2005 annual report - The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

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2005 annual report - The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation
2005 ANNUAL REPORT
“THE OBLIGATION THAT RESTS
SQUARELY ON THE SHOULDERS
OF EACH GENERATION IS NOT
WHAT THEY INHERIT, WHAT THEY
HAVE HANDED TO THEM OR WHAT
THEY ACQUIRE FROM THE
STANDPOINT OF WEALTH OR
POSITION, BUT WHAT THEY DO
WITH THE WEALTH OR POWER
THAT THEY HAVE IN THEIR HANDS.”
-Lloyd Noble, 1943
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Table of Contents
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38
4.
6.
14.
22.
30.
38.
40.
50.
53.
54.
56.
58.
59.
A Message From the President
Noble Foundation History
Agricultural Division
Plant Biology Division
Forage Improvement Division
Nonresident Fellows
Granting Report
Financial Report
Corporate Governance
Management
Board of Trustees
Feature Photo Captions
General Information
Table of Contents
3
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
While devoting considerable and healthy discussion
last year to strategic planning and identifying key issues
affecting our operations, we set aside time in 2005 to
celebrate a milestone event — the 60th anniversary of
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. We have used
this past year to reflect on our institution, its history and
its purpose.
Our history and our charitable purpose begin with our
founder, Lloyd Noble.
Mr. Noble was a man who respected the land and the
people who cared for it; a man grateful to a society
that had given him the opportunity to succeed; and a
man of true vision with a desire to benefit mankind. The
early Noble Foundation educated and encouraged area
farmers and ranchers to practice land stewardship and
resource conservation not only for their benefit, but also
for future generations.
We continue to enhance agriculture through the programs of our operating divisions — Agricultural, Plant
Biology and Forage Improvement. The impact of our
work is no longer limited to a few local counties in
4
A Message From the President
southern Oklahoma as in the late 1940s. Our work
today has worldwide implications.
In this report, we will share with you several brief stories
that are representative of the significant activities of
our operating divisions. I hope you will take the time to
read about our efforts to improve alfalfa to make it the
“perfect” forage for livestock and dairy operations worldwide, to develop valuable forage alternatives for regional
agricultural producers and to implement a livestock
management system to improve quality and traceability
of beef entering the marketplace. These programs are
each important and will have a lasting impact not only
on producers but, ultimately, on consumers.
As a businessman, Mr. Noble expected his companies
to be the best, to take advantage of technology and
to maintain an undeniable reputation for quality and
excellence which begins and ends with people. After six
decades, the people of the Noble Foundation continue
to embrace that same expectation.
Despite the externally recognized success of many
of our programs, we will not be satisfied with merely
maintaining these activities. New laboratories, scientists
and agricultural specialists are being added in 2006
that complement our existing programs and will make
important new contributions. These additions will make
the Noble Foundation a stronger center for the enhancement of agriculture.
Today, we also continue our grantmaking program, which
began with a gift to the University of Oklahoma in 1946.
Our Board of Trustees remains committed to Mr. Noble’s
goal to benefit mankind through both its support of our
operating divisions and a granting program to benefit
many charitable organizations and programs. We have
included a story in this report regarding our support of
the construction of the new facility for the Oklahoma
Historical Society, which is the repository for many items
memorializing the rich history and legacy of the State of
Oklahoma.
During the past year, I was asked on many occasions to
comment on the activities and accomplishments of the
Noble Foundation over the past 60 years. While certainly
appropriate, such a list alone overlooks much of what is
to be recognized and celebrated. Rather than
institutional achievements, we feel that recognition is
better directed to the following recipients:
• Our founder, Lloyd Noble. We celebrate the vision and
the charitable spirit of a man who wanted to do something to benefit his fellow man. Mr. Noble, at the young
age of 48, established the Noble Foundation and at his
death, only five years later, bequeathed the resources
necessary to implement his vision for the future.
• Lloyd Noble’s family and their commitment, stewardship and leadership in pursuing Mr. Noble’s vision. It
is his family that has provided and continues to provide
critical leadership to this institution. There exist many
examples of family foundations that have looked
elsewhere for direction and institutional purpose; such
is not the case for the Noble Foundation. Since Mr.
Noble’s death in 1950, his family has remained truly
dedicated to his vision.
• The dedicated, hardworking men and women who have
served and are serving as employees and trustees of
the Noble Foundation. A true atmosphere of organizational excellence and commitment can be mandated
but without more, it will fail. To succeed, an organization requires people who believe in it and care to make
it better. The Noble Foundation has benefited from such
people for multiple generations.
Organizations are often too focused on what might
happen tomorrow to think about where they came from
and what shaped them yesterday. We are no different;
however, our 60th anniversary provided an opportunity
for us to look back, to recognize what is important and to
honor a man and his family for their continued contributions to society.
While we are very excited about the future, in 2005 we
paused to celebrate the past.
Sincerely,
Michael A. Cawley
President and Chief Executive Officer
“BEING NATURALLY INTERESTED IN THE SOIL, BECAUSE OF OUR BACKGROUND, WE SAID, ‘HERE IS WHERE WE START.’ WE DETERMINED TO
SET UP A LABORATORY, NOT ONLY TO STUDY, BUT TO DO RESEARCH,
WHICH WOULD REFLECT THE THINGS THAT HAPPENED AS A RESULT
OF SOIL TREATMENT THROUGH ANALYZING THE CHEMISTRY OF
THE RETURNING PLANT ITSELF. WE ALSO VISUALIZED SOME PURE
RESEARCH IN THIS FIELD, AS TIME PERMITS.”
-Lloyd Noble, 1948
NOBLE FOUNDATION HISTORY
Inspired by the opportunities and challenges offered by
a growing Oklahoma oil industry, Lloyd Noble, at age 24,
borrowed $15,000 from his mother to buy his first drilling rig. From this early beginning in 1921, Noble became
one of the most successful and respected on-shore drilling contractors in the United States.
Noble said on many occasions he was grateful for the
privilege of living in a country where entrepreneurship
and free enterprise were encouraged. Because of this, he
had a strong commitment to give back to the society that
afforded him opportunities for personal and financial
success. This commitment resulted in Noble creating and
endowing The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc., in
1945. The foundation was named for his father, Samuel
Roberts Noble, a pioneer merchant from whom Noble
had learned the value of charity.
Noble saw land as essential to the future successes of
the United States. He understood that the land would
continue to be needed — long after the oil and gas were
removed — to provide food for an increasing population.
However, throughout his life, Noble witnessed regional
farming practices that were often short-sighted, disregarded conservation practices and compromised
the productivity of the land.
Initially, the Noble Foundation focused on educating and
encouraging area farmers and ranchers to practice land
stewardship and resource conservation. Its early services
included soil testing, and its early programs involved
contests for cropland improvement and the establishment of productive pastures and demonstration farms to
illustrate innovative practices. In addition to these educational activities, the Noble Foundation began making
grants to nonprofit, charitable organizations in 1946.
Noble died unexpectedly in 1950 at age 53. He left the
majority of his estate to the Noble Foundation.
of the Foundation’s role in bettering mankind through
agriculture enhancement and education, research and
grant making.
Today, the Noble Foundation is a world-renowned plant
research institute, a regional leader in production agriculture innovation and education and a grant maker that
supports a variety of charitable projects. More than 300
employees, representing more than 15 countries, staff its
operating divisions and their supporting groups. Seventy
of these employees hold doctorate-level degrees.
The following are some significant events and achievements from the Noble Foundation’s past six decades.
For 60 years, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, the
majority of whom are Noble descendants or their spouses,
has proudly carried on Lloyd Noble’s spirit of philanthropy. In pursuing this endeavor and stewarding his
resources, the Board has remained loyal to Noble’s vision
Noble Foundation History
7
1951
1952
1946
1945
Lloyd Noble establishes The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation on September 19.
1946
The Noble Foundation begins a soil testing lab and offers
fertilizer recommendations to area farmers. A three-year
soil and garden contest featuring $15,000 in cash prizes
is established to create immediate and widespread interest in the Noble Foundation’s work.
1951
Oklahoma State University partners with the Noble
Foundation to assist in the management of Noble’s
agricultural operations. Through 1958, operations expand
beyond soil conservation and improvement to include
beef and dairy cattle production, growing field and
horticulture crops, cropping systems, irrigation and crop
marketing. Operations focus on field demonstrations. The
first research farms are purchased; today, the Foundation
operates more than 12,000 acres of research property in
six different locations.
1952
The Laboratory Section, which is renamed the Biomedical Division in 1955, is formed. Over its life, this division
conducts significant research in cancer, nutrition, tissue
culture and aging.
The first grant is made to the University of Oklahoma
— $14,000 for an electron microscope.
1945
1946
1947
1948
1949
1950
1951
1952
1953
1954
1958
1962
1956
1956
The Foundation publicly releases Elbon (“Noble” spelled
backward) winter rye, the first of many significant forage
varieties publicly released to benefit farmers and ranchers in the southern Great Plains.
1958
1962
The Agricultural Division initiates the team consultation
approach, which continues today. Consulting begins in
Carter County, Okla., and seven surrounding counties
and involves three farms in each county.
The Biomedical Division begins expanding its research
programs and adding staff.
1964
The Agricultural Division expands its services, beginning
localized consultation and group educational activities in
distant locations, including Texarkana, Texas, (1964) and
Clovis, New Mexico (1969).
Starting this year and continuing through 1958, the
Biomedical Division publishes several benchmark papers
on the nutritional needs of cancer cells.
