Ron Sholar has been named executive director of the Oklahoma Peanut Commission, taking over from Mike Kubicek, who served in the position for the past 22 years. Kubicek retired at the end of March.
Sholar brings some 30 years of experience in the peanut industry to the position.
He spent three decades working in Extension at Oklahoma State University, where he provided statewide leadership to Extension programs designed to improve profitability of oilseed crops with emphasis on peanuts and soybeans. He also conducted an extensive applied research and field demonstration program and served as the OSU Division of Agriculture Liaison to the Oklahoma Peanut Commission and the Oklahoma Soybean Board.
His agriculture roots go even deeper. He grew up on a crop and livestock farm in middle Tennessee and earned a BS degree in agricultural sciences from the University of Tennessee at Martin. He received an MS in agronomy and a PhD in crop science from Oklahoma State University.
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Sholar has been recognized by his peers for his work in the peanut industry, serving as executive officer for the American Peanut Research and Education Society (APRES) from 1983 through 2007. He received the APRES Coyt T. Wilson Distinguished Service Award and the Dow AgroSciences Award for Excellence in Extension. He was elected to a fellowship in APRES in 1999. Other agricultural awards include recognition from the Caddo Research Station Advisory Committee, the Texoma Peanut Growers’ Association, the Oklahoma Peanut Growers Association, The Oklahoma Peanut Commission and the Oklahoma Soybean Board. In 2012 he received the OSU division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Distinguished Alumnus Award.
In addition to a career in Extension, he served in the US Army and Army Reserve for 39 years before retiring in 2010 as a Major General.
Sholar and Linda, his wife of 44 years, reside in Stillwater and have one daughter, a son-in-law and four grandchildren.
Sholar says he will follow a Peanut Commission executive director who was passionate about his work.
“Mike has worked tirelessly and successfully on behalf of the Oklahoma peanut industry,” Sholar says. “It’s hard to imagine anyone having had a more profound effect on the entire industry.
“Producers greatly appreciate that Mike has always fought fiercely for their interests, and he won most of those battles. But he always did that in a way that didn’t alienate others. On the contrary, while he worked directly for peanut growers, he also had the trust and confidence of other segments of the industry.
“He will be missed enormously.”
Joe D White, chairman of the Oklahoma Peanut Board, says Sholar will be a good fit. “He will be a tremendous asset. We are excited to have him on board. He was with Extension when I was just starting to grow peanuts.”
Sholar will work out of Stillwater.