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Ron Gallaway, retiring Nowata/Washington Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency, USDA, talks about his years working for the agency in his office in Nowata.

An Oklahoma native, Ron Gallaway has spent almost all of his adult life working for the betterment of production agriculture in Oklahoma. A native of Meeker, he graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1974 and went to work for Indian Mound Farms in New Harmony, Ind. That lasted about six months and he returned to Oklahoma where he served five years with the OSU Extension Service before joining what was then the ASCS in 1980.

In 1981 he went to Washington County as executive director and when the Nowata Counties were combined and headquartered in Nowata County and became the Farm Service Agency, he moved his base of operations there. Now, he is embarking on a new phase of life on his farm south of Nowata.

The organization was renamed the Farm Service Agency when the county offices were combined and Gallaway works for the division that oversees the commodity programs. The farm loan programs are served by other personnel in the office.

“With the new farm bill it is going to be complicated,” he said. “We implement what Congress orders concerning crops like wheat, corn, soybeans, deficiency programs, drought feed programs. We also work with the soil conservation and farm loan programs preparing forms they have to have. Things are getting so complicated and you can retired at age 55 with 30 years and I had 33, so I thought this would be a good time to retire.”

While he doesn’t have any big plans for retirement he does admit he might get in a little fishing between farm chores.

“I don’t have anything big planned—need to build fence and other jobs around the farm—but I do intend to continue to keep track of what is going on in agriculture,” Gallaway said.

A going away reception was held at the office in Nowata. Gallaway’s last day will be January 2.

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