Northwestern's Young Farmers and Ranchers attend leadership conference in Tulsa

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Northwestern's Young Farmers and Ranchers attend leadership conference in Tulsa

April 21, 2010

Members from Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s collegiate chapter of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) attended the American Farm Bureau Federation’s National Leadership Conference in Tulsa, and six students represented Northwestern at the event.

Students in attendance included Brody Bush, recent graduate and chapter president; Jessica Chegwidden, Alva senior and vice president; Katlynn Weathers, Edmond senior and secretary; Darin Frech, Fairview senior and activities chairman; Janelle Meade, Deer Creek freshman and reporter; member Jerad Noble, Beaver junior; as well as Steve Sneary, farm manager and sponsor; and his wife Ashlee.

Mechanical bull riding, calf roping and a carnival kicked off the four-day event. The conference is an opportunity for students to meet and make connections with more than 800 agriculturists from across the nation.

The group enjoyed speakers who discussed very pertinent generational changes in agriculture. Everything from beginning farm loan programs, to farm transition and other government programs were discussed.

Motivational speaker Matt Roloff, from the TLC show “Little People, Big World,” spoke about how he got involved in agriculture and how the media and consumers changed his role. After the session, all the group members from Northwestern had an opportunity to meet Roloff, speak with him and take some pictures.

The group then toured several Oklahoma agriculture enterprises including the Tidal School Winery, which is the largest wine bottling plant in Oklahoma, and the Food and Agriculture Products Research Center at Oklahoma State University where they learned about the extensive research that goes into the production of Oklahoma grown and processed food and textiles.

Students then toured Reproductions Enterprises where they were able to see beef bulls collected for artificial insemination. There, they also saw ultrasounds of the female reproductive tract and fetal identification.

Finally, the group concluded with a dinner at the Tulsa State Fairgrounds where they were entertained by Native American dancers and a cowboy bunk house band.

“The conference is very fun, educational and brings light to overlooked problems existing in agriculture,” Bush said.

Next on the group’s agenda is the annual “Aggie Olympics” and cookout held on April 20, at the Woods County Fairgrounds.

For more information about the Northwestern YF&R, contact Sneary at or 327-5956.