OAB Hall of Fame
Ron Hays is fortunate to integrate his two passions in life: Farming and Radio. With his signature greeting—“Howdy, Neighbors”—Ron has been the voice and advocate for Oklahoma Farmers and the agriculture industry since 1977. Heard on over 90 stations over the past 30 years, Ron’s knowledge and relatable lifestyle have made him an Oklahoma institution.
While in college, Ron started his career at WWLV in Versailles, KY, in 1970 as a board operator. The opportunity to be a farm broadcaster came in 1974 at KFH in Wichita, KS. Ron then moved up to network radio in 1977 as the newly appointed Farm Director of the Oklahoma Agrinet. Over the years Ron’s duties were expanded to Operations Manager for the Oklahoma News Network, where Ron oversaw all aspects of their programming. In 2006 Ron accepted a new challenge as the Director of Farm Programming for the Radio Oklahoma Network, where his exclusive focus is Oklahoma Farmers and their needs.
Ron has been quite the innovator in network radio. He helped make the transition from phone circuits to satellite delivery of audio by the network. Ron also customized farm reports to various lengths to accommodate stations in an expanding network that included Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and New Mexico. Ron oversaw the sports networks for both OU and OSU, and developed the original Statewide High School Football Scoreboard Show on Friday Nights.
Ron’s work has been extensively honored by both the broadcasting and agriculture industries. Ron is a three-time winner of the Oscar Award, considered to be the highest honor for a farm broadcaster. Ron has also been awarded National Farm Broadcaster of the Year, and is only one of three broadcasters to win the prestigious Milt Hakel Award for Ag Journalists.
Through all the years Ron has remained close to the rural community. They know Ron cares and understands their needs. That is why when they hear “Howdy, Neighbor” they know it is someone who has earned their trust.