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Bob Funk's Take: Wow! The Oklahoma Youth Expo celebrates 104 years!

As you may know, Oklahoma Youth Expo is one of my favorite charities. I am impressed with its organizational leadership and team, its impressive list of sponsors, well-executed programming and fabulous events.

OYE is the largest youth livestock show in the world — 9,000 youth showing 13,000 livestock show animals — and it packs the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds solid for a week every March. I am convinced the organization is developing Western values and cultivating a solid work ethic in our youth. In other words, associated programs, contests, competitions and scholarships are helping to shape participating youth into America’s future leaders.

In my 50+ years in the staffing business, I believe business executives, philanthropists, community leaders should be strategic and prudent with regard to investing monies into respectable charitable organizations. And while my family and organizations have been richly blessed so that we can also give back to areas like health, humanities, the arts, education and workforce development, I particularly like organizations whose programs reward participation, hard work, Western values, the learnings of risk-reward, the ‘art’ of showmanship while encouraging individuals to interact with peers, mentors and donors. To that end, I tip my hat to the OYE Board, dedicated parents and supportive families, OYE staff and supporters...but most of all, I salute the organization’s young members who commit an entire year to their project. These members don’t mind breaking ice on a frosty morning for their show steer or putting in extra hours of practice. I remain steadfast in supporting OYE and I wish all stakeholders continued success in 2018.

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