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Farm Bureau Leadership Conference to focus on legislative issues


State and federal legislative leaders will address Oklahoma Farm Bureau leaders Feb. 18 to 19, during the annual OFB Leadership Conference at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel, One Park Ave, Oklahoma City.

"This is a great opportunity for our county leaders to meet with their legislators and discuss issues important to rural Oklahoma," said OFB President Mike Spradling.

Lawton businessman Bill Burgess will address the group Feb. 18 with a presentation on leadership in today's society. Burgess is vice chairman of the Oklahoma Business Roundtable and his family owns a successful law firm and the Lawton Constitution newspaper. Burgess is a member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, and is chairman of the Board of Vortex, the senior partner of Burgess & Hightower Law Firm, Civilian Aid to the Sec. of the Army and chairman emeritus of Techrizon, which he has developed into the largest Oklahoma-owned software engineering company. Burgess has served as chairman of the Citizen's Commission on the future of Oklahoma's higher education.

Participants will have their choice of two breakout sessions: Farm bill discussion with House Agriculture Committee staff member Bart Fischer; and Water in the Future, led by Tom Buchanan, Altus, OFB director and manager of the Lugart-Altus Irrigation District.

A reception for Farm Bureau members and legislators will follow the breakout sessions. During the evening awards banquet, the organization will present its 2012 Meritorious Service Awards. American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman will present his group's highest legislative award, the Golden Plow, to U.S. Rep. and Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee Frank Lucas, R-OK. The award is presented annually to one member of the U.S. Senate and one member of the U.S. House of Representatives who have demonstrated strong support for Farm Bureau and agriculture issues.

"As chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Lucas has worked tirelessly for agriculture and the state of Oklahoma," said OFB President Mike Spradling. "He is very deserving of AFBF's top legislative award."

The second day of the conference kicks off with a breakfast presentation by Dana Murphy, Oklahoma Corporation Commission. Stallman will also address the group with a discussion on the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance.

Participants will have their choice of two breakout sessions: a social media tutorial or a presentation on successful public relations messages.

U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-OK, will discuss modern leadership roles with the farm group. Lankford is in his second term representing the state's fifth district. He serves on the House budget committee and is chairman of the subcommittee on energy, policy, health care and entitlements.

Following lunch at the OFB office, farm leaders are encouraged to visit their state legislators' offices in the capitol.

Date: 2/18/2013


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