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Tulsa County native named DASNR Champion


Tulsa County farmer-rancher Mike Spradling has been named a 2011 DASNR Champion by Oklahoma State University's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

"My degrees may not have been from OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, but CASNR is where my heart has been since early in life," said Spradling, a Cowboy alumnus who earned his bachelor's degree in business from OSU in 1970.

The DASNR Champion Award recognizes and honors those who are not CASNR graduates but who have brought distinction to the division while demonstrating a continuing interest in and commitment for agricultural sciences and natural resources.

The division comprises the college and two state agencies: the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.

A 1966 graduate of Broken Arrow High School, Spradling and his wife, Lotsee, own and operate the Flying G Ranch near Lotsee, Oklahoma's smallest town, which is named for his wife. Cattle and pecans are their primary agricultural enterprises. They also have a retail pecan operation.

"Mike is very much aware of the concerns and issues faced by Oklahoma producers and related agribusiness operators, which has played a significant role in the guidance he has provided over the years as a member of our dean's advisory council, helping us ensure that division programs remain relevant and focused on high-priority needs," said Robert E. Whitson, DASNR vice president, dean and director.

Spradling was elected as the eighth president of Oklahoma Farm Bureau, the state's largest general farm organization, on Nov. 10, 2007, at the organization's 66th annual meeting in Oklahoma City.

He has served on the Oklahoma Farm Bureau state board of directors since 1999, when he was elected to fill an unexpired term. Spradling was re-elected and has served continuously since then, representing Farm Bureau members from Creek, Lincoln, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Osage, Payne, Pawnee, Tulsa and Washington counties as the district nine director.

In addition, Spradling currently serves as a board member of the 4-H Foundation and the American Farm Bureau Federation, a trustee for Indian Electric Coop, a representative on the Oklahoma Association of Electric Coops and as secretary of the Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority.

He also was in the first class of the division's Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program in the early 1980s. Participants must be engaged in production agriculture or a related agriculture business and show a strong commitment to aspire to a leadership role to benefit Oklahoma agriculture. It consists of a series of seminars and study tours over a two-year period.

"Mike Spradling's commitment to the well-being of agriculture, agribusiness operators, farm families and rural Oklahoma makes him most deserving of being named a charter recipient of the DASNR Champion Award," Whitson said.

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