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Agricultural News

Oklahoma Peanut Commission Executive Director Mike Kubicek Steps Down After 22 Years

Fri, 27 Mar 2015 05:58:58 CDT

Oklahoma Peanut Commission Executive Director Mike Kubicek Steps Down After 22 Years Federal Farm Policy has changed the Oklahoma Peanut Industry over the years- and today's peanut business in Oklahoma looks a lot different than when Mike Kubicek began his career as the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Peanut Commission in the 1990s. The federal poundage quota program was in place at that time- and while it was a "no net cost" program to the federal government- critics forced changes and the peanut quota buyout and the new much less lucrative federal farm safety net program that followed pushed many Oklahoma peanut farmers out of the business of growing peanuts.

Oklahoma producers in traditional growing areas for peanuts, in many cases, had fields with heavy disease pressure infesting the soil- and that buyout caused at least half of the Oklahoma peanut farmers to fall by the wayside.

Mike Kubicek, who is stepping down as the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Peanut Commission after 22 years of service, says that farm program change was a watershed moment for the Oklahoma peanut industry- but while the acres planted shrank- peanuts remained a viable crop for some farmers in traditional areas- and Kubicek saw peanuts gain favor in new production territory- most notably in the Elk City region, where the fields had no disease embedded in them- which allowed farmers to save hundreds of dollars in spray applications.

Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays talked with Kubicek at the Oklahoma Peanut Expo being held on Thursday at Quartz Mountain Resort in southwest Oklahoma about the changes down through the years and how the Peanut Commission has rolled with the production changes and worked hard to serve the peanut farmers that have remained. Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear their full conversation.

One of the highlights, according to Kubicek, is the breeding program in Stillwater that is operated by the USDA's Ag Research Service. Several new peanut varieties are on the table, pumping new interest into the production of peanuts in the southwestern US.

At the Expo, Kubicek was honored by many- and received citations and personal letters of congratulations from dozens of people he has interacted with through the years working for the Peanut Commission, as well as with the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, the Oklahoma Farm Bureau and Cooperative Extension.

Pictured above is Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese presenting Kubick with a citation from Governor Mary Fallin for his years of service to Oklahoma farmers.

We have photos from the Peanut Expo- including many from the celebration wtih Kubicek in a FLICKR Album- click here to take a look.


Ron Hays talks with Mike Kubicek of the Oklahoma Peanut Commission after his 22 years of service
right-click to download mp3


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