Service and cooperation will get you there

The Okemah Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture held their monthly meeting on Tuesday at Pepino’s Mexican Restaurant and listened to American Farmers and Ranchers president on how to achieve the vision for Okemah.
The meeting was call to order by Kathleen Davis, Main Street Coordinator. The group was led in prayer by Claud Evans and then everyone in attendance recited the flag salute.  Next Kim Shandy gave an update on the Chamber Bucks program which began on Nov. 1. Shandy handed out signs and tickets for those businesses that were wanting to participate in the program.
The guest speaker for the day was Terry Detrick who has served as American Farmers and Ranchers President since February 2009. He was first elected to the state Board of Directors in 1986, and served as Vice President from 1988 to 1992. After serving as president of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association and then the National Association of Wheat Growers, he returned to Oklahoma Farmers Union in 1998 as Vice President and Director of Farm Programs.
Detrick currently represents AFR as president of the Oklahoma Wheat Research Foundation, and chair of the executive board member of the Oklahoma Agriculture Mediation Program. He serves on the board of directors of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association, and is a member of the OSU Dean of Agriculture Advisory Council and the Kansas City Federal Reserve Food and Agriculture Roundtable.
A strong supporter of Oklahoma’s youth, Detrick has been awarded the Honorary Chapter, Honorary State and Honorary American FFA Degrees and the Agriculture Advocate Champion award from the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
Detrick is a life-long, second-generation AFR/OFU member. He is the managing agent of the Detrick Insurance Agency, which was founded by his father with the inception of OFU Insurance. He and his wife, Rita, are third-generation farmers. They proudly partner with their three sons and nine grandchildren to keep their insurance business and family farming tradition alive.
Detrick gave a detailed history of how AFR/OFU was founded by ten men forming a cooperative two years before statehood.  The number one principle of the COOP was ‘membership benefits services’. Detrick  said, as long as you have an attitude of service you will always be in demand.  This is how the company has been a great force for change to help many farmers in local, state and federal laws being changed for the better.  Education is a big part of their service to the communities. Derick said the company will invest one half  million dollars a year in Oklahoma children.
Ten men had a vision 112 years ago. Detrick asked, those attending the meeting, what is your vision for Okemah? Service and cooperation will get you there.

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