ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. — The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) reported on Feb. 26 that Oakley M. Ray, former AFIA president from 1972-92, died on Feb. 21.
He graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural economics from Purdue University, followed by a year's graduate study at the University of Chicago. Following two years of service in the Army's Scientific and Professional Corps, he joined the Purdue staff as an Extension worker in agriculture economics. He also assisted in teaching a course in livestock marketing and published an economic bulletin for Indiana farmers while pursuing a doctorate degree.
In 1956, Ray joined the American Meat Institute's staff before coming to work for the American Feed Manufacturers Association, now known as AFIA, in 1958. He served the organization for nearly 35 years in numerous positions including handling legislative and regulatory tasks. In 1972, Ray became president of AFIA, serving in that capacity for 20 years until his retirement.
He guided AFMA through the transition to AFIA in the 1980s, hired staff specialists on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and was communications savvy-AFIA had one of the first word processing and membership database systems in Washington, D.C., U.S. Upon his retirement, AFIA presented the "The Oakley M. Ray Distinguished Leadership Scholarship" to him, which was given at Purdue University School of Agriculture to students selected primarily on leadership within the school.
Ray was married to Yotice (Sally) Ray for 63 years, and two children Sue (Ray) Shepard and Mike Ray (Lu Anne Ray) and five grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association (Oakley M. Ray Tribute), or by contacting 1.703.359.4440.