Larry Sanders, an ag economist at Oklahoma State University, has followed the ins and outs of agricultural policy for nearly 25 years. In recent weeks, he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

Sanders will give an update on the current farm bill and the future direction of farm policy at the Oklahoma Grain and Stocker Producers annual meeting Thursday, March 26. The evening event will be held in the auditorium of Autry Technology Center, 1201 W. Willow, in Enid, Okla.

According to Mike Woods, head of OSU’s department of agricultural economics, Sanders has been the lead coordinator of new farm bill education programs on every farm bill since 1985.

Sanders considers it a primary part of his duties to work with Oklahoma farm organizations and producers to address issues relevant to the profitability of production agriculture. He says the current farm bill is the most complex ever, compounded by a global recession, changing consumer buying patterns, higher off-farm unemployment and a strengthening dollar that is slowing international trade.

Farmers need to use a more integrated approach to risk management while operating in an environment of exceptional uncertainty, something that isn’t likely to change anytime soon, he says.

Sanders has focused on many important issues during his career including natural resources and water policy issues, rural development and trade, in addition to ag policy.

At the meeting, OG&SP will also offer updates on specific federal and state legislation of interest to agricultural producers as well as conduct annual association business.

The meeting starts with a meal served at 5:30 p.m. The educational program follows. Anyone involved in the agriculture industry is welcome to attend.

“People don’t always recognize how much change is happening with the new farm bill,” says Dean Keiffer, OG&SP president from Helena. “Signup deadlines have been extended because the laws have been slow to be written and released. This is a chance for producers to get caught up on the latest details and ask any questions they have about current ag issues.”