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Oklahoma Gov. Stitt Praises Cattlemen's Congress During State of State Address

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks at the Cattlemen's Congress in Oklahoma City, Okla. in January 2021.

When Denver, Colorado cancelled one of the largest stock shows in the country because of COVID-19, Oklahoma saw an opportunity.

Organizers of the National Western Stock Show couldn’t find a way to comply with virus restrictions. In his State of the State address, Gov. Kevin Stitt criticized cities like Denver for having policies that constrict the ability to have agriculture conventions.

“The folks in Denver turned their back on the ag industry,” Stitt said. “They wouldn’t let them have their major national cattle show because they insisted on keeping their state locked down. That put the stability of the U.S. beef industry in danger.”

Stitt touted Oklahoma’s welcoming of the newly created Cattlemen’s Congress event, which was created in response to the cancellation of other events. Event organizers say it brought more than $50 million to the state.

Following the address, house minority leader Emily Virgin (D-Norman) criticized the governor for his COVID response.

“From his own lack of personal responsibility to the lack of public health policies enacted, Governor Stitt’s response to this pandemic has been an example of failed leadership,” Virgin said in a statement.


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Seth Bodine was KOSU's agriculture and rural issues reporter from June 2020 to February 2022.
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