WAUKOMIS, Okla. — Dr. Barry Pollard received the Governor’s Outstanding Achievement Award in Agriculture at the first general session of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Convention last week.
The Waukomis rancher was the 23rd inductee into the Oklahoma Agriculture Hall of Fame, the state’s most prestigious agriculture award.
The Outstanding Achievement in Agriculture Award is the highest award given by the governor to honor distinguished Oklahoma agriculture producers. The award honors leaders in the agriculture industry who exemplify personal values, performance, and achievement.
Neurosurgeon by day and farmer by night, Pollard has held many roles, but his passion for agriculture runs deep.
Growing up in the rural town of Hennessey, he is no stranger to the agriculture industry.
“I was always actively involved in 4-H and FFA,” Pollard said. “We showed hogs, pigs, cattle — county fair, state fair you name it. I really cherished my agriculture background, and I never envisioned myself being a big-city doctor. I wanted to come home and be around the people I grew up with and live the agriculture life I experienced as a child.”
Pollard attended Oklahoma State University, where he pursued a biochemistry degree from the college of agriculture. After graduating in 1973, Pollard finished his education at the University of Oklahoma, where he became a board-certified neurosurgeon. Pollard said his agricultural education at OSU was the best foundation for his medical career.
“We are proud of all our great Oklahoma farmers and ranchers, but we are exceptionally excited to honor Dr. Barry Pollard this year as an outstanding agriculturist and service-minded citizen,” Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur said. “He raises the bar for all people who would like to promote and support our state’s agriculture industry.”
“When it comes to giving back, Dr. Pollard is an example to follow,” said P&K Equipment General Manager and Vice President Scott Eisenhauer. “He truly cares about others and wants to help them achieve their goals.”
Pollard opened a private practice in Enid in 1982. Recognizing the healthcare shortage, Pollard founded the OSU Medical Cowboys program while serving on the OSU foundation board of trustees. He also raised more than $3.7 million in scholarships to support the next generation of healthcare professionals and veterinarians. Pollard continues to encourage students from rural areas to return to their communities and practice medicine. In 2008, the Barry Pollard, M.D/P&K Equipment Inc. Professorship in Agribusiness was established to encourage excellence in cross-disciplinary teaching and scholarships in agri-business.
“Dr. Pollard is quick to give his time resources,” said American Angus Association Chief Executive Officer Mark McCully. “His heart for giving back inspires everyone he meets.”
After opening his practice in Enid, Pollard partnered with Wendell Kirtley to buy a John Deere dealership in Kingfisher. This partnership led to the foundation of P&K Equipment. Today, that dealership's network spans across the state — as well as parts of Arkansas and Iowa. For more than 30 years, P&K Equipment has been on the leading edge of technology and customer service.
“Barry exemplifies what a leader should look like,” Eisenhauer said. “I consider him more of a ‘servant-leader.’ He is truly passionate about many things but, in particular, agriculture and rural Oklahoma.”