Oklahoma ag radio broadcaster thrives on volunteering

Ron Hays has been heavily involved as a volunteer in church and agriculture-related activities and groups.
by Bryan Painter Modified: June 15, 2014 at 10:00 am •  Published: June 15, 2014
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Positive influences have come in stages for Ron Hays.

When Hays, 62, of Oklahoma City, was asked about his volunteer efforts, he backed the conversation up to mention a few of those who by example taught him the importance of helping others daily.

Hays started with his father, Robert — who taught vocational agriculture and later junior high science and also later farmed — and his mother, Ruth — a bookkeeper for the local Chevrolet garage.

“My folks had a lot of influence on me,” said Hays, who was born and raised in Kentucky. “They made church a priority, both Sunday school teachers and my dad was a very hard worker. We spent a lot of hours in the pickup truck together going to show hogs when I was in first 4-H and later FFA. Lots of life lessons were passed along then.”

Also, some of Hays’ high school ag teachers, including Jim Wilds and Bruce Metzger, helped him learn to set goals and stressed the need to be involved in the leadership development of the FFA.

While Hays was a young adult living in Wichita, Kan., his pastor Bruce Anthony “got me looking at really developing a servant heart.”

“And my wife of more than 20 years, Jan, is a native Oklahoma City resident and has been a blessing and helps me process all the things we find ourselves in,” Hays said. “Sometimes she has to be the still, small voice to say, ‘Don’t overdo.’”

Many people know Hays by his voice. He began working in radio in 1970 and got into farm broadcasting on radio in 1974 at a radio station in Wichita.

He moved to Oklahoma City in 1977 to help establish the Oklahoma Agrinet and was there until 2006. In August of that year, Hays changed networks over to the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network.

But aside from work, he’s been heavily involved in church and agriculture-related activities and groups.

Church involvement

Hays is a longtime member of Village Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. And through those years, Hays has served as a lay coordinator of the church’s Living Christmas Tree, a Sunday school teacher, Sunday school churchwide superintendent and as a member of search teams for ministers. Currently, Hays serves as a lay leader for the church’s “Modern Worship Service.”

Some of his efforts have gone far beyond state boundaries.

“A mission trip that I was fortunate to make about 10 years ago was actually a solo trip to the country of Malawi,” Hays said. “I combined my interest in broadcasting and agriculture to go when Oklahoma Baptists had adopted Malawi as a key destination for many of the state’s mission trips.”

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by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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