By: Joseph Mahan

Members of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Oklahoma City Branch Board of Directors and Bank President Esther George gathered for an off-site board meeting in Enid, Oklahoma, this summer.

Annual offsite meetings are held throughout Oklahoma, allowing the Board of Directors to travel to a different location each year and learn more about the local community, industries and economy.

Directors Take Agriculture Tour

The off-site board meeting focused on information about the agriculture industry in northwest Oklahoma. Owner and Principal of Sidwell Strategies Brady Sidwell, who joined the Oklahoma City Branch’s Board of Directors in 2020, led the group through a tour at an OSU Research station and of his agriculture businesses. Through Sidwell’s guidance, members of the board of directors had the opportunity to see how wheat moves from “farm to table.”

After learning about the multiple varieties of wheat at the research station, which is named after Sidwell’s father, the Oklahoma City Branch Board of Directors visited Sidwell’s family farm to learn about harvesting wheat. The next stop was Sidwell’s Enterprise Grain Company, a grain handling and storage operation that offers inputs and services to farmers and ranchers. Here, the directors received a first-hand look at the seed services. The day concluded with a visit to Sidwell’s brewery, Enid Brewing Company and Eatery, where the board saw the “grain to glass” process that Sidwell uses.

Sidwell said the priority of the itinerary in Enid was to showcase the entirety of the grain supply chain with a focus on wheat.

“We focused on how ingredients are developed, planted, grown, harvested, processed, packaged, shipped and marketed locally,” he said. “I know the next time our Board enjoys a food product; they will reflect on all of these stages that go into producing a quality ingredient brought to the table.”

Witnessing the Industry

The seven-member board of directors for the Oklahoma City Branch is responsible for providing Bank executives with information on local economic conditions while offering advice and counsel.

Sidwell said it is important for the board to have an understanding of the agriculture industry because it is the foundation of the global economy and critical to a nation’s vibrancy and security.
“As an entrepreneur in agriculture and local supply chains, I believe it was important for our board of directors to see the exciting innovation beginning to transform our food supply chain by value adding more local production into ingredients to help reinvigorate the foundation of rural communities and smaller metropolitan areas while improving our supply chain security and responsiveness to change,” he said.

Esther George, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, explained the unique impact that Sidwell’s work has on the Tenth District.

“Brady Sidwell is a respected business-man in Enid,” she said. “He’s in the ag business but with a very innovative twist. It’s one of the things I love about working in a region like this. It is very diverse. You find pockets of innovation that you might not think about.”