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Oklahoma Agricultural Hall of Fame
Photo of Jack Givens
Jack Givens-2012

Jack M. Givens was named to the Oklahoma Agricultural Hall of Fame April 5, 2012. A native of Mangum in Greer County, Mr. Givens’ life is a perfect example of what journalist Tom Brokaw referred to as “The Greatest Generation.”

Growing up on his family’s cotton farm Mr. Givens learned to work hard and strive for excellence in everything he did. To receive his Eagle Scout award in the Boy Scouts he rode his bicycle 80 miles over gravel roads. A few years later he found himself at Oklahoma A & M working at the school library and studying agriculture.

His studies were interrupted with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The young ROTC student was sent to officer’s training and was ultimately promoted to first lieutenant in the army. Wounded during the invasion of Normandy, Mr. Givens survived to “crawl and dodge bullets all across Europe,” where he was wounded twice more and eventually captured by the German army.

After the war he earned a degree in agricultural education and soil science from Oregon State University and taught in that state for a few years and later in California. A few years later he returned to his native state to farm and raise children. He soon established himself as a successful farmer and dedicated agricultural leader and was noted as a valuable source to other state leaders, including then Governor Frank Keating, who said Jack Givens worked to build better markets and improve the American agriculture infrastructure.

Mr. Givens served two terms as Chairman of the Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service, was a lifelong member of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau serving first as Southwest Director and later as President of the organization. Over his career he also served as director for two national cotton industry organizations as well as being a regent for the Oklahoma State University and A & M colleges.

Humble and unassuming, Mr. Givens never sought the limelight but spent his life serving his country, his state and agriculture while earning the utmost respect from all he worked with and a reputation for success. He once remarked that he learned great tenacity serving in the military. “I found out the harder you work, the luckier you get.”

Ag Hall of Fame 2012 - Outstanding Achievement Award in Agriculture