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Department of Plant and Soil Sciences
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Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405.744.6130
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2017 Master Agronomist

Master agronomists are listed here from 1947 to the current year.

Keeff Felty


Keeff is a fourth generation family farmer in the Altus area. His farm consists of approximately 6400 acres of both irrigated and dryland cotton, wheat, sesame, and pasture land primarily in Jackson County but with some land in Greer County as well. Keeff is a very progressive producer as it relates to his production operation systems employing both current and new technology applications associated with today’s agriculture systems. Agronomically, Keeff is always looking at new options to improve his agriculture production systems. He is very conscious of fertility applications, has a proactive approach to his herbicide programs, stays abreast of new variety work, has considered and looked at new production systems such as wheat and canola rotations, and is now utilizing sesame in his dryland production operations. Keeff also saw the value of no-till several years back in his dry-land production systems and began using this type of system or at least a minimum till operation on the majority of those acres. Keeff is a good production manager of the acres he farms. He quickly determines the optimal return goal for his inputs in both his short and long term management programs. Keeff has also developed a very good irrigated cotton acre program over the years and utilizes new varietal information and stays abreast of new variety technology and its applications certainly as it relates to both insect and weed control options.

Keeff’s strong agronomic knowledge and continued interest in staying current or learning new agronomic principles to improve his farming operation. In this light, Keeff has been an active OSU DASNR supporter and in particular a Plant and Soil Sciences Department cooperating producer. Keeff has worked, via the county extension office, the Southwest Research and Extension Center, and directly with PSS and other departments on several projects. Included in these are the N-Rich Strip Program, both in cotton and wheat. Keeff remains an avid user of N-rich strips in his wheat production fields. He continues to see the value of the program to help him manage his fertility inputs in his wheat production systems.

Keeff continues to host numerous field trials for cotton, sesame, canola and wheat on his farms, working with OSU and seed companies alike. Keeff has been involved in wheat herbicide trial work where one of our more progressive approaches at controlling (suppressing) rescuegrass has been identified. Working with both the county extension office and PSS weed science program this effort was identified and utilized as a highlight impact program area both for extension and the PSS weed science program. He is currently hosting a wheat herbicide trials looking at a new broadleaf herbicide for control of marestail (horseweed), a roundup resistant broadleaf weed that is a problem in wheat, cotton, and crop rotation systems. Keeff has also hosted numerous “on farm” cotton herbicide extension program trials throughout the years. Keeff has been and remains one of the extension programs primary cooperating producers in the county in terms of crop production systems. In this role he has hosted numerous field tours on his farm looking at research and extension trials.

Keeff is also very active in his commodity groups, serving on several boards. He is currently a board member of the National Association of Wheat Growers. He is the 2017 vice-president of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association and the Cotton Incorporated State Support Committee. He has served in all offices of the Jackson County Farm Bureau and is currently the President. He has also held past positions with Oklahoma Farm Bureau PAC Board, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Cotton Council, and Oklahoma Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers.

Keeff is also an alumni of the Oklahoma Agriculture Leadership Program and currently serves as a host for yearly events. He serves on the Jackson County OSU Extension Program Advisory Committee, has attended OSU Legislative Day at the Capital on behalf of OSU-DASNR, and serves on the Western Oklahoma State College Agriculture Advisory Board. He is participating in the Wheat Organization Leaders of the Future Program, 2017, and is a past member of the Wheat Industry Leaders of Tomorrow Program, 2016. Obviously, Keeff considers leadership within the field of Agriculture an important component of his overall lifestyle.

 

 

 

Karen Eifert Jones Master Agronomist 2017Karen Eifert Jones

 

Karen Eifert Jones is a grain farmer near Waukomis, in Northwest Oklahoma, where she grew up. She operates the farm along with her husband and children, Weston (16) and Caroline (14). Her husband, Dr. Rodney Jones works off farm, but gets his boots dirty as often as possible.

Karen graduated from the OSU College of Agriculture in 1985 as a Top Ten Senior. Her father knew his four daughters all carried a deep devotion to the farm, but in his wisdom, he advised, “Find a job. You can’t come back to the farm until you’ve worked somewhere else for 2 years. Then you will be here because you chose to and not because you didn’t think you could do anything else.” Being a slow learner, she stayed away for 20 years.

During that time, she was employed by Dow Agro Sciences working with farmers and ranchers and teaching proper use of chemicals. Then she spent many years with USDA Farm Service Agency analyzing farm finances and administering the guaranteed loan program in conjunction with local lenders. Eight years of her USDA career were spent in Washington DC where she traveled to nearly every state and Puerto Rico, affording her a front row seat to all types of farming practices in a variety of conditions. When she returned to the farm, she brought with her knowledge and insight from those years selling chemicals, analyzing finances and looking at all types of operations.

When Karen and Rod began building their own operation, they rented family land, purchased land, and rented a few parcels from neighbors. Few if any of those acres had grown any cash crop except hard red winter wheat under full tillage since the sod was first turned on the prairie. They knew they could not create a profitable operation unless they switched to a crop rotation program utilizing no-till practices. Karen used her strength as a negotiator to lay out the facts for landlords on the benefits of no-till to the land first and profits second; to get landlords on board. They converted to 100% no-till and educated landlords and neighbors along the way. The Jones family have worked closely with OSU Extension as they built their operation. Karen worked hard to learn about growing canola, sesame, grain sorghum, soybeans and corn; none of which she had ever grown before. She will tell you the best Valentine’s gift her husband ever gave her was a 16 Row Kinze No-till Planter.

Karen is proud of the care they have taken of the land. Both of her parents were born during the dust bowl in Western Oklahoma. Soil conservation has been a priority on the family farm, since her great grandfathers turned the first sod over 125 years ago. Karen says she can still hear her late father’s voice as she grooms waterways and maintains terraces. Her daily decisions are guided by his mantra: “Take care of the land and it will take care of you.”  She strives to farm the land in a way that leaves it better than she found it and teach her children the same.