Gift Fulfills Promise To Former Farmer’s Late Husband
A great deal of the sustainability discourse is centered around institutional responsibility, and justifiably so. However, it’s also worth pointing out that there isn’t enough focus on the climate-based good that has come out of charity over the last few decades.
Nonprofit groups like The Nature Conservancy rely on donations to keep many conservation efforts going around the country. Though it would be unwise for a society to look entirely to the altruism of a few to fix its problems, it can certainly help fill in the gaps a bit.
Some of the most helpful charitable acts come from land donations. These gifts often result from a landowner deciding that their mission of maintaining the property’s natural state of beauty would be best achieved in the hands of an entity that is trustworthy, capable, and, most importantly, stable for decades to come. Such is the case in Haskell, OK, where the owner of a former horse ranch has announced the donation of the plot to the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Foundation.
The transfer of the land known as Logan Ranch comes as a decision by owner Elizabeth Logan. Although Logan is feeling fresh as ever at the tender age of 95, a lack of children and a promise made to her late husband, George W., served as motivation to donate the property to the foundation. “I’ve been blessed; I really have,” she said of the move, which sees the ranch controlled by the agricultural department of OSU for research purposes. “I decided there’s no better time than now.”
The ranch reflects the couple’s lifelong commitment to the outdoors. After the initial purchase in 1970, Elizabeth and George W. began living as mainly livestock farmers.
“We raised beef cattle and quarter horses,” Logan recalled of the earlier years. “George W. loved the outdoors and loved the horses.”
While Elizabeth would often stick to tending the cows out of a childhood fear of horses, she later faced her anxiety in 1995, when her husband’s open-heart surgery forced Logan to take care of the animals on her own. “He had a barn full of studs, and I had to take care of them during his recovery,” she said. “Finally, I just got more comfortable with them.”
The event kicked off more than 20 years of horse obsession for Logan, where she began taking the best of the group to shows around the state. Her involvement continued until about seven years ago when Logan transitioned into racehorses. The following years included major wins in 2019 and 2022, at which point she began to think of fulfilling the pact she and George W. had made upon his death in 2011. Oklahoma State was often floated as a prime candidate, an idea that stemmed from the university’s veterinary treatment of one of Logan’s horses back in 1983.
Now the ranch will be owned by the university’s field and research unit, where plans indicate a move to use the land for cattle grazing, weed control, and fertilization research.
According to Chris Richards, who works as the unit’s director, the gift will allow the continuation of already established research that goes back decades.
“We had the Eastern Research Station in Haskell as a lease property since the early 70s,” said Richards of the program. “However, we recently lost the lease on that property, so this generous gift will allow us to continue research in that area of the state.”