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Oklahoma Agricultural Hall of Fame
Photo of Alvin "Buck" Clements
Alvin "Buck" Clements-1999

A native son of Oklahoma, Alvin "Buck" Clements, grew up in the dark shadows of the infamous "dustbowl" and Great Depression. Childhood experiences from that era set the stage for a life of agricultural production, conservation and education.

During the 1999 Agriculture Hall of Fame Ceremony, Governor Frank Keating said Mr. Clements typified the Oklahoma agricultural ideal. "Hard work and a dedication to the people and the land is the trademark of the Oklahoma farmer and our 1999 Agriculture Hall of Fame inductee embodies these qualities," Governor Keating said. "His life has been a lesson and a testament to the possibilities of what the Oklahoma spirit can accomplish."

Growing up on a rented farm in Stephens County, he and fellow high school vocational agriculture classmates ran terrace lines on the property his family farmed. Young "Buck" and his father used a team of horses, a moldboard plow and a homemade, wooden V-drag to create terraces to control soil erosion and improve the farm.

Continuing his agricultural education at Oklahoma A&M, Mr. Clements became the university's first Native American to graduate with a degree from the College of Agriculture. His studies in agronomy and soil science prepared him well for his future as a farmer and a career with the Soil Conservation Service - both of which were interrupted by a three-year stint in the Navy during World War II.

A successful farming operation was initiated in 1947 with the purchase of 160 acres of badly eroded and neglected land. Overgrazed and abused, Mr. Clements carefully nurtured this scarred land back to productivity and was harvesting native grass seed from his farm in just four years. With the help of his wife, Irene, that 160 acre farm grew into 2,000 acres of wheat, alfalfa, and cattle production while still boasting wonderful wildlife habitat.

A promoter of Oklahoma agricultural products, Mr. Alvin "Buck" Clements played host to trade teams in the U.S. and abroad while serving various commodity groups. At the time of his induction into this Hall of Fame he had completed 53 years of service to agriculture and showed no signs of slowing down.