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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 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.


Episode 45- As School Starts This Fall- Brent Bushey and OPSRC Help Schools Succeed

As the 2020-21 School Year begins- over 200 Oklahoma School Districts rely on the resources they can access from the Oklahoma Public Schools Resource Center. Host Ron Hays talks with their Executive Director Brent Bushey about how the world of education was turned upside down in March of this year when COVID-19 kept student from returning to the Classroom after Spring Break. Brent talks about how schools worked to adapt this past spring and how that brings us to the fall semester- Brent says...


Episode 44- Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe Talks Tribal Sovereignty, Pandemic Help and Reelection

In our latest Road to Rural Prosperity- Host Ron Hays is joined on the phone from Washington with Oklahoma's Senior Member of our Congressional Delegation- Senator Jim Inhofe. They begin the conversation talking about the Supreme Court Case that will likely need that delegation to develop a legislative fix that allows tribal sovereignty to mesh with the power of the state- they also talk about Senator Inhofe's work on several bills aimed at helping Oklahoma Agriculture deal with the...


Episode 43- The Newest Member of the Oklahoma Ag Hall of Fame- Dr. Barry Pollard talks with Ron Hays

Dr. Barry Pollard has been selected as the winner of the 2020 Governor's Outstanding Achievement Award in Agriculture, making him the 23rd individual to be inducted into the Oklahoma Ag Hall of Fame. Host Ron Hays talked with Dr. Pollard after he had received the award at the 2020 Oklahoma Cattlemen's Convention in Tulsa on July 24th- and they talked about his service to Oklahoma Agriculture and Rural Oklahoma- as a Surgeon based in Enid, as an Agri-businessman operating a multi state John...


Episode 42- Johnnie, Lori and Jocelyn Talk Ag in the Classroom with KC Sheperd

KC Sheperd goes on ZOOM to talk with three Oklahoma Elementary Educators about their experiences with the Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom Program- Johnnie Keel, Lori Newmark and Jocelyn Puckett were three of the teachers that were presenters at the 2020 Summer Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom Conference that was held virtually. Today's Road to Rural Prosperity Podcast is powered by the Public Service Company of Oklahoma.


Episode 41- Rodd Moesel, Okla Farm Bureau President on Excellence in Rural Oklahoma with Ron Hays

Host Ron Hays covers a lot of ground with the President of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Rodd Moesel, in this Episode of the Road to Rural Prosperity. Rodd talks about the challenges of COVID in the operation of the general farm organization, the nervousness created by the Supreme Court Decision against Oklahoma and the potential implications of the court’s ruling on landowners throughout eastern Oklahoma, his reasons for wanting to become President of Farm Bureau and his thoughts on the...


Episode 40- 2020 Oklahoma FFA Stars Reagan Klassen and Kale Miller Spotlighted

Today's Episode features a conversation hosted by KC Sheperd with the 2020 Oklahoma FFA Star Farmer Reagan Klassen of the Hydro-Eakly FFA Chapter- and then Ron Hays describes the Agribusiness that propelled Kale Miller of Stroud FFA to Stardom as the 2020 Oklahoma FFA Star in Agribusiness. This Road to Rural Prosperity is powered by the Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma.


Special Edition- Governor Kevin Stitt with Updates on COVID 19, SQ 802 and Chasing Top Ten

A Special Edition of the Road to Rural Prosperity features a June 26th conversation with Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt- Host Ron Hays talks with the Governor about the status of Oklahoma's reopening in response to Covid 19, his opposition to State Question 802, his ideas on helping the Oil and Gas Industry and Agricuture Recover and his Top Ten Report Card that he is developing. Today's Podcast is powered by BancFirst, Loyal to Oklahoma- and to you.


Epsiode 38- 2020 Oklahoma FFA Stars Jentry Squires and Landri Chaplin Take the Spotlight

Because of COVID 19, the 2020 Oklahoma State FFA Convention was not held in downtown Oklahoma City this spring- and it was early June until the Oklahoma FFA was able to name their 2020 Stars in the four traditional categories. In today's Road to Rural Prosperity- we introduce you to two of them- the 2020 Star in Agriscience, Jentry Squires of Kingfisher and the 2020 Star in Ag Placement, Landri Chaplin of Weatherford. KC Sheperd zoomed with them to give you a chance to learn about their...


Episode 37- Deborah Clark Talks Hard Core Rotational Grazing with KC Sheperd

Today the Road to Rural Prosperity heads down the road where we find KC Sheperd talking with Deborah Clark, a rancher from North Texas, who tells her “On average, we’re producing between a 100 and 120 pounds of beef per acre. Our neighbors’, and the county average is somewhere between 40 and 50. That’s a telling number.” Deborah explains the way that she and her husband Emry Birdwell operate their 14,000 acre ranch- they will move their herd multiple times a day to allow them to eat the very...


Episode 36- Harold Wright Talks His Years in Oklahoma House and a Lifetime in Radio with Ron Hays

The Road takes us to Weatherford, Oklahoma as Host Ron Hays talks with State Representative Harold Wright about his 12 years in the Oklahoma State House- including the last four as Speaker Pro Tempore. He offers his take on the 2020 Legislative Session and how challenging it was to write a budget in the middle of the Pandemic. Ron and Harold also talk their shared passion- radio- and the lifetime that Wright has spent in the business. And- Harold offers great insights into rural Oklahoma and...


Episode 35- Oklahoma FFA State Advisor Jack Staats Talks a Lifetime of Ag Education with Ron Hays

Jack Staats has proudly proclaimed "Here by the Owl" at State FFA Conventions since 2008- and did so at the Chapter Level for over thirty years before that- Jack is retiring from his role as State FFA Advisor and the Program Manager of Ag Education in Oklahoma. His teaching career started in 1973 and he has seen Oklahoma FFA rise in popularity and in importance across Oklahoma- reminding us that Oklahoma FFA has the most members of any state based on the per capita state population. He and...


Episode 34- Ron Hays Talks Ag and Energy and More with Oklahoma Senator James Lankford

US Senator James Lankford talks with Host Ron Hays about challenges in two of the key industries found in Rural Oklahoma- Agriculture and Oil and Natural Gas. Lankford described the help coming out of the CARES act and the PPP- and what might be ahead in a few weeks from the US Senate- dismissing the HEROES Act as a partisan wish list from the Democrats in the House. Today's Podcast is powered by the Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma.


Episode 33- Steve Thompson of Oklahoma Farm Bureau Talks State Budget and More Legislative Efforts

Steve Thompson of Oklahoma Farm Bureau Talks about the new fiscal year State of Oklahoma Budget and other policy issues worked on as the State Legislature effectively ended their legislative year by mid May. Thompson said numerous agricultural policy issues were discussed by lawmakers. Among the issues were food safety laws connected with farmers selling direct to consumers through farmer’s markets, changes in hemp regulations, and an updated definition of what constitutes meat. The largest...