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2018 Master Agronomist

Master agronomists are listed here from 1947 to the current year.

Larry Cochran

2018 Larry Chochran

Larry is a farmer/rancher who is respected not only in Alfalfa County, but across the state. He operates his own livestock trucking business and farms approximately 3,000 acres of no-till dryland wheat, grain sorghum, canola and cover crops. Each of these crops, along with his native-, Bermuda-, and Jose Tall Wheat grasses allow him to rotate his cow/calf and stocker operation to better manage his soil health. Larry serves on the Alfalfa County Soil Conservation and Oklahoma Ag Credit Boards.  He has also served on producer panels locally, at the Oklahoma No-Till conference, Woods County Grain Sorghum meeting, and at the National SARE Soil Health Conference in North Carolina. In his “spare time” Larry served for 25 years with the Jet Fire Department and also served on the Jet Coop Board. He has been to Washington D.C. numerous times as an advocate for Farm Credit on agriculture-related issues. Larry continues to learn and expand his operation by attending educational meetings on agronomic, livestock and economic subjects.




Walter Ross

Walter Ross is a long-time supporter of OSU and Cooperative Extension efforts in central Oklahoma. Walter’s interest in agronomy and agriculture developed early as he worked in the family seed and grain business with his father and brothers in Chickasha. He graduated from Oklahoma A&M with his agronomy degree in 1949, where he was a member of the national championship crop judging team. Continuing the family’s legacy, Walter expanded the business to El Reno and continued the company’s focus on taking care of every customer. The business is now operated by his son Tom Ross and daughter Julie Ross-Martin, the third generation to be a part of the family business. Julie’s son Matt Martin, a 2015 graduate of OSU, recently joined the family business continuing the legacy to a fourth generation. The company will celebrate its 100th year of business this year and is looking forward to the next 100 years. Walter is orange through and through, as is the entire Ross family. In fact, 23 children and grandchildren of the Ross family have continued the family tradition by attending OSU.


Joe Shirley

2018 Joe Shirley

Joe is a wheat seed distributer, wheat grower, and cattle producer from Alva, OK who has been an agriculture and business leader in Woods County for over 40 years. He operates an extensive cow/calf operation with a quality forage program. Shirley Farms has been a Registered and Certified wheat seed dealer since 1975 and they have over 265,000 bushels of on-farm wheat storage capacity. Joe was one of the Founding Board members for Oklahoma Genetics, Inc. and is currently Chairman of the Board of that organization. He has been a member of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association since 1975 and served on its Board of Directors from 1980-1985. He is also a member of the Oklahoma Crop Improvement Association, serving on that Board of Directors from 1995-2001 and as President in 2001. Joe is a long-time supporter of OSU Extension and has served on the Woods County OSU Extension PAC Committee for 30 years. In the community, Joe serves on the NWOSU Alumni Board of Directors, on the Woods County Excise Board, and as Chairman of the Church Board for First Christian Church in Alva. He actively supports youth activities in his community by donating to the NWOSU Rodeo Team, the Woods County Livestock Show (for 40 years), and to the 4-H Awards Banquet. In his younger years, Joe served for 11 years in the Oklahoma National Guard and he is an Eagle Scout.