Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources will honor three Oklahomans with one of the organization’s highest honors, the DASNR Champion award.
Robert A. “Bob” Funk of Yukon, Rodd Moesel of Oklahoma City and David Howard of Bristow have been selected as 2014 award recipients.
“Our three honorees have exceptional records of providing meaningful and lasting benefits to Oklahoma and the region as part of the state’s production, processing and related agricultural industries, in addition to being outstanding leaders in their communities and supporters of OSU’s land-grant mission,” said Mike Woods, DASNR interim vice president, dean and director.
The honorees will be officially recognized during ceremonies later this spring, at a time yet to be announced.
Funk is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Express Services Inc., headquartered in Oklahoma City and the parent company of Express Personnel Services, a billion dollar company that operates more than 460 franchises in four countries, including offices in 45 American states.
In addition, Funk is the owner of Express Ranches, with headquarters and a sales facility in Yukon, as well as ranching operations in Oklahoma and New Mexico. Raised in the cattle business, Funk focuses his attention on Angus and Hereford cattle and has established internationally prominent seedstock production programs in both breeds.
“Bob Funk has shared beef cattle genetics with the OSU Purebred Beef Center and supported our Cowboy Classic sale by purchasing top-selling animals on an annual basis,” said Clint Rusk, head of DASNR’s department of animal science. “He uses his success to enhance the lives of people touched by any of his enterprises, particularly those in agriculture.”
Moesel is president and co-owner of American Plant Products and Services in Oklahoma City. In addition to serving the needs of countless commercial growers, his company has designed and built research greenhouses for university and federal facilities across the United States, and has constructed teaching greenhouses for more than 50 Oklahoma-based vocational agriculture programs.
He has served in top leadership roles for numerous organizations, ranging from the Oklahoma Farm Bureau to the Oklahoma Greenhouse Growers Association, to the North American Horticulture Supply Association and the Oklahoma 4-H Foundation, among others. Moesel currently serves as one of two Oklahoma representatives on the national Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching.
“Rodd Moesel’s service to Oklahoma’s agriculture and horticulture industries is quite incredible in terms of its breadth, depth and longevity,” said Ron Elliott, interim head of DASNR’s department of horticulture and landscape architecture.
Howard was born in England, raised in Northern Ireland and launched his business – Unitherm Food Systems – while attending North East London Polytechnic in 1985. In 1995, he moved his business to Ponca City, where it grew into a national success. In 2001, Howard relocated the business to Bristow. Today, Unitherm Food Systems boasts annual sales of more than $25 million and employs more than 40 fulltime residents of the Bristow area.
An avid proponent of OSU’s Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center, Howard has donated state-of-the-art equipment vital to helping the center serve food industry clients and businesses across Oklahoma, notably the electrolyzed water treatment system, boot washing system and spiral oven system.
“David has never put any constraints on any of his donations, giving because he appreciates the value of what FAPC provides to state food businesses,” said Roy Escoubas, FAPC director. “He has served for three terms on the FAPC Industry Advisory Committee, including stints as chair and vice-chair.”
All three honorees have been cooperating partners with DASNR faculty, educators and staff for many years.
“We’ve always been blessed with great supporters across Oklahoma,” Woods said. “The annual presentation of the DASNR Champion award is one way by which we honor their longstanding commitment.”
DASNR is comprised of the college of the same name and two state agencies: The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, with offices in all 77 counties, and the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system, with research facilities situated across the state to enable key scientific studies to be performed under local conditions.