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1993 Master Agronomist

1993 Master Agronomist, Robert "Bob" Dietrick and Kenneth Failes

Robert “Bob” Dietrick

Words like innovator, leader, professional were used by the nominators to describe Bob Dietrick and his profitable crop production practices that make maximum use of crop residues to reduce wind erosion and conserve available moisture on his farm in northwest Oklahoma.  As an innovator he continually searches for new and better ways to reduce his tillage operations. If an unusual weed problem develops he will devise a way to deal with it, chemically or mechanically.

As a professional, he works closely with the ag chemical industry and follows many of the OSU recommendations. He continually refines and improves the use of pesticides and their application for himself and his clients. As a leader, Bob has a strong desire to share his experience and knowledge with his neighbors.  He has provided a great deal of public service to his community by hosting annual educational meetings and filed days on his farm to show off many of his herbicide, fertility and moisture conservation demonstrations.  Bob is a person who "practices what he preaches" and many producers in his area look to him for guidance and information.

Bob and his wife Jeretta farm 1,120 acres near Tyrone.  This past year Bob decide to almost double his farming operation. Nearly all of his crops are grown using a chemical tillage system with a bare minimum of tillage.  He grows dryland wheat and grain sorghum using a fallow rotation program.  His crop yields will challenge the yields of similar crops grown in a more humid climate.  He attributes his ability to farm more acres and get better yields to this innovative cropping system that greatly reduces the hours he spends per acre.  Mr. Dietrick has used his other business, Dietrick's Ag. Service, to influence, guide and assist other producers interested in improving their agronomic practices as well as stimulating others to implement better residue management systems on their farms. In 1991, Bob was selected as the Texas County Co-operator of the Year by the Conservation District.

He was born in Turpin, OK, graduated from Turpin High School, and received his B.S. degree from Panhandle State University.  Although he did not pursue a formal graduate education, he regularly attends educational programs and conferences.  Bob serves on several local boards and has membership in numerous crop, agri-business and civic organizations.



Kenneth Failes

Kenneth Failes is a well-respected agricultural leader in Alfalfa County.  He is a tremendous supporter of Oklahoma State University Extension and Research. He regularly attends educational programs and meetings, and promotes and utilizes the soil testing laboratory at OSU. He willingly gives his time and provides land and equipment for demonstrations conducted by the Alfalfa County Ag. Agent, Area Agronomist, State Specalists and by OSU researchers. The OSU wheat variety test plots have been located on his farm for a number of years.  In addition, he has had numerous fertility and weed control research and demonstration plots on his farm over the years.

He was born in Cherokee, OK, graduated from Cherokee High School, and received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agronomy from Oklahoma State University.  After graduation, he was employed by Kansas State University for one year at the Newton Agricultural Experiment Station before returning to the family farm.  In addition to farming, he has been employed by the Burlington Co-Op as an Agronomist for the past 24 years.  He has used his position and training to provide agronomic production information to many farmers and ranchers in Alfalfa County.  He is highly recognized by his customers and neighbors for his vast knowledge, skills, leadership and guidance on issues dealing with agriculture.

He has served nine years on the Alfalfa County ASCS committee, serving six years as chairman.  He has been a member of the Alfalfa County Extension Program Planning and Advisory Committee, Crops Superintendent for the Alfalfa County Fair, and has served on the Cherokee School Board.  Currently he is a member of the Advisory Panel for the North Central Research Station at Lahoma. In addition, he actively participates in numerous civic and church activities.

Kenneth is a devoted father and husband to four children and his wife Marcia. Together they operate an 800 acre farm north of Cherokee.  Their farming operation consists of wheat, alfalfa and grass for cattle.