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OSU Agriculture has a rich tradition and history of improving the quality of life for all Oklahomans through conducting and disseminating science-based research. This is not possible without the achievements and excellence of its alumni and friends. We annually recognize these outstanding individuals at our OSU Agriculture Honors event.

Distinguished Alumni

The Ferguson College of Agriculture Distinguished Alumni Award was established in 1983 to recognize and honor alumni who have contributed significantly to society, and whose accomplishments inside or outside the agricultural profession have brought distinctive credit to the Ferguson College of Agriculture.

Previous Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

OSU Agriculture Champion

The OSU Agriculture Champion Award recognizes and honors individuals who are not graduates of the Ferguson College of Agriculture, but who have brought distinction to OSU Agriculture and have demonstrated a continuing interest and commitment in agricultural sciences and natural resources.

Previous Agriculture Champion Award Recipients

2022 Distinguished Alumni Award

John Fenderson

Fenderson completed both his agronomy bachelor’s degree and weed science master’s degree at OSU in 1979 and 1982, respectively. Since graduation, he has worked with Velsicol Chemical, Sandoz Crop Protection, Monsanto Co. and currently Bayer Crop Science.

Jeff Hilst

Hilst is a two-time graduate of OSU receiving his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and accounting in 1984 and an MBA in business administration in 1987. Serving as a principal broker at Watermark Commercial Properties, Hilst’s education at OSU created the foundation for him to excel in his professional life. 

Lenny Hughes

Hughes graduated at the top of his class in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from OSU and was one of the first African American graduates from this program. Today, Hughes is an award-winning landscape architect at Halff Associates in Richardson, Texas.

Karen Eifert Jones 

Eifert Jones received her bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics with a marketing and business option from OSU in 1985. After graduation, she joined Dow AgroSciences, working with farmers and ranchers and teaching proper stewardship in the use of agro-chemicals, before returning to her family farm near Waukomis.

Tammy Lee

Lee’s love for agriculture stems from multiple generations of family and was further enhanced through her experiences at OSU. She graduated in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in animal science. Following graduation, she was hired by John Deere and has grown professionally during her 27-year career.

Patsiann Nix Smith

A two-time graduate of OSU, Nix Smith received a bachelor’s degree in general agriculture in 1965 and a general administration degree in 1982. Born in Oklahoma City and a fifth-generation Oklahoman, Nix Smith currently resides in Tahlequah and owns her family's original Cherokee allotment.

2022 Champion Award

Elizabeth Logan

With no children, Logan and her husband, George W., planned for the future of their 320-acre Logan Ranch in Muskogee County. In 1999, the couple decided to donate their estate, including their ranch, to OSU for agricultural research after their passing.

Carl Whitcomb

Whitcomb is a world-renowned horticulturist and ornamental plant breeder and currently owns and operates Lacebark Inc. near Stillwater. His 40-plus years of research have led to numerous patents and registered trademarks as an inventor and entrepreneur.

Joe Williams

Williams received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from New Mexico State University and his doctoral degree from Iowa State University. After graduating with his Ph.D., he joined the OSU Department of Agricultural Economics in 1975.

Save the Date

Annual Celebration - Oct. 28, 2022
Join OSU Agriculture as we honor and celebrate the recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award and Champion Award on Oct. 28. These individuals have brought distinctive credit to the Ferguson College of Agriculture, contributed significantly to society and have demonstrated a continuing commitment to agricultural sciences and natural resources.
Honors medallions for award recipients
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