1955
1956
1957
1958
1959
1960
1961
1962
1963
1964
1969
1966
1965
1965
The Biomedical Division begins work on what will
become the L-asparaginase treatment for acute
lymphocytic leukemia; that research continues through
1969. This work combines the division’s three primary
research areas: tissue culture, the study of normal cells
that become cancerous and the study of disease-fighting
mechanisms in whole animals.
1969
1966
At his death in 1950, Lloyd Noble transferred his ownership in Noble Drilling Corp. (now Noble Corporation) and
Samedan Oil Corp. (now Noble Energy, Inc.) to the Noble
Foundation. The U.S. Congress passes the Tax Reform Act
of 1969, which requires the Noble Foundation to reduce
its ownership in these companies. The Noble Foundation
creates Noble Affiliates, Inc., a publicly traded holding
company of Noble Drilling and Samedan, in 1972 and
reduces its ownership interests.
The Agricultural Division publicly releases Bonel rye.
TIME magazine lists the L-asparaginase treatment for
acute lymphocytic leukemia as one of its top 10 medical
stories of the decade.
1965
1966
1967
1968
1969
1970
1971
1972
1973
1974
1977
1975
1976
1975
The Agricultural Division publicly releases Maton rye.
1975
1976
1977
1976
Biomedical Division researchers discover that interleukin1, a naturally occurring protein, enhances the body’s
defense mechanisms when the body is put under stress.
These findings ultimately lead to the development of
interleukin-2, which remains a viable treatment for
certain types of cancer.
1978
1979
1980
1981
1977
As part of its granting activities, the Board of Trustees
funds biomedical research at The Salk Institute for
Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., the institution
founded by Dr. Jonas Salk. In 1982, The Salk Institute
requests that Noble’s funding be used to support its
then-new plant biology research program. This interaction ultimately leads to molecular plant research at
the Noble Foundation.
1982
1983
1984
1992
1988
1993
1988
The Plant Biology Division is created. Its mission is to
conduct basic research for improving plant performance,
quality and utility.
1992
1993
The operations of the Biomedical Division are transferred to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
in Oklahoma City.
The Plant Biology Division conducts the first field tests of
genetically engineered crops in Oklahoma.
The Agricultural Division publicly releases Oklon rye.
The Agricultural Division publicly releases the only known
forage-quality crabgrass variety, Red River.
1985
1986
1987
The Agricultural Division adopts a defined consultation
service area extending 100 radial miles from Ardmore
that includes 47 counties — 29 in Oklahoma and 18
in Texas.
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
2001
2000
1997
1995
2001
The Agricultural Division publicly releases Bates rye.
1997
The Forage Biotechnology Group, renamed the Forage
Improvement Division in 2004, is formed. Its mission
is to develop improved forages for the southern Great
Plains and advance the science of forages.
2000 The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
opens at the University of Oklahoma. Named after the
eldest son of Lloyd Noble, it is the largest museum in the
world affiliated with a public university. The Noble Board
of Trustees granted $7.5 million to this important project.
1995
1996
1997
1998
The Board of Trustees approves a long-range, $100
million expansion plan for the Noble Foundation campus.
When complete, the campus will comprise about
500,000 square feet of research and administrative
space.
As a consequence of the Plant Biology Division’s significant work in legume genomics, the Board of Trustees
commits $5 million for the DNA sequencing of the
legume Medicago truncatula, a research model for crops
such as alfalfa, peanut and soybean. M. truncatula will
be the first legume sequenced.
1999
2000
2001
2004
Noble Foundation and Grasslanz Technology/AgResearch
Ltd. (New Zealand) enter a long-term collaboration to
develop forage technology to improve animal health and
productivity and forage performance.
2005
Plant Biology scientists solve the first crystal structure of
a plant glycosyltransferase enzyme, enabling the rational
design of new catalysts for producing plant natural products to benefit animal and human health.
2002
2003
2004
2005
AGRICULTURAL DIVISION
DIVISION OVERVIEW
The Noble Foundation began offering limited soil testing
services and advice to farmers and ranchers in a twocounty area in southern Oklahoma in 1945. This group,
which would ultimately become the Agricultural Division,
conducted research, demonstration agriculture and
consultation services at different times during its history.
Today, the Agricultural Division assists regional agricultural producers — farmers and ranchers — and other
stewards of natural resources in achieving their financial,
production and quality-of-life goals through consultation,
education, research and demonstration.
Consultation is the division’s primary focus. The division
has four teams, with each team comprised of specialists
in forage, livestock, soils and crops, agricultural economics, horticulture and wildlife and fisheries. Team members
— collaborating across disciplines — work together to
tailor advice to address each client’s unique circumstances, which commonly include the specific land being
managed, the skill set of the producer or land manager
and the specific goals to be achieved. Importantly, these
services are provided at no cost to the recipients.
The division serves a 47-county area within a 100-mile
radius of the Noble Foundation’s headquarters in
Ardmore, Oklahoma. This service area includes counties in both Oklahoma and Texas. Forage-based cattle
operations are the predominant enterprise in this area.
Specifically, more than 2.8 million head of cattle are
maintained within this service area. In addition to the
division’s involvement in improving and advancing livestock operations, Noble Foundation agricultural specialists advise on crop production, range management,
horticulture and development and management of
wildlife interests and enterprises. The economic impact
of the division’s annual recommendations to farmers and
ranchers is estimated at more than $15 million.
The division operates six farms — totaling about 12,000
acres — for demonstration and research projects. These
farms allow the division to regularly conduct field days
and farm tours to teach farmers and ranchers about
new techniques, management processes and production
examples. Research projects are designed to answer or
offer alternatives to challenges encountered in produc-
tion agriculture. The farms provide needed soil and
environmental diversity for the research conducted by all
the Noble Foundation’s divisions.
The Agricultural Division also conducts a variety of
educational events. These events not only reach out
to producers, but also serve to offer specialized,
agriculture-related education to high school, college
and post-graduate students, public educators and the
general public.
The division’s specialists and researchers collaborate
with colleagues at Texas A&M University, Mississippi
State University, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma
and Texas Cooperative Extension Services and the
Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The Agricultural Division is led by Wadell Altom.
Agricultural Division
15
AGRICULTURAL DIVISION – THE ULTIMATE CONSULTATION PROGRAM:
INTEGRATED BEEF PRODUCTION SYSTEM
When the Agricultural Division initiated team consultation in 1958, it began a tradition of offering farmers and
ranchers comprehensive advice by combining the knowledge and skills of experts in several different agricultural
disciplines. In 2005, the division’s specialists in forages,
livestock, economics, soil and crops, wildlife and fisheries and horticulture continue to work in teams to
address the needs of cooperating producers in a 100mile radius of Ardmore.
With about 2.8 million head of cattle within this service
area, it is no surprise the Agricultural Division focused
on beef production when it developed a new, intense
management program for its cooperating producers. The
program, called Integrated Beef Production System —
BPS for short — was initiated to improve the quality of
beef produced in this region, enhance source traceability
of program cattle (which ultimately concerns matters of
food security) and provide regional producers with new
marketing opportunities with the goal of greater financial
returns. Cooperators who are invited to participate in
BPS become part of an integrated system for producing
source-, process- and performance-verified cattle.
“The primary objective of BPS is to leverage the Ag
Division’s multi-disciplinary consultation efforts for the
long-term benefit of participating cooperators,” says
Wadell Altom, Agricultural Division director. “While
fundamentally consistent with our normal consultation
program, BPS intensifies the tools we provide and the
information and participation we require.”
• pursue viable marketing options; and
• provide requested operational information annually to
Noble specialists for assessment of participant-specific
results and the evaluation of the program as a whole.
In return for this commitment, Noble specialists provide
dedicated support to BPS participants to assist them in
the program’s implementation and help maximize their
returns. In addition to increased access and their on-site
participation, Noble specialists spend time reviewing
data and developing timely reports to aid participants in
making critical production decisions. Noble also provides
participants progressive marketing assistance with the
potential to market at multiple endpoints, as well as
facilitates collective marketing of similarly managed cattle.
BPS participants are required to:
• implement a comprehensive operational plan, designed
by Noble specialists, that affects all phases of operations, not just production;
• become Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified and
administer a veterinarian-approved herd health
“Another important advantage BPS offers is that, by folprogram;
lowing the protocols, participants will be in compliance
• record and maintain cattle source information (e.g.,
with the National Animal Identification System, or NAIS,”
identifications, birth dates, pairings and accompanying
Altom adds.
weight information);
a. These cattle, produced by South Campsey Cattle Company, L.P., are source-, process- and performance-verified under the Agricultural Division’s Beef Production System (BPS) program. b. Micheal Campsey, left, and
the Agricultural Division’s Dr. Robert Wells view cattle at Campsey’s ranch near Jacksboro, Texas. In addition to participation in the BPS program, the Campseys have instituted a wildlife management program as part of
their relationship with the Noble Foundation. c. Each BPS animal is identified with a unique tag and is assigned a tracking number for program data collection purposes. d. BPS cattle participating in a Dec. 5, 2005,
livestock sale at the Oklahoma National Stockyards (Oklahoma City), the second of such sales. More than 2,000 head of BPS cattle, about 17 percent of that day’s Oklahoma City market, were sold.
16
Agricultural Division
Agricultural Division
17
Agricultural Division cooperators Micheal and Julie
Campsey of South Campsey Cattle Company near Jacksboro, Texas, have been a part of BPS for two years. They
have a large native range cow-calf operation running
Angus/Brangus cows and primarily using Charolais bulls.
