At times, boosters have lamented Oklahoma's national image. The Depression-era stereotypes of “The Grapes of Wrath” have long outlived that novel's author and still provide many a distorted view of our state. In general, outsiders sum up Oklahoma as a state full of roughnecks, cowboys and Indians.
To which we say: Yes we are!
The oil industry is a cornerstone of Oklahoma and contributed $61 billion to the state economy last year, according to an Oklahoma Energy Resources Board report. The industry is a major reason Oklahoma has weathered the national recession better than trendier locales.
Local energy companies have played a crucial role in advancing the hydraulic fracturing revolution, dramatically increasing access to domestic resources. Oklahomans are playing a big role in reasserting American dominance in the energy field; that's nothing to duck our heads over.
Oklahoma also plays an outsized role in the cattle industry. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Oklahoma is home to 4.5 million cattle and calves as of Jan. 1. Only four states exceed that number.