ADA — Carl Wages, Chairman/Board of County Commissioners, recently signed a proclamation designating Feb. 20-24 as “Farm Bureau Week” in Pontotoc County. The week is part of a statewide observance during which county Farm Bureaus will make a concerted effort to enroll new members, according to Bill R. Gibson, president of the Pontotoc County Farm Bureau Board of Directors.

John Elliott is the chairman of the membership committee, which is responsible for membership acquisition and maintenance.

“The Oklahoma Farm Bureau, with more than 162,000 member families, is the largest and most influential voluntary farm organization in the State,” said Gibson. Farm Bureau is a grass roots organization and its foundation is the county unit. Each county in the state has an organized county Farm Bureau, he said.

“Pontotoc County Farm Bureau has dedicated itself and its members to maintaining agriculture as an honorable and respected profession which has been the base for much of the economic prosperity in Pontotoc County,” the proclamation reads. Gibson said the local county Farm Bureau had 3,400 member families in 2005 and plans to exceed that figure in 2006.

He said the Farm Bureau is a voluntary, general farm organization that seeks to improve income and living conditions of farm and ranch families. It represents the farmer and rancher at the county courthouse, in Oklahoma City and in the Nation’s capitol, Washington, D.C. It has been successful in guarding against ad valorem tax increase on agricultural land, reforming estate tax laws, protecting property rights and obtaining increased funding for rural roads and bridges, according to Farm Bureau spokespersons.

Pontotoc County Farm Bureau hosts an open house from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Friday. The organization’s Women’s Committee will serve cookies and coffee for refreshments.

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