And, not least of all, the Campseys are seeing the benefits of BPS at marketing time. By following Noble’s plan,
which requires prescribed weaning, adherence to an
animal vaccination and health plan and participation in
a defined feeding program for a prescribed period — in
2005, for the Campseys, it was 45 days — they received
additional average returns of more than one dollar a
day, net of expenses, per head ($43.77 for heifers and
$52.86 for steers). Even for a moderately-sized herd,
producers can realize measurable returns.
division wants to see that number increase.
In addition to assisting producers, BPS is providing realworld educational opportunities for graduate students at
Oklahoma State University. Selected students participating in the OSU-Noble graduate student program work
with Noble specialists to assist in the collection and
assessment of large quantities of data collected from the
BPS program.
“A couple of guys from my consultation team came down
to our place and wanted to talk about a new program
— it was BPS,” says Mr. Campsey, a cooperator since
1995. “They explained what we would have to do as part
of it, and, since it wasn’t that different from what we were
According to Altom, BPS started as a response to a chalalready doing, we decided to participate.”
“We’ve done better on pricing as part of BPS than ever
lenge from Michael A. Cawley, Noble Foundation Presibefore. It seemed like there was a step-function differdent, to develop and implement a program to positively
Since joining the BPS program, the Campseys have
ence in our prices at Oklahoma City,” Mr. Campsey says.
impact agriculture in Noble’s service area. Although beef
implemented livestock management practices such as
cattle are the product, BPS is a combined effort of many
pairing cows with calves and collecting birth dates to
As far as recommending BPS to other Noble cooperators, Agricultural Division staff members and cooperators.
better evaluate the performance of the herd. As a result,
Mr. Campsey cautions that it takes a special producer to
they have been able to identify poorly performing cows
make it work.
“Past experiences, the goals and desires of cooperators
and cull accordingly. Additionally, after embracing the
and new technologies have been combined to make BPS
recordkeeping requirements of BPS, they now have an
“In this program, it’s not just the cattle they’re working
successful,” he adds. “The original BPS proposal had
accurate understanding of their operational cost on a
on, it’s everything related to cattle production,” he says.
three phases, and we are still in phase one, so there are
per-cow basis.
“You’ve got to be willing to do things according to the pro- many exciting and promising plans to be developed and
gram, and it might not be the way your great-granddaddy
implemented.
Mr. Campsey further enjoys the increased interaction
did things. But, if you want to improve your cattle and
“Improved genetics, overall ranch management and
with his consultation team as part of BPS.
performance, it’s for you.”
marketing will certainly have a positive impact on the
economic return of the producers and the region.”
“We see the team a lot more now and review our BPS
The Agricultural Division plans to expand BPS, with each
plan periodically throughout the year,” he says, adding
of the four consultation teams enrolling new cooperathat he has appreciated the extra help with his bull
tors each year. In 2005, 25 cooperators with more than
selection and buying.
3,850 cows were involved in the program, and the
18
Agricultural Division
“IMPROVED GENETICS, OVERALL RANCH MANAGEMENT AND MARKETING
WILL CERTAINLY HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE ECONOMIC RETURN
OF THE PRODUCERS AND THE REGION.”
-Wadell Altom, Director, Agricultural Division
2002
Agricultural Division education and special projects manager
Shan Ingram (standing on right) conducts a tour at Noble’s
Pasture Demonstration Farm west of Ardmore. The special
“tour trailer” has been developed for the comfort of visitors.
Farmers tour one of the early Noble Foundation research farms.
Agricultural Division
19
DURING 2005,
THE AGRICULTURAL DIVISION:
• added 125 new cooperators for a total of 1,185
cooperators;
• hosted 59 educational events that reached 2,124
adults and 12 events that reached 486 youths;
• had 22 research and 18 demonstration projects
underway;
• produced 17 new publications and distributed 4,981
total publications;
• had 22 youths participate in AgVenture and 90 take part
in the Junior Beef Excellence Program, which recognizes
the carcass merit of steers exhibited at junior livestock
shows by 4-H and FFA members in nine south-central
Oklahoma counties; and
• brought 23 teachers to Noble’s campus for tours and
enrichment opportunities as part of Oklahoma Ag in the
Classroom, a program that teaches Oklahoma school
children about the state’s principal industries — food
and fiber.
Agricultural producers meeting at the Noble Foundation’s Coffey Ranch
Agricultural Division
21
PLANT BIOLOGY DIVISION
DIVISION OVERVIEW
Formed in 1988, the Plant Biology Division conducts
basic biochemical, genetic and genomic plant research
for crop improvement (e.g., disease resistance, drought
tolerance, yield increase, digestibility), enhancement
of human and animal health and production of novel
products in crops. The division includes three internal
centers that are representative of its work: the Center for
Crop Genomics, the Center for Molecular Plant-Microbe
Interactions and the Center for Plant Natural Products
and Metabolomics Research.
In recent years, much of the Plant Biology Division’s
research has focused on the understanding and
improvement of legumes, and, in particular, forage
legumes. The Noble Foundation is recognized internationally for its efforts to advance Medicago truncatula,
a model legume species, as the genomic model for the
study of all legumes, including economically significant
crops such as soybean, alfalfa, clover and peanut. The
Noble Foundation led the effort to sequence the genome
of M. truncatula through an initial grant of $5 million
to the Advanced Center for Genome Technology at the
University of Oklahoma. With the additional contribution
of $11 million from the National Science Foundation,
this sequencing project has been cited as a successful
example of a public-private partnership to advance science and transmit important research data to the public.
As the next step, Plant Biology Division researchers have
developed genetic resources and high-throughput gene
and metabolite profiling technologies to assist in understanding the functions of the Medicago genome.
Other specific programs of the Plant Biology Division
include:
• Studying the natural mechanisms plants use to defend
themselves against pest and disease. Knowledge of
these mechanisms will permit Noble scientists to
improve such defenses or introduce new mechanisms
into otherwise susceptible plants to bolster their
defenses and increase their productivity.
• Modifying the quantities and composition of a plant’s
structural component — lignin — to improve the value
and efficiency of plants as an animal feedstock and
biofuel source.
• Using plants to produce health-benefiting natural compounds, such as tannins and flavonoids, for the benefit
of human and animal health. These compounds are
often cited as having a positive impact on conditions
such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.
• Understanding the molecular and cellular basis of
gravity sensing by plant roots.
Plant Biology Division scientists collaborate with many
regional, national and international institutions, including
the International Rice Research Institute (Philippines),
Iowa State University, Oklahoma State University, The
Salk Institute for Biological Studies, University of Chicago,
University of Oklahoma and University of York (United
Kingdom).
The Plant Biology Division is led by Richard A. Dixon,
D.Phil., D. Sc., founding director of the division.
Plant Biology Division
23
PLANT BIOLOGY DIVISION –
THE BASIC SCIENCE BEHIND ALFALFA IMPROVEMENT
Even though alfalfa, a major forage legume in the United
States, is one of the most economically important crops
in the country, it is not necessarily an ideal forage for
production by farmers, ranchers and dairy producers. Its
susceptibility to fungal disease and tendency to cause
pasture bloat — a life-threatening condition in ruminant
animals like cattle and sheep — cause many producers
to bypass it in favor of other crops.
Because alfalfa is highly nutritious and could be a favorable addition to many farmers’ and ranchers’ operations,
particularly in the southern Great Plains, the Noble
Foundation is working to develop novel alfalfa varieties
combining a suite of traits beneficial to producers, with
the goal of encouraging increased production. Some of
the traits to be incorporated include improved digestibility, reduced bloat potential, improved protein use
efficiency and fungal disease resistance. These traits will
not only make alfalfa more attractive to producers in the
southern Great Plains, but will add value to this important crop worldwide.
Though this “re-design” of alfalfa involves all three of
the United States of America, Dixon and his collaboraNoble’s operating divisions, as well as external collabora- tors detailed their reduced-lignin transgenic alfalfa lines,
tors such as Forage Genetics International and the U.S.
which were produced by “knocking out” or down reguDairy and Forage Research Center, the basic science
lating certain genes that lead to lignin production. The
behind the efforts originates in Noble’s Plant Biology
researchers targeted three genes believed to be involved
Division. Alfalfa improvement at Noble arose from
in the production of lignin and found that the indepenresearch into lignin modification that has been ongoing
dent down regulation of two of them greatly improved
in Dr. Richard A. Dixon’s laboratory since about 1990.
digestibility — by more than 10 percent.
Dixon, the Plant Biology Division’s director, explains that
lignin is a structural material found in all plants.
“We achieved both a large decrease in lignin content and
an accompanying change in lignin composition,” Dixon
“Having no nutritional qualities, the presence of excessive says. “The digestibility improvement was far greater than
lignin in plant feedstock reduces animal digestibility and we, or other researchers, have been able to achieve so far.”
affects animal productivity,” he says. “The reduction in
natural lignin production in important forage crops, like
Dixon also points out that this work demonstrates, for
alfalfa, will increase profitability for agricultural producers, the first time, that the key to improving digestibility in
enhance animal productivity and reduce the environmen- alfalfa is the reduction in lignin level rather than change
tal impacts of large-scale animal operations.”
in lignin composition.
