Nina Webb of Guymon, Oklahoma Recognized as a Significant Woman in Oklahoma AgricultureFri, 18 Aug 2017 09:57:53 CDT
As part of a continuing series of stories on Significant Women in Oklahoma Agriculture, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry and Oklahoma State University are recognizing and honoring the impact of countless women across all 77 counties of the state, from all aspects and areas of the agricultural industry. The honorees were nominated by their peers and selected by a committee of 14 industry professionals. This week Nina Webb of Guymon, Okla. is featured this week as a Significant Woman in Oklahoma Agriculture.
Some people enjoy reading novels, listing to music or long walks on the beach.
Not Nina Webb.
Webb enjoys watching a real good “belly roll.”
No need to worry, she explains what she means by that.
This belly roll occurs at bull ridings and rodeos when a bull, weighing close to 2,000 pounds, bursts from the bucking chute, launches into the air and then kicks out to the right or left, providing a good look at its belly. It’s quite a move for such a large animal.
The bull’s objective is simple: promptly eject the approximately 145-pound cowboy from its back.
“Those are my favorite bulls,” Webb said, “the ones that do the belly rolls. That’s because I always root for the bull, never the rider. Nothing personal.”
Long before journeying across the world in the Amazing Race, Cord McCoy was a regular in professional rodeo and bull riding title races. Now McCoy is a successful bucking bull owner, and also a co-owner with other stock contractors including Nina and her husband Joe Webb.
While the jumps and kicks in the arena can be entertaining, McCoy has actually caught himself watching not the bulls but the 5-foot tall Nina. That too, is highly entertaining.
“You look over there and she’s twisting and bucking with them,” he said. “Sometimes we have to get someone else to video because she is moving with every move and can’t keep the camera steady. To her, watching the bulls buck is like watching her kids compete. Once this bucking bull thing gets in you, it never gets old, and you can see that in this little lady with a big heart.”
On the farm
Nina grew up in a family that followed oil from Marlow to Oklahoma City to Wichita Falls, Texas, and then finally, in 1968, Guymon. At each stop they usually lived just outside the city and had livestock and grew a few things like peaches near Wichita Falls.
After that last move to Guymon, a best friend’s boyfriend was in the hospital, so the two high school girls went to see him.
The best friend’s boyfriend was Joe Webb.
Joe and the other girl broke up soon after he got out of the hospital and on Valentine’s Day 1971 Nina took Joe to the Sweetheart Banquet at her church, the United Methodist Church. Around Thanksgiving weekend of the following year, 1972, they were married.
“He had farmed his whole life and shortly after that, I was too,” she said. “My very first time working the field was right after wheat harvest during the first year of our marriage. Joe had a tractor with a cab on it, but no air conditioning and I was plowing a wheat stubble field that had been burned. The windows were open in the tractor, so you can imagine what I looked like when I got off that tractor.”
When they married, Joe was farming about 1,000 to 1,500 acres of wheat and corn with his father Tweed Webb.
Last July, Joe retired and now leases the land. By the time the Webbs reached that decision in the summer of 2016, they had raised two daughters Telisa Schelin of Dallas and Angie Mulkey of Portland, and their diversified farming operation included roughly 6,000 acres of dry-land and irrigated production.
The crop production system included corn, wheat, grain sorghum, sunflowers and Bermuda grass. They also grazed calves for themselves and feedlots in the area. They have been important to both extension and research efforts in their area and were recognized together in 2005 as Ag Producer of the Year from Texas County and in 2013 by the Oklahoma State University Department of Plant and Soil Sciences as Master Agronomists.
In addition to helping Joe as needed on the farm and handling the daily business aspects of the operation, Nina was on the Texas County Farm Service Agency committee for about a dozen years, two as an advisor and 10 years on the regular committee. Producers who serve on committees help decide the kind of programs their counties will offer.
“One thing being on the FSA committee showed me is how many women producers are helping in the daily operations of the farms,” she said. “I know of women who help their husbands every day. I don’t know if I would have appreciated that like I do, if I hadn’t been on the FSA committee.”
