Path Home Shows 2011 Show Archive July 2011 Show 1131 Don Schieber Profile - Seed Wheat

Don Schieber Profile - Seed Wheat

U.S. Wheat Associates is the marketing arm of wheat growers around the nation. Don Schieber chaired that group this past year, and during that period we visited with him to get some insight to a local farmer's life whose passion is international in scope.
Don Schieber Profile - Seed Wheat

Don Schieber

For more information visit these links:

Oklahoma Wheat Commission
U.S. Wheat Associates

Show Dates

Show 1131: Don Schieber Profile - Seed Wheat

Air date: July 31, 2011

 

Transcript

COURTENAY DEHOFF:  U.S. WHEAT ASSOCIATES IS THE MARKETING ARM OF WHEAT GROWERS AROUND THE NATION.  AND THE GROUPS CHAIRMAN THIS PAST YEAR WAS DON SCHIEBER FROM KAY COUNTY OKLAHOMA.  OUR ROB MCCLENDON SPENT TIME WITH HIM OVER THE LAST 12 MONTHS TO GET SOME INSIGHT TO A LOCAL FARMER’S LIFE WHOSE PASSION IS INTERNATIONAL IN SCOPE.

ROB MCCLENDON:  IT’S FRIDAY NIGHT IN SMALL TOWN OKLAHOMA AND DON SCHIEBER IS TAKING THE FIELD.

[WHISTLE BLOWING]

DON SCHIEBER:  FOOTBALL, AT THESE GAMES, I DON’T KNOW, I’VE REALLY HAD A PASSION FOR THAT THROUGH THE YEARS.  THIS FALL WILL BE MY 42ND YEAR DOING THAT.

ROB:  A DEVOTION THAT TRANSLATES INTO HIS OTHER PASSION, U.S. WHEAT.

DON:  WHEAT’S BEEN MY LIFE EVER SINCE I WAS OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW WHAT IT WAS.  I STARTED DRIVING TRACTORS WHEN I WAS 7 YEARS OLD, DRIVING A COMBINE WHEN I WAS 12, HAULING WHEAT TO THE ELEVATOR WHEN I WAS 8, BY MYSELF.  SO, IT’S ABOUT THE ONLY THING I’VE EVER KNOWN.

ROB:  HARVESTING 160 ACRES OF SEED WHEAT ON A FARM HE BOUGHT RIGHT AFTER HE WAS MARRIED, DON SAYS FARMING IS IN HIS BLOOD.

DON:  I DECIDED I WANTED TO BE A FARMER WHEN I WAS IN THE SEVENTH GRADE AND AIMED ALL OF MY EDUCATION TO THAT.  IT JUST SEEMS LIKE IT WOULD BE A WASTE NOW IF I WASN’T A FARMER.

ROB:  AND THAT, HE HAS BEEN.  JUST OUT OF COLLEGE, SCHIEBER BEGAN WORKING WITH SEED WHEAT AT OSU’S AGRONOMY STATION IN LAHOMA.

DON:  THEY HAD JUST GOT THE FARM, AND WHEN I WAS FINISHING MY MASTERS DEGREE, AND MY MASTERS THESIS WAS A SOIL SURVEY OF THAT FARM.  SO, THEY FELT LIKE I KNEW MORE ABOUT THAT PLACE THAN ANYBODY, SO THEY HIRED ME TO BE THE SUPERINTENDENT.  SO I WAS THAT FOR THREE YEARS, KIND OF GOT EVERYTHING GOING OVER THERE.  AND, I GUESS I GOT INTERESTED IN SEED WHEAT PRODUCTION DOING THE RESEARCH, AND I’M STILL IN THE SEED WHEAT BUSINESS, SO.

ROB:  AND WITH ALMOST HALF OF THE U.S. WHEAT HEADING FOR EXPORT, SCHIEBER’S CONCERNS ARE MUCH WIDER THAN JUST HIS FARM.