In a paper published in November 2005 in the journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of
As to reducing alfalfa’s bloat potential and improving
protein use efficiency, Noble researchers are
a. Alfalfa is highly nutritious and could be a favorable addition to many farmers’ and ranchers’ operations in the southern Great Plains. The Noble Foundation is working to develop novel alfalfa varieties exhibiting
improved performance to enhance livestock and dairy productivity worldwide. b. An alfalfa field afflicted with cotton root rot near Courtney, Okla. Cotton root rot is a destructive plant disease caused by a fungus that
lives in the soil. It causes economic losses in alfalfa and numerous other crops and is the major reason why alfalfa production is not economically feasible in southern Oklahoma and much of Texas. (Photo courtesy
of Dr. Stephen Marek, Oklahoma State University.) c. Noble postdoctoral fellow Dr. Yongzhen Pang works in Dr. Richard A Dixon’s lab on a condensed tannin staining experiment using transgenic Medicago truncatula
hairy roots and Medicago truncatula seeds. Noble scientists have discovered a method for production of condensed tannins in plant tissue, laying the groundwork for making condensed tannins readily available in the
consumable parts of plants. d. Cellular-level concentrations of naturally occurring lignin (shaded in red) within plant tissue. Since it has no nutritional qualities, excessive lignin in plant feedstock reduces its digestibility and affects animal productivity. Noble researchers continue to work to reduce the amount of lignin in forages to improve their value and quality.
24
Plant Biology Division
b
c
Plant Biology Division
25
investigating condensed tannins, naturally occurring
compounds that provide a variety of nutrition and health
benefits to animals and humans. These potent antioxidants, which are found in grapes, cranberries and
green tea, reduce the occurrence of pasture bloat by
decreasing methane gas production during digestion.
Such tannins also slow the degradation of proteins by
rumen microorganisms, permitting more protein to be
used by the animal and resulting in greater production of
beef, milk and wool.
Alfalfa contains condensed tannins in its seed, but not
in the plants’ leaves or stems. Plant Biology Division
researchers discovered a new enzyme that, for the first
time, allowed for production of condensed tannins in
plant tissue that does not naturally make them. This
research is the groundwork for making condensed tannins readily available in consumable parts of the plants.
“While this project is still at the basic gene discovery and
proof-of-concept stage, we hope that bloat reductionbypass protein will become the second quality trait introduced into alfalfa through the Noble Foundation’s efforts,”
Dixon says.
A third area of alfalfa improvement research is investigat26
Plant Biology Division
ing cotton root rot, a destructive plant disease caused
by a fungus that lives in the soil. This disease causes
economic losses in alfalfa and numerous other crops
and is the major reason why alfalfa production is not
economically feasible in southern Oklahoma and much
of Texas. After more than a century of sporadic research,
no effective cultural or chemical control has been developed, and no sources of genetic resistance have been
identified.
Working as part of the Consortium for Legume Research,
a group that also includes researchers from Oklahoma
State University and University of Oklahoma, Noble
researchers in both the Plant Biology and Forage
Improvement divisions hope to characterize cotton root
rot in alfalfa at the biological, chemical and genetic
levels, with the long-term goal of developing resistant
alfalfa varieties.
“The development of a cotton root rot-resistant variety of
alfalfa will greatly expand the alfalfa growing region of
Oklahoma and the southwest,” Dixon adds.
As part of the consortium’s efforts, the Plant Biology Division will apply genomic technology, metabolite profiling
and antifungal screens to determine how infected plants
respond at the molecular level. Researchers then can
define chemical pathways and gene regulatory regions
that can be used for engineering novel resistance mechanisms against the fungus.
Even with success in achieving these research objectives,
the road to “improving” alfalfa will not stop there. Plans
are in progress to develop the lignin technology for
improvements to alfalfa as a potential feedstock for
ethanol production, and research, already well in progress, has shown proof of concept for generating alfalfa
plants containing high levels of natural products beneficial to both animal and human health.
“Alfalfa is a remarkably versatile crop, and we are only
just beginning to appreciate its potential in areas
outside of the traditional forage usage,” Dixon says.
Noble’s work in alfalfa improvement builds on its tradition of improving agriculture. More specifically, Dixon
notes that it has been made possible by Noble’s significant investment in cutting-edge genomics technology
within the Plant Biology Division, and the improvements
will ultimately reach farmers and ranchers through
ongoing collaborations among Noble’s three operating
divisions.
“ALFALFA IS A REMARKABLY VERSATILE CROP, AND WE ARE
ONLY JUST BEGINNING TO APPRECIATE ITS POTENTIAL IN
AREAS OUTSIDE OF THE TRADITIONAL FORAGE USAGE.”
-Dr. Richard A. Dixon, Director, Plant Biology Division
1950s
2004
Plant Biology Division postdoctoral fellow Dr. Deyu Xie examines one of thousands of Medicago truncatula plants in
Noble’s greenhouse complex.
Noble employee Ruble Langston waters plants in one of the
first Noble greenhouses.
Plant Biology Division
27
DURING 2005, PLANT BIOLOGY
DIVISION PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS:
• headed 10 primary Noble Foundation laboratories;
• published 38 papers in international, peer-reviewed journals, including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Plant Journal, Plant Cell, Trends in
Plant Science, Plant Physiology and Molecular and Cellular Proteomics;
• received more than $1.3 million in new external funding from sponsored research
and state and federal agencies;
• received public support from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of
Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement
of Science and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education;
• filed six new patent applications;
• received two U.S. patents: Transgenic legume plants modified to produce resveratrol glucoside and uses thereof and Isoflavonoid methylation enzyme;
• held 13 adjunct faculty positions at seven institutions of higher education, including Oklahoma State University, Rice University, Texas A&M University, University
of Oklahoma, University of Texas, University of North Texas and Washington State
University;
• served on the editorial boards of 11 international journals; and
• concluded a significant National Science Foundation-funded research project with
researchers at Virginia Tech University which advanced the knowledge of forage
legumes and, in particular, the model legume Medicago truncatula.
Medicago truncatula growing in the Noble Foundation greenhouse
Plant Biology Division
29
FORAGE IMPROVEMENT DIVISION
DIVISION OVERVIEW
Formed in 1997, the Forage Improvement Division
translates academic research into tangible, usable plant
varieties. While focused on developing new forages for
producers in Oklahoma and north Texas, the work of
this research group has the ability to deliver a range of
advanced crop alternatives to producers far beyond the
southern Great Plains.
Forages refer to the edible parts of plants, sometimes
including the grain, used for the feeding of livestock.
Depending on the specific variety, forages can be directly
grazed or harvested and stored for later feeding. While
many species of plants can be forages, the division
focuses on the development and improvement of
grazeable and harvestable legumes (alfalfa, red clover,
white clover) and grasses (tall fescue, orchardgrass,
bermudagrass, hardinggrass, wheatgrass).
The division’s researchers use a broad range of
techniques to accomplish plant improvement — from
conventional breeding to use of emerging biotechnologies. Conventional plant breeding involves using
selection and crossing technologies to produce plants
exhibiting desired traits. This process, in its simplest form,
has been used by civilizations for hundreds of years to
improve crops.
Modern biotechnologies in plant science are concentrated in two evolving areas: genomics and transgenics.
Genomics concerns the study of the actions and
interactions of all genes in an organism (a genome)
rather than focusing on a single gene. Genomics enables
researchers to identify key genes (and their functions)
through understanding the complex interactions induced
by changing environments and conditions. Transgenics, or
genetic engineering, concerns the precise movement of a
gene from one organism to a plant to impart a desirable
trait or function. During the process of plant improvement
research, division researchers conduct peer-reviewed
science to optimize plant breeding methodologies and
the application of biotechnologies.
ment, performance evaluation and animal impact and
safety assessments. Evaluations and assessments
are conducted in accordance with state and federal
requirements. Together, these activities accomplish the
division’s mission to develop and release improved
forages through cultivar development and, in the process,
advance the science of forage and molecular breeding.
Forage Improvement Division scientists collaborate with
many regional, national and international institutions,
including the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant
Research (Ithaca, N.Y.), Grasslanz Technology Ltd./
AgResearch Ltd. (New Zealand), Gentos S.A. (Argentina),
Forage Genetics International (West Salem, Wis.), Mississippi State University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
(Oak Ridge, Tenn.), Oklahoma State University, Texas Tech
University, Texas A&M University, University of Georgia
and University of Oklahoma.
The division is led by Joseph H. Bouton, Ph.D.
Once improved varieties are successfully created, the
division has the capabilities to complete the developForage Improvement Division
31
FORAGE IMPROVEMENT DIVISION — ALTERNATIVE FORAGE
SOLUTIONS FOR A COMPLEX AGRICULTURAL ENVIRONMENT
As the Noble Foundation’s translational research arm,
the Forage Improvement Division creates new, improved
varieties of forages — grasses or legumes used for
feeding livestock — having economically important
traits such as drought tolerance or disease and pest
resistance. The division focuses on developing these
improved varieties for use by farmers and ranchers in
a 100-mile radius of Ardmore, Okla., an area that has a
particularly complex agricultural environment.
“Our environment is very interesting,” says Dr. Joseph H.
Bouton, Forage Improvement Division director. “A lot can
change in 200 miles — mainly rainfall.”
In an event Bouton refers to as the “I-35 Phenomenon,”
average annual rainfall across the division’s target area
ranges from 18 inches in the west to 42 inches in the
east, with Interstate 35 as the dividing line between
the drier and wetter ecosystems. With this two-foot
difference in yearly precipitation, a host of different
forage types are called for to meet the needs of regional
agricultural producers.
