Business (150)

Farmers National Company has announced that Randy Dickhut, senior vice president of real estate operations, will retire Sept. 30 after more than 20 years of dedicated work and leadership within the company. Randy began his career with Farmers National Company in 2002 as a farm manager in west-central Illinois.  

In 2006, he moved to Omaha, Neb., when promoted to vice president of client relations, and will complete his tenure with the company as the senior vice president of real estate operations. Dickhut also has served as a valued member of the executive team and on the board of directors. 

Farmers National Company is pleased to announce that Paul Schadegg, western area sales manager, has been promoted to senior vice president of real estate operations. Paul brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his new role with 20+ years of real estate and farm management experience, including a successful track record in both real estate sales and business development.  

In his new role, Schadegg will lead Farmers National Company’s strategy for real estate and appraisal, as well as the company’s Hunting Lease Network.  

“I'm excited to move into this new role and leverage my real estate experience to continue the progress and success of Farmers National Company’s real estate operations," he said. Schadegg’s profile can be found at  

"I want to thank Randy for more than 20 years of service to Farmers National Company and congratulate him on his upcoming retirement,” said Clayton Becker, president. “We will certainly miss his experience and consistent media presence as an industry expert on the latest trends in the farmland market. I’d also like to congratulate Paul on his appointment as senior vice president of real estate operations to replace Randy. Paul possesses an abundance of knowledge and experience, and we are looking forward to his continued leadership within the company.” 


Farmers National Company, an employee-owned company, is the nation’s leading agricultural landowner services company. Farmers National Company currently manages more than 5,000 farms and ranches in 29 states comprising over 2 million acres. Over the last five years, Farmers National Company has sold 3,949 properties (1,457 at auction) and more than $5.3 billion of real estate during the last 10 years. Additional services provided by the company include Auctions, Appraisals and Valuations, Insurance, Consultations, Oil, Gas, and Renewable Energy Management, a National Hunting Lease program, Forest Resource Management, and FNC Ag Stock. For more information, visit the Farmers National Company website at

Monday, 22 August 2022 16:53

WhataBurger coming to Poteau

Big News Poteau! 

You Are Invited To The Ground Breaking Thursday, August 25th 10:00 a.m. 1903 N. Broadway - Poteau

"Breaking" News Whataburger to Celebrate Groundbreaking of First Poteau Restaurant.

Whataburger, its franchise group WAB Venture Inc. and the Poteau Chamber of Commerce will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, August 25th at 10AM to celebrate Poteau's first Whataburger Restaurant, scheduled to open early winter.

The Poteau restaurant will bring up to 100 jobs to the local community, Hiring is in progress for Restaurant Managers, with hiring for Team Leaders and Team Members beginning in the coming weeks. Whataburger's unique leadership curriculum trains all employees in a way that automatically puts them on the path to care advancement.

Representatives of Whataburger and WAB Venture, as well as Poteau Chamber of Commerce, will be available at the event for interviews and photos.

Please Join Us.

Ana Flores, HAHN Agency for Whataburger

Poteau Chamber is proud to announce this great new business to Poteau.

The WAB Team has worked hard to bring this great new taste to our area.

Poteau Chamber has worked with the team to help this business fit in Poteau and look forward to promoting a great menu and helping get the hiring information to the team.

DALLAS – The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) and AARP have announced a strategic collaboration to support the growth and expansion of older entrepreneurs in the American small business community, particularly businesses owned and operated by people of color. NASE and AARP are joining forces through the Growth Grant Program to support the expansion of available capital and business expertise to support the long-term success of these business owners.

“AARP is excited to work with NASE to help further the success of older entrepreneurs of color,” said Felicia Brown, Senior Advisor, Financial Resilience, AARP. “We are committed to helping older adults gain the skills needed to start, grow, and manage a business, and achieve financial security through entrepreneurship.”

As part of this new collaboration, AARP will sponsor twelve small business financial grants targeting NASE members age 45 and older in the next year as part of NASE’s Growth Grant Program. Beginning in October 2022, NASE will award a total of seven Growth Grants of $4,000 to active members each quarter, including three sponsored by AARP and one by DELL Small Business. Each AARP-sponsored Growth Grant of $4,000 will help address the specific business needs for business owners ages 45 and older. Grants can be used for office equipment, marketing, advertising, hiring employees, expanding facilities and other business needs. 

“As more Americans step out on their own into self-employment, including older Americans starting a second career or managing an existing business, it is crucial we support their ability to achieve long-term success,” said Keith Hall, president and CEO of NASE. “We believe this collaboration between NASE and AARP will provide the crucial financial support and business expertise to those entrepreneurs age 45 and older to give them the opportunity to thrive and grow their businesses. We couldn’t be more excited about the potential to help older Americans achieve their dream of opening or growing their small business.”

