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Bull Test Center

CSC Bull Test History

The Connors State College bull testing program was established in 1962. The Muskogee County Hereford Breeders approached Bob Hodges about starting a performance test. The college agreed to furnish the land, labor and test supervision, the association was to own the facility. Members of the association obtained a loan to build the barn. The loan was to be repaid by charging a "pen fee" on bulls tested. This worked fine for a couple of years, but performance testing was not accepted by the cattle industry as fast as they anticipated. The loan was becoming delinquent. The "friendly banker" wanted paid and the breeders did not want to take the money out of there own pockets to repay the loan. Fast talking cow traders must have been around forever. They convinced the president of the college and the friendly banker this deal would be good for both of them if they would take their names off of the note. They succeeded and the college assumed full responsibility. The next year the sales facility was constructed. Bob Hodges and the students did a good job and the program worked fine. Bob retired in 1972 and the college hired Joe Garrett. Carl Simeroth was the farm manager and looked after the bulls. Joe was at Connors for three years. Both Joe and Carl went to Northwest Missouri State University. Joe then became the Executive Director for the Charolais Association and retired from that position. Last Year the Santa Gertrudis association convinced Joe to come out of retirement and run their association. Carl returned to Warner to run a ranching operation for Robert Thompson. Carl still buys bulls for that operation at the Connors sale.

The cattle crash in the 70's about done everyone in, including the Connors Bull Test. The bull sale had been discontinued in 1974. The college hired Gary Harding in 1977 to try to rebuild the bull test and Agriculture program. Only twenty six bulls were tested and sale was held. It was not a pretty sight. In 1978 a new college president, Dr. Carl Westbrook, was hired and Jerry McPeak came aboard to start a livestock judging team and Bill Standifird became farm manager. About 45 bulls were tested and an ice storm came on sale day. The auctioneer, Col. Holland Jester of Madill wrecked his car on the ice coming to the sale and retired following the accident. The sale went on but it was "plum ugly". In 1979, Dr. Gary Updyke came as Dean of Agriculture and Technical Education. The Equine Technology or horse training program was instituted, Fred Williams was hired to develop the program.

The Limousin and Simmental breeds had arrived in America. Most of the bull tests would only allow purebreds to be tested and would not accept these "crossbreds" or percentage bulls. This presented an opportunity to the struggling program in eastern Oklahoma that was trying to compete with the big boys. Connors became a place to test Simmentals. The Limousin association started the "National Limousin Bull Test" and Connors was selected to conduct it for the first three years. The Connors bull test is open to all breeds and they want to test all breeds because of the educational value to the students. Buddy Lassiter joined the team in 1988. Ron Ramming, a Connors alumni, came back from the University of Tennessee as an assistant judging team coach and ag instructor. Jeff McPeak joined the agriculture program in 1998. Stayability is not only a characteristic of the Connors agriculture staff but also of others associated with the bull sale. A. J. Smith, editor of the Oklahoma Cowman, has worked the ring at every sale held at Connors. Bruce Brooks has sold every bull for the past twenty years.

Over 6,000 bulls have been tested at Connors. Types and performance have changed. In 1977, Newell Pixler of Keota had the top performing bull on the test. That bull was the only bull tested that gained 4 pounds per day and the big highlight was his weighing 1000 pounds at a year of age. Twenty one years later, every bull in the sale exceeded those figures. The economic benefit of identifying superior genetics is tremendous. If those 6,000 bulls only sired 60 calves each, they sired 360,000 calves. It would be impossible to calculate the added value of the daughters, granddaughters and great granddaughters.

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