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DASNR names award winners

The Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University recently selected Distinguished Alumni and DASNR Champions award winners.

STILLWATER, Okla. – The Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University recently selected Distinguished Alumni and DASNR Champions award winners.

The division’s reputation and influence depends greatly upon the achievements and excellence of its alumni, as well as other leaders who are not alums of the college, but contribute to its mission.

Recognized as 2015 Distinguished Alumni of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources are Minnie Lou Bradley, James Kennamer and Bob Westerman. The 2015 DASNR Champions are Linda Cline, Rita Sparks and John Williams.

“These individuals are examples of sustained excellence in their industries and are testaments to the impact our graduates and friends have in their career fields and in their communities,” said Tom Coon, vice president, dean and director of DASNR. “It is a pleasure to look forward to celebrating the mark these alumni and champions make to better our university, the state and beyond.”

Bradley earned her degree after becoming the first female to enroll in animal husbandry at then Oklahoma A&M in 1949. She was named a Graduate of Distinction in 1988.

Kennamer graduated from OSU with his bachelor’s degree in 1981 and his Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1986. He is currently the manufacturing vice president of Talecris Biotherapeutics/Grifols Therapeutics in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Westerman received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from OSU before serving 44 years as a professor at the University of Arizona, then OSU. He retired from OSU in 2013, after a fruitful career in the department of plant and soil sciences and DASNR administration.

Cline and her late husband Charlie, bought land in Cushing, Oklahoma, in 1967, and established the Char-Lin Ranch with more than 2,500 cattle and 300 horses. To memorialize her marriage to Charlie, who died in 2012, Cline contributed funding for the Charlie Cline Memorial Equine Teaching Center at OSU.

Sparks and her late husband, Willard, built Sparks Companies, Inc., which provides risk management tools to agribusiness and farmers. The Sparks have invested in a number of OSU and DASNR endeavors, such as establishing scholarships for agriculture students, endowing a chair in agricultural economics and serving as donors and fundraisers for the Willard Sparks Beef Research Center.

Williams launched Chef’s Requested Foods in 1979 in Oklahoma City to meat-focused food service clients. Today, he employs nearly 200 Oklahomans, selling more than a million pounds of value-added meat/food products each year. Since 2006, Williams has been on the Industry Advisory Committee of the Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center.

The awards will be presented to the winners during the inaugural DASNR Honors night, Oct. 16 at the Wes Watkins Center in Stillwater.


Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures.  This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 408 Whitehurst, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; phone 405-744-5371; email: eeo@okstate.edu has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity. Any person (student, faculty, or staff) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator 405-744-9154.

Sean Hubbard
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
145 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-4490
Fax: 405-744-5739
Email: sean.hubbard@okstate.edu