“As the nation’s leading advocate for the self-employed and micro-business community, we recognize the challenges of opening and growing a small business and the specific needs of those older small business owners. We are honored to support both new and existing businesses in their efforts to achieve their dreams and continue to usher forward America’s great entrepreneurial spirit, regardless of age,” said Hall.

Research shows that more Americans are turning to self-employment and being their own boss, including older entrepreneurs seeking a second career or expanding their existing business. According to research from the Kauffman Foundation, about one-quarter of new entrepreneurs were age 55 to 64 in 2019, compared to just 15% of this cohort in 1996. Additional research shows that people age 55 and older make up 45% of small business owners in 2022.  

About the NASE Growth Grant Program

For over 40 years, NASE’s focus has been on finding the most effective way to bolster success for small business and self-employed members in communities across the country. NASE has awarded over $1 million since the program’s inception and continue to see significant return on our investments in the growth of member-businesses helping to fuel their local economies.

NASE’s Growth Grant Program is intended for businesses planning to take the next step in their venture. It provides available capital for small businesses and sole proprietors to be able to hire and train additional employees, market their business in new and existing ways or invest in new equipment or software. 

Applications are considered on a rolling basis throughout the year and winning small businesses will be awarded $4,000 grants quarterly throughout 2022 and into 2023. Visit the Growth Grant page for more information.

NASE members also enjoy a comprehensive list of benefits designed to help small business owners and sole proprietors start and grow their business.  A complete listing of benefits available to NASE members is available, here. NASE members are offered a host of resources designed to help support entrepreneurs and small employers including access to professional “Ask the Experts” services in tax, health care and marketing, a navigational assistant health care portal, scholarships and grants, discounts on shipping rates and office supplies, and affordable email marketing systems and webhosting services. NASE’s newest member benefits continue the tradition of providing real-world, bottom-line assistance to small business owners. To become a member of NASE, apply online here.

About NASE 

The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) is the nation's leading advocate and resource for the self-employed and micro-businesses, offering a broad range of benefits to help entrepreneurs succeed and to drive the continued growth of this vital segment of the American economy. 

The NASE NextBizThing helps identify and connect our nation’s smallest businesses. Need small business help? Check out NASE’s Ask the Experts for advice or the NASE Minute for small business support. 

The NASE is a 501(c) (6) nonprofit organization and provides big-business advantages to hundreds of thousands of micro-businesses across the United States. For more information, visit the association's website at 

About AARPAARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.

Oklahoma is looking to do more business with Oklahoma companies that can meet the needs of our state agencies. The State Suppliers Expo showcases current and upcoming projects within state government, connecting businesses and Oklahoma leaders to fulfill agency needs.  

The objective of this event is to attract more private companies to become state suppliers, convey the state’s needs and deliver hands-on learning to help businesses navigate the new state procurement process. Attending companies will be able to communicate with influential state leaders and learn about opportunities to scale their business to achieve state goals.

Tuesday, 09 August 2022 10:41

2022 State Suppliers Expo Date Announced

If you have a business and want to get on the Oklahoma state suppliers list, this is for you. If you want more information about the state suppliers list, this is for you. If you're interested in networking for your business, this is for you.

The State of Oklahoma wants to attract more private companies to become state suppliers, convey the state’s needs and how companies can scale to meet those needs and also give a hands-on learning experience for companies to understand the state’s purchasing process and opportunities. The State Suppliers Expo will offer a hands-on learning experience for all businesses! The epicenter of the event will be a Procurement Learning Center where you and your team members can make great contacts, learn how to navigate the procurement system, sign up for notification alerts with potential project bidding opportunities and even sign up to be a supplier with the state!

The hands-on learning event will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at the Oklahoma City Convention Center at 100 Mick Cornett Drive. The expo will feature cabinet-level booths where companies can learn about business opportunities with the State of Oklahoma across diverse industries. Oklahoma businesses that attend can expand connections and develop relationships to understand the state’s purchasing process.

Registration opens soon.
Mark your calendar for Oct. 11 and check out the State Suppliers Expo website. Registration will be available on the website in the next few weeks.

Reasons to attend:

  • Great opportunity to meet with Oklahoma cabinet secretaries, agency directors and team members.
  • Visit the Procurement Learning Center booth, where you can:
    • Learn to navigate the state’s procurement system.
    • Sign up for notification alerts with project and bidding opportunities.
    • Learn how to become a supplier for state agencies.
    • Learn about opportunities to expand your business.

