OKLAHOMA NWIAA CHAIRPERSON & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Founder, CEO, & Executive
Dr.Tammy Gray-Steele, is the first American agricultural specialist, agripreneur, educator, and women and children advocate. Born and raised on a farm, she received her secondary education in the rustic and rural community of Wewoka, Oklahoma. Upon graduating high school, Dr. Steele left Oklahoma to pursue a dual educational and business career in New York City. Armed with the legal degree she obtained from New York University Law School, and the requisite legal business experience she acquired on Manhattan's Wall Street, she returned home to her family farm, and started to give back to the Oklahoma rural communities, in the process working full-time in the Oklahoma Corporate legal arena, and devoting time to study for a Master's Degree in Business Administration (MBA), Horticulture and Childcare Development Certifications.
On the broader national turf, Dr. Steele is a former USDA-SARE Advisory Main Council Member. Additionally, she had the rare honor of being appointed by President Barack Obama's administration as a distinguished USDA-NASS Advisory Councilwoman, serve on USDA Grant Panels and a USDA Strategic Action Team Leader. Dr. Steele serves on various scholarship committees that were instituted for the educational empowerment of the youth. In addition, she offers invaluable support to the Oklahoma City Black Chamber of Commerce, apart from volunteering on various rural Chamber of Commerce boards.
Deploying uncommon intellectual energy and superlative personal industry to achieve exemplary and duly-acknowledged results-oriented performance in both individual and team activities, Dr. Steele has demonstrated unrivaled commitment in assisting counties in the State of Oklahoma with expert knowledge in healthy food production at a level that matches any known empirical and international standards. In the process, she has managed to build for herself an unassailable reputation, and a formidable pedigree, as a widely-sought after agricultural expert who is never short of strategic, innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to challenges in the agricultural sector of the economy.
Dr. Steele has embarked upon a personal crusade to develop good character amongst women and children. With a total belief in the credo that, "A child can only be developed if her mother provides sufficient support and resources," and with a legendary passion for empowering disadvantaged women and women of color in rural America, she strives to ensure that no woman, and no child, with whom she comes into contact, is socially and economically marginalized in the scheme of things.
Sincerely motivated by an altruistic desire to empower the socially and economically disadvantaged, and to deliver timely awareness and education to those who truly desire a sustainably healthier lifestyle, Dr. Steele established National Women In Agriculture Association in 2008. Since then, she has employed the powerful and influential instrumentality of NWIAA to pursue her agenda of sustainable development in America's agricultural sector. To this end, in January 2014, Dr. Steele opened NWIAA’s first Sustainable Agriculture Academy in the United States, located on the Eastside of the Oklahoma City Metro Area, and in close proximity to the city's largest African American population. It was in the light of this that Dr. Steele was recognized at the White House in February 2014, for leading the country in efforts to save and educate America's youth using environmental and innovative agriculture-based sustainable best practices, and in the spring of 2013, she was awarded a humanitarian honorary doctorate for exemplary performance as one of the most influential agro-business community developers amongst her generation in the United States.
Dr. Steele has received awards from Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Conservation District Cooperatives Department and Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus, and Tuskegee University and other educational institutions in genuine appreciation for her support of various economic empowerment entrepreneurship programs. She has written testimonial articles with New York Magazine and other Agriculture Journals.
OKLAHOMA NWIAA CHAIRPERSON
Growing up in a rural community in southwest Oklahoma, Frederick, located in Tillman County, allowed me to build my roots. Alongside my parents, gardening in the spring and summer months allowed us to grow the food we consumed. We also enjoyed the late evenings with our hands in the soil. In 2011, I decided to follow a lifelong dream to become an educator with two small children in tow. After five years, I was able to graduate with honors allowing me to exhibit to my girls any dream is possible.
Being a great educator allows you to show your students where to look, but not what to see. After earning my Bachelors in Science for Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix, I entered the teaching profession to teach for 3 1/2 years at Frederick Elementary in Frederick, Oklahoma. Currently, I am working part-time in Vernon, Texas, at Central Elementary due to my busy farming schedule.
In addition to my primary job functions,
I was recognized among the top three teachers for Ag in the Classroom teacher of the year 2018 in Oklahoma.
In, 2019 I was the 1st runner up for the whole state.
Pork Council Grant - 2016/2017 - Classroom - Countertop - Aero Garden allowed my students to grow plants from seeds in small groups and taste testings.
Pork Council Grant - 2018 - Classroom - Bee supplies to bring bees right into the classroom along with taste testings and bee activities for the whole 3rd grade.
Tillman County Youth Coalition Grant/Frederick Lions Club - Garden Tower - Introducing our school system in hydroponic growing while my class maintained growing 20 full-sized plants, ph levels, and water levels. Taste-testing portions were sent home for parents and siblings to enjoy.
Honor Society - National Society of Collegiate Scholars - NSCS - 2014/Current
Honor Society - Pi Lambda Theta - 2016/Current
Teaching Ag in the Classroom allows the students to learn while using kinesthetic learning. Every student learns; differently, it is our job to teach our students on their learning level no matter how diverse.
Memberships & Board Members
I am a member of the South West Growers Association.
I am a new board member of the ORO Development Corporation.
I am on the board of directors with the Oklahoma Agritourism Association since 2016.
I currently live in Davidson, Oklahoma, with my husband Chad of 23 years of marriage. We have two beautiful daughters Kassadi who is 15, and Kennadi, who is now 11. Not only am I busy with my part-time job and children, but we also have a farming business. In 2016 we purchased our first farm. Currently, we own 320 acres of farm and ranch land while leasing 1,320 acres to support our cattle operation. My husband operates Wofford Cattle allowing us to partner with my side business Red River Pumpkin Patch, LLC, to provide locally raised beef to our community. We provide fresh produce, beef, lamb, pork, chicken, eggs, and honey grown from our farm to our community during our offseason, along with farmer’s markets. We also own about 40 hair sheep ewes, which graze alongside our cattle. During October, about 20+ acres of our farm become an agritourism attraction allowing people to come to our farm to enjoy an outing with their family to build fall memories with our pumpkin patch. In late spring, we will offer a sunflower maze and our 2nd annual trade days. We enjoy giving families an outdoor venue to enjoy our farm and build their family memories.
OKLAHOMA NWIAA CHAIRPERSON
Brender V. Martin, owner of Ms. Brender’s IT Care SunRise-to-SunSet LLC is Native/Black full-time caregiver which she provides quality child care in an environment conducive to learning and the individual growth of the children in her care.
Brender V. Martin is a 2001 graduate of Langston University. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. She recalls thinking “why not teach and train the children at an early age how not to become a statistic of the criminal system; teach them, motivate them, encourage them and the parents and community will benefit. That is what also inspired her to earn her degree in Child Development with Center Director Option and she continues to receive Certificate of Achievements in Infants and Toddlers, Preschoolers & School-Aged Care.
Her goals have always been: To provide a safe environment; To provide the children an opportunity to further their development of motor skills; To provide an enriched, stimulating program that promotes intellectual development; To provide the children with the opportunity to grow in social skills through positive interaction with others; To encourage individuality and provide a wide variety of learning experiences.
As a single mom, and her children can attest, She is also a well-known gospel pianist, Minister of Music, in which she has used her musical skills and talents to organize CAM Mass Choir, which ALL denominations are accepted. “We’ve traveled together, performed together, prayed together and when called upon, still come together!”
Finally, born with physical limitations, she has lived by two mottos in life which are: “Nothing Beats a Failure but a Try and it is better to Try and Fail than Fail from not trying” and Children can Learn while Playing and Play while Learning.” Unknown.