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AFR Elects Leaders at Annual Convention

Voting delegates at the recent 2017 AFR convention elected two new leaders and re-elected three current leaders for their board of directors and officers.  The voting took place Feb. 18 during the second day of the three-day annual convention at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Convention Center in Norman, Okla.

Elected to represent the new position of Northwest Agent Director from District 1 is Kyndell Nichols, Fairview.  After graduation from Oklahoma State University with a BS Degree in Ag Economics and Accounting, he returned to the family farm to work with his father and with his mother in the insurance and real estate business. Nichols has been an agent for AFR/OFU since 1985.  He now runs the farming operation and has expanded a registered Hereford cattle herd with the help of his two sons, Levon and Lathan.

As an active AFR member, he has served on the Policy Committee, attended Washington DC fly-in and participated in a Special Advisory Committee to the Board of Directors.  He was appointed by AFR/OFU to serve on a special committee formed by then Governor Keating, to study the state's ability to handle an infectious disease attack.  He has served as a Local officer, County Board member and has been President of the AFR Northwest Area for over 20 years.

As an agent, Nichols is serving on the Agents Association Executive Council and served on a special committee appointed by the Board to review the agent's contract.

Nichols has been an active leader in his community for 25 years serving on the County Fair Board and is a Charter Member of the Ringwood Lions Club.  He was a member of the Oklahoma Hereford Association Board and served as President.

Filling the new At-Large Independent Director's position is Mason Mungle.  He was a partner in the family dairy farmat Atoka, Oklahoma, and is still involved with a cow/calf operation on the farm.  He was a member of the first class of the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Programand has a Bachelor and Master Degree from Oklahoma StateUniversity in animal science.

Mungle served as director of the Oklahoma Conservation Commissionworking with Conservation districts in Oklahoma from 1986-1997.  

Mungle worked for OFU/AFR in Coop Development and Legislative Affairs from1997 to 2007.  Duties included managing programs and legislative activities at the state and national levels for agriculture, rural and insurance issues.

Heserved as president of Farmers Royalty Company until retirement in 2016.  Farmers Royalty Company was established in 1928 as Farmers Union Cooperative Royalty Company.  He is on the board and past state president of OK NARO and serves on the board of the Oklahoma Agriculture Mediation Program.

Garrett Barnett, Tahlequah, was elected to serve as the new leader for AFR in the position of Northeast Agent Director #3. Barnett manages Celeste Looney Insurance in Tahlequah, with his wife and co-owner, Brandi. He received his BBA at the University of Oklahoma with a major in Management Information Systems (MIS) in 1996. He entered the computer field when most businesses were beginning to realize the necessity of a presence on the Internet. Garrett worked the next 12 years at Hertz Car Rental. He led the team that set up reservation centers in Australia, Canada, and the United States. Then, in 2001 Garrett assumed management of the Internet Systems and Design team for In 2007, Garrett moved to corporate headquarters in New Jersey. He chose to leave in 2008 in favor of raising his young family in small town Oklahoma where public schools, 4-H and FFA are strong.

Terry Peach, Mutual, was re-elected to the AFR Board of Directors, representing the northwest independent district. Peach is the third generation to operate his family's 1898 homestead.

He earned a bachelor's in agricultural education from OSU and taught vo-ag at Cashion. He left his teaching career to go into business for himself, operating a feed business for many years. He also started Woodward Hull, an oilfield supply company that his son, Te, now operates.

Professionally, Peach has served as the USDA Farm Service Agency State Executive Director and as the Oklahoma Secretary and Commissioner of Agriculture from 2003 to 2011, managing a budget of up to $50 million.

Peach has received the Honorary State and National FFA Degrees, the Oklahoma Wheat Commission Staff of Life Award, the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association Distinguished Service Award, the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts President's Award and the USDA Distinguished Service Award. He has also served as president of the Southern U.S. Trade Association and the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

Bob Holley was re-elected to serve on the AFR board of directors, representing the southeast independent district. Holley was born and raised in rural Southeast Oklahoma on a small farm in the Pickens community.  Family enterprises include beef cattle, market hogs and timber with the principal off-farm income from timber harvesting for Choctaw Lumber Company later known as Weyerhaeuser Company.

His education was from Clebit, Oklahoma, then Battiest, graduating in 1957 in Broken Bow, Oklahoma.

Holley received an Associate's Degree in Agriculture in 1959 from Eastern Oklahoma A&M, Wilburton, and graduated with a BS Degree in Vocational Agriculture Education from OSU in 1961. Later that fall he completed one semester toward his Master's Degree.

After employment as a Vocational Agriculture Instructor for two terms at Wickes, Arkansas High School. He began working in 1965 as Assistant County Supervisor with USDA, Farmer's Home Administration (FMHA) in Pushmataha County in Antlers, Oklahoma where the agency made and serviced various types of loans. 

Upon promotion to County Supervisor in 1968-69, he transferred to the Choctaw County Office in Hugo, Oklahoma where he served until 1979. After a promotion to District Director, he transferred to Atoka, Oklahoma where he supervised a minimum of 10 counties until retirement in July 1992.

Paul Jackson, Ringling, was re-elected to serve another term three-year term as AFR State Secretary. 

A fourth-generation farmer/rancher, Jackson has a diverse agricultural background, including cow-calf, stocker cattle, wheat, rye, peanuts, cotton, hay and hogs.

Jackson serves on the boards of Love County Farmers Union & Local 741, Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program, Oklahoma 4-H Foundation and Midwest Shows Scholarship Program. He is a community volunteer, fireman, assistant pastor and church treasurer, and member of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, Love County Historical Society, and Oklahoma Society of Association Executives.

Jackson chaired the NFU Policy Committee, served on the Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Planning Committee, National Fire Ant Task Force and was appointed to the National Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board.

Jackson worked in Washington, D.C., on rural development and agriculture issues for an Oklahoma congressman and was the National Rural Water Association Professional Programs Director.

Jackson earned a degree in agricultural communications from OSU and has completed Leadership Love County and Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program.