Cattlemen Call for More State Meat Inspectors During the Policy Session at the 2020 OCA ConventionSun, 26 Jul 2020 09:38:22 CDT
The 2020 Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association Convention is now in the record books. While many other meetings went virtual or were cancelled altogether since the start of the pandemic- the OCA leadership made a commitment to meet face to face and were able to make that happen. It took a change of venue along the way as the meeting moved from Norman to Tulsa- but there were lots of smiling faces, the shaking of hands and an abundance of networking that never happens in a Zoom setting. OCA President Mike Weeks explained the effort of getting a live, in person meeting in place at the start of the convention- click here for our earlier story to hear his explanation of that process.
Policy sessions were held on both Friday and Saturday during the meeting- and after the Saturday business meeting, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director KC Sheperd talked with OCA Executive Vice President Michael Kelsey about the work done by cattle producer members who showed up to make policy decisions.
Kelsey says at the top of the list was a call by the group to increase the number of state meat inspectors. "We passed a pretty strong policy suggesting that we need to be very supportive of increasing funding for ODAFF, the Department of Agriculture, where our meat inspectors are housed so that we can increase the overall number of inspectors. We think if we do that- that's going to give some of these smaller processors the opportunity to expand what they do which will then help ranchers as they bring cattle into those plants.
There was also a discussion about the cattle industry taking government payments even as more than two billion dollars has been handed out to cattlemen through the CFAP. The cattle industry has traditionally had a proud position of not taking direct payments from the government before coronavrius hit.
OCA had to fill the position of Vice President with the death earlier this year of Mike Armitage. The group elected Byron Yeoman of Dover to fill that vacancy.
Listen to the conversation between KC and Michael Kelsey by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
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