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More Than a CEO, Bill Buckner Is an Ag Advocate, a ‘Great Friend’

As Noble Research Institute President and CEO Bill Buckner retires, his kindness, friendship and generosity leave as large a mark as his on-the-job accomplishments.

By Jimmy Emmons, Farmer and Rancher from Leedey, Oklahoma

Posted Jan. 11, 2019

Bill Buckner is a type of man you just don’t see in this world anymore.

His work ethic, kindness and vision for the future of agriculture are one of a kind. He possesses business sense and common sense, both rare characteristics these days. He has a big heart for his employees, and he passionately supports all of us farmers and ranchers.

Bill has become one of my most prized friends in the past several years. He is true to his word and is always willing to step up and help.

This year is a perfect example. On the day that Ginger and I received the Leopold Conservation Award, a wildfire broke out in Dewey County, Oklahoma, near our home.

“[Bill] has been instrumental in moving the Noble Research Institute to a new level in only seven years. he has been a great CEO, a great advocate for agriculture and a great friend.”

— Jimmy Emmons

When Bill heard about the fire, he immediately called to check on us, and he continued calling each and every day. On the fourth day, I received a call from Bill that I remember well. He said, “Jimmy, how is it up there?”

“Well, Bill, it is hell around here,” I said. “I think the whole county is going to burn.”

Bill said, “OK, we’re loading up generators and supplies, and we’ll be there tomorrow.” The next morning, Bill and Noble consultant Jim Johnson showed up just as he had promised. Ginger and I were overwhelmed by his generosity and compassion. Bill and Jim stayed for two days, working and helping us as we were trying to rebound from the devastation. We lost half of our rangeland and some equipment, but hard times are always eased by friends like Bill.

When Bill announced his retirement, I told him I was happy for him but sad at the same time. Replacing Bill will be a difficult task. He has been instrumental in moving the Noble Research Institute to a new level in only seven years. He has been a great CEO, a great advocate for agriculture and a great friend.

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