DON:  OH, EXTREMELY IMPORTANT BECAUSE WE EXPORT ABOUT 43% OF THE WHEAT CROPS THAT WE GROW IN OKLAHOMA, SO.  THIS YEAR IT MAY BE MORE THAN THAT BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE THAT MUCH WHEAT, BUT I THINK, UH, WE’LL HAVE PLENTY OF WHEAT TO GO AROUND.  BUT UH, YOU KNOW, IF WE DON’T HAVE EXPORTS THERE’S NO NEED TO GROW THIS MUCH; BUT, UH, SO WE’VE GOT TO, GOT TO KEEP OUR EXPORT MARKETS.  I THINK THAT’LL HAPPEN.

ROB:  THROUGH THE YEARS, SCHIEBER’S TRAVELED THE GLOBE TELLING U.S. WHEAT’S STORY, ESTABLISHING RELATIONSHIPS, AND PROMOTING A CROP THAT HELPS HIS NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS ACROSS U.S. WHEAT COUNTRY.

DON:  OH, IT’S REALLY BEEN A THRILL TO SEE ALL THE PEOPLE YOU GET TO SEE AROUND THE WORLD.  TO GET TO DO A LOT OF WORLD TRAVEL, TRYING TO SELL WHEAT, OPEN MARKETS IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD, CONTINUE TO SELL THE WHEAT TO THE ONE’S THAT WE’RE SELLING TO NOW, MAYBE INCREASE THAT MARKET SOMEWHAT.  AND THEN, TO DEAL WITH ALL THE PROBLEMS WE’VE HAD WITH THE FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS AND THE DROUGHT AROUND THE WORLD.  AND, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE THINKING THEY’RE OUT OF FOOD; THEY WANT TO BUILD UP THEIR SUPPLY SO THEY’LL HAVE SOME IN CASE THERE IS A PROBLEM SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD.  AND THINGS LIKE THAT, IT’S JUST REALLY BEEN A THRILL TO REALLY GET TO BE AROUND A LOT OF THAT, THAT YOU NORMALLY WOULDN’T GET TO SEE.

ROB:  AND WHILE DON’S WORK WITH U.S. WHEAT ASSOCIATES HAS TAKEN HIM TO SEVERAL CONTINENTS AND MANY MORE COUNTRIES, THE JOB DOESN’T STOP WHEN HE’S AT HOME.  WITH A STATE LEGISLATOR AND OSU’S DEAN OF AGRICULTURE IN TOW, DON SCHIEBER TAKING A LITTLE WHEAT TO MARKET IS JUST ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO TELL THE WHEAT EXPORT STORY.

DON:  U.S. WHEAT ASSOCIATES, WE HAVE OFFICES IN 18 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, AND WE SERVICE ABOUT 80 COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD; TRYING TO TEACH ‘EM HOW TO USE OUR GRAIN, HOW TO BUY IT, THE IMPORTANCE OF IT, AND THE QUALITY OF IT, HOW MUCH BETTER IT IS THAN SOME OF OUR COMPETITORS.  AND UH, THOSE KIND OF THINGS WE’VE GOT TO HAVE; AND A LOT OF IT IS MADE POSSIBLE WITH THE CHECK-UP DOLLARS.  AND, WE’VE GOT 19 STATES NOW THAT ARE MEMBERS OF U.S. WHEAT ASSOCIATES; SO, IT’S BECOME A BIG DEAL.

ROB:  NOT ONLY IS DON ACTIVE WITH U.S. WHEAT ASSOCIATES, HE ALSO SERVES ON THE OKLAHOMA WHEAT COMMISSION.

DON:  OH, THAT’S BEEN A REAL LOT OF FUN; A LOT OF WORK TOO, BUT SOMEBODY’S GOTTA DO IT AND I WAS JUST LUCKY ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT.  I’M NOT GONNA BE HERE FOREVER, BUT WE NEED TO DO WHAT WE CAN TO HELP PEOPLE THAT’S GONNA TAKE OUR PLACE WHEN WE’RE GONE.  SO, THEY’LL HAVE IT EASIER.

ROB:  AND LEAVING SOME BIG SHOES TO FILL.

DON:  WE’VE ALWAYS BEEN A RELIABLE SOURCE FOR WHEAT FOOD SUPPLY AROUND THE WORLD AND WE’VE JUST GOT TO KEEP OUR DOORS OPEN, SO WE CAN CONTINUE THAT TRADITION.

ROB:  DON SCHIEBER, OUTGOING CHAIRMAN OF U.S. WHEAT ASSOCIATES.