Oklahoma's Secretary of Agriculture Visits with Northwestern Ag Students

September 8, 2023

Blayne Arthur, Oklahoma’s Secretary of Agriculture, speaks to agriculture students at Northwestern

Following a presentation on Northwestern’s campus, Sagelyn Budy, Alva senior majoring in agriculture aka the Farm Girl on KALV’s 99.5 FM and 1430 AM, visits with Blayne Arthur, Oklahoma’s Secretary of Agriculture, for her daily radio segment at 7 a.m., noon and 5 p.m. 

Blayne Arthur, Oklahoma’s Secretary of Agriculture, was on campus Thursday morning to speak to students in agriculture classes at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. During her informal talk on agriculture and leadership, Arthur presented many helpful pieces of information.

She told those in Herod Hall Auditorium that an important thing she learned in her office during the height of the pandemic was that many people in the general population don’t have a deep understanding of agricultural production, and a major effort should be made to intentionally engage consumers to educate them about how food is produced and delivered to the market. 

She said people often don’t like the idea of certain aspects of animal production such as large cattle feedlots and cages used in poultry production, but when food wasn’t available during the pandemic, she and her office staff were able to have conversations with consumers about how the supply chain works within agriculture.

Arthur told students that, when she was younger, she never thought she’d be serving as the state's agricultural leader, and she felt that she was no different than students today who participate in agricultural organizations such as 4-H and FFA, and various other production agriculture endeavors.

She urged students to pursue and develop varied interests because it can help them get jobs after graduation. She also encouraged them to develop and utilize their personal networks to seek internships in multiple areas of interest to explore occupations within the industry they could see themselves pursuing in the future.

When seeking employment, she said students should create resumes specifically tailored toward a desired position and include references who could speak directly toward their suitability in that area of interest. Also, and perhaps most importantly, she reminded the students to ask their references if they will provide positive information before listing them on a resume. 

Arthur said that resumes showing a wide-ranging background in agricultural pursuits and good work experience go to the top of her list when she is considering job candidates. Students should also practice their interviewing skills beforehand because communicating face-to-face with people and using correct grammar are often important keys to successful interviews.

She ended her talk by telling the students to lean into their education while at Northwestern and strive to become well-rounded individuals. She said that Northwestern professors, staff and administrators all desired to help students become successful, but that the students should embrace the initiative and recognize their responsibilities in their educational and occupational pursuits.

“Blayne has been personally involved with production agriculture throughout her entire life, which makes her uniquely talented in her role as Secretary of Agriculture,” said Dr. Dean Scarbrough, Northwestern’s agriculture department chair and professor of agriculture. “She has an inherent understanding of the complexities associated with the food supply chain and truly appreciates the struggles Oklahoma farmers and ranchers face every day. It is clear that she cares deeply about the state of Oklahoma and the young people who will make up the next generation of agriculturalists.”

Jack Staats, instructor of agriculture, and Scarbrough both expressed their thanks for Arthur coming to campus to share her love for the agriculture industry and her passion for developing and instilling leadership qualities in Oklahoma’s young people.

For more information about Northwestern’s agriculture and agriculture education programs, please visit www.nwosu.edu/school-of-professional-studies/agriculture or contact Scarbrough at (580) 327-8487 or dascarbrough@nwosu.edu.


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