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County AFR Groups Receive Awards

American Farmers & Ranchers recognized three AFR County organizations for outstanding achievement during the past year at their recent annual convention.

The county groups received the Five Star award, which is the top award for county AFR groups, during the AFR annual banquet, Feb. 18 in Norman.

Receiving the awards were Beckham, Love and Wagoner counties.

"We wanted to recognize the many great things our county organizations do each year," Terry Detrick, AFR President said.

To receive the Five Star award, counties must achieve 100 percent based on activity in four key areas:

1)       County Officers and Board of Directors organized and become actively engaged county-wide.

2)      Actively promote and support AFR Policy Positions county-wide.

3)      Actively recruit, promote, and support AFR Youth Programs and Adult Education.

4)      Create and implement new ways to support AFR in improving rural and community life in Oklahoma.

Here are a few of the activities that garnered Beckham County the award:

  • Hosted the 17th annual Eggs and Issues breakfast at the Elk City Farm and Home Show. This has been a long standing tradition that attracts a large regional audience and is a tremendous community service project.
  • Sponsored the Elk City leadership III program.
  • Made significant donations to the Beckham County fire departments, the Beckham-Mills Burn Association, and the north Fork of the Red River Conservation District's Outdoor Classroom.
  • Made numerous presentations to area groups on the merits of SQ777, Right to Farm.
  • Sponsored local youth livestock activities including high school rodeo and junior heifer show.

For Love County, the list included:

  • Members from both local 300 and 741 hosted NFU President Roger Johnson during a summer visit to Oklahoma.
  • As a new project this year, Love County AFR members helped launch a public safety memorial fund to honor deceased law enforcement, fire department and other emergency responders who gave their lives in service.
  • Raised funds to provide safety equipment for Love County Sheriff's department.
  • Sponsored a health fair focused on the senior community needs.
  • Organized and sponsored a benefit dinner and other events that raised more than $15,000 to help a local family with medical expenses.

In Wagoner County, AFR members received the Five Star award for activities that included:

  • Sponsored local and county wide livestock shows.
  • Co-sponsored the Wagoner County Soil Conservation breakfast.
  • Established and sponsored scholarships for local youth.
  • Sponsored a "Farm to You" Exhibit at Wagoner Ellington Elementary School.
  • Sponsored 10 youth to attend the AFR Leadership Summit. Fun fact...7 of the 10 were not AFR members at the time but after Local 724 paid for their membership, we now have new AFR members insured with AFR...simply because these families could see AFR really cares about their families.

"All of these counties accomplished a lot more than we have room to list," Detrick said. "We're talking 12, 15, 20 activities or more.  These County AFR members are indeed improving the lives of rural Oklahomans."