Bob Funk honored by Oklahoma State
Robert "Bob" Funk, one of Oklahoma's most influential and inspirational agricultural leaders, has been honored as a 2005 Oklahoma State University Animal Science Distinguished Service Award recipient.
"Bob Funk is a stockman, businessman, philanthropist and community leader who brings the vision and values of the American West into everything he does," said Don Wagner, head of OSU's department of animal science.
Funk and his wife of 39 years, Nedra, reside on the family ranch near Yukon, and although his business ventures range from temporary personnel services to professional sports, Funk has never lost his love for livestock enterprises.
As the owner of Express Ranches, with headquarters at Yukon and ranching operations in Oklahoma, South Dakota and New Mexico, Funk is the third largest seedstock producer in the United States, with primary interest in Limousin and Angus cattle.
"He has recently begun international franchising of his cattle operations in China and western European nations, and plans to expand into eastern European and South American countries," Wagner said.
Express Ranches is also home to two champion Clydesdale show hitches that travel through North America promoting the Express brand.
"As an honor to his father, Bob established the Express Ranches Progressive Junior Scholarship Program in 1995," Wagner said. "Junior exhibitors who purchase show heifers and steers from Express Ranches are eligible for scholarship awards up to $25,000 for their success in qualified shows."
Approximately $1.2 million has been awarded to more than 200 youth since the program's inception.
"Bob has worked with other youth and livestock supporters to revitalize the Oklahoma Youth Expo, the largest junior livestock show in America which provides scholarship support to hundreds of rural youngsters each year," Wagner said.
Funk serves on numerous boards, including those of the National Limousin Foundation, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma Baptist University and Oklahoma Independent College Foundation, as well as the Canadian Valley and Gordon Cooper vocational technical centers.
He has served as chairman of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and was recently elected chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
As chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Express Services Inc., Funk was honored as the International Franchising Association's Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000. Express Services is a billion dollar company that operates more than 460 franchises in 45 states and four countries.