Veterinarian elected national CARET chair
Okemah veterinarian and former Oklahoma State University Regent Dr. Claud D. Evans has been elected as the 2012-2013 national chair of the Council for Agricultural Research, Education and Teaching.
CARET works to promote support for and understanding of the land-grant university system's food and agricultural research, Extension and teaching programs that are mandated by state and federal law to actively engage in enhancing peoples' quality of life. It is comprised of representatives from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
"The land-grant university system, which was established in 1862 by legislative action and expanded and improved in both 1890 and 1994, is the premier tool by which the masses of the United States have been, and will be, educated," Evans said. "I look forward to advocating for its continued expansion, especially internationally, for the freedom and well-being of all mankind."
Evans is the first African-American to hold the position of CARET chair since the agricultural organization was established in 1982 by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.
He has served as Oklahoma's representative to CARET for the past 11 years. This includes a two-year stint as chair of the Southern Region's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Executive Council.
Evans is perhaps best known to Oklahomans for the 16 years he served as a member of the State Board of Regents for OSU and the Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges.
Robert E. Whitson, vice president, dean and director of OSU's Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, believes citizens of the state, region, nation and beyond will be well served by Evans assuming the CARET chair.
"Dr. Evans possesses an extensive, firsthand, real-world understanding of the importance of the agricultural sciences, especially as they relate to our food and fiber systems, animal welfare and the well-being of society as a whole," he said. "Dr. Evans has certainly had a great influence on our extended OSU family over the years, and the division continues to directly benefit from his expertise and experience through his membership on our Dean's Advisory Council."
A native of Poteau, Evans received his Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural biochemistry from OSU in 1966 before going on to earn his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Tuskegee Institute in 1970, interning at the University of California-Davis.
After 11 years as a veterinarian with Ralston Purina Company in St. Louis, Evans and his wife Elayne returned home to become more directly involved with their Oklahoma-based registered Angus cattle operation, as well as the family farm operated by her parents, J.P. and Vivian Owens, in Okfuskee County. Their farming operation also currently includes Spanish meat goats with a gene for cashmere.
In 1982, Evans opened the Okfuskee County Veterinary Clinic in Okemah, serving owners of large and small animals.
"Dr. Evans knows firsthand the challenges faced by rural counties, as well as what it takes to improve the quality of life for local residents; he is a well-respected and supportive champion of not only OSU's Cooperative Extension programs, but of many community enhancement activities," said Jan Maples, Okfuskee County Extension director.
An active advocate for education and rural Oklahoma, Evans has served on the board of directors of the Oklahoma Meat Goat Association, been a trustee for the University Center at Tulsa and been a member of the Oklahoma Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, Okfuskee County Fair Board and American Angus Association, among others.