Oklahoma Wheat Industry Comes Together to Celebrate the Governor's Wheat ChallengeTue, 03 Mar 2020 13:49:55 CST
The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, working with the Oklahoma Wheat Commission and the Oklahoma Wheat Improvement Team of Oklahoma State University, have mounted the first ever State of Oklahoma's Governor's Wheat Challenge. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays was on hand Tuesday at the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture's headquarters when wheat industry representatives welcomed both Governor Kevin Stitt and Lt Governor Matt Pinnell to come and check on their respective wheat plots that were planted back in November in front of the agency's Headquarters- and to get an update from Oklahoma Wheat Commission Executive Director Mike Schulte on the marketing and research aspects of Oklahoma's wheat industry.
A special edition of the Road to Rural Prosperity is being produced about the morning's activities- and one of those who will be featured in that special podcast is Oklahoma State Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur. Secretary Arthur told Hays that it was "a very exciting day for Oklahoma's wheat industry" as the day spotlighted two of the newer wheat varieties developed by the Wheat Breeding Team led by Dr. Brett Carver of OSU in a friendly competition between the Governor and the Lt. Governor- Smith's Gold and Baker's Ann. These two varieties are the ones planted in front of the Ag Building- with the plots designed to be a living example to all who go into the building for the next few months of exactly what is happening in wheat fields across the state. The wheat will soon start jointing, then develop heads, will mature and turn from a rich green color to a golden mature plant- ready to be harvested. The plots will be harvested and the grain will be taken to the labs at Oklahoma State to be evaluated and actually baked into a loaf of bread, with one of the two plots being declared the winner based on yield and quality characteristics.
Arthur says that the leaders actually did study the characteristics of the more recent variety releases from Dr. Carver's program- and chose the variety they wanted planted in their name. She says "I told Mike Schulte this morning that I had saved the text message that I had sent- I sent a group text to the Governor and the Lt. Governor and listed the varieties that they could chose from- they quickly responded and picked their varieties" and the planting soon happened. Governor Stitt chose Smith's Gold while Lt. Governor Pinnell chose Baker's Ann.
Arthur says that this is a great opportunity to promote the wheat industry of the state and of the wheat breeding program- "We are so proud of Dr. Carver here in Oklahoma- and when I travel across the US, I can proudly say that we have the best wheat breeder in America" as he leads the development of varieties that are so important to our wheat producers.
And she adds that she is so proud of the fact that the Oklahoma Wheat Industry is one of the aspects of Oklahoma Agriculture that is Top Ten nationally within it's segment of US Agriculture- and she says that wheat farmers and so many others in Oklahoma agriculture are so innovative in efforts to grow the food that feeds not just Oklahomans and residents across the US- but reaches consumers around the world.
You can listen to Hays and Secretary Arthur by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
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