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Road to Rural Prosperity

News & Politics Podcasts

The Road to Rural Prosperity brings to life stories about rural America, for rural Americans. A weekly podcast focused on the backbone of the United States.

The Road to Rural Prosperity brings to life stories about rural America, for rural Americans. A weekly podcast focused on the backbone of the United States.


United States


The Road to Rural Prosperity brings to life stories about rural America, for rural Americans. A weekly podcast focused on the backbone of the United States.








Episode 65- OSU Wheat Breeder Brett Carver Talks the Big Freeze of 2021 and Our Wheat Crop and More

Host KC Sheperd sat down with Dr. Brett Carver, Regents Professor Wheat Genetics Chair in Agriculture, Wheat Breeding and Genetics in his office on the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater and talked about a variety of subjects- all relating back to his passion for breeding wheat. He offered his take on how the 2021 wheat crop has handled the historic freeze the southern plains dealt with in February of this year, reviewed the wheat varieties that have come out of his program and...


Episode 64- Okla Rep Trey Caldwell Talks Rural Healthcare Education and More with Ron Hays

Oklahoma State Rep Trey Caldwell has started his second term in the Oklahoma House of Representatives- serving as the Deputy Majority Leader. He talks with host Ron Hays about his roots in agriculture and why he is serving in State Government. They discuss redistricting, rural healthcare, education and the state budget process that is making good progress here in 2021- despite the year of Pandemic. Caldwell is a rising star in the Oklahoma Legislature- and won the seat that was held for 12...


Ep 63- Rep Frank Lucas on Democrat Agenda Being Pushed- Confirmation of Tom Vilsack amd More

Host Ron Hays talks with Oklahoma Third District Congressman Frank Lucas about two recent pieces of legislation that he voted against- HR 1, the Democrat's Voting Rights Bill that would strip power away from the states on how to register and verify voters- and also the Budget Reconciliation Bill that the Biden Administration is calling the American Rescue Plan. Hays and Lucas also talked about confirmation of Tom Vilsack to be USDA Secretary- Lucas saying he is "relieved" that Vilsack was...


Episode 62- Steve Rhines of the Noble Research Institute Talks Regenerative Ag with Ron Hays

The Noble Research Institute, based in Ardmore, Oklahoma, has announced their intention to focus on Regenerative Agriculture- and Steve Rhines, CEO and President, tells host Ron Hays that the intention of NRI is to work on a primary goal to regenerate millions of acres of degraded grazing lands across the United States. “Land stewardship is a core value held by many farmers and ranchers. Regenerative agriculture is the next step in the land stewardship journey wherein farmers and ranchers...


Episode 61- Dr. Tom Coon Offers a Update on DASNR and the New Frontiers Campaign

At the recent Oklahoma Genetics, Inc Annual Conference, Dr. Tom Coon, Dean and Vice President of the Division of Ag and Natural Resources provided an update on 2020-2021 Enrollment at OSU in the midst of the Pandemic, new personnel for the Division and all the latest in the New Frontiers Project to fund and construct the new Ag Hall for the Division and the Ferguson College of Ag. Host Ron Hays was moderating the Conference and asked Dr. Coon about the timeline for the construction- with...


Episode 60- Amarie Griffeth talks with KC Sheperd About Pete's Pantry at OSU

Oklahoma State University Junior Amarie Griffeth has a heart for people- and she tells Host KC Sheperd about a need she saw on campus in Stillwater to combat food insecurity. She was a part of a Task force- and out of that students came up with Pete’s Pantry, an anonymous way to help other students on campus needing a helping hand. Amarie grew up in Cushing, Oklahoma- her dad is in the livestock marketing business, so she has grown up loving being involved in producing food- and she has...


Episode 59- Shane Bedwell with Herefords and Mark McCully with Angus

Ron Hays reports from the first ever Cattlemen's Congress in Oklahoma City- and talks with Shane Bedwell, Chief Operating Officer of the American Hereford Association and Mark McCully, CEO of the American Angus Association. These beef industry leaders talk about the show at the OKC Fairgrounds as well as the latest on their respective beef breeds. They also offer their perspectives on balancing the value of phenotype evaluation versus EPD genomics. Shane's interview starts at the 3:00 mark...


Ron Hays Talking Cattle Industry Relief and Lots More with Ethan Lane of NCBA

Congress has passed a 5,393 page Relief/Spending Omnibus Package- and Host Ron Hays Talks with Ethan Lane, Vice President for Government Affairs for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association about Pandemic Relief- more money in CFAP, Grants for RAMP UP, establishment of the SALE Act and more. Lane also talks about the announcement by USDA to start the process of moving Gene Editing for animals away from FDA over to USDA, a look at the Climate Team for President Elect Biden, a return to USDA...


Episode 57- Roy Lee Lindsey Relives His Time at OkPork and Looks to North Carolina

Host Ron Hays travels the Road to Rural Prosperity with mixed feelings as he talks with Roy Lee Lindsey of OkPork- who has just announced his resignation as Executive Director as the head of the group representing hog farmers in Oklahoma- as he prepares to take a similar position with the North Carolina Pork Council- North Carolina the second largest pork state in the US. Today's Road to Rural Prosperity is being sponsored in part by the Oklahoma Rural Water Association.


