Sep 29, 2023
Goodwell, Okla. — In recognition of many years of service and dedication to the Angus Breed, Jerry and Gwen Martin received the Mr. Angus Award at the Oklahoma Angus Association Annual (OAA) Meeting and Banquet on Friday, March 15, 2019. The Martin’s have served at Oklahoma Panhandle State University for over 50 years. Jerry is currently teaching Animal Nutrition and conducting the Annual Bull Test and Sale, while Gwen is the administrative assistant for the School of Agriculture.
The Mr. Angus Award is presented by the OAA to people that have provided exemplary service to the association and/or members. The OAA feels the Martin’s were excellent honorees because they have helped so many of the Angus breeders market their bulls for over 37 years.
“The award was a big surprise,” said Dr. Jerry Martin. “I think it should be contributed to Panhandle State for providing the Bull Test program for area producers. We certainly appreciated the recognition.”
The Oklahoma Panhandle State University Bull Test in Goodwell, Okla. is the longest continuously running bull test in the United States. It tested the first bulls in 1952. There have only been two directors of the bull test in its 67-year history. Milton England directed the test for the first 30 years, then turned it over to Dr. Jerry Martin and his wife, Gwen. The Martins began with the bull test in 1982 and have been there ever since. Panhandle State has collected performance data on well over 6,000 head of bulls for breeders primarily from five states.
In 1952, the average daily gain for all bulls at Panhandle State was 2.59 pounds with the highest individual gain of 3.34 pounds/day. Today the average daily gain for all bulls is more than four pounds/day and the highest individual gain is closer to 7 pounds/day.
Dr. Martin was named the first Dean of Agriculture at Panhandle State in 1972 and remained in that position until 1994. In addition to the bull test and ag department duties, the couple also sponsored the cheerleaders and kept the books at the basketball games. They have also mentored close to 100 students that have worked at the bull test over the years. The couple both retired in June of 1994, or tried to, but they came back in November to continue running the bull test.
When the test started in 1952, it was mostly Herefords. Now the test is predominately Angus and several OAA breeders have benefitted from the Martins’ dedication to the bull test.
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