These producers’ needs are varied, not only because of
location on the rainfall gradient, but in terms of what
kind of agricultural system ultimately will be using the
forages. Within the 100-mile radius of Ardmore, there
are more than 2.8 million head of cattle (2002 Census
of Agriculture, USDA). While the majority of livestock
enterprises in the region are cow-calf beef production
operations, many producers run stocker cattle, which
are young, lightweight calves fed on forage until they are
marketed at a desired weight. In addition, the region is
home to a growing dairy industry.
No matter what type of livestock operations producers
have, they will use forages — whether in the form of
grazeable pasture or as harvestable hay or silage. The
key for them is that the forage they are using meets their
needs in both quality and production factors.
“As we work to provide alternative forage solutions for this
complex environment, we know we have to give farmers
and ranchers something that will work, a variety that has
the traits they need,” Bouton says.
As Bouton and his researchers approach the broad
mission of developing improved forages for the region,
they evaluate a wide range of possible species — bot
native and non-native — before narrowing their focus
to a manageable number of target species and target
traits. This approach considers the inherent qualities
of forages adapted to the region and the preference of
many producers to rely on traditional forage systems, but
it also seeks to explore non-traditional alternatives to
introduce new traits or offer important new opportunities.
“We look at grazeable and harvestable legumes [alfalfa
and red and white clovers] and grasses [tall fescue,
wheatgrass, hardinggrass] as well as small grains [rye,
wheat],” he says. “We consider persistence traits, for
example, tolerance to heat, drought, grazing, acid soils,
diseases and insects; we also consider quality traits
such as higher digestibility, anti-bloat characteristics and
increased protein utilization along with the elimination of
anti-quality traits.”
The division is capable of producing improved varieties
a. Traci Rowland, a Forage Improvement Division research associate, clips tall fescue. b. Tall fescue plants in Noble’s greenhouse facility. Noble researchers seek to improve tall fescue, so it can serve as a coolseason, grazing alternative for regional livestock populations. c. Cell-level image of tall fescue leaves infected with a beneficial, novel endophyte. Leaf peels from tall fescue leaf sheaths were treated with aniline blue
stain. The fungal endophyte is seen as a dark blue stain between the plant cells. d. Noble’s headquarters in Ardmore serves as one of its research and demonstration farms. One project underway is rye variety trials,
during which various rye cultivars are developed and evaluated for traits such as persistence, yield and drought and pest resistance, among other characteristics.
32
Forage Improvement Division
b
c
Forage Improvement Division
33
through traditional plant breeding and advanced plant
ground growth activity during arid, high-temperature
breeding using targeted genomics and also by creating
conditions, which are consistent with many summer
innovations using applied biotechnologies. Once
climates in the south and southwestern United States.
produced, the division has the capabilities to conduct
regulated and unregulated field trials, animal safety trials “We are investigating summer dormancy as a mechanism
and production evaluation and assessment. These activi- for increasing persistence in tall fescue. Summerties are critical to the overall goal of moving science from dormant plants presumably are better able to conserve
the laboratory into the hands of farmers and ranchers
soil moisture and root reserves than summer-active
who can benefit from it.
types,” Bouton says.
Though the Forage Improvement Division has only been
Results from this work might possibly have application in
operating since 1997, it already has several significant
developing summer-dormant types in other species.
innovations to its credit. One is a tall fescue population
Finally, the Forage Improvement Division is continuing
with a naturally occurring novel endophyte (a beneficial
fungus that grows within a plant) that minimizes or elimi- Noble’s tradition of releasing improved small grain varieties primarily for livestock production, which began with
nates the animal health problems usually associated
the release of Elbon winter rye in 1956 and continued
with wild-type endophyte infection while still conveying
with the successful release and use of the Maton and
favorable production traits. This tall fescue is currently
Bates rye varieties.
in the advanced animal production trial stage and is
slated for commercial release in 2008 or 2009. The
“The small grain breeding program is an integral part of
novel endophyte is licensed from AgResearch Ltd. (New
efforts to develop varieties suitable for improved forage
Zealand).
production in the southern Great Plains,” Bouton says.
The division’s other work in tall fescue includes
Distribution of forage yield is as important as total
investigating summer dormancy, which is characterized
forage yield, Bouton explains, and early fall-winter forage
by substantial or complete cessation of a plant’s above34
Forage Improvement Division
production is particularly valuable because it allows
producers more flexibility for earlier grazing or increased
stockpiling.
“Livestock producers can spend a considerable amount
in the fall-winter transition period,” Bouton says. “Thus,
the major objective for the small grain breeding program
is to develop varieties with early fall-winter forage yield
potential.”
Maton II is a new winter rye variety recently released by
Noble that is well adapted to southern Oklahoma and
north and east Texas. During seven years of testing at
Ardmore and Burneyville, Okla., Maton II averaged 55
percent greater fall and winter forage and 6 percent
greater total forage than Maton rye, another productive
Noble variety released in 1975. Commercialization of
Maton II is scheduled for 2006.
“For us, part of our mission to help farmers and ranchers
in the southern Great Plains is giving them a tangible
product that positively affects their operations,” Bouton
says. “Sometimes the impact of a widely used variety
can change a whole industry for the better.”
“AS WE WORK TO PROVIDE ALTERNATIVE FORAGE SOLUTIONS FOR THIS COMPLEX
ENVIRONMENT, WE KNOW WE HAVE TO GIVE FARMERS AND RANCHERS SOMETHING
THAT WILL WORK, SOMETHING THAT HAS THE TRAITS THEY NEED.”
-Dr. Joseph H. Bouton, Director, Forage Improvement Division
1950s
The Forage Improvement Division’s Dr. Yan Zhang (left) and
Kristen L. McDowell collect white clover seeds at Noble’s
Headquarters Farm in Ardmore.
Horace Harper (left) of the Noble Foundation talks with visitors
at a field demonstration.
Forage Improvement Division
35
IN 2005, FORAGE IMPROVEMENT
DIVISION PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS:
• headed six primary Noble Foundation laboratories;
• published 26 papers in international, peer-reviewed
journals, including Crop Science, Theoretical and Applied Genomics, Agronomy Journal, Genome Plant
Journal, Plant Science, Journal of Plant Physiology,
Functional Plant Biology and Planta;
• received $960,000 in new external funding from
sponsored research and state and federal agencies;
• received public support from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture
and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education;
• filed six new patent applications;
• held six adjunct faculty positions at five institutions of
higher education, including New Mexico State University,
Oklahoma State University, Texas Tech University, University of Georgia and University of New Mexico; and
• completed evaluation and assessment of a new winter
rye variety, Maton II, which will be commercially released
in 2006 and continues the tradition of productive Noble
rye releases (Elbon, Bonel, Maton, Oklon and Bates)
that began in 1956.
Ornamental clovers growing in the Noble Foundation greenhouse
Forage Improvement Division
37
NONRESIDENT FELLOWS
As the Noble Foundation continues its innovative work in
plant science and production agriculture, its efforts are
guided by a distinguished group of scientists, researchers
and industry leaders who offer candid review of divisional programs and advise Noble management and Trustees.
Each of Noble’s three operating divisions has a panel of
such reviewers, also known as nonresident fellows.
“The nonresident fellow program has been instrumental
in building and developing our programs throughout the
years,” said Michael A. Cawley, Noble president. “In addition to each panel providing direction to its respective
division, collectively, these panels provide insight into
how the differing expertise and resources of each division can be combined to address complex questions
that can dramatically impact future agriculture or its
production.”
2005 Agricultural Division nonresident fellows are:
• Dr. William L. Mies, director of supply chain management, eMerge Interactive. Mies’ role at eMerge
Interactive is to operate and control a supply chain
management system using principles of total quality
management and value-based marketing that will
produce the highest-quality, most uniform beef product
available.
• Dr. Clint Roush, farmer/rancher, Clint Roush Farms,
Inc. Roush’s family farming operation consists of
4,200 acres of wheat, alfalfa, improved grass and
native rangeland in Custer County, Okla. The farm’s livestock enterprises are stocker and feeder cattle.
• Michael H. Salisbury, chairman and CEO, Salisbury
Management Services, Inc. Salisbury founded Salisbury
Management Services, Inc., in 1979, to provide business management, personnel management, technical
financial analysis and computer software to the private
agri-business sector.
• Dr. W. Richard Teague, professor, Texas Agricultural
Experiment Station’s Chillicothe-Vernon Research and
Extension Center. Teague currently conducts research
in support of ecologically and economically sustainable
management programs for the Rolling Plains. Before
that, he was a research officer and specialist scientist
in the Department of Agriculture, Eastern Cape Region,
South Africa.
Nonresident fellows serving in 2005 in the Plant Biology
Division are:
• Dr. Neal K. Van Alfen, dean of the College of Agricultural
and Environmental Sciences, University of CaliforniaDavis. His current research interests involve biotechnology to develop biological control strategies for forest
diseases. He has extensive experience as a consultant
on effects of air pollution on environmental health.
• Dr. Joseph Chappell, professor of agricultural biotechnology, Agronomy Department, University of Kentucky.
Chappell works to understand the mechanisms plants
use to defend themselves against microbial pathogens.
His research uses a wide range of experimental strategies, including genetic engineering, structure-function
comparisons of genes and proteins and simple physiological experiments to uncover putative signal molecules.
• Dr. Ralph S. Quatrano, Spencer T. Olin Professor and
chairman, Department of Biology, Washington University (St. Louis, Mo.). The primary objective of Quatrano’s
research program is to understand the mechanisms
underlying how cells become polar and how tissuespecific factors and hormones regulate gene expression
in plants.
