STILLWATER — Oklahoma State University honored three people with the DASNR Champion award.
Dave McLaughlin and Linda Shackelford, of Oklahoma City, and Osage County's Bob Hamilton are the 2013 recipients.
DASNR is composed of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and two state agencies: The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service and the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station system.
“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,” said Mike Woods, the division's interim vice president.
McLaughlin worked for the George A. Hormel Company for more than a decade, when he left to start a business with Paul Allen in 1973. They launched Advance Food Company, focusing on the processing and delivery of protein foods for the Oklahoma City marketplace.
Advance Foods expanded over the years, achieving more than $750 million in sales annually. In recent years, Advance Foods combined with Pierre Foods, a partnership with sales revenues exceeding $1 billion.
McLaughlin was named to the first industry advisory committee of the division's Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center and continues to serve on the committee. McLaughlin and Advance Food Company funded the Advance Food Company/S.E. Gilliland Professorship in microbial food safety, and a number of scholarships in the department of animal science.
Shackelford was founding co-owner of TLC Florist and Greenhouses Inc., recognized by the gardening industry as one of the top 100 garden centers in the United States. Starting in 1980, she expanded the business to more than 150,000 square feet of greenhouse.
“Linda bleeds orange,” said Dale Maronek, head of the department of horticulture and landscape architecture. “She has long offered her time and expertise to OSU's Stillwater and Oklahoma City campuses, provided financial and in-kind resources, and been active in the Oklahoma FFA Foundation.”
For more than 20 years, Shackelford was an underwriter for “Oklahoma Gardening” on OETA. Along with Charles Shackelford, she funded a horticulture professorship in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
A native of Wellington, Kan., Hamilton joined The Nature Conservancy in 1982 as manager of the TNC Cross Ranch Preserve, a position he held for six years. In 1988, the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve was initiated in Osage County and Hamilton has served as manager and science director since its inception.
OSU Distinguished Professor Sam Fuhlendorf said Hamilton views the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources as his primary collaborating partner.
“Many people across the country assume Bob is an OSU faculty member because of his continued support for and close integration with our rangeland research and management programs,” Fuhlendorf said.
Hamilton is a leader in Osage County's ranching community, and has long spearheaded efforts to promote and expand rangeland conservation practices.
Donald Stotts is a communications specialist with OSU's Agricultural Communications Services.