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  4. 1996
  5. December

Our Agricultural Service

Posted Dec. 1, 1996

We've been very busy in the Ag Division the last few months. As I reflect back over everything that we've been doing, I've tried to find a common thread to explain those activities to you. Although it has eluded me for some time, I ran into two couples from Canada yesterday who had visited us a year ago who helped remind me of the common thread.

They had established relationships with some of our senior specialists some time ago and had just recently taken that further step of visiting us. After only a few short visits with our specialists, they have developed great trust for our advice and reminded me that the thing that we provide to all is service.

While our geographic service area is officially within a one-hundred mile radius of Ardmore, we have interactions daily with many outside that region. We provide service to colleagues in professional positions around the country. We often visit with and give advice to folks who have an opportunity to visit us from the far reaches of the world.

While we've been trying to add new programs like a new forage grass biotechnology team, that is merely an extension of the service that we can provide to folks within and outside our 100-mile geographic service area.

This column is probably more for our own staff than it is for those of you who use us on a regular basis. I am often told by individuals within your ranks how important our advice is to you in your farming and ranching operations.

Those comments are a recognition of our expertise. Possibly more importantly, they reflect our ability to assess, evaluate, elicit, and help develop your personal goals and objectives in an effort to try to help you achieve them. A further example of extending our service is announced in this month's Ag News & Views. That is the formation of a strategic alliance pilot project for some of our smaller cooperators to try to help them experience cattle feeding and gain information on the carcass merits of their cattle.

From the results of these feeding trials, we hope to help them adjust their breeding programs to provide acceptable quality beef animals while maintaining or improving reproductive and nutritional capabilities on the forages of this region. We formed an internal alliance working group that has been working toward this project for a year.

It includes animal scientists and ag economists from all of our Foundation teams. You will hear more from the results of this pilot project in the future, but I am especially proud of the following staff members who put this together and who are implementing it: John Winder, Jim Pumphrey, Shan Ingram, Clay Wright, Mark Skiles, Fred Schmedt, Dan Childs, Steve Swigert, Kent Shankles, Russ Gentry, Devlon Ford, and Tim Stokes.

I think I speak for all the Ag Division when I say that this is the finest place I have ever worked. It's a joy to come to work and it's difficult to leave at the end of the day. It's serving people like you that make it so. As we have said in the past, please feel free to drop us a line or give us a call and let us know how we are doing. It is important to know what we can do to improve our service to you.