To help explain the practical aspects of how Country of Origin labeling (COOL) is being implemented, the Oklahoma Grain & Stocker Producers (OG&SP) is hosting an educational session — with a free hamburger feed — during the Greater Oklahoma Farm Show, Friday, Oct. 24, in Lawton.

The speakers will be Ryan Reuter, a beef specialist for the Noble Foundation, and Bill Barnhart, the managing partner for OKC-West Livestock Auction at El Reno.

Reuter will give an overview of Country of Origin labeling and advise producers on the importance of record-keeping systems and management procedures. Barnhart will tell producers what to expect when they take cattle to their local livestock market and provide samples of affidavits that have been approved for use by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“We haven’t had much information distributed on COOL down in this part of the state,” says Corwin Petzold, a past president and board member for the Oklahoma Grain & Stocker Producers from Elmer, Okla. “We’ve heard a lot of general discussion about COOL, but not much solid detail. People need to be informed from a practical standpoint.”

“Farmers in my area have been busy in the field and haven’t had time to study up on the new regulations,” adds Dean Keiffer, OG&SP president and a founding member of the organization. “We have been assured that this will be a simple procedure, but there are still questions out there about what this will mean to cow-calf, stocker or feeder operations. This is a chance for cattle producers to hear an update and ask any questions they might have.”

Country of origin labeling officially went into effect on Sept. 30, but USDA has said it will not strictly enforce the law for the first six months as the industry adjusts to the new requirements.

The educational session in Lawton on Oct. 24 begins with a hamburger feed at 11:30 a.m. It will be held in the northwest corner of the Expo Center at the Comanche County Fairgrounds. Farm Credit is sponsoring the meal. An event flyer is attached.

The Greater Oklahoma Farm Show is a two-day show scheduled Oct. 24-25 at the fairgrounds located at 920 S. Sheridan in Lawton. The farm show will be held in the Expo Center and a home and garden show will be held in the Coliseum. The event is presented by Chisholm Trail Promotions, which also coordinates the popular KNID AgriFest in Enid, Okla., in January.