The livestock judging team from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) ended their 2012-2013 season with an unforgettable experience at the prestigious Kiamichi Link Angus Ranch in Finley, Okla. last month. This tradition began in 2012 when OSU/A&M Regent Tucker Link invited NEO and Connors State College (CSC) to compete in a livestock contest at his ranch.
Link serves as chairman of Knightsbridge Investments Limited and its wholly owned subsidiaries and affiliates and is the managing director of Kiamichi Link Ranch LLC. He was appointed by Gov. Brad Henry in 2010 to serve as a member of the A&M Board of Regents. Link earned his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Oklahoma State University in 1972 and earned post graduate credits. His term expires in 2015.
Both NEO and CSC currently share one of Link’s donor females named SAV Madame Pride 3249. The donation was valued at $30k and is divided between the two schools.
This cow serves a valuable, educational purpose for both schools. Kiamichi Link Ranch (KLR) is one of the premier purebred Angus programs in the country. Over the past few years KLR has assembled many of the top Angus females and has utilized the genetics of these premier cows in their elaborate embryo transfer facility.
The competition consisted of six classes of high quality Angus cattle, bulls, heifers, and one class of cow-calf pairs. The teams were also shown other herd sires and strong foundation females.
Not only did the Link family open their ranch and welcome the team with a competition, but the team toured the reproduction facility. Livestock Coach Tyler Dewey said, “This was an outstanding opportunity for our students to visit a state-of-the-art reproduction facility and first class organization in Kiamichi Link Ranch. There a few in the world that can rival Link’s facility.”
The teams saw rolling hills and green pastures throughout the ranch. Not only is the Link family passionate about their cattle but wildlife as well. Link made frequent stops around the ranch to educate the teams about wildlife conservation, and the role his family has played in it. The family has an established quail and wild bird habitat that has enough food and forage for the birds to enjoy. “It is not every day that our students are granted the opportunity to visit a reproductive lab that is the caliber of Regent Link’s,” said Shannon Cunningham, dept. chair of agriculture and assistant vice president of academic affairs. “It really adds to our students’ educational experience when they can apply what they have learned in the classroom, and put it into action; touring Kiamichi Link Ranch allowed us to do that.”