OSU ag to honor 5 recipients Oct. 11

Oklahoma State University Agriculture will recognize recipients of the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award during its annual Honors celebration on Oct. 11. (Photo by Mitchell Alcala, OSU Agriculture)

Oklahoma State University will honor five individuals who have brought credit to the university’s Ferguson College of Agriculture and contributed significantly to society.

Jami Longacre, Ed Moydell, Mary and Rob Shuey and Carl Thoma, are recipients of the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award. The honorees will be officially recognized during the OSU Agriculture Honors ceremony on Oct. 11.

“These individuals have impacted the Ferguson College of Agriculture and contributed to their communities, the state and the university through their careers,” said Jayson Lusk, vice president and dean of OSU Agriculture. “We are honored to present these alumni with such an esteemed award.”

Established in 1983, the Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes individuals whose accomplishments serve as a model for current and future Ferguson College of Agriculture students.

“These honorees are committed to serving their industries daily through their words and actions,” said Cynda Clary, associate dean for the Ferguson College of Agriculture. “Our college and its students are fortunate to have these role models as examples of impactful service and excellence.”

(Above) Oklahoma State University Agriculture will recognize recipients of the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award during its annual Honors celebration on Oct. 11. (Photo by Mitchell Alcala, OSU Agriculture.)


Jami Longacre, Kellyville, Oklahoma, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from OSU in 1993. During her senior year, she served as the OSU agricultural legislative intern at the Oklahoma State Capitol, opening the door to a career in public policy and advocacy.

Following graduation, Longacre worked for the Oklahoma secretary of agriculture and later became the director of policy and governmental affairs for the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association. Longacre then served as the first female executive director of the Oklahoma Beef Council, where she initiated several programs, including the nationally coordinated, state-implemented Beef Quality Assurance program and the first Oklahoma Beef Quality Summit in 1999 in conjunction with OSU, as well as implementing the national “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.” campaign.

After leaving the Oklahoma Beef Council, Longacre returned to the state capitol and continued her career as a lobbyist. She launched a full-service legislative consulting firm, Longacre Inc., where she serves as president.

Longacre and her husband, John, are devoted supporters of OSU and the Ferguson College of Agriculture. They have sponsored several scholarships and organizations and donated to the New Frontiers campaign to help build a new home for OSU Agriculture. They live on a ranch in Kellyville with their son, Turner, a current OSU Ferguson College of Agriculture student studying animal science and agribusiness and continuing their family’s OSU legacy.

Ed Moydell, Cleveland, Ohio, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public horticulture from OSU in 2003, followed by a master’s degree in public horticulture from the University of Delaware in 2006. He has since had an influential career in public horticulture across the country.

Moydell served as associate director of the Center of Public Horticulture at the University of Delaware, where he established the center as an official university-recognized institute. In 2007, he began working as the associate director at the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Within a year of taking the position, he was promoted to the Richard A. Brown president and CEO at the Bloedel Reserve. During his tenure, Moydell transformed the organization from a cloistered, underfunded, richly historic institution to a vibrant, financially healthy, relevant, community-owned, non-profit organization.

In 2023, Moydell began a new position as the president and CEO of Holden Forests and Garden in Ohio, overseeing the Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Botanical Garden.

Rob and Mary Shuey, Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, and originally from Springfield, Ohio, and Chandler, Oklahoma, respectively, graduated with bachelor’s degrees in animal science from OSU in 1981. The couple met as members of the OSU meat judging team. Rob Shuey also was a member of the OSU livestock judging team.

The couple’s time and involvement with OSU and their passion for encouraging the future of agriculture have led them to support the OSU Department of Animal and Food Sciences and the OSU Animal Science Alumni Association. They also provide scholarships for the meat and livestock judging teams as well as the Rob and Mary (Kalka) Shuey Animal and Food Sciences Endowed Graduate Student Fellowship Fund.

The Shueys had successful careers following their time at OSU. Rob Shuey worked at IBP Inc./Tyson Foods Inc. for nearly 41 years and retired as senior vice president of Fresh Meats International. Mary Shuey spent her career as a high school educator, teaching science classes, primarily biology, and retired after 30 years of education in the South Sioux City, Nebraska, and Dakota Valley, South Dakota, school districts.

The couple received the 2022 Dr. Robert Totusek Brand of Excellence Award from the OSU Animal Science Alumni Association, where Rob Shuey serves on the board. They also are major donors to the New Frontiers campaign, which helped build a new teaching, research and Extension facility for OSU Agriculture.

Carl Thoma, Dallas, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from OSU in 1971 and a master’s in business administration from Stanford in 1973. He grew up on a cattle ranch in the panhandle of Oklahoma and learned about agriculture at an early age. He continues his family ranch of more than 100 years in northeast New Mexico.

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Thoma began his career at Arizona-Colorado Land & Cattle Co. The company owned ranches, feedlots, farm implement entities and meat packing companies in Arizona, Nevada and Colorado. He then transitioned to the private equity industry and worked for First National Bank of Chicago. He is the founder and managing partner of Thoma Bravo LLC, a private equity management firm and one of the largest software-focused investors in the world with a 40-plus-year history and more than $138 billion in assets.

Thoma and his wife, Marilynn, also own and operate Van Duzer Vineyards, a winery established in the Willamette Valley in Oregon in 1998. He became intrigued by the wine industry during college.

While at OSU, Thoma represented the Ferguson College of Agriculture on the Student Senate. He remains involved at OSU by serving on the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship Advisory Board, McKnight Center for the Performing Arts Board and the OSU Museum of Art Advisory Board. Most recently, he served on the OSU Presidential Search Committee in 2020. Thoma also supports numerous scholarships, including the John W. Goodwin Endowed Agricultural Economics Scholarship Fund.