KC Sheperd talks with Jamey Johnson About His Country Music Career and Rural Roots

For this special edition of the Road to Rural Prosperity, KC Sheperd zoomed with Country Music singer songwriter Jamey Johnson to talk about his growing up on a family farm in Montgomery Alabama. From an early age he was influenced by country acts such as Willie Nelson, Alan Jackson, and Alabama. Johnson has always had strong ties to agriculture as he grew up watching his dad try to make a living on the family farm. His family eventually lost that farm, so Johnson has always understood the...


Episode 55- Derrell Peel Talking Cattle Markets and Life with Host Ron Hays

From Big Sky Country to Oklahoma- Dr. Derrell Peel has watched the cattle and beef markets for decades- and Host Ron Hays talks with him on this Road to Rural Prosperity about the changes he was seen in the beef cattle marketplace since he first arrived in Stillwater. Holder of the Charles A. Breedlove Endowed Professorship in Agribusiness, Peel joined the OSU faculty in 1989 as OSU Cooperative Extension livestock marketing specialist, a position he still fills today and for which he has...


Ep 54- Meet FFA Royalty- American Stars Will Shelby of Madill and Nicole Stevens of Yukon

For the first time ever- Oklahoma FFA had three National Finalists in the National FFA American Stars Competition- and at the 2020 National FFA Convention- two of them- again for the first time ever- were called out as the winner in their category. Host Ron Hays talked after the Stars announcement with Will Shelby of Madill FFA, the American Star in Ag Placement and Nicole Stevens of Yukon FFA, the American Star in Agriscience. Today's Podcast is powered by BancFirst.


Episode 53- Governor Kevin Stitt on McGirt Vs Oklahoma, State Questions and More

Host Ron Hays Caught up with Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and got his take on where things stand with McGirt Vs Oklahoma on the day after his Commission on Cooperative Sovereignty reported back to him on how the State of Oklahoma and the Indian Tribes in eastern Oklahoma need to solve the fallout from the Supreme Court ruling against the state. They also discuss the two State Questions on the November ballot- the Governor is voting yes on one and no on the other one- and Ron got a Top Ten...


Episode 52- OkFB's Steve Thompson Talks State Question 805, Convention Changes and More

Steve Thompson, Senior Director for Public Policy at the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, sat down with Host Ron Hays to discuss the decision by the general farm organization to oppose State Question 805 in the upcoming November General Election. They also talked about the decision by the group to not hold a face to face in person Convention in Norman this year- and how that impacts their policy making process in 2020 and into 2021. Today's conversation is powered by OPSRC, the Oklahoma Public School...


Episode 51- Advocating for Business at 23rd and Lincoln- Chad Warmington of the State Chamber

Today's Road to Rural Prosperity trek brings us to the State Chamber of Oklahoma- and a chance to talk with their President and CEO, Chad Warmington. Chad is not a native Okie- but has been "all in" on Oklahoma since he took a job on the staff of then US Senator Don Nickles. He married a Guthrie girl and rejoined the State Chamber of Oklahoma in February 2020- just ahead of the Pandemic that has changed everything. He cares deeply about Oklahoma- and is committed to improving the business...


Episode 50- Brett Carver tells his Road Story on the way to becoming a World Class Wheat Breeder

It's been quite a journey for Dr. Brett Carver- as his early days were spent in the southeastern part of the US with no thought of being involved in the wheat industry- let alone being a world class wheat breeder. Host Ron Hays talks with Brett about his journey from Georgia and North Carolina to Oklahoma and how he has learned the science of wheat breeding- and has provided Oklahoma wheat farmers with wheat varieties designed to help them grow more bushels of high quality wheat that will...


Episode 49- Ron Hays Travels the WOTUS Memory Lane of 2014 to 2020

Ron Hays travels on the Road to Rural Prosperity to showcase the efforts by farmers and ranchers to fight to Ditch the WOTUS Rule developed by the Obama Administration back in 2014 and work to see it replaced with a new, improved rule by the Trump Administration. Hays features interviews he conducted over the past seven years with the late Richard Gebhart, Senator Jim Inhofe, Congressman Frank Lucas, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Michael Kelsey, Colin Woodall, Ashley McDonald and Scott...


Episode 48- Talking Oklahoma Agritourism with Micaela Danker of ODAFF

It's fall and there is no better time than right now to check out the many venues in Oklahoma that offer great Agritourism adventures. KC Sheperd talks with Micaela Danker- who coordinates the AgriTourism efforts of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture- and they discuss the chances to enjoy Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes and more across Oklahoma in the fall season of 2020. Today's Road to Rural Prosperity is powered by PSO- the Public Service Company of Oklahoma.


Episode 47- Brent Kisling Describes Home Stretch in Getting Oklahoma to Sign Up for the 2020 Census

With just over a month to go- Host Ron Hays talks with Brent Kisling one more time as he provides an update on the effort to put at least 4 million Oklahomans on record in the 2020 US Census. Kisling urges anyone not yet registered to do so before September 30th to be counted. Kisling, the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Department of Census, is coordinating the state's effort to increase the percentage of those who register here in 2020. Today's Road to Rural Prosperity Podcast is being...


Episode 46- Ron Hays Talks with Ridge Hughbanks, Immediate Past National FFA Officer from Alva

Ridge Hughbanks of Alva was the 23rd National FFA Officer from Oklahoma- and Ridge talks with Host Ron Hays about growing up in northwest Oklahoma on a diversified farm operation- getting involved in FFA and how his life has been changed in so many ways. Take a listen to Ridge's inspiring story of his time in the FFA and beyond. Today's Road to Rural Prosperity is brought to you in part by the Oklahoma Rural Water Association.