For more information on the cabinet-level booths at the event, please visit State Suppliers Expo.

We can't wait to see you on Oct. 11!

Brought to you by Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services

If you have any further questions, please email Lisa McKim at

Farm managers use digital tools to provide enhanced decision-making and collaboration between landowners and tenants

OMAHA, NEB. (August 1, 2022) - Farmers National Company, the nation’s leading agricultural land and mineral owner services company, has partnered with Climate FieldView™, Bayer’s flagship digital farming product, to offer increased digital management for landowners and tenants working with Farmers National Company. Farm managers at Farmers National Company now have access to digital agriculture tools provided by FieldView to complement collaboration between landowners, tenants, and management services provided by the company.

This partnership leverages agriculture technology to drive decision-making and uncover management opportunities between farmers and landowners, while offering another option for tenants to share required data for leases more easily. Tenant farmers can choose to initiate a sharing connection to a Farmers National Company farm manager through the Climate FieldView platform, if desired. Farm managers within the company will be able to gain field-level insights on a variety of management areas including real-time field-level weather, satellite imagery, and data entry for field operations. Tenants interested in the collaboration should contact their Farmers National Company farm manager for more details.

“We are committed at Farmers National Company to the highest level of support and professional service to our landowners and tenants, and this collaboration enhances our ability to connect to all stakeholders digitally and enhance collaboration to ensure farm managers have the tools available to them to help our landowners and tenants make the best decisions on each farm,” says Clayton Becker, President at Farmers National Company.

“Climate FieldView has proven value to farmers across the world, and now is being used for farm managers to provide efficient decision-making and transparency for landowners and tenants. Farmers National Company has a history of progressive expansion in agriculture and this new opportunity to connect to clients digitally shows a commitment to further growth,” said Ron Dunker, who supports Farm Manager Accounts at Bayer Crop Science.


About Farmers National Company

Farmers National Company, an employee-owned company, is the nation’s leading agricultural land and mineral owner services company. Farmers National Company manages more than $10 billion in assets comprising of 5,000 farms and ranches in 29 states totaling 2 million acres, sold more than $765 million in agricultural real estate last year and manages over 218,000 oil and gas interests. Additional services provided by the company include appraisals and valuation services, insurance, consultations, a national hunting lease program, forest management, and FNC Ag Stock. Additional information about the company and the services provided, can be found at website at

LOS ANGELES--What happens when an entrepreneur who invented Tinder’s swipe feature and a top Facebook “do no evil” engineer join forces? They create Niche: an ad-free, decentralized social media platform consisting of user-owned communities, where members can own and sell their own content. Niche has recently closed its $1.8M pre-seed round. The investment was led by MetaWeb with follow-on from Alumni Ventures Group and a grant from the NEAR Foundation.

Current social media platforms profit from selling you ads. They harvest your data to create targeted ads that are more likely to apply to you and make them more money. This leads to poor content, easy propagation of misinformation, and a loss of privacy. One of the more challenging outcomes is the impact social media has on mental health; the platforms intentionally keep users hooked on their phones to see more ads. Niche is solving this product addiction by removing ads altogether. In fact, here’s a notable distinction: social media has users, and Niche has owner-members.

Niche is reinventing social media by distributing ownership of your networks to its members. Rather than traditional social media that uses your content to sell targeted ads, Niche Clubs reward engagement and content creation with token ownership. Each club has its own unique tokens that accrue real value over time and can be used for commerce, event admission, and membership status. The token can be exchanged for real currency. That means your networks are now part of your net worth. Niche fulfills the web3 promise of decentralized ownership and reinvents social media along with it.

Niche is co-founded by Christopher Gulczynski, CEO, and Zaven Nahapetyan, CTO. Gulczynski was a co-creator and CPO of Bumble, as well as a co-founder, CCO, and patented co-inventor of “the swipe” feature for Tinder. Nahapetyan was a senior engineering manager at Facebook, creating and leading key projects like Facebook fundraisers, civic engagement efforts, and several initiatives against misinformation.

“Versions of social media we use today do not value the individual user,” explained Christopher Gulczynski, Niche’s CEO. “As a decentralized, ad-free platform, Niche will not be driven by revenue; instead we will prioritize sharing credible and useful information, connecting people with others who share their interests, and allowing members to profit off the content they create.”

“We are thrilled to support Niche as one of our major investments of the year! NEAR’s goal has always been building a blockchain platform that can onboard creators and users from Web2 in a frictionless manner. With such a world class team building an innovative, community owned platform, we believe Niche will revolutionize social media,” says Amos Zhang, founder of MetaWeb.VC.

