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Oklahoma Agricultural Hall of Fame
Photo of Henry Jo Von Tungeln
Henry Jo Von Tungeln-2002

In the history of American agriculture there are relatively few people who have contributed as much to their industry than Henry Jo Von Tungeln. The 2002 inductee into the Oklahoma Agriculture Hall of Fame built a legacy for promoting wheat and Oklahoma agriculture that may never be matched while simultaneously serving his community with uncommon vigor.

A sixth generation family farmer, Mr. Von Tungeln recognized the need to promote his commodities years before it became fashionable to do so. On the day of his induction into the Hall of Fame, Lt. Governor Mary Fallin praised the Calumet farmer as "...a visionary farmer, rancher and ambassador of Oklahoma agriculture."

Over the past 50 years Mr. Von Tungeln and his wife, Donna, have entertained international trade teams from countries around the globe. Hundreds of international visitors have visited their family farm for a taste of the American West as well as thousands of pounds of Oklahoma grown beef and wheat products. Each year the Von Tungeln family uses about three tons of flour baking bread for guests, church events, trade shows and virtually any other group that makes a request.

Not averse to travel, Mr. Von Tungeln placed plenty of wear on his international passport over the years as well in his crusade to put Oklahoma agriculture on the plates of foreign customers. Countries in Africa, Europe, South and Central America were targeted along with states and provinces of Mexico and Canada. When sanctions against Cuba were first softened in 2001, Mr. Von Tungeln was already en route there-and subsequently facilitated the first sale of wheat (Oklahoma grown, of course) since the Cold War.

An accomplished leader, Mr. Von Tungeln served his church as Chairman of the Board and Sunday School Superintendent. In 1955 he was elected President of the Canadian County Farm Bureau and despite his best efforts to step aside still maintained that post at the time of his induction while also serving as Chairman of the nation's largest wheat export organization, the U.S. Wheat Associates.