Highlight: Lindsay Roberts
by Betty Thompson
CALERA—Some people are born with an innate desire to help others. That is certainly true of Lindsay Roberts.
Growing up 10 miles north of the Oklahoma-Texas state line in Calera on her family farm, Roberts was heavily involved in agriculture from a very young age. And she loved it.
“It completely defined my life,” said Roberts, “Agriculture should define your life; It feeds you three times a day.”
Like many who grow up in the industry, Roberts became involved in the youth organizations 4-H and FFA. She began showing sheep at age three as a Cloverbud. As soon as she turned nine, she immersed herself in everything 4-H had to offer, showing, public speaking, shooting sports, and so much more. When she entered the 8th grade, she joined FFA and took advantage of the many opportunities it had to offer as well.
“I love both organizations,” Roberts said, “I think they are valuable resources.”
Roberts reflected on many life lessons she obtained in those organizations.
“I have a wonderful mom and grandma at home who taught me lots of things, but I learned how to set a table properly, how tip a waiter or waitress and how to put on pantyhose through FFA,” Roberts laughed.
She continued her FFA membership even into the collegiate chapter. Today she volunteers with both organizations wherever she can, one of those ways is by serving as the sheep superintendent for the Bryan County Junior Livestock show.
Roberts said many of the same volunteers who were here when she was showing as a kid are still in the barns volunteering today. She is the youngest of the livestock show volunteers, and the only woman.
“I love to help these kids with their projects,” Roberts said. “If they need something, or can’t afford something, I want to help. It’s my way of giving back to all those who helped my parents raise me.”
After Roberts graduated from Calera High School, she studied at Agricultural Economics at Murray State and went on to finish the degree at Old Dominion University in Virginia.
In the winter of 2004 Roberts was home on Christmas break from school and over at a friend’s house. As fate would have it, there was a young man there who was home on leave from the Navy. Dustin Roberts was deployed shortly after she met him, and the two began dating through letters and emails.
Shortly after, they got married, and three days later, Dustin deployed again for 18 months. They have been happily married for 13 years now.
The two have settled near where Roberts was raised, allowing her to help with her family’s fertilizer plant in Durant.
She is putting her economics degree to good use as the accountant for the family business, and also helps with other duties such as assisting with and loading bulk fertilizer, ensuring customer orders are filled and invoiced, and managing the office.
Her dad and grandparents have owned the business since 1995, and most of their employees have been there for over 15 years, so Roberts said they are all like family.
“I love working with my family every day,” Roberts said. “Not many people get to do that. It sure is rewarding at the end of the day.”
While working full time at the fertilizer plant, Roberts is also working on her Certified Public Accountant licensing at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant.
“A lot of federal and state agencies recommend using a CPA that specializes in agricultural accounting,” Roberts explained. “That’s a service I hope to provide in our community.”
Roberts said there are not many CPAs who concentrate on agricultural accounting, so there is a great need in a highly agricultural area.
Her desire to help those in her community does not stop with 4-H, FFA and accounting. She has become the main point of contact for Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) issues in her area.
Roberts said the law enacted by the FDA took many producers, retailers and veterinarians by surprise.
“I worked with local vets and a local math teacher to work out an education program to help the vets and those of us on the retail side as far as what their options were,” Roberts said.
She even got her husband Dustin, who is the Representative for House District 21, to work on a legislative approach. She took time to meet with Congressmen and ranchers from various states, and as a result, she became a valuable resource to many in the community on how to stay compliant with the law.
She carries her helping nature into her home as well. In addition to the Roberts’ two rescue dogs and cat, they also have two rescue ducks.
Roberts said she was attending a birthday party for a toddler when she rescued the two baby ducks from being trampled by the toddlers.
“They weren’t being handled gently, so I just went over and scooped them up,” Roberts laughed. “I turned my green house into a full-blown aviary—they live the life of luxury.”
The rescue ducks, Petey and Petunia, are certainly not the only ones in southern Oklahoma who have benefited from Roberts’ generosity and desire to help.