Oklahoma

Following the Oklahoma Grain and Stocker Producers annual convention on Feb. 6, the board of directors elected a new team of officers.

Fred Schmedt of Ardmore will serve as president. He is a team manager and agricultural economist for the Noble Foundation, Inc. Gary Read of El Reno, who is involved in a livestock marketing business, was named vice president.

Elected to serve as secretary/treasurer is John Grunewald, Woodward. He is president and CEO for Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma.

David Von Tungeln, El Reno, is immediate past-president.

The annual convention included an educational program with information on wind energy development, a federal identification plan for beef cattle and country-of-origin labeling on retail meat.

Mark Hodges, executive director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, announced the recent formation of a new nonprofit entity, Plains Grains, based in Stillwater. Oklahoma State University ag economics graduate student Shelly Regner, who has been involved in organizing and developing the concept, explained how the program will help to market Oklahoma Wheat on the basis of end-use qualities. Plains Grains will conduct sophisticated product testing, hold Wheat quality workshops for current and potential buyers, and maintain a web-based marketing system using an interactive on-line database.

The luncheon at noon featured beef shoulder tender steaks provided by the Oklahoma Beef Industry Council. The cut is being promoted to restaurants and food services using funding from the beef checkoff program.

Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Terry Peach addressed the convention and used the opportunity to promote the state's first Governor's Conference on Agriculture and Economic Growth to be held April 13 and 14 in Oklahoma City.

The OG&SP conducted their annual business meeting and made plans for a lobbying trip to Washington D.C. A delegation representing the organization hosted a luncheon for legislative aides Feb. 23. The group met with each of the state's U.S. Senators and Representatives, as well as with other political officials, Feb. 23 and 24 in the nation's capital.

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