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OSU Purebred Beef Center supporters honored

STILLWATER, Okla. – Mother Nature has proven to be no match for the generosity of Oklahoma State University Purebred Beef Center supporters, who were honored during a come-and-go reception at the center on Sept. 17.

Intense tornado-level straight-line winds and earthquakes reaped devastating effects on the center’s headquarters and sale arena in recent years, ripping off large sections of the roof and splitting the south wall so severely that a person standing inside could watch cars traveling along Highway 51 outside, without the aid of a window.

“It had reached the point where we were actually contemplating if it might not be best to raze the building,” said Mark Johnson, center director for OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

Instead, the decision was made to not only fix but modernize the structure following discussions with center supporters CoBank and the Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma. The two groups came together and provided $77,856 of the $150,000 needed to complete remodeling and repair efforts.

“The results of their generosity are immediately noticeable to long-time visitors, especially in terms of the makeover of our sale arena,” Johnson said. “In the arena and out, the improvements they helped fund are already enhancing our teaching and Extension programming efforts as well as sales and industry events taking place at the center.”

The headquarters for the OSU Purebred Beef Cattle Center is located three miles west of Stillwater, and includes bull testing facilities, a show barn, an office, a dormitory for student workers and the sale pavilion.

OSU’s nationally renowned purebred beef herd consists of more than 300 brood cows representing five breeds: Angus, Hereford, Brangus, Limousin and Simmental. Mature cows are maintained at the purebred range facilities – consisting of approximately 2,000 acres of native and improved grasses – located northwest of Stillwater near Lake Carl Blackwell.

DASNR Vice President Tom Coon said the educational aspect of producing, promoting and merchandising genetically superior, high-quality seedstock is a vital part of the division’s animal science program that continues to enjoy a national reputation for excellence.

“Our purebred beef cattle herd provides a firsthand experience in working with high-performing, modern-type cattle, thereby helping OSU animal science and veterinary medicine students better prepare for eventual professional careers in the beef industry,” he said. “The center also hosts approximately 2,500 4-H and FFA youth yearly. Their exposure to recommended programs for registered herds helps them to explore possible cattle-related career options.”

Kyle Hohman, president and CEO of Farm Credit of Enid, said coming together with CoBank to provide financial support was “something of a no-brainer.”

“OSU teaching, research and Extension programs support Oklahoma’s agricultural industries in so many ways, and have had a demonstrated and significant effect on helping us and our clients diversify loan portfolios and strengthen agribusiness operations,” he said. “OSU has been a great cooperating partner for rural Oklahoma for more than 100 years.”

In addition to the division’s Animal Science Career Development Program, which permits 10 to 15 OSU students a year the opportunity to work part-time at the center, the purebred cattle herd also serves the beef industry as the basis for continuing education through producer conferences, workshops and field days.

Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the number of cows produced and fifth nationally in the number of total cattle and calves, according to USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service data.

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REPORTER/MEDIA CONTACT:
Donald Stotts
DASNR News and Media Relations
Agricultural Communications Services
132 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-4079
Fax: 405-744-5739
Email: donald.stotts@okstate.edu

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