Arthur would be state's first female secretary of agriculture
Blayne Arthur, a cattle rancher from Stillwater and the executive director of the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation, has been nominated by Gov.-elect Kevin Stitt to serve as the state's secretary of agriculture, which would make her the first woman to hold the post.
“Blayne Arthur is a deeply respected leader in Oklahoma agriculture, known for her excellence in public service, her entrepreneurial spirit, and her passion mentoring youth,” said Stitt, who made the announcement Thursday.
The secretary of agriculture, who leads the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, requires Senate confirmation.
Arthur's nomination has received support from the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association and several other agriculture organizations.
Oklahoma's current secretary of agriculture is Jim Reese, who was appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin in 2011.
Arthur, 36, said she wants to expand the state's agriculture processing capabilities, promote rural economic development and better recruit young Oklahomans to enter the agriculture career field.
"(Young people) have grown up in a different era, they have new ideas and new enthusiasm, and that can make an agriculture operation totally different," Arthur said.
Arthur and her husband manage a farm east of Stillwater, raising and selling cattle for 4-H and FFA members to exhibit.
- Related to this story
- Video: Agriculture Secretary Nominee shares her thoughts on agriculture in Oklahoma
Before leading the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation, Arthur was deputy commissioner for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.
Arthur would be the state's first female secretary of agriculture, which she believes could help encourage more young women to enter the agriculture industry.
"I hope this encourages our young women in ag to know that whatever they have their sights set on ... they can do that, they can achieve that," Arthur said.
"I have a son, but I also have a daughter, and I hope she sees that whatever she wants to pursue in life, the world is open to her."