It is a rarity for students to have the opportunity to explore a 15 thousand acre ranch with the most up-to-date equipment, labs and an elite Angus herd. Connors State College (CSC) Agriculture students and members of the Livestock Judging Team got this opportunity thanks to Kiamichi Link Ranch owner, OSU A&M Regent Tucker Link and wife Vickie as well as KLR Ranch Staff. “The opportunity that Regent Link and the KLR Staff afford our students is one that almost no other college or university students get to experience. Tucker Link’s cattle operation and generosity with this time and ranch is world-class. We are blessed to be a part of this event, much less win it,” commented President of Connors State College, Dr. Tim Faltyn. The family invited this specific group of students from Connors and Livestock Judging members and Ag students from Northeastern A&M College (NEO) to participate in a day of competitions and tours. Students were exposed to high-tech labs used for embryo transplants, cloning and in-vitro fertilization. Ranch manager, Josh Walker explained the process of impregnating the cattle through these scientific procedures. They also go the opportunity to see an ultrasound of a bovine fetus at 45 days. “This field trip is another opportunity to enrich the educational experience for our students. A lot of students studying Agriculture will never have the opportunity to see this type of a ranch operation, so this means a lot to our program at Connors. We know it takes a lot of preparation to host this event and we are thankful for the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Link and the entire KLR Staff,” commented CSC Director of Farm Operations and Show Team Coach Blake Nelson. This is the second year that KLR has hosted these two programs for the day with hopes of continuing it for years to come. The traveling trophy for the Livestock Judging Competition stays in the possession with CSC for the second consecutive year. Head Coach Brandon Gunn and his team placed eight out of the top ten with High Individual being awarded to CSC All-American and sophomore Clay Carlson. “It is always an honor to go to Kiamichi Link Ranch. It gives us an opportunity to visit with experts in the Angus Industry and learn what is new in ranching and breeding practices. As far as the competition goes, we work all year and this is a great way to end the year. Our hard work paid off and it all came together at KLR,” said Carlson. “Our team has looked forward to this field trip and competition since last spring,” said Brandon Gunn. “This is not only about the competition but the entire learning experience that KLR offers.”
This field trip is not the only connection Connors has with KLR. In the Connors State College Beef Show Team’s inaugural season KLR has proven to be a vital supporter by allowing the college to show some cattle from their elite Angus herd. “Mr. Link and his staff have assembled some of the top donor cows in the Angus Breed. Off-spring from these cows will be the most sought after genetics in the Angus breed,” commented Nelson. The CSC Show Team showed much promise for a strong future with numerous wins at the state and national level. “Our success would not have been possible without the generosity of Regent Link. His group of cattle is some the best in the industry and allowing our students to show them has been extremely beneficial for the launch of our team,” added Nelson.