"We're really excited to have Niche building on NEAR. Social networking is the next major growth vertical in Web3 and Niche is the perfect team to accelerate that growth on NEAR. Their approach to community ownership and user-owned data resonates with our core values of usability and openness," said Illia Polosukhin, Co-Founder of NEAR Protocol.

Participants can apply to the beta, where they will have a unique opportunity to join the movement:

For more information, and to speak with the founders, contact Richard Laermer (RLM PR) at; 212-741-5106 X 216.

About Niche

A decentralized platform powered by a token economy, Niche is changing social media by completely reinventing it. With interest-based clubs owned by members, everyone has a say in how their network is run. Niche clubs are for content creators who want access to their most engaged fans and direct distribution, collectors who want to buy and sell with ease, and real-life groups who want a digital home for their real-world community. A safer, more secure social media alternative free from advertising and algorithms that promote discourse and misinformation, Niche is launching to change social media as we know it today.


Tuesday, 26 July 2022 08:41

Why Insurance Business Transfers?

Innovation moves our state forward. At the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID), we’re committed to creating an environment that embraces innovative thinking. One of the innovative tools we’ve recently brought to Oklahoma is the Insurance Business Transfer (IBT). Oklahoma’s IBT law became effective in November 2018 and Oklahoma became the first U.S. state to embrace IBTs under a structure that closely mimics Part VII Transfers that have taken place in the U.K. for 20 years. In October 2020, Oklahoma became the first state in the U.S. to have an IBT completed and approved by the courts. Since then, we completed the second IBT in August 2021 and are working on our third.

An IBT is a process that allows for a transfer of a block of insurance business from one existing insurance company to another. Oklahoma’s IBT statute includes life, health, property and casualty liabilities, and is open to both runoff and active books of business. This cutting-edge mechanism focuses on the protection of consumers while allowing insurance companies to strategically deploy assets to their areas of focus. IBTs create considerable flexibility and financial security for companies, help eliminate uncertainty, reduce administrative expenses and simplify regulation. More importantly, an IBT can connect policyholders with a company that better understands their policy and coverage.

I support mechanisms like IBTs to bring an economic boost to our state, security to consumers and reliability and finality to the insurance industry. As Oklahoma continues to be the leader of IBTs, we’re pleased to host the 2022 Captive & IBT Conference in Oklahoma City in August. I believe this event will bring new opportunities to our state and propel our innovative economy forward. At the Captive & IBT conference, I will be speaking as a panelist in the “Why IBT?” session with various leading experts. Join our discussion and learn about the benefits of IBTs, key trends in the runoff transaction market and how OID can help you with this process.

It’s the first in-person conference we are hosting since the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m excited to showcase Oklahoma’s endless possibilities to risk managers, business owners, regulators, financial executives and insurance professionals. Registration is required to attend the event and limited seats are available. For more information about the event, visit and follow OID on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.

If you have questions about other insurance issues, please contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071 or visit our website at




The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.

Business Think Tank Urges Lawmakers to Adopt Flat Tax and Eliminate Anti-Business Taxes in Special Session

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The State Chamber Research Foundation (SCRF) is sharing a series of tax proposals for policymakers to consider as they work on tax policy and budget issues in future legislative sessions. The policies, which include both tax cuts for individuals and the elimination of business taxes that discourage growth and investment, are aimed at tackling inflation while promoting long term economic growth and tax relief.

“Runaway inflation, the possibility of a looming recession, and anti-growth policies from the federal government are creating a 1970s-style outlook for the American economy,”  said SCRF Executive Director Ben Lepak. “Several decades ago, a period of prolonged ‘stagflation’ was defeated by supply-side economists and leaders like Ronald Reagan who understood a common-sense proposition: if you want more of something, tax it less. Like Reagan, our lawmakers should now turn their focus towards boosting private sector investment in the production of goods and services by reforming our tax code and reducing the tax burden on families and businesses.”

Included in SCRF’s policy prescriptions is a plan to eliminate Oklahoma’s six graduated income tax brackets and replace them over a number of years with a flat tax of 2.75 percent for every filer (Oklahomans making over $7,201 per individual or $12,201 per married couple are currently taxed at a rate 4.75 percent). SCRF identifies a complete, phased-in elimination of the personal income tax as the ultimate goal.

SCRF also calls for repealing taxes harmful to businesses, including the “throwback rule” and the franchise tax, and increasing tax exemptions for small businesses.

“Besides lowering personal income taxes, lawmakers should also modernize business taxes and eliminate the most economically unproductive taxes on capital investment,” said Lepak. “If we act soon to implement pro-growth tax policies, Oklahoma can become a national model for prosperity and growth during turbulent economic times. Other states, and perhaps even the federal government, will want to emulate our success.”