• Dr. Virginia Walbot, professor, Department of Biological
Sciences, Stanford University. Walbot’s laboratory is
interested in how genotypic and phenotypic diversity is
created during the life cycle of plants.
The Forage Improvement Division’s 2005 nonresident
fellows include:
• Dr. William Meyer, director of turfgrass breeding, Rutgers
University and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment
Station. Meyer’s recent work has involved conducting
population improvement projects on 13 different
species of cross-pollinated cool-season turfgrasses.
He has branched into forage grasses with an emphasis
on orchardgrass, has conducted a wildflower evaluation
program and has directed efforts in sugarbeet breeding.
• Dr. Ronald L. Phillips, Regents’ Professor, McKnight
Presidential Chair in Genomics and director of the
Center for Microbial and Plant Genomics, University
of Minnesota, Member National Academy of Sciences.
Phillips’ research objectives are to develop and apply
molecular and classical cellular heredity information for
the improvement of important traits in plants, to evaluate cell genetic systems for manipulating crop species
and to improve plant selection procedures. Interdisciplinary training in genetics and plant breeding for
graduate students and postdoctoral associates is a key
part of his program.
• Dr. Jeffrey J. Volenec, professor of plant physiology and
assistant head of the Department of Agronomy, Purdue
University. Volenec’s responsibilities include research,
teaching and outreach in forage physiology and management. His research focuses on identifying and
characterizing traits, genes and gene products that
impact growth and abiotic (environmental) stress
tolerance of alfalfa.
Nonresident Fellows
39
GRANTING REPORT
SUPPORTING THE PRESERVATION OF OKLAHOMA’S PAST:
THE OKLAHOMA HISTORY CENTER
Between land runs and the Dust Bowl, Indian Territory
days and the oil boom, there’s no doubt Oklahoma has
a colorful past. At the newly opened Oklahoma History
Center in Oklahoma City, visitors can step into days
gone by and relive the triumphs and tragedies of the
Sooner State. As Oklahoma anticipates its centennial of
statehood in 2007, this Smithsonian-quality museum is
a fascinating reflection on Oklahoma’s unique heritage.
Situated on an 18-acre campus that features three
outdoor exhibits, the breathtaking 215,000-square-foot
facility is comprised of five interior galleries, each featuring different aspects of Oklahoma’s history.
Construction of the $60 million building was funded
by the State of Oklahoma, and private donors provided
$9.2 million for gallery and exhibit development. The
Noble Foundation’s Board of Trustees awarded a
$500,000 grant in support of the project. As a fitting
tribute to the Foundation’s 60 years of service in the
agriculture sector, the Oklahoma Historical Society
named the gallery showcasing agriculture The Samuel
Roberts Noble Foundation Gallery.
“The Oklahoma History Center is a great project, and the
Noble Foundation is proud to support it. This museum
is an Oklahoma treasure on par with the Oklahoma City
Museum of Art and the Western Heritage Museum,” says
Donna Windel, director of granting at Noble.
Dr. Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma
Historical Society, says that for 60 years, the Noble
Foundation has invested in the quality of life for all
Oklahomans.
“From better educational opportunities and a greater
appreciation for the arts to economic development and
our ability to live in harmony with the land, the vision of
Mr. Noble has been carefully nurtured and practiced by
the board and the staff over these many years,” he says.
“I am pleased with the gift because it puts the Oklahoma
History Center in good company with other projects
supported by the Noble Foundation.”
When envisioning the museum, planners decided not to
use a chronological approach, Blackburn says.
“We had more than 40 topics we wanted to cover, so we
opted instead for a ‘shopping mall’ approach — there’s
something here for everyone.”
Topics are logically grouped and flow naturally through
each gallery’s exhibits.
“The Noble Foundation Gallery contains exhibits on land
and how to use it wisely, farm and ranch settlement, the
development of cities, weather determinism, education,
government and politics, law and order, even quilts and
fashion,” Blackburn says.
According to Blackburn, half the people who took part
in the 1889 land run settled in cities with the remainder
settling in rural areas.
“So, in the Noble Foundation Gallery, there are two paths
you can choose upon entering: one that traces the
state’s rural history and one that chronicles the development of Oklahoma’s cities,” he says.
Granting Report
41
As visitors move through the gallery, they follow the
evolution of government and politics and law and order.
Political memorabilia is displayed in pull-out drawers so
visitors can see the changes in campaign materials over
the years.
“We use an immersion process to take visitors into
history,” Blackburn explains. “Instead of just looking at
exhibits, they can literally walk into and through
Oklahoma history.”
This technique is apparent throughout the Noble
Foundation Gallery, where visitors can tour a clapboard
farmhouse that transitions from a newly built, late 1800s
home to a distressed sharecropper’s home of the 1930s.
A reproduction of an urban streetcar allows visitors to
board and watch a video comparing and contrasting the
histories of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and, in a separate
exhibit, visitors can step into a complete kitchen filled
with the sights, sounds and colors of the 1950s.
“Interactive technology is used throughout the Noble
Foundation Gallery to engage visitors and encourage
them to ask questions and seek answers,” Blackburn
says. “Some are low-tech, like flip cards, but most are
high-tech, such as databases and video presentations
on touch-screen monitors.”
The gallery concludes with an overview of domestic
history in the 20th century and the impact of education
at all levels of society. The education exhibit incorporates
eight desks in a classroom setting. A visitor sitting at one
desk may see the tools and textbooks from a one-room
schoolhouse in Pontotoc County, while another desk may
house the materials from a modern university classroom.
Blackburn believes that to understand Oklahoma history,
people must know themselves as a community.
“Without understanding farms and ranches, the growth
of cities, the development of governmental institutions
and the history of life at home, we cannot know who we
are,” he says. “The Noble Foundation, through funding
the Noble Foundation Gallery at the Oklahoma History
Center, has made possible a unique opportunity to share
that story with the general public.”
a. Visitors to the Noble Foundation Gallery’s collection of political artifacts can see boots worn by Governor Johnston Murray that are emblazoned with Oklahoma’s state seal on the front and state flag on the back.
b. Oklahoma families donated many of the items in the The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Gallery. One is a Case tractor given by John Donley of Weatherford, Okla. Donley grew up on a family farm in Custer
County, Okla. c. Upon entering the Oklahoma History Center, visitors are greeted by a three-story bank of windows framing the State Capitol building. A full-size replica of the Winnie Mae, the aircraft famed aviator
Wiley Post flew around the world, is suspended high overhead. d. Dr. Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, serves as curator of the exhibits in the Noble Foundation Gallery. Behind
him in the gallery is a wagon used by one family in both Oklahoma land runs — unsuccessfully in 1889 and successfully in 1893.
42
Granting Report
a
b
Granting Report
43
GRANTS APPROVED IN 2005
GRANT AMOUNT
AMOUNT PAID IN 2005
$15,000
$15,000
Arbuckle Life Solutions, Inc.
Ardmore, Okla. / Renewed operating support
35,000
35,000
Ardmore Christian School
Ardmore, Okla. / Library/Media Center furnishings and equipment
15,000
15,000
300,000
300,000
ORGANIZATION
Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty
Grand Rapids, Mich. / Public policy outreach to religious leaders
Ardmore City Schools
Ardmore, Okla. / Capital improvements at Ardmore High School
Ardmore Payne Education Center, Inc.
Ardmore, Okla. / Operating support
180,000
60,000
Association of Professional Oklahoma Educators Foundation
Norman, Okla. / Renewed operating support
30,000
30,000
Atlanta Union Mission Corporation
Atlanta, Ga. / Renewed operating support for Village Atlanta
Renewed operating support for the men’s program
20,000
5,000
20,000
5,000
Broadway House
Ardmore, Okla. / Operating support
30,000
30,000
5,000
5,000
30,000
30,000
625,000
125,000
Charles B. Goddard Center for Visual and Performing Arts, Inc.
Ardmore, Okla. / Renewed operating support
25,000
25,000
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center Association
Duncan, Okla. / Support for the education program
75,000
75,000
City Care, Inc.
Oklahoma City, Okla. / Support for Whiz Kids
15,000
15,000
Cameron University
Lawton, Okla. / Renewed operating support for KCCU public radio
Carter County CASA, Inc.
Ardmore, Okla. / Operating support
Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc.
Ardmore, Okla. / Support for the Cornerstone project
44
Granting Report
Ardmore Christian School
Library/Media Center furnishings
and equipment
Ardmore City Schools
Capital improvements at Ardmore
High School
GRANT AMOUNT
AMOUNT PAID IN 2005
$11,500
$11,500
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Williamsburg, Va. / History Education Initiative
for Oklahoma teachers - 2006 session
20,000
20,000
Communities in Schools, Ardmore, Oklahoma, Inc.
Ardmore, Okla. / Support for the after-school program
27,400
27,400
Diabetes Solutions - OK, Inc.
Oklahoma City, Okla. / Renewed support
for a camping program for diabetic children
7,500
7,500
Education and Employment Ministry, Inc.
Oklahoma City, Okla. / Operating support
Renewed operating support
25,000
5,000
25,000
5,000
Family Resource Network, Inc.
Jefferson, Ga. / TeenPact Oklahoma scholarship fund
10,000
10,000
Foundation Center
New York, N.Y. / Renewed operating support
10,000
10,000
1,000,000
200,000
Great Expectations Foundation
Tahlequah, Okla. / Operating support
20,000
20,000
Greater Ardmore Scholarship Foundation
Ardmore, Okla. / Annual distribution from the Pettitt Educational Fund
Operating support
77,605
10,000
77,605
10,000
Greater Oklahoma City Tree Bank Foundation
Edmond, Okla. / Operating support
20,000
5,000
Jim Riley Outreach, Inc.
