Mike Dain | 2014

After more than 15 years of advocating for the Oklahoma agricultural industry Mike Dain was honored with the okPORK Distinguished Service Award.

Spending his youth on a farm in Kansas, Dain learned about both the hard work and the beauty of working in an agricultural field. He joined the U.S. Navy to see the world during Vietnam, and after returning home he used the GI Bill to go to radio broadcasting school. While he was in broadcasting school he was hired to be an all-night disc jockey for a radio station in Wichita, Kan.

“They had the Great Plains Farm Show and I would fill in there,” Dain said.  It’s kind of how I learned to do a little more of the ag stuff – because although I was familiar with ag, it was a different world by then. Within six or eight months I was the program director and the morning disc jockey at KICT and did fill in work on the ag stuff.”

After working in radio for several years in Kansas, Dain and some colleagues started their own network in Oklahoma. Laughing, Dain called QuinStar “kind of a pipedream,” but explains he was there for five years before he began working with Clear Channel.

One only needs to listen to Dain talk about the agricultural media’s role to realize he is a dedicated and loyal friend to agriculture. He stresses that agricultural reporters are not investigative reporters. He continued by saying that while ag advocates are willing to face the tough issues, they are often able to be positive about telling what the industry is going to do to fix any problems.

“Ag advocates are going to try to tell the correct story – or the truth,” Dain said. “You can’t ignore the bad stuff; you have to try to be balanced. It’s very difficult to do; you don’t want to alienate both sides.”

A friend, an advocate and now an okPORK Distinguished Service Award recipient – it goes without saying it was a good day for the Oklahoma pork industry when Dain decided to move to Oklahoma. For all of the reasons mentioned and more, okPORK chose 2014 as the year to honor Dain with the Distinguished Service Award for all of his hard work.