Jim Reese Ends His Eight Years as the Secretary and Commissioner of Ag for Oklahoma- Grateful for the Opportunity to ServeSat, 29 Dec 2018 18:56:11 CST
The head of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry actually holds multiple titles. Jim Reese, who has served as the Secretary of Agriculture, Commissioner of Agriculture and the President of the State Board of Agriculture, has announced he will step down from all three jobs as of December 31, 2018. After serving for the past eight years, he leaves two weeks before his boss, Governor Mary Fallin, ends her second term as the Governor of the State of Oklahoma.
Just ahead of a letter that is dated Friday, December 28th, Secretary Reese talked with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays about his eight years of service in the Fallin Administration- working continously during those eight years on behalf of Oklahoma's farm and ranch community.
Hays and Reese spoke of the achievements of his time leading ODAFF, including in programs like Made in Oklahoma, Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom, the Oklahoma Farm to School program, the initiation of the Significant Women in Ag program and the enhancement of Farmers Markets across Oklahoma.
Reese pointed with pride of the partnership with the Natural Resource Conservation Service of USDA, the Oklahoma Conservation Commission and the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts in removing 64 streams from EPA's list of Impaired Water Sources- as well as increasing soil and water conservation practices that include composting, filter strips, ponds, and other soil health efforts that have improved the farms and ranches of Oklahoma.
Reese also told Hays he was proud of being a part of the Commissioners of the Land Office that oversee the School Land Commission in Oklahoma. The State Secretary of Ag has an automatic spot on that body- and he points out that over the past eight years- more revenue has been generated for Oklahoma's schools than ever before- in fact the leases and investments of the CLO has generated forty percent more revenue for Oklahoma Schools than in any previous eight year period.
They also discussed the challenges of recent years that have brought massive wild fires and other natural disasters to the state. He wishes that these disasters had not hit Oklahoma- but says that "we have learned from each and improved our capabilities with each event." He adds that ODAFF has partnered with many groups- including the National Weather Service in getting Oklahoma better prepared for future events.
He also praised the selection of Blayne Arthur to be Oklahoma's next Secretary and Commissioner of Ag in the Kevin Stitt administration. He points out that there will be a two week gap between his departure and the expected arrival of Arthur at the Deparment- Reese has appointed Bryan Painter to serve as the Acting Commissioner of ODAFF as of his resignation at the close of business December 31st.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear Ron Hays converse with the outgoing State Secretary of Ag, Jim Reese. You can also click on the PDF link at the bottom of this story to read his letter to Governor Mary Fallin.
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