OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Set to be honored at the 1st General Session of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Convention, Sec. of Agriculture, Blayne Arthur is proud to announce Dr. Barry Pollard as the recipient of the Governor’s Outstanding Achievement Award in Agriculture. The Waukomis rancher will become the 23rd inductee into the Oklahoma Agriculture Hall of Fame, the state’s most prestigious agriculture award.
Neurosurgeon by day and farmer by night, Dr. Barry Pollard has held many roles, but passion for agriculture runs deep. Growing up in the rural town of Hennessey, he is no stranger to the agriculture industry.
“I was always actively involved in 4-H and FFA,” said Pollard. “We showed hogs pigs cattle – county fair state fair you name it. I really cherished my agriculture background and I never envisioned myself being a big-city doctor. I wanted to come home and be around the people I grew up with and live the agriculture life I experienced as a child.”
Pollard attended Oklahoma State University where he pursued a biochemistry degree from the college of agriculture. After graduating in 1973, Pollard finished his education at the University of Oklahoma, where he became a board-certified neurosurgeon. Pollard said his agricultural education at OSU was the best foundation for his medical career.
“We are proud of all our great Oklahoma farmers and ranchers, but we are exceptionally excited to honor Dr. Barry Pollard this year as an outstanding agriculturist and service-minded citizen,” Secretary of Agriculture, Blayne Arthur, said. “He raises the bar for all people who would like to promote and support our state’s agriculture industry.”
“When it comes to giving back, Dr. Pollard is an example to follow,” said Scott Eisenhauer, P&K Equipment general manager and vice president. “He truly cares about others and wants to help them achieve their goals.”
Pollard opened a private practice in the rural community of Enid in 1982. Recognizing the healthcare shortage, Pollard founded the OSU Medical Cowboys program while serving on the OSU foundation board of trustees. He also raised more than $3.7 million in scholarships to support the next generation of healthcare professionals and veterinarians. Pollard continues to encourage students from rural areas to return to their communities and practice medicine. In 2008, the Barry Pollard, M.D/P&K Equipment Inc. Professorship in Agribusiness was established to encourage excellence in cross- disciplinary teaching and scholarships in agri-business.
“Dr. Pollard is quick to give his time resources,” said Mark McCully, American Angus Association chief executive officer. “His heart for giving back inspires everyone he meets.”
Shortly after opening his practice in Enid, Pollard partnered with Wendell Kirtley to buy a John Deere dealership in Kingfisher. This partnership led to the foundation of P&K Equipment. Today, that dealerships network spans across the state – as well as parts of Arkansas and Iowa. For more than 30 years, P&K Equipment has been on the leading edge of technology and customer service.
“Barry exemplifies what a leader should look like,” Eisenhauer said. “I consider him more of a ‘servant -leader.’ He is truly passionate about many things, but in particular, agriculture and rural Oklahoma.”
To tune in to the ceremony, visit the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Facebook page. The 1st General Session begins at 10:00 a.m. and the Hall of Fame ceremony will begin immediately following the conclusion.
The Outstanding Achievement in Agriculture Award is the highest award given by the Governor to honor distinguished Oklahoma agriculture producers. This prestigious award honors leaders in the agriculture industry who exemplify personal values, performance, and achievement.