Oklahoma State University is honoring six individuals who have brought distinctive credit to the university’s Ferguson College of Agriculture and contributed significantly to society. Mindy Brashears, Raymond Campbell, Michael Galyean, brothers Brett and Greg Ramsey, and Frank Robson have been named 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. The honorees will be officially recognized during the OSU Agriculture Honors ceremony Oct. 18.
“We are proud to honor this group of alumni with such an esteemed award,” said Thomas G. Coon, vice president for OSU agricultural programs. “They have had a tremendous impact on the Ferguson College of Agriculture and provided significant benefits to their career fields, their communities, the state of Oklahoma and the university.”
Established in 1983, the Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes individuals whose accomplishments serve as a model for current and future Ferguson College of Agriculture students. The OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is comprised of the Ferguson College of Agriculture and two state agencies: OSU Extension and OSU Ag Research. Learn more about each honoree below or visit OSU Agriculture Honors online.
Mindy Brashears, Washington D.C.
Brashears received both her master’s and doctoral degrees in food science — specializing in food microbiology — from OSU. She is an animal and food sciences professor at Texas Tech University. In 2019, Brashears was inducted as the fifth Senate-confirmed undersecretary of food safety, which is the highest food safety job in the U.S. government. Clint Rusk, department head for OSU’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences, nominated Brashears for the prestigious award and described her as a well-known, key expert in her field.
“She has excelled in the area of microbial food safety, especially related to the detection and control of Escherichia coli 0157:H7 in cattle,” Rusk wrote in his nomination statement. “Her research has involved both pre-harvest and post-harvest control of this foodborne pathogen in meats and has shown that feeding a selected probiotic culture to feedlot cattle resulted in as much as a 30% reduction in the incidence of E. coli 0157:H7 in the cattle.” As an active alumna, Brashears stays in contact with the OSU food and meat science faculty by exchanging ideas, networking with students, as well as speaking to classes and groups about her research.
Raymond Campbell, Stillwater
Campbell is a two-time graduate of OSU who received his bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry and master’s degree in horticulture. He has spent a career in Extension serving in a number of roles, such as: county educator; faculty specialist; Oklahoma Gardening television host; interim department head in OSU’s Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture; an assistant director of agriculture and rural development programs; and associate director for OSU Extension.
Justin Quetone Moss — horticulture and landscape architecture department head — nominated Campbell for the distinguished award and praised his dedication and creativity during his career.
“In addition to Dr. Campbell’s influence on horticulture and gardening in the division and in our state, he was an excellent leader for OSU Extension,” Moss wrote in his nomination statement. “He was not only a leader in the division, but also served many leadership roles nationally during his time as associate director for OSU Extension.”
In retirement, Campbell continues to give back to OSU Agriculture by serving as an ambassador for The Botanic Garden and volunteering numerous hours each year, as well as his philanthropic and civic activities throughout the community.
Michael Galyean, Lubbock, Texas
Galyean received his master’s and doctoral degree from OSU in animal science and animal nutrition, respectively. He currently is the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Texas Tech University, where he holds the position of Paul Whitfield Horn Professor in Texas Tech’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences. As noted in Rusk’s nomination statement, Galyean has established himself as one of the top beef cattle nutritionists in the U.S. and the world during his more than 40-year career.
“Dr. Galyean’s contributions to animal science extend well beyond his own research program,” he wrote. “Many of the graduate students and post-doctoral students who worked under his guidance have gone on to noteworthy careers in research, education, Extension, and industry in the U.S. and several foreign countries. The success of his students, as evidenced by their productivity and numerous honors, is perhaps the best testament to Dr. Galyean’s leadership in livestock production research.”
In addition to his career achievements, Galyean and his wife have endowed five scholarships at various universities, including the Michael and Charlotte Galyean Scholarship for graduate students in ruminant nutrition at OSU.
Brett and Greg Ramsey, Jones, Oklahoma
The Ramsey brothers are co-owners of Blue and Gold Sausage Co. in Jones, a family-owned and operated company, and household name in the state of Oklahoma. Both Brett and Greg returned to the company after graduating from OSU — Brett in agricultural economics and agricultural education with Greg earning a degree in agricultural economics.
Cheryl DeVuyst and Rob Terry — department heads for OSU’s Department of Agricultural Economics and Department of Agricultural Education, Communications and Leadership respectively — nominated the brothers for this award because of the Ramsey family’s unending support of Oklahoma’s youth in agriculture for the past 50 years.
“Brett and Greg were instrumental in finding ways with their father to support students at OSU in agricultural education, from committing a major gift to the Department of Agricultural Education, Communications and 4-H Youth Development’s model agriscience teaching classroom and laboratory project to advancing their annual department scholarship by establishing two endowed scholarships," DeVuyst and Terry wrote in their nomination.
The Ramsey Family/Blue and Gold Sausage Agricultural Education Scholarship supports undergraduate students aspiring to be agricultural instructors, and the Ramsey Family/Blue and Gold Sausage Agricultural Education Teaching Fund provides financial assistance to students during their student teaching experiences for travel expenses and housing.
Frank Robson, Claremore, Oklahoma
Robson graduated in 1953 from then-Oklahoma A&M with a degree in animal science. His career has centered around ranching, banking and real estate. He is the current owner of Robson Ranch, a successful cattle operation that has been in his family since he was a young boy growing up in the Depression.
In his nomination statement, Rusk describes Robson as a philanthropist. Robson has given greatly to his hometown of Claremore with his family building and donating the Robson Performing Arts Center to the Claremore Public Schools. In addition, Robson contributed to the McKnight Center for Performing Arts at OSU, provided scholarships, and continues to serve as a leader and voice for teachers and education.
Recently, Robson became a cornerstone donor to the New Frontiers campaign to help fund a new state-of-the-art teaching, research and Extension facility for OSU Agriculture. “Frank Robson has said, ‘Everyone, I believe, has an obligation to make the world a better place, an obligation to leave it better than what we have found,’” Rusk wrote. “He lives this mission daily and has done so much to make the world a better place, especially when it comes to improving education in the state of Oklahoma.”