PERSPECTIVE OKLAHOMA FARM BUREAU
December 28, 2012
OFB announces new vice president of organization and membership Oklahoma Farm Bureau announced Chris protecting Oklahoma agriculture.” Kidd has been named vice president of organiKidd joined Farm Bureau in 2009 as a field zation and membership. representative in south In his new role, Kidd central Oklahoma. He will oversee memberbegan serving as YF&R ship, member benefits, coordinator in Decemcommodities and the ber 2010 until becomYF&R and Farm Bureau ing the director of state Women’s Committees. and national affairs in “Knowing Chris’s December 2011. diverse professional ex“I have been blessed perience, I am confident to have a career with in his ability to lead our Oklahoma Farm Bumembership programs reau representing the and develop key leaders issues, values and beliefs within Farm Bureau,” of Oklahoma’s sturdy, said OFB Executive salt-of-the-earth peoDirector Monica Wilke. ple,” Kidd said. “I’m “Chris embodies who eager to utilize my new we are as an organizaposition to ensure our tion, and I am excited to rural way of life is honhave him playing a key ored and preserved.” role as we continue our Kidd grew up on Chris Kidd efforts in promoting and his family’s ranch in
In This Issue • Vice President of Organization and Membership • Clean Water Program • AFBF Annual Meeting • Tulsa Farm Show • Oklahoma Forestry Services Jefferson County and earned a degree in agricultural communications from Oklahoma State University. He developed experience in education, banking and tribal affairs before joining Oklahoma Farm Bureau. OFB is the leading agricultural organization in the state of Oklahoma. Its membership is composed of farming and ranching families from across the state. “As the demand for agricultural products increases and the general public becomes further removed from the farm, it is crucial for our members to stay connected and to participate in the grassroots effort,” said OFB President Mike Spradling. “We are thankful to have someone with Chris’ dedication to agriculture leading our members and encouraging new growth in the organization.”
EPA approves Clean Water Program discharge permits to ODAFF The Environmental Protection Agency announced Dec. 20 that it is approving Oklahoma’s request for issuing agriculturebased Clean Water Act discharge permits to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry. Oklahoma will take over responsibility to implement the Agriculture Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program covering discharges associated with concentrated animal feeding operations, the application of biological or chemical pesticides, discharges from forestry activities, and discharges of storm water from agricultural activities. “Oklahoma has shown it’s prepared to take on this important Clean Water Act program,” said Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “We look forward to working with our co-regulators in Oklahoma as we
ensure a smooth transition for the benefit of the both the business community and the people of Oklahoma.” The EPA and ODAFF both agree that states are best equipped to administer the environmental programs. The Oklahoma legislature first proposed the delegation of authority from EPA to ODAFF in 1994, and the state is pleased that it has finally come to fruition. Oklahoma has a proven track record of meeting and exceeding standards that ensure agricultural operations are adhering to guidelines that protect natural resources. Oklahoma removed more streams from the EPA impaired stream list than any other state in 2011 and has removed a total of 19 streams from the list in the last two years. (See EPA, page 2)
AFBF RESOLUTIONS MEETING – OFB President Mike Spradling (center) listens to other Farm Bureau leaders discuss policies concerning marketing, bargaining and government regulatory functions during an AFBF resolutions subcommittee meeting, Dec. 12, in Washington, D.C. The committee’s recommendations will be voted on during the AFBF Annual Meeting, Jan. 13-16, in Nashville, Tenn.
Member Benefits • TSC Security, Inc. – Will install a home security system at no cost in any Oklahoma Farm Bureau member’s home in exchange for a three-year monitoring service agreement. Call 866-321-4177 or visit www.tscsecurity.com. OFB highlights a benefit in each issue of Perspective as a reminder of the savings available to OFB members. Find a complete list of savings online at okfarmbureau.org.
OFB Calendar AFBF Annual Meeting January 13-16, 2013 • Nashville, TN Contact: Melisa Neal, (405) 523-2475 National YF&R Leadership Conference February 7-11, 2013 • Phoenix, AZ Contact: Holly Carroll, (405) 205-0069 National Leadership Conference February 7-11, 2013 • Phoenix, AZ Contact: Melisa Neal, (405) 523-2475
American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting begins Jan. 13
OFB leaders will join Farm Bureau members from across the country at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 94th Annual Meeting, Jan. 13-16, in Nashville, Tenn. During the meeting, members will conduct the business of the national organization, benefit from informative sessions on agricultural and rural issues and share camaraderie with their fellow farmers and ranchers. Voting delegates will also set the national organization’s policies for the next year. These policies – surfaced and debated from the grassroots level on up – guide AFBF’s national policy implementation efforts throughout the following year. The agenda for Sunday, Jan. 13, includes the event’s opening session with a presidential address from AFBF President Bob Stallman and the announcement of state award winners. The YF&R Discussion Meet’s preliminary rounds, the annual meeting of the FB Women and several sessions also are scheduled for Sunday.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau Online Monitor the latest Farm Bureau and agricultural news and information online at okfarmbureau.org. Currently online: • Agricultural News – Oklahoma Farm Bureau features a new agriculturerelated story every day on its site. Read about both AFBF and state Farm Bureau news by visiting the homepage. • OFB 2013 Calendar – Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s staff is gearing up for a busy schedule in 2013. From the upcoming legislative session to summer conferences, see our lineup of events!
