ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE — The Altus Chamber of Commerce Farm City Tour was Oct. 3, recognizing the importance of agriculture to the economy of Southwest Oklahoma. The tour kicked off the 39th annual Farm City Week, which brings the local business, military and farming communities closer together.
The tour provided an opportunity for military members to see cattle, wheat farms, a cotton gin and the chance to operate a tractor.
“Today we are doing outreach with the local Air Force base and the Altus community,” said Carl Josefy, Jackson County Farm Service Agency executive director. “It is a chance for the local farmers and ranchers to show off what we do best. We get to show our farming and ranching operations to the Air Force men and women who serve at Altus Air Force Base. It gives them a chance to see the crops that are being grown and harvested in this area and the livestock operations.”
It was an experience for the airmen of the 97th Air Mobility Wing to see the farming aspect that Altus provides.
“My favorite part of the day was getting a deeper appreciation for the things that we take for granted,” said Kim Gordon, 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron key spouse. “A lot of cotton production happens in the town that we live in. It’s something that effects our daily lives. Our clothes and most of our daily items are made from cotton, like the cotton that is grown here.”
The whole tour emphasized Altus’ uniqueness and solidifies the community’s partnership with the base.
“Everything on the tour holds value and you really need to see all of it to see the bigger picture,” said Jamie Harrison, Livingston Machinery Company marketing manager. “It’s not just the farming, it’s also the cattle and the businesses that make up this community. The ability to see the group effort all come together is amazing.”
Additionally, the tour reinforces how the community of Altus has a strong connection with the base.
“The civilian and military community coming together like this is unique,” Harrison said. “I hope that military members should be able to feel more at home because of programs like this.”
There seemed to be general consensus that the event was enjoyable and beneficial.
“I thought it was cool of the community to give a tour and have the opportunity to learn more about Altus,” said Senior Airman Michelle Casilla, 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron household goods clerk. “I had a good time and wish that they would have more involvement with the base like this.”
Reach Airman 1st Class Cody Dowell at 580-481-7700.