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OSU Agriculture Honors Celebration
Oklahoma State University Agriculture will recognize recipients of the 2024 Champion for OSU Agriculture Award during its annual Honors celebration on Oct. 11. (Photo by Mitchell Alcala, OSU Agriculture)

OSU Agriculture names 2024 Champions

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Media Contact: Mandy Gross | Sr. Manager of Strategic and VP Communications | 405-744-4063 | mandy.gross@okstate.edu

Oklahoma State University will honor two individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to agricultural sciences and natural resources.

Ronald Elliott and Harvey Schroeder are the 2024 Champion for OSU Agriculture Award recipients. They will be recognized during the OSU Agriculture Honors ceremony on Oct. 11.

“These individuals embody the ideals and mission of OSU Agriculture and support our rich tradition and history of improving the quality of life for Oklahomans through science-based research,” said Jayson Lusk, vice president and dean of OSU Agriculture. “The honorees make us proud, and we look forward to recognizing and celebrating their accomplishments.”

Established in 2011, the Champion for OSU Agriculture Award recognizes individuals who are not graduates of the Ferguson College of Agriculture but have brought distinction to the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

The division is comprised of the Ferguson College of Agriculture and two state agencies: OSU Extension and OSU Ag Research.

Learn more about each honoree below or visit OSU Agriculture Honors online.

Ronald Elliott, Stillwater

Elliott received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1973 and 1974, respectively, and his doctorate in agricultural engineering from Colorado State University in 1981.

Elliott began his academic career in 1981 as a faculty member in the OSU Department of Agricultural Engineering, later renamed the OSU Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering. He taught and conducted research for 29 years and was department head from 2001 to 2010. During his tenure as department head, Elliott played a major role in fundraising for departmental scholarships and helped to increase the number of scholarship recipients from 15 to 45 per year.

Elliott also co-founded and provided ongoing leadership for the Oklahoma Mesonet, a world-class network of environmental monitoring stations, operating for more than 30 years. A partnership between OSU and the University of Oklahoma, the 120 Mesonet station sites throughout Oklahoma’s 77 counties send more than 2,500 atmospheric and subterranean observations every five minutes to the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma. The data and many value-added products are used for agricultural applications, weather forecasting, education, emergency management, wildland fire management, scientific research and more.

In retirement, Elliott remains active with the biosystems and agricultural engineering department. He and his wife established the Ron and Judith Elliott Endowed Scholarship to continue supporting students. Elliott also fosters OSU relationships through involvement with the department’s donor and alumni relations activities.

Harvey Schroeder, Stillwater

Schroeder, formerly of Frederick, Oklahoma, attended OSU but graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 1969. Following graduation, he taught high school chemistry, physics and general science for six years in Davidson and Tipton, before deciding to pursue farming full-time. A Tillman County native, Schroeder began farming at age 14 and was a diversified farmer and rancher until his retirement.

He was elected to the Oklahoma Cotton Council and served as executive director for 18 years. During his time on the council, Schroeder worked with the state legislature as an advocate for cotton farmers, diversified farms, gins and cotton warehouses. His work was pivotal in establishing a National Committee for the Advancement of Cotton. Schroeder spent 17 years as an advisor to the National Cotton Council, and he served 14 years as an alternate delegate to the Board of Cotton Incorporated.

The Oklahoma Cotton Council recently honored Schroeder for his lifetime achievement and contributions to the cotton industry. Because of his industry experience and knowledge, he was regularly invited to participate in National Cotton Council meetings and other boards and groups. Schroeder served five years on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service Committee on Trade for Cotton, Tobacco and Peanuts meeting with the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and staff in Washington, D.C. He was also chair of Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur’s Pesticide Advisory Committee for seven years.

As an agricultural advocate, supporter and policy expert, he served on the OSU Agriculture Dean’s Advisory Council under Thomas Coon and the late Robert Whitson.

Story By: Ainsley Treesh | ainsley.treesh@okstate.edu

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