Every aspect of the Noble Research Institute's 70th anniversary kickoff party went as planned. Every aspect except the sparklers.
On Friday, Sept. 18, one day before the Noble Research Institute's official anniversary date, more than 325 employees and trustees gathered in the Forage Improvement Division Atrium to launch a year-long celebration.
Noble Research Institute employees gathered to celebrate being part of a 70-year-long legacy of benefiting mankind.
As the massive birthday cake frosted white and inlaid with historic photos was rolled into the atrium to rowdy applause, the sparklers adorning its multiple levels fizzled and went out.
While some good-natured laughter rolled through the crowd, President Bill Buckner took to the stage and smiled as he said, "Sometimes things don't work the way we planned, but that's OK. Here at the Noble Research Institute, we make the best of every situation."
Buckner went on to thank the employees for their dedication and diligence before recounting many of the organization's landmark accomplishments. Then he raised his glass for a toast saying, "May the work of our hands be blessed, and, in turn, may we bless the world with the work of our hands."
Jessie Nance and Ginger DuBose, Lloyd Noble's great-granddaughters and board of trustee members, came forward to cut the cake together, officially launching the celebration.
Six weeks later, the Noble Research Institute's Profiles and Perspectives Community Enrichment Series hosted a special agricultural speaker as part of the anniversary. Chris Koch was born missing both arms and legs, but he has not let that stop him from farming in southern Alberta, Canada.
"As part of the anniversary, we wanted to include a presentation by a producer who embodies the spirit of agriculture," said Mary Kate Wilson, Noble Research Institute director of philanthropy, engagement and project management, and chair of the Profiles and Perspectives Committee. "Koch, who encourages people to live their lives to their greatest potential, is the perfect example. His presentation was something special."
Barbara Nova Franco, Ph.D., joins co-workers in learning about the Noble Research Institute's upcoming celebratory year.
Throughout the remainder of the anniversary year, the Noble Research Institute will release a series of special stories and videos that highlight the organization's seven decades of contributions to agriculture, research, education and philanthropy. The organization will also host a social media campaign featuring the blue cow.
To wrap up the 70th year, the Noble Research Institute will host a reception and art show focused on celebrating farm life and the land during summer 2016 at the Goddard Center in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Details and instructions on how to enter will be released in January 2016.
"We will proudly celebrate the many people and accomplishments of the Noble Research Institute throughout the next 12 months," Buckner said. "But our view is always on tomorrow. We will use this year to also highlight where the Noble Research Institute is going. We will continue Mr. Noble's charge to benefit agriculture and strengthen communities long into the future, using both proven practices as well as new approaches, discoveries and innovations. Our quest never ends."