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Oklahoma Agricultural Hall of Fame
Photo of George W. Stone
George W. Stone-2000

Governor Frank Keating named George W. Stone of Purcell as this year's inductee into the Oklahoma Agriculture Hall of Fame. Stone, 80, was president of the Oklahoma Farmer's Union from 1956 to 1980 making him the longest serving president in the organization's history.

From 1980 to 1984, Stone served as president of the National Farmers Union based in Denver. After retiring from that position he returned to Oklahoma to raise cattle, hay and peaches. Governor Keating praised the Byars native for a lifetime of service to agriculture. "George Stone exemplifies the commitment to agriculture and citizenship this award was created for," Governor Keating said. "His work with agricultural issues, youth groups and senior citizens stands as a testament to this great Oklahoman and I'm proud to honor him with this award."

Stone grew up on the family farm during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, working with his parents, two brothers and five sisters, the Governor noted. He later became an ordained minister and served as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Bethany and University Heights in Oklahoma City from 1942 - 1952.

During his tenure as president of the OFU, Stone is credited with doubling the organization's membership, according to Phil Klutts, current OFU president. As president, Stone presided over two ground breaking ceremonies to accommodate the unprecedented expansion of the organization.

"George Stone is a wonderful addition to our Oklahoma Agriculture Hall of Fame," said Dennis Howard, Secretary of Agriculture. "His life of service to agriculture and rural Oklahoma should serve as an example of how leaders can make a difference in their industry and communities. I have always found George to be very supportive of all 4-H and FFA programs and activities," Howard added. "Over the years he has promoted and contributed to their public speaking contests, junior livestock shows and other leadership programs such as youth summer camps."

Stone lives in Purcell with his wife, Max. The Stones have four sons, ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. George remains active on the OFU Executive Board of Directors.