Edmond, Okla. / Scholarship program
25,000
25,000
Leadership Institute
Arlington, Va. / Renewed operating support
20,000
20,000
ORGANIZATION
Coffee Creek Riding Center
Edmond, Okla. / Program support and equipment
George West Mental Health Foundation, Inc.
Atlanta, Ga. / Skyland Trail capital campaign
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
History Education Initiative for
Oklahoma teachers – 2006
session
Communities in Schools
Support for the after-school
program
Granting Report
45
ORGANIZATION
GRANT AMOUNT
AMOUNT PAID IN 2005
Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union
Mount Vernon, Va. / Capital campaign support
$25,000
$25,000
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
Oklahoma City, Okla. / Renovation of the
Sam Noble Special Events Center
240,500
120,250
National Kidney Foundation of Georgia
Atlanta, Ga. / Edward Noble - David Lowance, M.D.
Young Investigator Grant
150,000
-0-
25,000
25,000
1,000,000
200,000
Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation
Oklahoma City, Okla. / Second Decade Campaign
500,000
100,000
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, Inc.
Oklahoma City, Okla. / Operating support
600,000
200,000
Oklahoma Council on Economic Education
Edmond, Okla. / Carter County Economic Education project
30,000
10,000
Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence
Oklahoma City, Okla. / Renewed support for the
Academic Awards Banquet and Fall Forum
10,000
10,000
120,000
60,000
1,200,000
400,000
Oklahoma Youth Expo, Inc.
Oklahoma City, Okla. / Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership
Encounter Program and scholarship funding
65,000
65,000
Omniplex Science Museum
Oklahoma City, Okla. / OSBI exhibit design
25,000
25,000
Oklahoma Arts Institute
Oklahoma City, Okla. / Operating support
Oklahoma Christian University, Inc.
Oklahoma City, Okla. / Construction of
a science and research center
Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics
Oklahoma City, Okla. / Bridge funding for salary supplements
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, Okla. / Bovine Respiratory Disease research
46
Granting Report
Oklahoma Arts Institute
Operating support for the Summer
Arts Institute
Oklahoma City National Memorial
Foundation
Second Decade Campaign
GRANT AMOUNT
AMOUNT PAID IN 2005
$21,000
$21,000
Philanthropy Roundtable
Washington, D.C. / Operating support
15,000
15,000
Positive Tomorrows Community Board, Inc.
Oklahoma City, Okla. / Operating support
20,000
20,000
Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Inc.
Oklahoma City, Okla. / Operating support
50,000
50,000
ORGANIZATION
Pansy Garden Club
Ardmore, Okla. / Carnegie Library building improvements
Southeastern Legal Foundation, Inc.
Atlanta, Ga. / Operating support
50,000
50,000
Southwestern Diabetic Foundation, Inc.
Gainesville, Texas / Capital improvements at Camp Sweeney
10,000
10,000
United Fund of Ardmore, Inc.
Ardmore, Okla. / Match for employees’ contribution for 2005
13,282
13,282
200,000
200,000
Washington Legal Foundation
Washington, D.C. / Operating support
50,000
50,000
YMCA of Ardmore
Ardmore, Okla. / Renewed operating support
50,000
50,000
Youth and Family Services, Inc.
El Reno, Okla. / Maintenance endowment
for the Donald Reynolds Caring Center
50,000
-0-
$7,213,787
$2,978,537
AMT./YEAR AUTHORIZED
AMOUNT PAID IN 2005
$223,000/2004
$36,000
University of Oklahoma Foundation, Inc.
Norman, Okla. / Women’s basketball scholarship
TOTAL GRANTS APPROVED IN 2005
Southwestern Diabetic
Foundation, Inc.
Capital improvements at Camp
Sweeney
YMCA of Ardmore
Renewed operating support
ACTIVITIES FOR PRIOR YEAR GRANT COMMITMENTS
ORGANIZATION
Arbuckle Life Solutions, Inc.
Ardmore, Okla. / Support for the intensive
outpatient treatment program and capital projects
Granting Report
47
ORGANIZATION
AMT./YEAR AUTHORIZED
AMOUNT PAID IN 2005
$1,000,000/2004
$250,000
500,000/2004
500,000
20,000/2004
20,000
1,000,000/2004
250,000
90,000/2004
30,000
149,377/2004
11,444
5,000,000/2004
1,000,000
Homeless Alliance
Oklahoma City, Okla. / Support for the Homeless Alliance
225,000/2004
75,000
Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Inc.
Wilmington, Del. / Oklahoma Conservative Leadership Project
100,000/2004
25,000
Oklahoma Centennial Commemoration Fund, Inc.
Oklahoma City, Okla. / Sponsorship of the Centennial projects
400,000/2004
125,000
2,500,000/2001
500,000
500,000/2004
250,000
1,000,000/2001
15,000/2004
100,000
15,000
62,500/2002
12,500
Ardmore Tourism Authority
Ardmore, Okla. / Ardmore Convention Center construction
Children’s Center, Inc.
Bethany, Okla. / Construction of a
pediatric medical rehabilitation unit
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Williamsburg, Va. / History Education Initiative
for Oklahoma teachers - 2005 session
Dean A. McGee Eye Institute, Inc.
Oklahoma City, Okla. / Research facility construction
Gloria S. Ainsworth Day Care Center, Inc.
Ardmore, Okla. / Operating support
Hardy Murphy Coliseum Authority
Ardmore, Okla. / Capital projects
Heritage Foundation
Washington, D.C. / Operating support
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Oklahoma City, Okla. / Theater construction
Oklahoma Historical Society, Inc.
Oklahoma City, Okla. / “Farm and Ranch in Oklahoma” exhibit
Oklahoma State University Foundation
Stillwater, Okla. / Support for the enhancement of plant science
Support for the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program
Salvation Army USA
Atlanta, Ga. / Oklahoma cadet scholarships
48
Granting Report
Oklahoma Centennial
Commemoration Fund, Inc.
Sponsorship of the Centennial
projects
Oklahoma State University
Foundation
Support for the Oklahoma Ag
Leadership Program
ORGANIZATION
AMT./YEAR AUTHORIZED
AMOUNT PAID IN 2005
$250,000/2001
$50,000
54,650/2004
-0-
15,000/2004
15,000
29,610/2004
7,402
Shepherd Center, Inc.
Atlanta, Ga. / Operating support for
the Noble Learning Resource Center
Shiloh Summer Camp, Inc.
Oklahoma City, Okla. / Construction of Kaleo Shepherd’s Lodge
University of Oklahoma Foundation, Inc.
Norman, Okla. / “Hunters of the Sky” exhibit at the
Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
Western Oklahoma State College
Altus, Okla. / Summer Academy in Plant Biology
TOTAL PAID FOR PRIOR YEAR GRANT COMMITMENTS
$3,272,346
Shepherd Center, Inc.
Operating support for the Noble
Learning Resource Center
SCHOLARSHIPS AND EMPLOYEE MATCHING GRANTS
ORGANIZATION
Employee Matching Grants
To match dollar for dollar contributions made by employees and
directors of Noble companies to educational institutions of their choice
AMOUNT PAID IN 2005
$202,717
Noble Educational Fund Scholarships
To provide a maximum of 10 $20,000 four-year
awards to children of employees of Noble companies
190,000
Sam Noble Scholarship Program
To provide scholarships in the fields of agriculture
and technology to southern Oklahoma students
133,125
Miscellaneous Scholarships
Funds for scholarships to students selected by their respective
universities in courses of study specified by the Noble Foundation
50,848
Miscellaneous Grants
Various qualifying grants in the amount of less than $5,000 each
2,125
TOTAL SCHOLARSHIPS AND EMPLOYEE MATCHING GRANTS PAID
TOTAL GRANT PAYMENTS DURING 2005
University of Oklahoma
Foundation, Inc.
