Dassie May, a Shawnee High School senior, recently participated in Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s Oklahoma Youth Leading Agriculture conference June 25-28, 2019.

OYLA is a three-day annual event hosted by the OKFB Young Farmers & Ranchers to prepare high school students for a future career in agriculture and to advance youth leadership. 

“The students that participated in our OYLA conference are some of the best and brightest our state has to offer,” said Brent Haken, OKFB YF&R chair. “We always appreciate the chance to invest in the agriculturalists of tomorrow.”

Throughout the week, the group had the opportunity to tour local agricultural enterprises including American Plant Products, Oklahoma National Stockyards, Lopez Foods and the First Oklahoma Ag Network radio studio. Students also volunteered at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, learned how to communicate their agriculture story with the media and discovered how to share agriculture with their communities with the Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom program.

The conference also allowed students to learn more about Farm Bureau’s work for agriculture and rural Oklahoma by visiting with OKFB President Rodd Moesel, Women’s Leadership Committee Chair Mignon Bolay and YF&R Chair Brent Haken.

Other OYLA participants included Tori Booker, Altus, Jackson County; Jaden Brunnemer, Cushing, Payne County; Ryan Clark, Henryetta, Okmulgee County; Laramie Coffey, Morrison, Noble County; Zachary Evans, Granite, Greer County; Abby Jeffrey, El Reno, Canadian County; Sarah Knowles, Keota, Leflore County; Callee Lester, Cheyenne, Roger Mills County; and Katelynn Williams, Yale, Pawnee County.

Participants of the conference are selected through an application process. The students selected represent some of Oklahoma’s most promising high school agriculturalists. 

The students attending the conference plan to pursue a wide variety of agricultural degrees including agribusiness, agricultural communications, animal science and pre-vet, and plant and soil sciences.