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Oklahoma Agricultural Hall of Fame
Elmore Bathurst Photo Elmore Bathurst-2009

Elmore Bathurst became the twelfth inductee into the Oklahoma Agriculture Hall of Fame on March 24, 2009—State Agriculture Day. At the induction ceremony State Secretary of Agriculture, Terry Peach said Mr. Bathurst’s vision and lifetime of working for Oklahoma producers helped pave the way to marketing wheat around the world.

“Mr. Bathurst and a handful of his peers had the vision nearly 50 years ago to see that agricultural marketing and promotion would be necessary to compete in a global economy,” he said. “The actions they took back in the mid 1960s set the stage to help make Oklahoma a leading exporter of wheat to markets such as Mexico and Cuba.”

The Blackwell farmer was a founding member of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission in 1965 and served as its chairman from 1968 to 1970. He also served as a member of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association and served as chairman of that organization from 1972 to 1975.

When asked what convinced him of the need for forming the organizations and becoming involved in global promotion of Oklahoma wheat, he said it was from observing what was happening in the U.S. auto industry. “I thought it was time wheat farmers took a cue from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. They were always out promoting their product. We knew they were priced too high but they were selling like hotcakes.”

As an ambassador for Oklahoma wheat, Mr. Bathurst’s record took second place to no one. He has promoted his industry and Oklahoma on every continent except Antarctica with the message that our wheat was the safest, highest quality product in the world.

Accepting the award, Mr. Bathurst said one of the things that helped change his life and inspired him to become involved was a piece of advice offered when he first began farming as a young man: “A fellow told me not to spend my entire career looking over the fuel cap of a John Deere tractor. He told me to get involved politically and find out what was going on and get involved. It was the best advice I ever got.”

Mr. Bathurst was nominated by both American Farmers and Ranchers and the Oklahoma Wheat Commission. He has also served on his church board, the Oklahoma Shriners’ Association, the Masonic Order of Blackwell and the Blackwell Savings and Loan.