OCCA honors elders, supports youth

Robert Smith rsmith@pawhuskajournalcapital.com
Barbara Strahm, left, receives her OCCA Hall of Fame induction award Friday from her daughter, Andrea Enloe. Robert Smith/Journal-Capital

The Osage County Cattlemen’s Association on Friday inducted Barbara Strahm and Lee Holcombe, who are lifelong supporters of the area ranching community, into its Hall of Fame. The OCCA also gave tangible support to the next generation by presenting a $500 scholarship to Rhian Chambers, who said she plans to take classes at Tulsa Community College.

This was the 16th year for the Hall of Fame designation, which OCCA began to present in 2004. Including Holcombe and Strahm, 31 individuals have now been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Andrea Enloe, who is Barbara Strahm’s daughter, offered the introductory remarks for her mother during the Cattlemen’s Luncheon program at the Osage County Fairgrounds. Enloe talked about her mother’s active role among Osage County cattlewomen, making classroom presentations to children about healthy eating and exercising habits. Barbara Strahm and her husband, Sam, came to the area in 1959, after graduating from Kansas State University. Sam Strahm, who was inducted into the OCCA Hall of Fame in 2010, came to Osage County to work as a veterinarian.

Jeff Henry, who is Lee Holcombe’s business partner in Cross Timbers Land, made introductory remarks and handled the presentation for Holcombe. Henry described his partner as a man who has maintained a high level of energy in spite of advancing age, along with remarkable intellectual acuteness. Henry cited Holcombe’s Christian ethical foundation and said customers of Cross Timbers pretty much invariably become friends, as well. The Holcombe family’s ties to Osage County go back just over a century, to 1918.

This was the first year for the $500 scholarship, which OCCA Past President Shane Stierwalt presented to Rhian Chambers. Taylor Reed, the current OCCA president, said Stierwalt had been instrumental in setting up the scholarship.

Reed also announced the OCCA would be giving a $1,000 donation to the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation’s Natural Disaster Relief Fund, to help alleviate the effects of recent flooding in eastern Oklahoma.

“I want us to remember the flood victims,” Reed said. Money donated to the fund will be distributed to ranchers harmed by flooding this spring.