Oklahoma Agriculture Hall of Fame inducts Dr. Barry Pollard
Doctor Barry Pollard, an Enid neurosurgeon who is committed to supporting medical and veterinarian training, is the newest inductee into the Oklahoma Agriculture Hall of Fame.
Pollard, who practices medicine by day and operates a ranch in Waukomis by night, joined the hall of fame as part of being selected to receive the Governor’s Outstanding Achievement in Agriculture award for 2020.
Pollard grew up in Hennessey, actively showing hogs, pigs and cattle at county fairs and other events as he participated in 4-H and FFA shows and other events.
He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1973 with a biochemistry degree from its College of Agriculture.
From there, Pollard went on to attend the University of Oklahoma to obtain his medical degree and to become a board-certified neurosurgeon.
He has said that his agricultural education at OSU was the best foundation for his medical career.
Pollard opened a private practice in Enid in 1982. Besides practicing medicine and being a rancher, he also partnered with Wendell Kirtley to buy a John Deere dealership in Kingfisher, leading to the creation of P&K Equipment, a network of lawn and farm equipment dealers that subsequently grew into a company with multiple locations that serves customers in Oklahoma and parts of Arkansas and Iowa.
Pollard also founded the OSU Medical Cowboys program while serving on the OSU Foundation’s board of trustees, raising more than $3.7 million in scholarships to support the next generation of healthcare professionals and veterinarians.
In 2008, he and OSU created the Barry Pollard, M.D./P&K Equipment Inc. Professorship in Agribusiness to encourage excellence in cross-disciplinary teaching and scholarships in agri++business.
Pollard continues to encourage students from rural areas to return to their communities and practice medicine to care for both humans and animals.
“We are proud of all our great Oklahoma farmers and ranchers, but we are exceptionally excited to honor Dr. Barry Pollard this year as an outstanding agriculturist and service-minded citizen,” said Blayne Arthur, Oklahoma’s agriculture secretary. He raises the bar for all people who would like to promote and support our state’s agriculture industry.”
“When it comes to giving back, Dr. Pollard is an example to follow,” added Scott Eisenhauer, P&K Equipment’s general manager. “Barry exemplifies what a leader should look like. He is passionate about many things, but in particular, agriculture and rural Oklahoma. He truly cares about others and wants to help them achieve their goals.”
“His heart for giving back inspires everyone he meets,” agreed Mark McCully, the American Angus Association’s CEO.
Pollard accepted the award at the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Convention and Trade Show in Tulsa on Friday, thanking his medical and dealership staffs and Oklahoma State officials for supporting his efforts over the years.
“Well, it has been my privilege to be associated with agriculture since I was born,” Pollard told attendees, “from learning how to drive a tractor, I think, when I was six years old with my father.
“My father was a vocational agriculture teacher who taught hundreds of students. Unfortunately, he passed away a few years ago, but he would have been especially proud of this award I have been honored with.”
Pollard said his choice to return to Enid was simple, given that he wanted to take care of agriculture people.
“You are the finest people in the world. You know how to dedicate yourself to the job at hand, you know the commitment it takes to get it done,” he said. “Those are the values that I treasure … and that you and I are trying to pass on to our children."
The Outstanding Achievement in Agriculture Award is the highest award given by the governor to honor distinguished Oklahoma agriculture professionals, honoring recipients for exemplifying personal values, performances and achievements.
Pollard is the 23rd Oklahoman to receive the award, officials said.