Diamond Hats Supports Future Agriculturalists at 2024 OYE Sale of Champions

Marilyn Harrel with JanLee Rowlett at the OYE Sale of Champions
Listen to KC Sheperd talk with Marilyn Harrell about OYE and Diamond Hats.

At the 2024 Oklahoma Youth Expo’s Sale of Champions, Farm Director KC Sheperd talked with Marilyn Harrel of Diamond Hats to recap this year’s OYE and Diamond Hats’ role in the event.

Harrell first talked about the “This One’s for the Girls Event” hosted by Diamond Hats, which took place earlier in the week. To check out Oklahoma Farm Reporter Maci Carter’s coverage of the event, CLICK HERE.

“Today, we are here at the Sale of Champions to spend the money that we made at the gala this past year where we raised nearly $300,000, and we will spend probably $200,000 of it today,” Harrel said. “We spent some last night as we gave away around $20,000 worth of scholarships.”

Through buying market animals of exhibitors at OYE, Harrel said Diamond Hats has the chance to support the youth of Oklahoma, who are the future of agriculture.

“There is nothing like mentoring our farm kids and encouraging them,” Harrel said.

Looking back on how Diamond Hats began, Harrel said the group has seen tremendous growth.

“Mr. (Bob) Funk came to me, or called me and asked me about starting an organization to get the ladies more involved,” Harrel said. “Basically, he said, ‘I want to elevate the image of agriculture, I want to have a gala event where all of these cowgirls can get dressed up in their finest, and the men can put on their finest,’”

The Diamond Hats Annual Gala began in 2004, Harrel said, and in the first year, Bob Funk matched the money raised in membership.

“He ended up giving me $50,000 to get started on,” Harrel said.

From 100 in attendance at the first Diamond Hats Annual Gala, Harrel said the event has grown to close to 500. The entertainer for the next gala will be Joe Nichols, Harrel added.

To visit the Diamond Hats website, CLICK HERE.

The Oklahoma Farm Report team snapped pictures from start to finish- and you can see them in our Flickr album for 2024- available here.

Our coverage of the 2024 Oklahoma Youth Expo is sponsored by Hilliary Communications. More than 60 years ago, the Hilliary Family acquired a small telephone company in rural southwest Oklahoma. Now in its third generation, the company has grown from a single exchange with just 100 access lines covering 22 square miles to now serving more than 19,000 customers in 22 counties throughout Oklahoma & Texas.  The company also offers IP television service and internet speeds up to 1 Gig. Click here to learn more about Hilliary Communications.

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