Alpha Gamma Rho CEO Rex Martin Praises Oklahoma's Pi Chapter as One of the Organization's BestWed, 05 Dec 2018 10:55:38 CST
After 26 years of working in government affairs, Rex Martin’s experience as a member of the nation’s leading agricultural fraternity, Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR), came full circle in February of 2018 when he stepped in to fill the shoes of Phil Josephson as CEO, who retired from the position after more than 40 years of heading the organization. During a recent trip to the fraternal organization’s headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn (an alumnus of AGR’s Pi Chapter at Oklahoma State University) spoke with Martin about the values of AGR and its mission “To make better men.” Listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
Aside from “jumpstarting your career,” Martin says AGR helps develop young men into leaders of their community from the ground up. With a shared focus on the common thread of agriculture, he says, the members of AGR form a lasting bond of brotherhood and friendship - a network that helps them excel beyond their college years both personally and professionally.
“I’ve heard many brothers say that without AGR, ‘I’d never have gotten out of college,’” Martin remarked. “That’s just the beginning step. I want people to realize that the value of Alpha Gamma Rho is a lifelong value of brotherhood. People are friends - close friends and brothers - for over 50 years in a lot of cases. They help you develop and mentor you in your career.”
According to Martin, brothers of AGR will find that alumni of the fraternity will appear in their lives throughout their career. He says brothers have often ended up as leaders within the agricultural industry; pointing to the fact that the current Deputy Secretary of Agriculture at the USDA and several of the Undersecretaries all share the bond of brotherhood through AGR.
“But it’s not just about that,” Martin interjected. “Whether you go back to the farm, you go into the industry or you’re an entrepreneur… you hold the values of agriculture which is unique to agriculture and unique to AGR. There is a lot of positive things going on in Alpha Gamma Rho that will help young men mature into the men that they want to be.”
The mission of AGR is “To make better men.” This mission starts, Martin says, at the local level through a team approach. With 72 chapters nationwide, 3,100 undergraduate members and more than 51,000 alumni - Martin says every person that joins is immediately connected to a massive network of mentors that will help them succeed and have a lasting, meaningful impact on their life and development as an adult.
Martin points out that being involved in Greek Life at college results in a higher average GPA, greater access to campus leadership opportunities and a better chance at landing internships and first jobs out of university. He says this all stems from the fraternity structure that promotes an environment of responsibility and accountability which is crucial during a young man’s transition from high school to life at college. In Martin’s opinion, few chapters of AGR do this better than Pi Chapter, located on the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater, Okla.
“Pi Chapter is one of our best chapters in the nation,” he said. “We have a lot of great chapters, but they are doing things right. What I have found is, where you have alumni that work with our young men as a team and help mentor them - we find success.
“That’s what you have at Oklahoma State. They have a very strong team. They have very good recruitment and they’re recruiting the right men. They have an amazing house that they’ve worked very hard on building, too.”
Martin most recently was Vice President of Governmental Relations for States Strategies, a leading Washington D.C., based consulting firm. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President of Owner Relations at Dairy Management Inc. and also held numerous government and industry affairs positions at Syngenta. Rex grew up on a farrow to finish swine operation in Camden Arkansas. He presently lives in Springfield, Missouri with his wife, Kristie, and two daughters, Blair and Haley.
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