Not only does the Osage County Cattlemen’s Association have the distinction of being Oklahoma’s largest organization, it is also considered the oldest and one of the most prominent organizations in the state.
The OCCA began hosting annual meetings and ranch tours in 1934. Other regional organizations were formed near the end of World War II, including the Northwest Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association which was formed in June of 1945 to promote cattle theft prevention and new cattle sanitation plans. The Bluestem Cattlemen’s’ Association was formed in December of 1945 and the Wichita Livestock Anti-Theft Association followed in October of 1946.
Also in 1946, the Northwest Oklahoma Cattlemen’s’ Association contacted members of Bluestem, Wichita and the OCCA to discuss the feasibility of forming a statewide association. By 1947, even though there were 36 cattlemen organizations throughout the state, efforts to form a state organization were tabled.
By 1950, concern was mounting about cattle theft, declining cattle prices, animal disease, drought and the need for industry legislation. In March of 1950, Seminole cattlemen, led by Lyle Boren, wrote the charter of incorporation for the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association. It took another three years before other cattlemen associations showed their support. Annual dues would be $5 plus ten cents a head for adult breeding cattle.
In March of 1953, the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association was officially organized with emphasis on botanizing state information and targeting cattle theft protection.
Several prominent Osage County ranchers were part of this history marking event. Wayne Rowe, Sr. was formally elected the first OCA President. J.B. Smith was named first vice president. Roy J. Turner, Claude Wallace, Roy Craig and Leon Daube were named second vice presidents. E.O. Derrick became temporary executive secretary until a fulltime person could be hired. Other committee members included Ralph Barby, Don Tyler, H.H. Mundy, Bob Collier, B.S. “Cheebie” Graham, Jack Hall, J.O. Dickey, Sr., Howard Blaine, Ralph O. Wright, Frederick A. Drummond and Gene Mullendore.