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AJ Smith Honored with BIF Ambassador Award


OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (June 14, 2013) — The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) honored AJ Smith, from the Oklahoma Cowman magazine, posthumously with the Ambassador Award during the organization's 45th annual meeting and research symposium in Oklahoma City, Okla., June 12-15, 2013. This award is given annually by BIF to a member of the media for his or her efforts in spreading news of BIF and its principles to a larger audience.


Smith was represented here by his wife Debra. 


In 1985, Smith began his storied career as the editor of the Oklahoma Cowman, the official publication of the Oklahoma Cattleman’s Association, and with his leadership, built the magazine into a nationally recognized publication. 


During his tenure, he wrote 295 editorials and countless feature stories, took thousands of photographs, planned numerous ranch tours and traveled the country providing ring service.

Raised in Oklahoma, Smith and his father managed 150 head of registered polled Hereford cows on the family farm north of Lone Wolf, Okla. He continued to farm and ranch on the family farm until he accepted the position of Harmon County 4-H agent in 1983.

He moved his family to Gould where he lived and worked for the next 2.5 years as field representative and editor for Better Beef Business, as field representative for Gulf Coast Cattleman and Weekly Livestock Reporter, and agricultural educator for the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.

His contributions to the beef cattle industry in Oklahoma are widely recognized and he was awarded the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Animal Science Graduate of Distinction award, as well as being inducted into the Oklahoma Angus Hall of Fame.

AJ Smith will be long remembered by Oklahoma cattlemen as a man of optimism, wisdom and humility. He worked tirelessly for the Oklahoma cattlemen, as well as the entire beef Industry. Upon his passing the Western Livestock Journal remembered Smith as, “He was the John Wayne of our industry, 'honest and tru'" to the end."

As a testament to his impact on Oklahoma agriculture, a memorial scholarship was set up at OSU dedicated to helping animal science and ag communication students develop the skills to effectively communicate about agriculture.

For more information about this year's symposium, including additional award winners and coverage of the meeting and tours, visit www.BIFconference.com. For more information about the BIF organization, visit www.beefimprovement.org.


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