American Farmers & Ranchers Takes Rural Issues to State Capitol

Monday, 17 April 2023 16:39

American Farmers & Ranchers Takes Rural Issues to State Capitol Featured

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AFR Cooperative grassroots lobbying force in front of state Capitol AFR Cooperative grassroots lobbying force in front of state Capitol Photo submitted


OKLAHOMA CITY—In the midst of many challenges for the agriculture sector, American Farmers & Ranchers (AFR) Cooperative brought rural issues to the Oklahoma Capitol Building April 12. Nearly 100 AFR members from across Oklahoma convened to discuss agriculture and rural issues and meet directly with state lawmakers.

“Last year’s legislative landscape was especially tumultuous,” said AFR Cooperative President Scott Blubaugh. “We knew AFR members would have both new and returning issues they needed to discuss with members of the Oklahoma Legislature.

AFR members lobbied on behalf of all rural Oklahoma, with a particular emphasis on rural school funding and opposition of school vouchers, increased regulation of the medical marijuana industry and driver’s licensure for underage farm labor. Most importantly, each AFR member was encouraged to talk with their representative about the issues most important to their farm, their family and their community.

“As an organization, we strive to educate rural Oklahomans on policy issues and encourage them to get involved in the legislative process,” said Blubaugh. “Our legislative program is truly grassroots. We connect AFR members directly with their representatives and help them fight for the issues that are most important to them.”

The 2023 AFR Day at the Capitol included a legislative panel discussion featuring Chairman of the House Ag Committee Dell Kerbs (R-Shawnee) and Chairman of the Senate Ag Committee Chris Kidd (R-Waurika). AFR Cooperative Legislative Liaison Bray Haven also provided tips on effective communication with lawmakers.

American Farmers & Ranchers Cooperative is a membership services organization established in 1905 as Oklahoma Farmers Union. AFR 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 principles.

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