In Memory of Terry Peach- the Man Who Brought Together Oklahoma's Ag GroupsSat, 22 Jan 2022 08:51:11 CST
Memorial services have been set for Terry Peach of Mutual, Oklahoma for Tuesday, January 25th, 1:00 PM at the Woodward First United Methodist Church in Woodward. A viewing is set for Monday, January 24th at the Billings Funeral Home Chapel, 1621 Downs Avenue in Woodward. The Tuesday afternoon services is at the First United Mehtodist Church in Woodward- located at 1111 Downs Avenue.
This past week- Oklahoma Farm Report's Ron Hays shared some of the thoughts he and others have about the legacy that Terry Peach leaves behind when it comes to the farm and ranch community in Oklahoma. These comments were first posted in the Thursday Ron Hays Daily Farm and Ranch News Email. (The picture here is of Terry being honored by the OKlahoma Wheat Growers at their meeting in December of 2010- the award being given to Peach by wheat producer Jimmy Musick.)
"Our friend and long time ag ;leader and statesman Terry Peach passed away yesterday- and Oklahoma Agriculture has lost a gentleman who served the farmers and ranchers of this state multiple ways.
"Peach served as the Oklahoma executive director of the Farm Service Agency, an agency within the United States Department of Agriculture, for 1993 to 2000- appointed by the Clinton administration..
"A couple of years later- Oklahoma elected Democrat Brad Henry and he selected Peach to be his Secretary of Agriculture. in 2003 and he served in that role until 2011.
"Peach arrived on the job and quickly figured out that the ag groups within Oklahoma were no where close to being on the same page- so he invited reps from all the groups to come and meet at the Department of Ag on a Monday with him. No one wanted to not be there and everyone showed up- and that Monday gathering or what some observers called a meeting of the barnyard- building solid relationships and trust and allowed those in the meeting to speak out frankly about the issues impacting them at the state capitol.
"I asked early on if I could attend- and Peach chuckled and told me no- but you are always welcome to visit with those who are in the meeting once they walk out.
"Tributes have already shown up on my doorstep- Steve Thompson- VP of Public Policy for Oklahoma Farm Bureau says "when Governor Henry nominated Terry, Oklahoma agriculture was completely and utterly fractured at the Capitol. I saw it up close and from all sides. Sec. Peach unified agriculture in Oklahoma. We are all stronger today because of it. He was not perfect, none of us are. Today heaven gained one of the toughest cowboys I’ve ever known."
"One of the veterans when it comes to representing farmers and ranchers at the Capitol is James McSpadden- he says "There are very few people that our collective organizations owe more to than Sec. Peach. His leadership galvanized our groups in a fashion that still ripples through the halls of the Capitol today."
"Current Secretary of Ag Blayne Arthur also provided the Oklahoma Farm Report her thoughts on Terry Peach's lifetime of service' ?“I was incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of former Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture, Terry Peach. Terry was a dear friend and mentor of mine and gave me so many opportunities early in my career. Terry was incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the agriculture industry and spent his tenure at the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry making decisions that were good for Oklahoma farmers and ranchers. Terry served Oklahoma agriculture in several capacities and was well respected across the state. Oklahoma has lost a true gentleman and champion for agriculture. I extend my deepest sympathies to his family.“
"In recent years- Peach has served on the state Board of Directors of AFR.
"Personally, I was honored to consider Terry a friend even as he served in some very key roles very important to the Oklahoma Ag Industry. He greeted me and others with a smile and handshake- and was always willing to give me a few moments for an interview about the issues of the day. He served Oklahoma well- at the FSA, at the Department of Ag and in later years on the board at the American Farmers and Ranchers. I am one of his contemporaries and I fell like we lost him way too soon. I will miss seeing my friend Terry Peach in the days ahead- expecially at the upcoming convention of the AFR in February."
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