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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Ferguson creating a legacy in OSU dairy

STILLWATER, Okla. – Larry and Kayleen Ferguson have a deep passion for making a difference in the world and they stay connected to their alma mater, Oklahoma State University.
Ferguson creating a legacy in OSU dairy

Larry Ferguson

In his youth, during his education and throughout his successful career in animal science, Larry has made a tremendous impact on the agricultural industry.

“The key to world peace, in their view, is to have people well-nourished so they can make decisions, work, support themselves, innovate and be successful in their lives,” said Tom Coon, Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources vice president. “But if they don't have the food they need, then you sow the seeds of strife that leads to war.”

Coon said that message was beautifully articulated by Ferguson during the ceremony marking the renovation of the OSU Dairy Cattle Center and renaming the facility the Ferguson Family Dairy Center. In 2014, on behalf of the Ferguson Family Foundation, he gave $2 million and committed up to $4 million in matching support to build a state-of-the-art barn and renovate the center.

Ferguson was recently recognized at DASNR Honors night as a 2016 Distinguished Alumni of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

He grew up on a farm in Grady County, Oklahoma, where he was active in both 4-H and FFA. To expand his knowledge and experience, he attended OSU, earning his bachelor’s degree in animal science in 1975.

Upon graduation, Ferguson began his career as a production supervisor with Schreiber Foods, the world’s largest employee-owned dairy company. In 1999, he became president and CEO of the company. Under Ferguson’s leadership, Schreiber grew from a U.S.-based cheese manufacturer to an international dairy company that is the third-largest yogurt manufacturer and second-largest cream cheese producer in the world.

Ferguson officially retired in 2007, but he continues to serve as chairman of the company’s board. In retirement, he operates and manages Marantha Agriculture LLC in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, which consists of a pecan grove and a rice and soybean operation. Ferguson is active on the farm in addition to his philanthropic efforts at OSU and around the world.

An ardent supporter of OSU, Ferguson established the Larry and Kay Ferguson Dairy Foods Scholarship in 2000 to provide an annual scholarship in the OSU Department of Animal Science. In 2002, the department recognized Ferguson with the Graduate of Distinction Award.

“There are not many alumni at OSU who have left their mark on an industry as much as Larry Ferguson has on the dairy industry. His legacy at OSU and in DASNR will be long-lived with the investment he has made in the dairy program,” said Clint Rusk, animal science department head. “He is deserving of this recognition and much more.”


Sean Hubbard
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
157 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-4490
Fax: 405-744-5739

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078