Clint D. Abernathy
Clint Abernathy has been in agriculture all his life.
“I want to share my views and concerns about my industry and also of the small towns and cities of western Oklahoma,” he said about his new role as a member of the Kansas City Fed’s Oklahoma City Branch Board of Directors.
“It is important that we retain the industries we have in rural Oklahoma and hopefully attract new ones,” he added.
As a director, he also wants to learn more about other industries and the challenges each faces.
“The Federal Reserve has many roles and functions that I was not aware of before I became a board member,” he said. “The experience should help me in making my business decisions.”
Abernathy owns Abernathy Farms, Inc., a 13,000-acre wheat, cotton and cattle operation near Altus in southwest Oklahoma. His two sons manage employees and day-today operations, but he makes decisions on seed variety selections, fertilizer and lime rates, and planting intentions. He also does a majority of the “book work” involved with farm operations.
The work varies with the seasons and each season has its specific tasks. Over the years, operating a profitable farm has changed with the environment, he said.
Abernathy Farms now uses GPS guidance to efficiently apply fertilizers and lime, and new technologies such as precision farming and drip irrigation. They also use no till practices on fields, which has reduced soil erosion and conserves soil moisture.
“This efficient use of resources saves us money and increases yields while being environmentally friendly at the same time,” he said.
The severe drought of the past three years, Abernathy said, is a vivid reminder of the importance of resource conservation.
Like farming practices, the nation’s economy has changed over the years, and Abernathy hopes to share what he learns as a Fed director with community leaders in his area.
“I feel that it will be very interesting to learn about the Federal Reserve and to better understand monetary policies as they affect the economy,” he said. “I believe it will be a very rewarding experience.”