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A rural Oklahoma farm allegedly hit by possible chemical attack

Michael Ruzycki's destroyed crops.
Michael Ruzycki's destroyed crops.

Ruzycki Farms in Jones was the site of a possible chemical attack Tuesday, leaving much of the produce grown there dying or unsellable.

The farm’s owner Michael Ruzycki believes his crop was targeted with some kind of herbicide. The chemical damage will possibly lead to over $100,00 in lost revenue for the Ruzycki family based on estimates from their typical revenues off their subscription service, where people pre-order produce.

Ruzycki Farms is a local chemical-free farm, growing crops while also running a store, year-round public market and produce picking events in Jones. Ruzycki also provides produce for several local restaurants.

About 90% of Ruzycki’s crops have died since the chemical was sprayed, including nearly 2,000 tomato plants and hundreds of squash, zucchini, cucumber and pepper plants.

The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry will visit the farm this week to take samples, attempting to figure out what exactly was sprayed on Ruzycki’s crop.

Ruzycki said if he is able, the farm will replant as soon as possible. If he can’t, the farm will be covered for the rest of the season and will work with other local producers to create items Ruzycki can sell in his store.

Ruzycki said he was touched by the amount of support his family has received since the attack.

“The community, the support that we’ve seen from our followers and from new people that have heard about our story has just been overwhelming,” Ruzycki said. “It’s just eye opening.”

Community members have started a GoFundMe to help the Ruzycki family.

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Peggy Dodd was an intern at KOSU during the summer of 2023.
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