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Oklahoma Agricultural Hall of Fame
Lew Meibergen Lew Meibergen-2010

On March 25, 2010, Lew Meibergen became the first agricultural businessman to be named to the Oklahoma Agriculture Hall of Fame. His career as a third generation agricultural businessman highlights the importance of this segment of the farm industry.

“Agriculture cannot survive without a thriving agri-business economy and I am excited to see Lew Meibergen become the first of his industry to receive this most prestigious award,” said Secretary of Agriculture, Terry Peach. “His leadership and vision have made significant contributions to Oklahoma agriculture and our overall economy.”

Mr. Meibergen grew up raising livestock and working in his father’s feed store and he later earned a degree from Oklahoma A&M in Animal Science. After a two year stint in the Army where he rose to the rank of Captain, he returned to Oklahoma and began managing the grain company his grandfather had founded in 1893 in Enid.

In 1960 he was chosen by Governor Henry Bellmon to serve as Oklahoma Commissioner of Agriculture. Afterward, he had a highly successful career in the banking industry. This success later allowed him to purchase controlling interest in the family business, the W.B. Johnston Grain Company. Over the years Mr. Meibergen expanded the company to become the largest independent grain company in the state.

One of Mr. Meibergen’s greatest achievements was the result of changes made in the railroad rate structure in 1983 that caused freight service to turn away from wheat to more profitable products. With the ability to ship wheat out of state for export limited, wheat began piling up at state elevators. At a meeting in the Oklahoma State University Student Union, he wrote a contract on a napkin to lease a port facility east of Tulsa. River transport solved the shipping problems and today that port it is the largest bulk handling port in the state.

His success quickly opened the way for more port operations and he was given the opportunity to manage the Port of Muskogee and consequently built expansive fertilizer storage facilities there. Not only could wheat farmers now economically ship wheat to gulf export facilities, fertilizer costs were lowered due to lower shipping charges.

Throughout his life Mr. Meibergen worked for improvements in education and research as well as benefiting community organizations and projects.

Any information submitted or stored by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry is subject to open records laws and may be released to any person who requests it. Exceptions include some personally identifiable information, financial information and law enforcement records. All records of the agency, including records submitted by the public, are stored in various electronic and paper methods.