State ag group gets new leader

Longtime Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension agricultural educator Wayne Shearhart (left) officially recognizes Ellis County educator Dana Bay (right) as the new president of the Oklahoma Association of Agricultural Extension Agents. (Photo by Todd Johnson, OSU Agricultural Communications Services)

Ellis County Extension agricultural educator Dana Bay has assumed the presidency of the Oklahoma Association of Agricultural Extension Agents, the first woman to ever hold the position.

The association is the professional organization of agricultural educators with the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, one of two state agencies administered by Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

“Dana has always been a very capable Extension professional and has a strong vision about the direction of Extension as we work to meet our state and federal land-grant mandate of helping Oklahomans solve issues and concerns of importance to them, their local communities and the state,” said Trent Milacek, OSU Cooperative Extension area agricultural economist headquartered in Enid.

Bay recently assumed county educator duties in Ellis County after more than a decade in Woodward County, presenting workshops and demonstrations and working to answer individual producer and civic-leader questions about all types of agricultural-related issues, from cattle management to crop production to farm record-keeping, and much more.

“Dana has always exhibited an exceptional service-oriented attitude, not only in terms of normal Extension responsibilities but in terms of stepping up in a crisis and helping out other counties when the need arises,” said Brian Freking, OSU Cooperative Extension area livestock specialist headquartered in Ada and a 15-year member of the association.

Such as in March of 2017, when Bay was supposed to be off on vacation but instead chose to spend her time at the Beaver County Extension Office, helping to organize relief efforts and answer questions from producers, land managers, community leaders and others following the Northwest Complex Fire that burned 781,000 acres in Oklahoma, another 608,000 acres in Kansas and wide stretches of land in the Texas Panhandle.

“We’re excited to have Dana assume the presidency,” Freking said. “She is one of our best, and a role model for what Extension professionals can and should be.”

Prior to joining the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service in January of 2009, Bay worked for Panhandle Feeders of Shattuck, an 8,000-head feedyard, and the Woodward branch of the Central National Bank of Enid.

She served as an animal science professor at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva from 1996 to 2001.

A Cowboy alumna, Bay earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science from OSU in 1994 and 1996, respectively.

(Courtesy of Donald Stotts, OSU Agricultural Communications Services.)

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