In 1970, Nina, then in high school, went to her first rodeo with three other girls. She’d been around livestock while growing up, but right away something amazed her about this rodeo bucking stock.
“I wanted to go behind the chutes and see the stock up close,” she said. “The chairman of the Pioneer Days Rodeo at the time, took us back there and let us look at the horses and bulls.”
Fast forward to 2011. For some time, Nina and Joe had been going to PBR bull ridings not only in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, but also Kansas City, Albuquerque and the PBR World Finals in Las Vegas. They had heard of events for young bulls such as those held by the United Bucking Bulls Inc. (UBBI) and American Bucking Bull Inc. (ABBI), a sister organization to the PBR.
In the case of the latter, the ABBI World Finals were being held at the South Point Arena & Equestrian Center in Las Vegas. So while in Vegas for the PBR Finals, the Webbs decided to go to the ABBI Finals.
“I’d been telling Joe I wanted to get a bull and he’d been telling me no,” Nina said. “After watching the ABBI, he said, ‘OK, we’ll go see what we can do.”
Back then Nina still rooted for cowboys too and her favorite was a polite red-headed young man from Tupelo, Okla., named Cord McCoy. It just so happened, the Webbs were at an event and McCoy and his wife Sara sat down beside them.
“Do you have advice for this woman who wants to buy a bull?,” Joe asked the cowboy. “You betcha,” Cord replied.
Two weekends later, Cord was having an online bucking bull sale and the Webbs bought four young bulls and quickly named them, “No Man’s Land,” “Okie Dokie,” “Gotta Go Joe,” and “Triple 7.”
“By the end of 2011, I was in the bucking bull business,” Nina said.
Since that time, Joe has joined her and they are part-owners in bulls along with McCoy, Dillon and H.D. Page and Brandon Stewart.
How successful is Webb at this bucking bull endeavor? Take a look at the ABBI Futurity Standings. Out of more than 550 bulls, Nina is part owner of three of the top 25 bulls.
These little 2-year-old twisters on dirt carry the names Blowin Smoke - a light brown bull ranked 11th that the Webbs own along with McCoy; Wedding Singer - a spotted bull with crooked horns ranked 19th that the Webbs own along with McCoy and K-C Bucking Bulls; and Highly Contagious - a solid black, “bald faced” bull ranked 22nd also owned by the Webbs, McCoy and K-C Bucking Bulls.
The trio will go to the ABBI World Finals in Las Vegas this fall, McCoy said.
“The top 50 go to the ABBI World Finals and while it’s quite an honor to have one bull in the top 50, she has three,” McCoy said. “Nina Webb and Joe have got a really good eye for young bucking bulls, being able to notice the talent at a very young age.”
Their bulls are making a name for themselves. For example, on Aug. 12, Oklahoma bull rider Ryan Dirteater and the Webb’s bull Relentless combined for a crowd-stirring 87-point showing at the PBR Express Employment Professionals Classic in Tulsa.
Ask longtime friends about Nina Webb and they’ll first talk about not only her commitment to agriculture, but her loyalty to her community. However, eventually the discussion comes back to one topic - bulls.
“She volunteers at our churches, local missions and local community events,” said Jason Hitch of Guymon. “Beyond all that, she is a darned nice person who cares passionately about people and her local community.”
This community involvement includes Oklahoma Panhandle State University (OPSU) at Goodwell, where two-time saddle bronc world champion Robert Etbauer serves as a rodeo coach. Joe and Nina Webb of Guymon were named the 2012 OPSU Rodeo Team Top Hand Sponsors of the Year.
“I can’t tell you how many good things they do for us and the community, at every event that goes on here, Panhandle State, PRCA, PBR,” Etbauer said. “And, all the kids on the rodeo team get to know Nina and Joe. That’s a big deal because kids leave home for school and the more people they know, the more it helps out the rodeo team and is beneficial to the boys and girls, too.”
Again, after dwelling on her community involvement for awhile, the discussion about Nina works its way back to bucking bulls.
“They got one called Set ‘em Up Joe,’” Etbauer said. “Let me tell you, he’s a bucking son of a gun, and Nina loves watching those bulls.”
Source - Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry
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