More information on the SCRF’s policy proposals are listed below and can also be viewed here.

The Oklahoma Flat Tax Plan: Oklahoma can eliminate its unnecessarily complicated 6 income tax brackets and replace them with a Single Bracket Flat Tax. The flat tax rate would be 4.25% in its first year, and would be reduced by .5% each year (contingent on a 1.5% revenue growth trigger), until it hits a final rate of 2.75%. By immediately raising the standard deduction from $6,350 to $10,350 when the new single bracket tax is implemented, lawmakers would ensure tax relief for all taxpayers, not just those at the top.

The proposed tax cut will provide immediate inflation relief to individuals and families while stimulating supply-side investment and growth. SCRF’s proposed income tax provisions include:

Collapsing the current 6 brackets into single 4.25% bracket (in Year One);

Increasing the standard deduction from $6,350 to $10,350;

Eliminating the marriage penalty (through elimination of brackets);

Establishing well-designed revenue triggers for future rate reductions. Revenue triggers would:

Cut the rate in half point increments as revenue collections grow – ensuring Oklahoma does not experience budget deficits related to tax cuts;

Use December Certified Collections, not February Estimates (which avoids problems with previous revenue triggers).

Reduce the income tax rate to a flat 2.75% over the next 3 years if revenue is sufficient (approx. 1.5% revenue growth rate).

Fiscal Impact: $438.5 million (to get to initial flat 4.25% rate).

End Anti-Business Tax Penalties: To grow the supply side of Oklahoma’s economy, SCRF proposes eliminating outdated tax penalties on business, investment and growth. Enacting the provisions below, as well as the personal income tax provisions above, would place Oklahoma in the Top Ten of the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index, a great start to a Supply Side Revival.

Repeal the Franchise Tax

Oklahoma’s franchise tax is a direct tax on capital investment. It is calculated based on the assets a business owns, not the net profit the business makes. As a result, businesses pay the franchise tax regardless of whether or not they turned a profit that year. This is an unnecessary barrier to starting a business, since new businesses often invest in assets and are not profitable in the first few years. In essence, the franchise tax is a fee imposed for the privilege of doing business in Oklahoma. Worse, the franchise tax is a double tax—it is levied in addition to corporate income tax. Eliminating the franchise tax will reduce financial burdens on business and increase the likelihood of capital investments in the state.

Fiscal impact: $57.2 million

Create a De Minimis Exemption for Tangible Personal Property (TPP):

Tangible Personal Property tax is a direct tax on capital investment. The tax is levied on property that can be touched and moved, such as machinery, equipment, and farm implements (as opposed to traditional property tax, which is assessed on land and buildings).

As a local tax, the relatively small amount of revenue raised is divided between hundreds of local government entities, making up a comparatively small amount of the revenue any individual entity relies on. The state government receives no revenue from tangible personal property tax.

Many small businesses face negligible tax liabilities but are still forced to go through a costly filing and compliance process. Exempting business machinery and equipment acquired for less than $100,000 would take these small businesses off the tax rolls with minimal revenue loss to local governments.

Fiscal impact: approx. $20 million, spread across 77 counties and hundreds of local recipients of property tax

Repeal the Throwback Rule

Oklahoma’s throwback rule punishes Oklahoma businesses that sell out of state, encouraging them to relocate to – or at least locate distribution facilities in – other states. Studies suggest that, over time, tax avoidance strategies eliminate most or all revenue gains from throwback rules.

Fiscal impact: $0 (revenue neutral)

Move to a Single Sales Factor Apportionment

Every company doing business in more than one state must allocate how much of its income was earned in each state in which it operates. This calculation is referred to as "apportionment." Generally speaking, a state's corporate income tax rate is only applied to the portion of a company's income that was earned in that state.

States can use three factors in their apportionment formulas: the share of total (1) property, (2) payroll and (3) sales that a firm has located in each state.  Many states have shifted from traditional three-factor apportionment to a single factor apportionment based on sales alone. In order to compete in the changing tax landscape, Oklahoma should follow suit and adopt a single sales factor apportionment.

Fiscal impact: revenue neutral or positive

About the State Chamber Research Foundation

The State Chamber Research Foundation (SCRF) is the business community’s think tank. Through high-quality research and analysis, SCRF educates policymakers and the public about the virtues of the free enterprise system, the public policy ideas that enable free enterprise to thrive, and the positive contributions of the business community to the prosperity and welfare of the people of Oklahoma. As a non-profit research and education organization, SCRF is dedicated to the non-partisan advancement of free markets, increasing opportunity and growing prosperity.

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