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The Power of Cooperation is theme for 2017 AFR Convention Feb. 17-19

The designation of "Agriculture Friendly" counties, REAL ID compliant drivers licenses, immigration reform and nuisance lawsuits against agriculture producers and agribusiness are among the key issues expected to be discussed at the annual convention of the American Farmers & Ranchers, Feb. 17-19, at the Embassy Suites Hotel, Norman, Okla.

"We expect a lively and engaged conversation about the issues critical for rural Oklahoma," Terry Detrick, AFR president, said.

Many of these critical issues will be addressed in presentations focused on the convention theme, "The power of cooperation."

Leading the way will be a major presentation on agriculture and rural advocacy by nationally-known speaker Trent Loos. Connecting rural and urban America by sharing the positive story of production agriculture has been the focus for Loos since he launched his advocacy career 17 years ago. The sixth generation family farmer, based in central Nebraska, travels the world broadcasting the farm story. His popular "Loos Tales", "Rural Route," Dakota Trails and Tales," and other radio programs are heard on more than 100 radio stations throughout the nation. He also has a regular column, "Loos Tales," printed weekly in the High Plains Journal.

In addition to his keynote presentation, Loos will also conduct an agriculture advocacy workshop for convention participants.

The program also includes a report on the new political reality in Washington, D.C. by Rob Larew, senior vice president for public policy and communications for the National Farmers Union. Prior to joining NFU, Larew served over 22 years in Congress and USDA working on agriculture policy and communications. Joining Larew on the program will be Darren Coppock, president and CEO of the Agricultural Retailers Assoc. Coppock will discuss key legislative and regulatory issues impacting rural and agricultural businesses.

Additional topics include presentations on the new USDA Veterinary Feed Directives, agriculture economic outlook, and an update on the beef check-off program.

Other speakers include State Rep. Kyle Hilbert, H.E. Rainbolt, board chairman, BancFirst Corporation, Blayne Arthur, executive director, Oklahoma 4-H Foundation, Troy Marshall, Oklahoma Ag Statistician, and Dr. Thomas Coon, VP and Dean, OSU Department of Agriculre, Science and Natural Resources.

The Saturday banquet will feature Dr. Charles Petty, a funny, educational and professional speaker armed with a basket full of inspirational and motivational stories. The A Bar Bunkhouse Band will provide musical entertainment.

A highlight of the Sunday morning worship and memorial service will be an inspirational message from Cindi Broadus. Her life was forever changed by a random attack of acid being thrown from a bridge overpass. The Oklahoma native is a sister-in-law to television's Dr. Phil McGraw.

For complete details of the convention, go to