Looking Back on Years of the Oklahoma Youth Expo with Larry Peck

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Larry Peck as they look back on many years of OYE.

Ahead of the Oklahoma Youth Expo’s grand drive, Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster Ron Hays, caught up with the owner of Ag Youth Magazine, Larry Peck. Hays and Peck talked about the advancement of OYE over the years.

Peck first talked about how much the show industry has grown over the last decade. Peck has been coming to livestock shows in Oklahoma City since around 1970, he added.

The Oklahoma Youth Expo has been able to flourish over the years, Peck said, thanks to great leadership, volunteer support, sponsors and more. Through making the youth a priority, Peck added, the show has come a long way.

At the first OYE, Peck said there was only three photographers. At the 2023 Grand Drive, Peck said the show had over 30 photographers ready to cover the event.

“It is just amazing where we have come from the old days of the spring fair, or the Oklahoma City fat livestock show,” Peck said.

Years ago, Peck also played an integral part in getting the goat show at the Oklahoma Youth Expo running. After receiving a call from a friend asking how to have a goat show at OYE, Peck talked to a few people to see what needed to be done.

After talking with Jimmy Harrell, Peck said he was told it would probably take around $25,000 per year, for a three year commitment.

“They just as well have said a million dollars,” Peck said.

A friend of Peck’s with Farm Credit, John Grunewald was the next to receive a call from Peck. After talking things over, Grunewald agreed to give it a shot.

“That is why you see Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma still presenting the trophies here in the ring today, and that is who said, ‘amen,’ to show in their progressiveness,” Peck said.

Peck said the state of Oklahoma is known around the nation as the premier place for livestock.

“People travel all over the nation to buy them, but when it comes down to it, the good ones are in Oklahoma, the good feeders are right here in Oklahoma,” Peck said.

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