REMINDER: Everyone attending our Tuesday luncheon will be asked to wear a mask, except when eating. Masks will be available at registration.
In keeping with Rotary’s mission of service above self, we strongly recommend that only those members and guests that are vaccinated attend our in-person meetings.
On January 14, 2019, Blayne Arthur was sworn in by Governor Kevin Stitt as the Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture—the state’s first female to hold the position. She acts as Governor Stitt’s chief advisor on policy development and implementation related to agriculture, food and forestry, and holds the titles of Oklahoma Commissioner of Agriculture and the President of the Oklahoma State Board of Agriculture.
Secretary Arthur grew up in Chickasha, Oklahoma, where her family raised horses, cattle, wheat, alfalfa and soybeans. Upon graduating from Oklahoma State University in 2004, with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics, Sec. Arthur took a role in small-business financing for Rural Enterprises, Inc and traveled throughout Oklahoma. Secretary Arthur began her tenure at the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry in 2009 working for Secretary Terry Peach and later as the Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture for Secretary Jim Reese where she stayed from 2011 to 2016. In 2016, she served as the Executive Director for the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation until her appointment by Governor Stitt.
Secretary Arthur served as the President of the Midwestern Association of State Departments of Agriculture in 2019. She currently serves as the Animal Ag Committee Chair for the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and the Secretary/Treasurer for Food Export Midwest. She is the 2016 Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Distinguished Service Award Recipient; remains active in Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Diamond Hats, Oklahoma Beef Council and Oklahoma 4-H and FFA programs. Arthur has been selected for multiple honors including Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program Class XV, a Journal Record 2011 Achievers Under 40 honoree, a Journal Record Fifty Making a Difference Honoree in 2019 and 2020 and the 2014 Oklahoma Agricultural Woman of the Year.
Secretary Arthur married Jerrod Arthur in 2006 and they have two children, Kelton and Kennedy, who both enjoy showing cattle and horses. The Arthur family lives east of Stillwater and raise show cattle for 4-H and FFA members.
Trait Thompson is the executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Selected in 2020 by the OHS Board of Directors, Trait is focused on reaching a broader cross section of citizens with Oklahoma’s unique and fascinating history, modernizing the agency’s digital presence, and enhancing the visitor experience at all 26 museums and historic sites under the care of OHS. Along with his predecessor, Dr. Bob Blackburn, he is the co-host of A Very OK Podcast, OHS’s podcast on Oklahoma history.
Prior to his work at OHS, Trait spent six years managing the $280 million comprehensive restoration of the Oklahoma State Capitol for the Office of Management and Enterprise Services. Trait managed the contractors, oversaw the project budget, coordinated the logistics of working in an occupied Capitol, handled media and social media responsibilities, in addition to many other duties for the 8-year project. It is scheduled for completion ahead of schedule and on budget in 2022.
From 2010-2014, Trait served as legislative director and policy advisor to President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman in the Oklahoma Senate. Prior to that, he worked in the telecom and business consulting fields. For almost 10 years, Trait was an adjunct professor in political science at Rogers State University, OSU-OKC, and the University of Oklahoma, teaching courses such as Ethics in Public Service, Tracking Legislation, State and Local Government, and Issue Advocacy.
Trait has a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Oral Roberts University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Texas A&M University. He lives in Edmond with his wife, Sara, and their two children, Cale and Lilah. He attends New Covenant United Methodist Church and he enjoys kayaking, hiking, and reading in his spare time.