Hometown: Big Cabin, Okla.
Family: Daughter, Shallie and granddaughter Blakelyn, 8; son, Connor and spouse Taylor; and son Corban, 11 (also pictured)
In Town: For the past 34 years, Ray Claggett, 53, has worked in the banking industry. In the late 1980s, he learned about a banking and finance program at Rogers State University. His first job in banking, as a courier for Bank of Oklahoma came while he was completing his education.
He’s since worked for a variety of banks in northeast Oklahoma including First National in Vinita, Grand Savings, Local Oklahoma, Arvest, Bank of the Lakes and Bank of Grove (now Bank of Grand Lake).
Earlier this summer, he joined BancFirst in Ketchum as an executive vice president, in the commercial lending arena.
“With each step I’ve learned and met some really cool people,” Ray said. “I’ve enjoyed getting to know people, working with them and being involved in the communities.”
Ray said the management, accounting and tech skills he’s learned in banking, has helped him throughout this dual career.
“I’ve worked with the Farm Service Agency and USDA, to use their services and tools to help farmers be successful,” Ray said. “There’s a lot about ag lending that I enjoy.”
He jokes when a customer comes in talking “cow talk” he can understand them and make a connection based on his own agricultural experience.
In the Country: Born in Juaraz, Mexico, Ray moved to Oklahoma after his mother, Maria, met and married Jim Claggett. The family first lived in Broken Arrow, before moving to the farm near Big Cabin in 1979. In 1985, Ray purchased the farm from his mother.
He runs an Angus mixed cattle operation. At times it’s reached up to 200 head. Since his wife Becky’s death three years ago from cancer, Ray’s scaled the operation back a bit, in order to focus on his son, Corban. Ray calls the current operation a “mom and pop” farm.
“I always wanted my kids to grow up and have the same opportunities as well, and be part of the farming community,” Ray said. “This is the grass roots, backbone of America. Without farming and ag, people don’t eat and things don’t happen.”
As he looks toward the future, Ray said he could see himself retiring from banking and expanding the farm.