OKLAHOMA CITY — Last Saturday evening, Harold Gillenwaters, Chickasha, Okla. was named Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association’s (OCA) Cattleman of the Year. The Cattleman of the Year is the highest honor OCA bestows upon one of its own members. The award reflects service, leadership, integrity, and dedication to the OCA and the cattle industry.
“The 2021 OCA Cattleman of the Year, Harold Gillenwaters, reflects those values as well as honorable service to our country and community,” said Byron Yeoman, newly elected President of the OCA.
Gillenwaters’ first passion is cattle and cattle producers. He and his wife, Donna own and manage their cattle ranch in Chickasha where they raise Angus cattle and sell through a performance program for added value. In 2012, the Gillenwaters were selected as the Oklahoma Beef Quality Assurance Beef Producers of the year. Gillenwaters has been active in the Grady County Cattlemen’s Association as well as OCA serving on the board of directors for both organizations.
“On the same day that Harold was honored as OCA’s Cattleman of the Year, he also finished his term on the OCA Executive Committee serving as the Southwest District Vice President, which he did so very well. I personally admire and respect Harold’s loyalty, knowledge, humility and the quiet, yet all-in approach to the way he serves,” Yeoman said.
Gillenwaters grew up in Grady County and graduated from Verden High School. He is a 1964 graduate of Oklahoma State University with a degree in Animal Science. While at OSU, Gillenwaters was a member of a national champion meat judging team and was high individual at the 1964 contest in Ft. Worth. Upon graduating OSU, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force through the ROTC program. Gillenwaters entered active duty on October 4, 1964, and retired as a Colonel on June 1, 1990 completing 26 years of active service.
Here is just a small glimpse of Colonel Gillenwaters service in the United States Air Force:
– His assignments included Oklahoma, Texas, Thailand, Germany, England, and Hawaii.
– He flew a total of 180 combat missions in Vietnam.
– He received 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses for heroism in combat.
– He received an additional 13 air medals for flying combat missions in high threat areas.
– While in Hawaii, he directly advised President Reagan of the US military actions and situations in the Pacific from 1987 to 1990.
After military retirement, Gillenwaters flew commercial airline planes for United Airlines for 12 years and retired as a 737 Captain in 2002.
Gillenwaters continues to remain active in his community in many different pursuits.
“Those of you who know him, know that he is one of the humblest servant leaders a person could meet. Mr. Gillenwaters perfectly represents the service, integrity, honor, and leadership that the OCA Cattleman of Year embodies,” Yeoman concluded.
The 69th Annual OCA Convention and Trade Show was held July 23 and 24 at the Embassy Suites in Norman, Okla. The event is held in conjunction with the Oklahoma CattleWomen, Inc., and the Oklahoma Junior Cattlemen’s Association’s Annual Meetings. The OCA Convention and Trade Show is the largest annual gathering of beef producers in Oklahoma.
The OCA is the trusted voice of the Oklahoma Cattle Industry. OCA is the only voice that speaks solely for the cattlemen of Oklahoma and represents beef producers in all 77 counties across the state. The OCA officers, board of directors and membership encourages you to join us in our advocacy efforts to ensure less government intervention, lower taxes and a better bottom line. For more information about OCA membership, the theft reward program or activities call 405-235-4391 or visit www.okcattlemen.org.
–Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association
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