in Ada. He has a long career in the insurance industry, including stints as an independent adjuster, a property claims adjuster, and now as an agency owner.

Ryan Plemmons, Broken Bow, ran unopposed for the OFU Vice President seat. Plemmons is originally from Battiest and earned a degree from Oklahoma State University. He currently owns the Plemmons Insurance Agency in Broken Bow. He has been deeply involved in AFR/OFU Cooperative activities for several years, including chairing the AFR/OFU Policy Committee, initiating the AFR/OFU Livestock Judging Contest, lobbying at the State Capitol and on legislative fly-ins to Washington, D.C., and facilitating many other youth and legislative activities.

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.

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OKLAHOMA CITY—American Farmers & Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union (AFR/OFU) will host its 116th annual state convention at the Embassy Suites & Conference Center – Norman Feb. 12-13. This year’s convention is virtual, with in-personal attendance reserved for voting only.

“This year’s event is unlike any previous convention,” said AFR/OFU Cooperative President Scott Blubaugh. “While we can’t bring everyone together this year, we’re glad to find a format that allows us to still take care of necessary business.”

In addition to an Oklahoma Farmers Union and AFR Mutual Insurance Company business update, this year’s convention with include adoption of AFR/OFU legislative policy via ballot. The organization will also hold elections for the AFR/OFU Northwest District 1 Agent and AFR/OFU Southwest District 2 Independent. The seats of OFU Vice President and AFR/OFU Southeast District 4 Agent are also open, but those candidates are running unopposed.

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.

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OKLAHOMA CITY—Kicking off 2021 with a bang, American Farmers & Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union (AFR/OFU) Cooperative is excited to announce a new opportunity for Oklahoma’s ranchers—the Oklahoma Certified Beef Association (OCBA).

Through OCBA, the state’s cattle producers can verify their quality beef products as “Oklahoma certified.” To earn the distinction, ranchers must prove their animals are bred, born, raised and processed within Oklahoma state borders through an affidavit-based, third-party verification system. Once verified, the certified beef products can be marketed to consumers with the official OCBA seal.

Through pandemic-related meat shortages, the demand for local and direct market beef soared in 2020. That demand is expected to maintain in 2021. Due to the demand surge, many Oklahoma ranches either jumped in to direct marketing for the first time or have been looking for ways to expand. The OCBA seal is a great way for both new and established businesses to distinguish Oklahoma certified products from other ranches that may purchase animals from out-of-state.

“OCBA is a great opportunity to connect directly with consumers looking to purchase beef from local ranches,” said AFR/OFU Cooperative President Scott Blubaugh. “As an organization, we’re excited to offer another way for AFR/OFU members and Oklahoma ranchers at large to market high-quality Oklahoma beef.

“The pandemic has once again proven the U.S. meat industry favors only the biggest players. But with opportunities like OCBA, ranchers can take their products directly to consumers. They can ensure a higher profit margin for their ranch, while supporting their local meat processing facility and giving Oklahoma consumers more choice. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

To become a member of OCBA, ranchers must first become members of AFR/OFU Cooperative, either through a dues-alone membership or through their status as an AFR Insurance policyholder. Beyond AFR/OFU membership, there are currently two options for potential OCBA members—standard or lifetime membership. Both membership types are designed to be inexpensive options to help OCBA members gain additional market traction without adding expense to their bottom line.

OCBA members have exclusive access to the OCBA seal for use on packaging. They also benefit from all OCBA marketing campaigns, whether online, in retailers, or at restaurants. OCBA also maintains a database of members that is distributed to retailers and restaurants in their area and AFR/OFU members statewide.

For more information or to join the Oklahoma Certified Beef Association, contact AFR/OFU Cooperative’s OCBA Coordinator Ellen Roth at 405-218-5597 or ellen.roth@afrmic.com.

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.

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