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ONWARD Campaign reaches $8M

In 2016, I announced a $5 million testamentary challenge match for all gifts to OYE’s endowment campaign we call ONWARD. This challenge illustrates my love for the OYE organization and showcases the enduring impact of organizational programming. I wanted my contribution to be collectively ‘matched’ by inspired families, corporations and friends through philanthropic gifts so as to benefit tomorrow’s agribusiness leaders built by and through OYE.

Update with a drum roll please.

Including the afore mentioned match, Executive Director Tyler Norvell and his remarkable team have raised


I am so excited we are well on our way to the final goal of $10 million dollars which sustains scholarships to deserving students for decades to come.

It bears repeating that every campaign gift, regardless of size, regardless of type of gift (outright – gift of cash, stock, livestock or deferred – bequest, annuity, etc.) will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $5 million.

For more than 100 years, the Oklahoma Youth Expo (OYE) has been building leaders out of America’s youth. Each March (COVID year withstanding), OYE brings more than 7,000 youth together from 77 Oklahoma counties to compete and show as many as 13,000 livestock animals. These statistics make this event the largest junior livestock show in the world!

Impressively, OYE awards $2 million annually in premiums and scholarships (annual scholarship total is around $350,000) and to date, OYE has awarded over $5 million in scholarships to winning students. I am proud to support and reward these impressive young people who set goals, work hard, make sacrifices and compete in a very competitive environment. I am convinced these difference-making young people will be the future leaders of this great country.

One of our committed Board Members, Randy Gilbert from Tecumseh, Oklahoma shares this insightful remark:

“In 2021, nearly 18 percent of the nation's economy and 29 percent of all American jobs were linked to agriculture.

OYE is an awesome program serving our youth; it provides character-building skills, leadership qualities, and friendly competition within our amazing industry’ – Randy Gilbert

Should you, a colleague or your organization wish to participate in this difference-making initiative and/or to receive more information on OYE’s ONWARD campaign, please contact Executive Director Tyler Norvell at

“OYE is my first love charity, because I know that we’re growing future leaders with this program.”

– Bob Funk


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