Monday’s schedule includes the final rounds of the YF&R Discussion Meet along with the announcement of AFBF’s YF&R Achievement Award and Excellence in Ag Award winners. Monday afternoon’s closing general session will feature keynote speaker retired astronaut Mark Kelly, one of America’s most experienced pilots who served as commander of the Space Shuttle Endeavor’s final mission. Kelly is a prostate cancer survivor and best-selling author, and he is married to Gabrielle Giffords, the former member of Congress who survived an assassination attempt in January 2011. On Tuesday, Jan. 10, Oklahoma Farm Bureau members designated as AFBF voting delegates will attend a delegate session to finalize the organization’s policies for the year. For a complete schedule of events, visit fb.org or for questions about OFB travel arrangements, call Melisa Neal at (405) 523-2475.
(EPA, from page 1) “We look forward to taking on the responsibility of the AgPDES program,” said Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese. “We plan to continue to exceed expectations in protecting our natural resources in Oklahoma.” The Clean Water Act of 1972 created the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program under which the EPA may issue permits for the point source discharge of pollutants to waters of the United States. The Act requires the EPA to authorize a state to administer an equivalent state program upon the Governor’s request. On Aug. 16, 2012, the Gov. Mary Fallin requested NPDES permit program approval and submitted a Statement of Legal Authority, copies of applicable state statutes and regulations and a Memorandum of Understanding to be approved by the EPA Region 6 regional administrator and the commissioner of agriculture for the ODAFF.
OFB talks member benefits, hosts private treaty cattle sale during Tulsa Farm Show BELOW – OFB field services representatives Lane Jeffrey (left) and Robin Landrum (right) visit with LeFlore County Farm Bureau member Mike Clark during the Tulsa Farm Show. A new Chevrolet pickup truck festooned with the Farm Bureau logo provided the backdrop for the OFB booth during the show, which took place at the QuikTrip Center, Dec. 6-8. The truck served as a reminder that Farm Bureau members can receive a $500 rebate on new GM or Chevrolet vehicles.
ABOVE – Mayes County Farm Bureau members Jonathan Scheffel (left) and Wes Gay (center) visit with Mike Taylor of Horsehead Ranch in Talala during the Tulsa Farm Show, Dec. 7. Taylor had two pens of cattle in the OFB sponsored private treaty cattle sale at the farm show. He said he was pleased with the opportunity to showcase his cattle and meet potential customers.
Wheat, sorghum growers meet for annual conference Oklahoma wheat and sorghum farmers gathered in Oklahoma City Dec. 8 for the inaugural joint conference of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association and the Oklahoma Sorghum Association. The two organizations decided to combine resources to efficiently meet the producers’ needs. The drought’s impact on the state’s wheat crop was a common topic during the day-long meeting, held at the Express Event Center in Oklahoma City. While there are isolated pockets around the state where small rains have given the wheat a fighting chance, the majority of the state’s crop is suffering. Other topics discussed at the meeting included farm bill implementation and appropriations, water resources, plant diseases and reports from the Oklahoma Wheat Commission and National Sorghum Producers Association.
Tim Bartram (left), executive director of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association, visits with former Texas congressman and House Ag Committee Chairman Larry Combest (center) and OWGA President Paul Freundt during the OWGA and Oklahoma Sorghum Association annual meeting, Dec. 8.
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Oklahoma Forestry Services provides wildfire training and radios to wildland task forces Cold, dry and windy conditions combined with the effects from the region’s long-term drought are keeping firefighters across Oklahoma on alert for wildfire calls. Officials with Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, are monitoring worsening conditions and preparing for an active winter fire season. Preparations this year include offering training for county wildland task forces from fire departments across the state and providing the task forces with radios to improve communications. “After last summer, when we had one of the largest wildfires in state history near Mannford, we received numerous calls from fire departments requesting specialized training for battling wildfires,” said George
Geissler, Oklahoma state forester. “These requests emphasized the results of reviews conducted following the wildfires that identified training and communications as two of the most critical needs because of the safety concern for firefighters on the ground.” In early December, firefighters from departments across the state met in Mustang and attended training provided by OFS personnel on topics including wildland firefighting tactics, firing operations, structure triage, communications, and task force roles and responsibilities. In addition to training, OFS is distributing over $50,000 in new radios, purchased with a federal wildfire preparedness grant, to the county wildland task forces across the state. The outcome will be better prepared, safer and more ef-
EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM – OFB District 6 board member Charles Sloan (left), Mayes County FB board member Jerry Koelsch (second from right) and Mayes County FB President Jonathan Scheffel (right) present OFB’s Excellence in Journalism Award to Kathy Parker, managing editor of The Times newspaper in Pryor. Parker was unable to attend the OFB Annual Meeting in November, so the presentation was made during the Mayes County Farm Bureau board meeting, Dec. 11. This marks the second time Parker has been recognized by Farm Bureau for her work in accurately reporting the story of Farm Bureau and agriculture.
fective response to the state’s wildfires. “For the 29 task forces that have participated in the training and are equipped with the new radios, this means improved firefighter safety, more effective response, and better communication with each other, with Oklahoma Forestry Services resources, and with aircraft,” said Mark Goeller, OFS assistant director in charge of fire operations. “County wildland task forces are participating in these trainings so that our state will be better prepared for the next wildfire outbreak.” For the latest information on the wildfire danger, drought conditions or burn bans visit www.forestry.ok.gov/fire or call the OFS office at 405-522-6158.