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Oklahoma Agricultural Hall of Fame
Photo of L. E. Castle
L. E. Castle-2007

The Oklahoma History of Agriculture exhibit in the first floor atrium of the Agriculture building has several new items on display. Not the least of which is the newest member of the state’s most prestigious agricultural award group. Governor Brad Henry named L.E. Castle to the Oklahoma Agricultural Hall of Fame June 4th. Castle becomes the tenth member of the Hall, which was created in 1998.

Castle is a retired vocational agriculture teacher and began his career in Billings and two years later moved to Billings. For 18 years his vocational agriculture students excelled in FFA competition. Thirty-six students received the State FFA Degree, five received the American Farmer Degree and four were state FFA officers.

Castle’s FFA chapter was named a Superior Chapter eight times and placed high in the National Chapter Awards three times. His livestock judging teams have won contests in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Kansas City and Denver. His 1964-65 team won all four contests.

Governor Henry said the accomplishments of his students indicate the volume about the respect they had for him. “When he speaks, believe me, people listen,” he said. “Not only did his students come to him for guidance, so did other vocational agriculture teachers. He was one of their icons.” More than 40 percent of his former students have made agriculture their career.

“It’s important for us to remember that Mr. Castle is also an accomplished agricultural producer of significance,” said Secretary of Agriculture, Terry Peach. “He runs nearly 2,000 stocker cattle each year and farms 3,600 acres of wheat, alfalfa and milo. It’s an impressive farming operation.”

Castle has also served on the National Federation Land Bank for 36 years as a member and as president. He has also served on the Enid Farm Credit Board for 30 years and served as president of that board as well.

Active in his local Lion’s Club and church, Castle has continually shown a commitment to community service and served as a superior role model. Secretary Peach said Castle personifies the spirit and the Governor’s Outstanding Achievement in Agriculture Award and has earned his place in Oklahoma’s Agriculture Hall of Fame.

“L.E. Castle has been an inspiration to a generation of vocational agriculture teachers and his influence will benefit our state’s agricultural industry for generations to come,” he said. “He has helped make our state a better place to live and work in the agricultural industry.”

Castle asked everyone in attendance at the induction ceremony to give themselves a round of applause saying everyone who supported agriculture and agricultural youth programs were most deserving of the award. “It’s the people backing these kids that really deserve the recognition,” he said. “That makes it great for agricultural education.”