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Oklahoma Agricultural Hall of Fame
Photo of Wayne Krehbiel
Wayne Krehbiel-2011

Wayne Krehbiel has served the agriculture industry for many years and in many ways. In his younger days, Krehbiel was a 4-H member and ran a combine at age 10. Krehbiel reports that much of his agricultural knowledge was gained when he took a harvesting crew north and learned from farmers along the way. His custom harvesting operation paid for college at Oklahoma State University (OSU). As the live-in hand at the OSU hog barn and as a member of the meats judging team, he expanded his knowledge and skills. He was recognized as a Graduate of Distinction in 1991 by the OSU College of Agriculture.

Krehbiel has had a diverse farming operation and continues to serve several organizations including the Oklahoma Crop Improvement Association and the Oklahoma Fruit Growers. He was also a board member for the Oklahoma Sheep and Wool Producers and the American Sheep Industry Association.

He is perhaps best known for the innovations and inventions he contributed to agriculture. In 1956, Krehbiel bought anhydrous ammonia in El Reno and developed a plowshare to apply the ammonia below the surface. He is believed to be the first farmer in Oklahoma to use anhydrous ammonia in that way.

His inventions and agricultural expertise took him overseas, first to Saudi Arabi to set up a model farm and then to the Canadian Arctic to test his flexible-shaft shearing machine on musk oxen.

He developed a machine to produce compacted straw logs, which took him to Kazakhstan and Siberia where people needed the logs to cook and heat their homes. Rather than patent the machine, Krehbiel simply showed the people how to make the machines themselves.

“It’s not about how much money you can make,” Krehbiel said. “It’s whether it is good for mankind, good for your neighbors. That, to me, is success.”

In 2002, Wayne and his wife, Fern, proudly adorned their farm with a sign proclaiming the property a centennial farm. Age has not slowed Krehbiel down. He has recently been working on a ground-heated freeze-resistant livestock watering system and is dabbling in a fish and micro-algae farm.

State leaders were in attendance to congratulate the honoree including Rep. Todd Russ, Rep. Harold Wright, Rep. Phil Richardson and Sen. Ron Justice who presented Krehbiel with a citation for his contribution to the agriculture industry in Oklahoma.

Krehbiel, 80, cultivated numerous friendships over the years and has been a great asset to agriculture in Oklahoma and around the world.