Representatives of the Oklahoma Grain & Stocker Producers recently returned from a legislative affairs trip to Washington, D.C.

The group met with officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including Robert Spitzer, senior trade policy advisor for the Foreign Ag Service; Dr. Andrea Morgan, associate deputy administrator for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Joe Garborino, director of budget and program management staff for the Ag Research Service. In addition, the group met with staff members with the Senate and House Ag Committees and with each member of the Oklahoma legislative delegation.

OG&SP also hosted an annual luncheon for legislative staff members. Educational presentations were made by Barbara Spangler, executive director of the Wheat Export Trade Education Committee, and Bryan Dierlam, legislative affairs director for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

Among the issues addressed by the group were current efforts to implement a national mandatory individual animal identification program for beef cattle. Discussions also concerned a federal energy bill containing provisions to support the development of alternative fuels such as ethanol and wind energy.

The energy bill that emerged from conference committee last year was approved by the House but failed to gain the support of the Senate.

OG&SP continues to support the development of further trade opportunities with Cuba. The group learned that Senator James Inhofe plans to travel to Cuba this month to work to ease some of the stipulations required for sales of agricultural commodities to that country.

OG&SP was formed to support agricultural research in Oklahoma along with foreign market development, private property rights and the interests of small businesses. During their legislative meetings, OG&SP representatives distributed a research summary of projects being conducted at Oklahoma State University's Wheat pasture research facility near Marshall.

For more information, contact Candace Krebs 580-242-1910; David Von Tungeln 405-818-8062 or Richard Wuerflein 580-874-2325.

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