Tecumseh's Randy Gilbert Honored with Governor’s Outstanding Public Service in Agriculture AwardFri, 11 May 2018 14:30:41 CDT
On Wednesday, Randy Gilbert of Tecumseh, Okla. was honored by Mary Fallin with the Governor’s Excellence in Agriculture Award for Public Service.
This award presented to Gilbert honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions of public service to Oklahoma agriculture. This award is given to those who work diligently to improve public perception of agriculture in Oklahoma and have given unselfishly of his/her time and talents to the advancement and betterment of the Oklahoma agricultural industry.
“It’s just a wonderful honor to be recognized by your peers, the Department of Agriculture and certainly the Governor of Oklahoma,” he said in an interview with our Associate Farm Director Carson Horn. “But, this is not an award for me - it’s an award for my family and for all the mentors I’ve had and all the people that have helped me along the way.”
Listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page to hear Gilbert's reaction after accepting his award.
Gilbert’s life motto, not surprisingly, is lead by example. Through his business and time, he continuously gives back to his community and state, with agriculture being one of his top priorities.
He grew up heavily involved in FFA and was destined to pursue agricultural education. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and began teaching as an agricultural education and FFA advisor in Lawton. Gilbert pushed his students, many of whom were from the urban area and were new to agriculture, and exposed them to the industry. He took his students on many trips and allowed them to see the agricultural process from farm to plate. Although he was only at Lawton for five years, he left a lasting impact on his students, many of whom he still has strong ties with even 30 years later.
Gilbert returned home to his family’s business, Gilbert and Sons Trucking, but his devotion to youth and agriculture did not stop with his teaching career. He began his dream of ranching with the purchase of 20 cows in 1989, and the next year he was able to purchase 120 acres of land. He immediately began serving his community, volunteering at the Pottawatomie County Junior Livestock Show and County Free Fair. Thirty years later, he’s still on the board of directors for both shows. While agriculture is his passion, promoting the future of the industry is even more of his passion.
If there is an agricultural event being held in the state, there is no doubt Gilbert will be in attendance. He is truly a public servant and has given his time through many roles, to include the Soil Conservation Board, Oklahoma Youth Expo board of directors, the American Farmers and Ranchers State board of directors, and as chairman of the Oklahoma FFA Foundation board of directors. He has also served on the State Board of Career and Technology Education for 16 years, a position appointed by the governor. Gilbert’s life revolves around service and making a difference in the lives of others.
Through his experience teaching and relationships built across the state, he dedicates his time to enhancing agricultural education and serving as a voice for the industry on local, state and national levels. He’s the first in line to join the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, American Farmers and Ranchers, the Oklahoma FFA Association or Oklahoma 4-H at the capitol to meet with legislators. He’s also volunteered at the International Finals Youth Rodeo since its inception 25 years ago.
Gilbert understands the importance of promoting the agricultural lifestyle and believes agriculturalists must continuously strive to serve as role models for younger generations.
For his outstanding service to Oklahoma FFA, Gilbert has received numerous awards from local FFA chapters as well as the Honorary State and American FFA Degrees. He was named Oklahoma FFA Champion for his career success as a former FFA member and given the Oklahoma FFA VIP Award, the highest FFA honor available at the state level. The Gilberts have also been named the Pottawatomie County 4-H Emerald Family of the Year, the Oklahoma Limousin Breeders Association Family of the Year, and have received countless recognitions from outside the agricultural industry as well.
Aside from his long list of volunteer roles and his business, Gilbert still finds the time to be involved in production agriculture. With his wife Suzanne, he has 120-head of Limousin and crossbred cattle on about 1,200 acres. The farm also produces more than 600 bales of hay each year. The Gilberts have two daughters and three grandchildren.
“I admire Randy Gilbert for a lifetime of unrelenting public service to community and state,” said Kent Boggs, Oklahoma FFA Association executive secretary, “for having a strong and unwavering commitment to the agricultural youth of Oklahoma, for having an undisputed reputation for honesty, integrity, loyalty and common sense, and for having a dogged work ethic that has created a highly successful career in business and agriculture.”
Source - Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry
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