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Governor honors four from OSU with ag awards

As far as Oklahoma State University Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources wheat researcher Brett Carver is concerned, there is not a better way to live one's life than to enable others.

As far as Oklahoma State University Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources wheat researcher Brett Carver is concerned, there is not a better way to live one’s life than to enable others.

Moreover, he has come to understand it is expected of him as an OSU faculty member.

Carver, a Regents professor in wheat breeding and genetics, has chosen to fulfill that charge by dedicating his career to serving the agricultural needs of Oklahoma by ensuring the state’s wheat industry thrives from drill to mill. In recognition of that commitment, he recently was honored with the Governor’s Outstanding Public Service in Agriculture Award.

“This award is surpassed by none that I have had the good fortune to receive, because it upholds the essential values rooted in our culture of a land-grant university: service to and enabling of our fellow citizens,” he said.

Carver headlines a four-person slate of award recipients, all with OSU ties.

Former OSU teacher and consultant Clint Roush was chosen for the Governor’s Outstanding Achievement Award. Alumni Randy Davis, president and CEO of Greenleaf Nursery, and the late Quintus Herron of Idabel, a professional forester, were recognized with the Governor’s Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Award and the Governor’s Outstanding Legacy in Agriculture Award, respectively.

Carver leads the OSU Wheat Improvement Team, an interdisciplinary team of nine OSU researchers at the forefront of the OSU Agricultural Experiment Station’s robust wheat breeding program. Since 1998, the team is credited with developing nearly 20 varieties, including Duster and Endurance, two of the most popular varieties planted in Oklahoma.

Throughout his career, Carver has shared two main messages with general, as well as agricultural audiences.

“Advances in agriculture innovation are not well understood outside of the industry so, one of my main messages is to be straightforward about how wheat has changed, how it has not and when that change took place,” he said. “Related to that, ag innovation comes in many forms, yet the conversation has become fixated on just one. I know the words are worn out, but they still hold – we must look at the bigger picture of how we’re going to feed a growing population with dwindling resources, pursue all options available and create a few along the way.”

Roush spent 14 years teaching and consulting at OSU and Southwestern Oklahoma State University in the areas of agriculture finance, farm financial planning, business management and strategic planning.

He currently sits on the board of directors for CoBank and the advisory committee for the OSU Bill Fitzwater Endowment Cooperative. Roush also is director of the Clinton Farmers Cooperative, Custer County Rural Water District and the Custer County Cattlemen’s Association

Meanwhile, Davis, a 2013 OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Distinguished Alumni, was with Greenleaf, one of the nation’s largest nurseries with locations in Oklahoma, North Carolina and Texas, for nearly 40 years.

A standard bearer for environmental stewardship within the industry, Davis’ innovative efforts at capturing all the runoff at the operation in Oklahoma was a first-of-its-kind endeavor in the 1990s. That project, in which he partnered with OSU, was recognized with a national environmental EPA award.

Davis was named as the 2015 Green Industry Professional of the Year by the Oklahoma Nursery and Landscape Association. He earned a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from OSU in 1976.

Herron, who passed away in 2014, earned a bachelor’s degree in forestry from OSU in 1951. Herron Industries, his family business, was known as an innovator in raising trees as a crop. He also was a leader in using modern forestry practices on private lands and adhered to best practices to protect water quality and promote rapid reforestation after harvest.

The Herron Foundation provides matching funds for community improvement and Herron’s vision paved the way for the Oklahoma Forest Heritage Center and the Museum of the Red River, both of which educate people about Oklahoma’s history and other cultures.

The Governor’s Agriculture Awards were presented March 30 during a public ceremony hosted by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry at the state capitol.

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