Summer 2016

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BRAND NEWS New voices By Becky Samples Vice President of Strategic Corporate Communications Oklahoma Farm Bureau & Affiliated Companies s you may have read in our “Insurance Matters” column, there have been many changes at Oklahoma Farm Bureau. Many are changes that you can’t see, but are foundational initiatives to continue to strengthen our federation and insurance companies. There are also new names and faces that you might have already noticed in reading Oklahoma Country, on our website, or through social media. I stepped into the role of vice president of communications for Oklahoma Farm Bureau and Affiliated Companies in January and made strengthening our communications team a priority so that we may better serve our members in our rural and urban areas. Dustin Mielke continues to be our stalwart communications director. In his tenure, Dustin has cultivated lasting and meaningful relationships with members. His eye behind the lens has shed light on farming and ranching to audiences who don’t often readily see the agriculture’s impact. I am excited that Dustin’s unique storytelling abilities will have more opportunities to share local member stories across our state. In May, Clarissa Walton joined our communications team as a communications specialist. Clarissa is a third-generation OKFB member who proudly communicates important member news through several media outlets. Several of the stories, including one of our feature stories about food insecurity in Oklahoma, was authored by Clarissa. Shortly after Clarissa joined OKFB, Jeff Canton came on board as our brand specialist. Jeff’s graphic design talents help tell our members’ stories through graphics and pictures where words cannot easily communicate. Why are these changes important to our members? Simply to better tell OKFB’s story to not only our rural population, but also our urban areas. OKFB not only protects our members when disaster strikes, but also protects the livelihoods of our farming and ranching members, which ultimately allows all Oklahomans to enjoy safe, affordable and healthy food, fiber, and fuel. Our team will be working in the coming months with our Public Policy Division to spread awareness about State Question

777, or the Right to Farm, which will appear on the general election ballot in November. This ballot initiative is the result of a proactive step that our Oklahoma family farmers and ranchers are taking to protect agriculture and to continue to feed Oklahomans and our nation. It is important to protect agriculture from outside animal rights and environmental activists who threaten the livelihoods of many of our members. This land is our land and our Oklahoman farmers have been cultivating it for many generations. We believe in thoughtful regulations that protect the land and the animals, but now we are threatened with thoughtless, emotion-based tactics. You will hear language about corporate farming that is simply not true. More than 98 percent of farms and ranches in Oklahoma are family owned and operated. Moreover, as you will read in our feature story, food insecurity is a very real issue here in Oklahoma. I urge you to learn more about Right to Farm and vote — Becky Samples yes on November 8, 2016. Beyond our work in support of Right to Farm, our team is busily working on several projects. This November’s state convention marks the kick-off for our 75th anniversary year, and our team will be working on several initiatives in preparation for the celebration. We’re also working with our Information Systems Department to redesign both the insurance and federation websites. We have a great communications team and I am confident that our members will soon reap the benefits of their expertise. I look forward to leading our communications staff in our primary objective: to continue to strengthen Oklahoma Farm Bureau and Affiliated Companies as the voice of agriculture for generations to come.

Why are these changes important to our members? Simply to better tell OKFB's story to not only our rural population but also our urban areas.

8 — Oklahoma Country