JANUARY 18, 2006

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NWOSU's Sneary receives state agriculture award

Steve Sneary, farm manager for Northwestern Oklahoma State University, received the Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award during the organization’s 64th annual convention in Oklahoma City.

The award recognizes a successful person, 35 years old or younger, who is involved in agriculture, but whose primary occupation is not farming or owning an agricultural business. The award is based on a person’s involvement in agriculture and participation in Oklahoma Farm Bureau and other community organizations.

He recently competed with other state winners in the American Farm Bureau finals at the national convention in Nashville.

Besides the trip to Nashville, Sneary’s state prizes included a four-wheeler ATV courtesy of Farm Credit and a $500 cash award from Dodge.

In addition to serving as farm manager, Sneary is an instructor in agriculture at Northwestern. He is the fourth generation producer on his family’s farm, but his livelihood comes from farm management and teaching.

Sneary earned a bachelor’s degree in 1998 and a master’s degree in 2005, both from Northwestern. His wife, the former Ashlee Ream, also graduated from the university in 1998. They have two sons, 4-year-old Cooper and 2-month-old Conner. They live in Alva.

Sneary, 29, has been involved in agriculture since he was a youngster and has pursued his love of agriculture through education. His master’s degree has allowed him the opportunity to educate both his students and the community about future possibilities of agriculture.

“I feel that strong family, education, church and community values are the backbone of agriculture, and I love having the opportunity to bring those values to a wide range of people through education, community and agriculture events,” Sneary said.

He serves on the Woods County Farm Bureau board of directors, as well as the county Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) committee. Sneary and his wife recently were elected to the YF&R state committee.

At Northwestern, Sneary co-sponsors the Aggie Club, coaches a livestock show team and organizes the FFA Interscholastic Livestock Judging contests. He recently created the university’s first collegiate Farm Bureau program.

Sneary assists FFA and 4-H members on the county and district levels and has helped bring agriculture to city children with petting zoos and Ag in the Classroom. He said he believes his positions with the university and Farm Bureau offer him unique opportunities to impact agriculture.

“I hope to positively impact agriculture by helping train tomorrow’s leaders and agriculturalists to better prepare them for an ever-changing industry,” Sneary said.