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Agricultural News

OYE Brings Students and Legislators Together; Board Chairman Sees Great Things on the Horizon

Wed, 19 Mar 2014 11:55:33 CDT

OYE Brings Students and Legislators Together; Board Chairman Sees Great Things on the Horizon

Eighty state legislators took the opportunity Tuesday night to get into the show ring and get their boots dirty alongside the youthful exhibitors at this year's Oklahoma Youth Expo at State Fair Park.

Bob Funk, chairman of the board of OYE and owner of Express Personnel and Express Ranches, told Radio Oklahoma's Ron Hays it was a wonderful opportunity for both the students and lawmakers.

"We're certainly proud of our legislators and proud of the people who serve our state, serve our country. Of course we appreciate the fact that they are willing to come out and see what these young people really are made of. And we're so proud of the young people of Oklahoma. They are our future leaders and we would like to encourage them to be involved in the political process as well. By meeting the legislators that gives them an opportunity to see what they are really like and to, hopefully, push them on towards leadership in our state."

Funk has been a tireless supporter and promoter of OYE since its days as the Junior Livestock Show. He said it has been amazing to watch the show grow over the years and continue to gather momentum.

"Justin Whitefield was a great leader and if he were alive he would be a wonderful leader not only for this state, but around the country as well. And he loved these kids and he loved OYE. When we took over the process I think we were giving away about $300,000. This year we're going to be close to a million in prize money and about $250,000 in scholarship money. So, we've been able to grow it, really, in memory of Justin Whitefield and what he would have wanted us to do in promoting this and helping the kids. It's all about the kids."

As the show's 99th year draws to a close and its 100th anniversary looms on the horizon, Funk says it promises to be a wonderful anniversary not just for the OYE as an Oklahoma institution, but, more importantly, for the students who participate.

"It's going to be a great year. We're going to go for $100,000 for the grand steer. We're going to go for a million dollars in prize money and I believe we'll get it. It's going to be a great year for us. It will be a great celebration and, hopefully, a great year for the kids-they'll earn a lot of money and earn a lot of scholarship money."

The Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Multi Media Platform coverage of the Oklahoma Youth Expo is powered by Devon Energy- where commitment runs deep- and by the Title Sponsor of the 2014 OYE, McDonald's- I'm Loving It.


Ron Hays talks with Bob Funk about the 100th anniversary of OYE.
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