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2017 DASNR Champion: John Groendyke

The Groendyke name rings loudly throughout the state of Oklahoma. Perhaps best known for his role in the trucking industry, John Groendyke also is a leader and visionary in the state for natural resource ecology and management.

Groendyke has been a great advocate for agriculture and a leader in conservation of Oklahoma’s unique landscapes and wildlife throughout much of his life. He is currently serving his 6th term on the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission as commissioner for District 8 and recently was recognized by Gov. Mary Fallin for 40 years of service, making him the longest tenured commissioner of all time.

Groendyke was recently recognized at DASNR Honors night as a 2017 DASNR Champion, a recognition given to those who are not graduates of the agriculture college, but who have brought distinction to DASNR and demonstrated a continuing interest in agriculture and natural resources.

“His years of service on the Wildlife Commission, coupled with his support and generosity to the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management and DASNR alone qualifies him as being worthy of this recognition,” said Jim Ansley, NREM department head. “For his service to the state of Oklahoma and OSU, John has received prestigious honors for his dedication.”

Groendyke earned his bachelor’s degree in business with a minor in animal science from Oklahoma State University in 1966 before graduating with a law degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1969. After serving as a captain in the U.S. Army, he returned home to Enid, Oklahoma, to join the family trucking operation his father started in 1932.

He currently serves as CEO and chairman of the board for Groendyke Transport, the fifth-largest motor carrier of bulk commodities serving the continental United States, Canada and Mexico.

“Recently, Groendyke Transport fulfilled a need at DASNR’s Agronomy Research Station by donating two semis,” said Keith Owens, associate director of the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station. “The request was barely uttered before John was quick to set the donation in motion. The trucks have already proven to be an asset to the research station programs across the state as well as directly to producers.”

The trucks were used to haul hay from OSU research stations to farmers and ranchers in the areas affected by the wildfires that ripped through the northwest part of the state.

In 2011, he established the John D. Groendyke Wildlife Chair to advance wildlife management education and scholarship at OSU.

An avid quail hunter, he is a member of the board of directors of the Grand National Quail Foundation and Grand National Quail Club, having served as past president and chairman of both.

Groendyke was an OSU Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award recipient in 2011 and was inducted into the OSU Alumni Hall of Fame in 2015. He was inducted into the Spears School of Business Hall of Fame in 2008 and serves as an active member of the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees.