AFR serves as a “watchdog” for agriculture producers and mutual and life insurance company members. We carefully monitor legislation and government regulations that could affect our members and policyholders.
AFR members are represented at the Oklahoma State Capitol and nationally in Washington, D.C. by full-time staff in Oklahoma City and Washington, D.C. Federal and state lobbying opportunities exist for our members throughout the year. We also sponsor legislative forums at various events to provide updates for the membership and general public.
Our legislative influence is one of the most important membership benefits we offer. Our annual policy committee includes members from across Oklahoma representing diverse interests and backgrounds. The policy document they create each year directs our policy efforts at both state and national levels.
AFR members are encouraged to be active in the political party of their choice. As an organization, AFR is proudly independent. This nonpartisan stance is the best way to properly represent our membership and their interests.
For our recent legislative efforts, check our press releases or legislative letters.
Our Members Create Our Policy
Through a system of annual meetings, our membership helps create policy that directs and prioritizes our legislative efforts for the year.
Local and county AFR organizations send policy resolutions to the state policy committee to be considered for the year’s policy book. These local and county organizations also send delegates to the state convention where they can offer resolutions from the floor. Ultimately, convention delegates amend and approve the policy document which guides our legislative efforts for the year.
Following the state convention, AFR sends delegates to the annual National Farmers Union convention. These “national” delegates represent Oklahoma through the dame process-offering resolutions for consideration at the national level and voting on what will guide national lobby efforts through the next year.
Our “grassroots” policy process represents a diverse group. AFR membership includes people from many walks of life both urban and rural. It includes farmers, directly involved in agricultural production and non-farmers who want to add their voice on behalf of the principals and philosophy of AFR. Together they make AFR the “Voice of Rural Oklahoma.”
How You Can Shape AFR Policy
As a member of AFR, you have and unique opportunity to influence and shape policy that will direct the organization as it works with Congress, the Oklahoma Legislature, and state and federal agencies.
You may become involved through the following process:
Prior to your local or country meeting, consider policy additions or corrections you would like to see made to the current policy document. Your county officers may choose to meet prior to the county meeting with a smaller group of members as a resolutions committee. This group may discuss issues and develop a list of resolutions for consideration by the full county membership. During the actual county meeting, the membership will discuss and vote on each resolution submitted by the ad hoc committee, as well as receive prospective resolutions from the floor.
Once the policy is adopted by either your local or county organization, it is sent by local/county leadership to the AFR Policy Committee. This committee may approve, reject or modify a resolution. The group will also review the entire policy document to make pertinent updates and corrections, as well as propose new policies not offered through resolutions.
Policy adopted by the AFR State Policy Committee is formally presented to delegates during the AFR State Convention. These delegates are elected from local and county meetings. If the AFR State Policy Committee does not adopt the policy presented by a local or county, that policy can be re-submitted by a member of the original submitting organization on the convention floor during policy consideration. Each section of policy is reviewed, and changes are noted and offered for delegate consideration. Delegates may adopt, reject or change wording throughout the document.
The final policy document is adopted by the full body of attending delegates. Current policy books are available by request through county officers, local insurance agents, or the AFR website.
AFR Day at the Capitol
Each year, our members are invited to the state capitol to meet with elected officials to discuss current issues. American Farmers & Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union (AFR/OFU) brought rural issues to the Oklahoma Capitol Building on April 11. Nearly 100 AFR/OFU members from across Oklahoma convened to discuss agriculture and rural issues and meet directly with state lawmakers.
Each year, a team of Oklahoma farmers and ranchers travel to Washington, D.C., for a three-day lobbying mission to meet with administration officials and members of Congress. The AFR Cooperative members participate in the annual National Farmers Union (NFU) Fly-In, which focuses on various state and federal issues affecting their operations.