AFR Members Attend National Farmers Union Convention in Salt Lake City

Listen as KC talks with Scott Blubuagh about his time at NFU Convention in Salt Lake City.
AFR State Secretary Paul Jackson talking about Negotiated Cash trade in Cattle Markets

Now that the 122nd National Farmers Union Convention, which was held in Scottdale, Arizona, has come to a close, AFR President Scott Blubaugh had the chance to talk with Farm Director KC Sheperd about highlights from the event.

“It is a grassroots meeting that our members and delegates from all over the United States come to each year, and we have a very robust debate on policy for a couple of days,” Blubaugh said. “At the end of the day, it is a democratic process, and the majority rules, and they set the new policy for the year.”

Blubaugh said some of the highly debated issues were the 50-14 Spot Market Protection Bill, water rights, and crop insurance payment limitations.

Blubaugh also visited with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and said he is excited to hear Vilsack’s final rule on beef labeled as a product of the USA.

“That was what we did in Oklahoma a couple of years ago when we created the Oklahoma Certified Beef Act, and that basically did the same concept here in Oklahoma, but it is great to have this new rule in place so that our consumers know where their food comes from, and they want to know where it comes from,” Blubaugh said. “There was fraud going on within that program where (entities were) importing beef in here from outside of the United States and labeling it as a product of the USA, and under some loopholes, in the rules, that was actually legal to do that.”

With the new changes to the “Product of USA” labeling requirements, Blubaugh said consumers can have confidence that when a product says it is from the U.S., it truly is.

Another issue discussed at the convention that Blubaugh talked about was the announcement of new rules in the Packers and Stockyards Act.

“We are very optimistic and very thankful for those new rules,” Blubaugh said. “We think it is really good for independent farmers and ranchers around the United States.”

Blubaugh said two or more rules within the Packers and Stockyards Act will be finalized in 2024. These rules will come out one at a time, he added, and AFR is optimistic that their “asks” will be answered.

Regarding issues that farmers have been facing this year, Blubaugh said at the convention, farmers across the U.S. shared the same struggles from drought, high input costs, regulations, and more.

Blubaugh said he is looking forward to hosting the National NFU Convention in downtown OKC in March of 2025.

“We are going to be able to showcase Oklahoma City, and especially the great town and downtown areas,” Blubaugh said. “We will have some tours around the city, and hopefully, we will be able to go out and see some local ranches that are not too far out. We will put on our best show for our national members here in Oklahoma City.”

Blubaugh also talked about AFR’s efforts to aid the producers impacted by the recent wildfires and said $10,000 was approved for barbwire to be shipped to western Oklahoma.

“We have also asked our counties and our local organizations to match the grant of $10,000, so we should be closing that out next week and should be seeing that barbed wire out there to be distributed,” Blubaugh said.

For more information about AFR aiding producers impacted by wildfires and how to donate, CLICK HERE.

Delegates with Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack

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