“Hunters of the Sky” exhibit at the
Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of
Natural History
$578,815
$6,829,698
Granting Report
49
FINANCIAL REPORT
THE SAMUEL ROBERTS NOBLE FOUNDATION, INC., STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL POSITION
DECEMBER 31
ASSETS
CURRENT ASSETS
Cash
Short-term investments
Accrued interest and dividends receivable
Receivable from unsettled securities sales
Accounts receivable and other assets
Prepaid expenses
2005
2004
$106,249
30,174,048
1,245,559
11,303,746
567,110
13,921
$69,968
32,478,429
2,686,393
1,982,934
915,728
628,833
2005 Investment Portfolio Allocation
Domestic Common Stocks
and Equities
20%
Fixed Income, Bonds
and Cash
17%
63%
International Stocks
Marketable securities, at fair value
U.S. government securities
Corporate bonds
Corporate stocks
TOTAL MARKETABLE SECURITIES
184,032,734
38,477,914
831,545,736
110,342,816
69,965,385
786,641,855
1,054,056,384
966,950,056
Growth in Total Assets
in millions
Program-related investments – net
Deferred financing costs
Assets permanently restricted for investment
Property and equipment
Accumulated depreciation
NET PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT
TOTAL ASSETS
50
Statements of Financial Position
1,097,467,017
1,005,712,341
1,453,255
503,799
2,064,106
1,453,255
598,262
2,063,423
165,734,173
(28,181,656)
151,627,969
( 26,076,217)
137,552,517
125,551,752
$200
$1,239,040,694
$1,135,379,033
$0
$1,200
$1,000
Millions
TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS
$800
$600
$400
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS
2005
Qualifying Distributions
2004
CURRENT LIABILITIES
Accounts payable and accrued expenses
Interest payable
Payable from unsettled securities purchased
Grants payable, current
Notes payable, current
Bonds payable, current
$5,028,502
534,008
51,522,210
3,712,053
11,965,144
8,000,000
$6,466,421
597,467
3,850,824
3,142,619
11,110,799
7,615,000
TOTAL CURRENT LIABILITIES
80,761,917
32,783,130
Grants payable
Notes payable
Bonds payable, net
Accrued pension costs
5,723,028
293,316
57,814,876
5,814,228
5,210,806
124,644
66,188,915
6,916,874
as a percentage of assets
10%
8%
6%
4%
2%
0%
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
Operating Expenditures and Grants
in millions
150,407,365
111,224,369
NET ASSETS
Unrestricted
Permanently restricted
1,086,569,223
2,064,106
1,022,091,241
2,063,423
TOTAL NET ASSETS
1,088,633,329
1,024,154,664
$1,239,040,694
$1,135,379,033
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS
$50
$40
Millions
TOTAL LIABILITIES
$30
$20
$10
$0
2001
2002
Operations
2003
2004
2005
Grants and Scholarships
Statements of Financial Position
51
THE SAMUEL ROBERTS NOBLE FOUNDATION, INC., STATEMENTS OF ACTIVITIES
YEARS ENDED DECEMBER 31
REVENUES, GAINS AND LOSSES
Interest
Dividends
Net realized and unrealized gains on investments
Other miscellaneous program and royalty income
TOTAL REVENUES, GAINS AND LOSSES
2004
$7,133,796
11,592,548
94,300,437
3,998,715
$8,717,349
10,463,764
113,518,070
3,588,880
117,025,496
136,288,063
EXPENSES
Operations (Agricultural, Plant Biology and Forage Improvement)
Grants
Management and administrative
Bond interest expense
Provision for federal excise taxes
Provision for possible losses on program-related investments
Excess of additional pension liability over unrecognized prior service cost
35,064,745
7,911,353
6,187,324
2,185,707
1,562,032
-0(363,648)
34,492,614
11,589,175
4,111,288
693,325
520,829
63,867
1,174,756
TOTAL EXPENSES
52,547,514
52,645,854
REVENUES, GAINS AND LOSSES IN EXCESS OF EXPENSES
64,477,982
83,642,209
683
1,372,370
64,478,665
85,014,579
1,024,154,664
939,140,085
$1,088,633,329
$1,024,154,664
OTHER CHANGES IN NET ASSETS
Net realized and unrealized gains on permanently restricted assets
CHANGE IN NET ASSETS
NET ASSETS, BEGINNING OF YEAR
NET ASSETS, END OF YEAR
52
2005
Statements of Activities
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
Institutional Governance
The Noble Board of Trustees desires the highest standards of corporate governance practice and ethical
conduct by all trustees and employees of The Samuel
Roberts Noble Foundation. Consistent with these intentions, the Board adopted the following Statement of
Principles in 2005:
We, the Board of Trustees and the employees of The
Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, acknowledge and
agree that the following principles apply to our association with the Noble Foundation and the activities we
conduct on behalf of the Noble Foundation:
(1) The Noble Foundation exists because of the vision
and generosity of our founder, Lloyd Noble.
(2) We are stewards of the resources and the vision of
Lloyd Noble.
(3) Our conduct will be fair and honest, and our activities
will adhere to the purposes for which the Noble Foundation was established.
Role of the Board
The Board charts the strategic direction of the institution
and focuses the organization to carry out its charitable
purposes, to act as a good steward of its resources and
to conduct and support activities in accordance with the
vision of Lloyd Noble.
The Board delegates the conduct of the day-to-day affairs
of the organization to the president and chief executive
officer. The president is responsible for implementing and
executing operations to support the Board’s strategy. The
Board is responsible for the appointment and evaluation
of the president and chief executive officer.
Independent Professional Advice
The Board, each Board committee and each trustee have
the right to seek independent legal and other professional advice, at Noble’s expense, concerning any aspect
of Noble’s operations or undertakings. This right enables
each trustee to seek independent counsel concerning
any aspect of the institution’s operations and financial
reporting.
Trustee Education
The Board maintains a program for new trustee orientation and continuing trustee education.
Board Committees and Audit Oversight
The Board maintains four permanent committees:
Executive, Audit, Compensation and Investment.
The Audit Committee is responsible for assisting the
Board in fulfilling its responsibility to oversee the integrity
of Noble’s financial statements, auditor qualifications
and independence and the performance of Noble’s
internal financial controls and processes. The Audit
Committee further addresses and investigates, when
appropriate, employee allegations concerning institutional compliance with legal, regulatory and internal
requirements. The Audit Committee regularly meets with
Noble’s independent financial auditors.
All trustees may attend any Board committee meeting.
New trustees, including advisory trustees, are provided
both historical information and information regarding
current operations. New trustees are provided an
opportunity to meet Noble officers and other employees,
tour Noble facilities and farms and meet with Noble’s
independent auditors.
The Board encourages each trustee to continue his
or her education throughout the trustee’s term. Noble
hosts seminars, programs and other events providing
continuing trustee education. Each trustee also is
encouraged to attend, at Noble expense, external
educational programs that concern exempt organizations,
corporate governance, grant making and administration
and other matters relevant to Noble programs.
Conflicts of Interest
The Board of Trustees’ Conflicts of Interest Policy sets out
a procedure to disclose, identify and address potential
trustee conflicts of interest. The Board, in adopting such
policy, acknowledges and agrees that each trustee must
at all times act with transparency and in the interest of
Noble as a whole.
Board Evaluation
Annually, the Board completes a board evaluation, and
each Board committee completes a committee evaluation. The results of all evaluations are compiled and
presented to the full Board for review and discussion.
Corporate Governance
53
MANAGEMENT
Left to Right:
Michael Cawley
President and Chief Executive Officer
Elizabeth Aldridge
Corporate Secretary and
Executive Assistant to the President
54
Patrick Jones
Vice President,
Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
Steven Rhines
Vice President,
General Counsel and Director of Public Affairs
Wadell Altom
Director, Agricultural Division
Richard Dixon, D.Phil., D.Sc.
Director, Plant Biology Division
Joseph Bouton, Ph.D.
Director, Forage Improvement Division
Kevin Staggs
Director of Information Systems
Pat Weaver-Meyers
Head Librarian
Teal Pemberton
Director of Human Resources
Judy Newman
Director of Guest Services
Donna Windel
Director of Granting
Robert Geurin
Assistant Secretary,
Treasurer and Director of Facilities
Robert Williams
Safety Manager
John Snelson
Director of Aviation and Security
55
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Left to Right:
Michael Cawley
Ardmore, Okla.
Bill Goddard
Ardmore, Okla.
Marianne Rooney
Oklahoma City, Okla.
James Day
Sugar Land, Texas
John Mullet, Ph.D.
College Station, Texas
Randolph Brown, Jr., M.D.
Oklahoma City, Okla.
William Thurman, M.D.
Coupeville, Wash.
56
Susan Brown
Dallas, Texas
Cody Noble
Ardmore, Okla.
Maria Noble
Atlanta, Ga.
Russell Noble
Ardmore, Okla.
Shelley Dru Mullins
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Vivian Noble DuBose
Atlanta, Ga.
Sam DuBose
Atlanta, Ga.
57
FEATURE PHOTO CAPTIONS
Page 1 Tall fescue is one of Noble’s target species for
improvement through research and application by its Plant
Biology and Forage Improvement divisions.
Page 30 Dr. Zeng-yu Wang, who leads the Forage Improve-
Page 14 Cow-calf production is the prevalent agricultural
Page 38 The Forage Improvement Division’s Dr. Malay
Saha presents an overview of his lab’s work to the division’s
nonresident fellows. Part of the nonresident fellows’ role at
Noble is to evaluate each principal investigator’s research
program.
enterprise in the Noble Foundation’s service area, a 100mile radius of Ardmore. In order to offer its cooperating
cattle producers a higher level of service, Noble’s Agricultural Division has developed an intensive new program —
Integrated Beef Production System — for producing source-,
process- and performance-verified cattle.
Page 22 Postdoctoral fellow Dr. Jin Nakashima studies
transgenic alfalfa plants in a Noble greenhouse. Noble
scientists are working to “redesign” alfalfa to incorporate
beneficial traits such as improved digestibility, reduced
bloat potential and fungal disease resistance.
58
Feature Photo Captions
ment Division’s tissue culture and genetic transformation
program, examines transformed plants in a lab growth
chamber. Wang’s lab plays a key role in Noble’s production
of transgenic forage plants with improved agronomic traits.
Page 40 A sunset view of the Oklahoma History Center
showcases its striking exterior. The 215,000-square-foot
building is set on 18 acres across from the State Capitol in
Oklahoma City.
GENERAL INFORMATION
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc.
2510 Sam Noble Parkway
Ardmore, Oklahoma 73401
USA
Telephone: (580) 223-5810
On the Internet: www.noble.org
© Copyright 2006 by
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc.
All rights reserved.
General Information
59
Ed Noble and Ann Noble Brown, Lloyd Noble’s two surviving
children and Noble Foundation trustees emeriti, with a bust
of their father that was unveiled at the Noble Foundation’s
60th anniversary gala in Ardmore on Oct. 13, 2005.