Oklahoma Agriculture has lost a long-time-time leader in cattle production and Ag policy with the passing of State Board of Agriculture member Joe Mayer of Guymon.

Mr. Mayer suffered a heart attack on Saturday and was taken to a hospital in Amarillo, Texas. He passed away on Sunday at age 68.

Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese and the staff of ODAFF would like to express our sincere condolences to his family and countless friends. 

“We will miss Joe very much,” Secretary Reese said. “Joe was a caring, hardworking state and national leader for many years. Our prayers go to his family in our loss.”

It was recently announced that Governor Mary Fallin had appointed and the Oklahoma Senate had confirmed the appointment of Mayer to serve a four-year term as a member of the State Board of Agriculture. He participated in his first State Board of Agriculture meeting on May 8.

Mr. Mayer grew up on the cattle ranch his great grandfather established in the Oklahoma Panhandle in 1883. The ranch has grown into a 35,000-acre beef and small grain operation, which has received national and international recognition for innovation and willingness to embrace new technologies. His work to improve his Angus herd through careful breeding and record keeping and DNA testing for specific traits earned him the Certified Angus Beef ® Commercial Producer of the Year Award in 2013. 

Mr. Mayer was also a recipient of the Governor’s Outstanding Achievement in Agriculture award, which is the Oklahoma Agriculture Hall of Fame.

Mr. Mayer served on Governor Frank Keating’s transition team and numerous other state and county task forces and commissions. He also had served as director or chairman of many state and federal committees devoted to agriculture and private property rights. He served on the USDA FSA Committee at the pleasure of both Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush.

Mr. Mayer and his wife Mary Anne have three children, Paul, Katie and Margie, who all still work for the family farm and ranch business.