Oklahoma has a rich agricultural history thanks to dedicated farmers. In 1998, the Governor’s Outstanding Achievement Award in Agriculture was created to recognize those who have helped lead the industry while demonstrating exemplary personal values and pursuing agricultural achievements in Oklahoma. Through Feb. 12, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF) is accepting nominations for a total of four Oklahoma Excellence in Agriculture Awards.
The award winners will be announced at a recognition ceremony on March 30 at the state capitol as part of the state’s annual Oklahoma Ag Day celebration.
Examples of eligible agriculture enterprises for the Governor’s Outstanding Achievement Award in Agriculture nominee are: livestock and crop production, agribusiness, forestry, horticulture and nursery management. In addition to considering the nominee’s production agriculture involvement, the application also recognizes leadership in agricultural and state organizations as well as additional awards and honors. The winner will be someone with at least 25 years in agriculture who derives the bulk of his or her income from agriculture or has retired from an agricultural enterprise.
Previous award-winners have represented different areas of Oklahoma as well as a variety of agricultural groups and commodities. Past recipients have guided their families and communities to success by excelling as dairymen, cattle ranchers, pork producers, wheat farmers, conservationists and educators. Uniting previous Hall of Fame inductees is their service to their community in addition to their contribution to the agriculture industry.
In addition to the Governor’s Outstanding Achievement Award in Agriculture, ODAFF also presents the Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Award, Outstanding Legacy in Agriculture Award and Outstanding Public Service in Agriculture Award. The Legacy in Agriculture Award is the only one strictly for posthumous nominees.
Governor Mary Fallin’s Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Award recognizes Oklahoma agriculturalists that are leaders in developing and adopting outstanding environmentally innovative agricultural practices. This award will highlight the efforts of an Oklahoma agriculture producer who is a steward of the environment and is dedicated to conserving the natural resources of Oklahoma while helping to ensure a continued supply of food and fiber.
Governor Fallin’s Outstanding Public Service in Agriculture Award honors an individual who has made outstanding contributions of public service to Oklahoma agriculture. The recipient will be someone who works diligently to improve public perception of agriculture in Oklahoma. The recipient should be a person who has given time and talent unselfishly to advance the Oklahoma agricultural industry.
Governor Fallin’s Outstanding Legacy to Agriculture Award posthumously honors someone who made significant life-long contributions to Oklahoma agriculture. The unique or extraordinary contributions the individual made to Oklahoma serves as a role model for the agriculture industry.
“The Oklahoma Excellence in Agriculture Awards give us the opportunity to recognize those individuals who have made a positive and lasting impact on agriculture in our state,” said Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese.
The deadline for all nominations is Friday, Feb. 12 at 5 p.m. The recipients will be selected by a committee of representatives from agricultural commodity organizations and farm and ranch organizations. Any questions regarding the nomination procedure or completion of the official nomination form can be directed to Jason Harvey at (405) 522-5563. The nomination forms can be found at www.ag.ok.gov/odaff-halloffame.htm .
Bryan Painter works with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry