About Us

The Greatest Show

The Oklahoma Youth Expo is the World’s Largest Junior Livestock Show and truly is The Greatest Show. Every March more than 7,000 4-H and FFA members bring more than 13,000 head of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and ag mechanics projects to Oklahoma City to exhibit their projects.

OYE places these young future leaders under the spotlight, allowing them to showcase their projects and months of dedication, allowing them to compete head-to-head with fellow exhibitors for the title of Grand Champion.

The Oklahoma Youth Expo is open to all Oklahoma 4-H and FFA members ages eight to 19. OYE along with 4-H and FFA create opportunities for our State’s youth to build life skills, which extend far beyond the showring, the barn or the shop. They learn how to care for something other than themselves. They are committed to completing a project, understanding that the more effort they put into their livestock or mechanics projects, the better the outcome in the end. They also learn to value teamwork.

Together, these skills not only serve them well during their time showing livestock and fabricating projects in the barn or shop, but these skills also make them highly sought after once graduating. These life skills shape, for many, the perfect employee. They’re dedicated, committed young adults who understand and appreciate the value of hard work, determination and ingenuity.

The Oklahoma Youth Expo annually awards nearly $2 million to exhibitors, more than $300,000 in academic scholarships and has a $25 million economic impact on the Oklahoma City Metroplex.

A Vision

The Oklahoma Youth Expo has grown and evolved for more than a century, providing opportunities for Oklahoma’s ag youth. In 2002, a group of visionaries came together and formally established a 501c3 nonprofit, naming it the Oklahoma Youth Expo Inc. Among those visionaries were Mr. Bob Funk and Mr. Jimmy Harrel. Together, along with a committed board of directors, the Youth Expo grew and today has become the leader in livestock shows.

However, this growth and development did not happen overnight. Funding an ever growing event poses challenges, challenges the board and staff happily and successfully manage each year.

In 2016, Mr. Bob Funk stepped forward in a large way announcing his commitment to the Oklahoma Youth Expo by forming an endowment fund. Later that year, the Onward Campaign was launched. Mr. Funk pledged to match dollar-for-dollar up to $5 million in order to ensure the continued success of OYE for generations to come.

To date, more than $4 million has been raised to help support the Youth Expo’s mission in providing Oklahoma 4-H and FFA members with opportunities to showcase their agricultural projects and further foster their future education goals, their leadership skills, and their ability to truly provide and contribute to society.

Interested in supporting the Onward Foundation?

How To Get Involved

The Oklahoma Youth Expo has grown and evolved for more than a century, providing opportunities for Oklahoma’s ag youth. In 2002, a group of visionaries came together and formally established a 501c3 nonprofit, naming it the Oklahoma Youth Expo Inc. Among those visionaries were Mr. Bob Funk and Mr. Jimmy Harrel. Together, along with a committed board of directors, the Youth Expo grew and today has become the leader in livestock shows.

However, this growth and development did not happen overnight. Funding an ever growing event poses challenges, challenges the board and staff happily and successfully manage each year.

In 2016, Mr. Bob Funk stepped forward in a large way announcing his commitment to the Oklahoma Youth Expo by forming an endowment fund. Later that year, the Onward Campaign was launched. Mr. Funk pledged to match dollar-for-dollar up to $5 million in order to ensure the continued success of OYE for generations to come.

To date, more than $4 million has been raised to help support the Youth Expo’s mission in providing Oklahoma 4-H and FFA members with opportunities to showcase their agricultural projects and further foster their future education goals, their leadership skills, and their ability to truly provide and contribute to society.

Interested in supporting the Onward Foundation?

Our Board

Our leadership stems from the top down. From visionaries who launched the Oklahoma Youth Expo to our current board today, OYE and Oklahoma agriculture is blessed to have a diverse board of directors who are committed to showcasing and promoting our ag youth.

Bob Funk

OYE Chairman

CEO – Express Employment Professionals

Robert A. Funk is Founder, President, and Vice Chairman of the Board of Express Employment Professionals. Prior to co-founding Express, Funk gained experience with Acme Personnel Services, beginning as a personnel consultant and then climbing the ranks to first vice president.

Funk graduated from Seattle Pacific University (SPU) with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and theology. He continued his graduate studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and received his master’s degree in business administration and theology from SPU. He holds three honorary degrees: an honorary doctor of public service from his alma mater Seattle Pacific University awarded in 1995; an honorary doctor of law presented by Oklahoma Baptist University in 2000; and an honorary doctor of law presented by Southern Nazarene University in 2001.

Jimmy Harrel

OYE Vice Chairman

CEO – Bank of Western Oklahoma

Jimmy Harrel, Leedey, Oklahoma, has been involved in agriculture and business since early childhood. As a young boy, he learned to rope and ride, farm on a Ford tractor, and tend to horses and cattle alongside his father and brothers. He became a businessman when he sat with his father at the area cattle sale barns and learned to raise his arm and bid on and purchase his first calves for wheat pasture.

Jimmy Harrel graduated from Leedey High School and from Oklahoma State University with a double major in Animal Science and Agriculture Education. High school FFA projects of livestock showing and judging led him into college agriculture experiences. As a two year member of the OSU Livestock Judging team, traveling across the nation. Second high Individual at Chicago was a highlight of his judging. He taught Vocational Agriculture and served as an administrator then returned to ranching.

In 1985, he became an owner of the Bank of Western Oklahoma in Elk City, Oklahoma, and developed it into one of the premium agriculture lending banks in the state. The Bank Of Western Oklahoma, is known for its fair dealing, as the motto indicates, “Where a handshake is a binding contract.” The Bank of Western Oklahoma is now located in Weatherford, Woodward, Vici, Cordell, Elk City, and Geary, Oklahoma.

Jimmy Harrel has been instrumental in promoting youth and agriculture, has worked with Governors of Oklahoma and Secretary of Education, Sandy Garrett to keep vocational agriculture a vital part of the public school curriculum. Jimmy and his wife, Marilyn have one daughter, Keela Terry, who with her husband, David Terry, reside in Weatherford, Oklahoma, with their daughter, Taylor and son, Ryan.

Randy Gilbert

OYE Secretary and Treasurer

President, Southwest American Livestock Foundation

Randy Gilbert is the Owner/Operations Manager at Gilbert and Sons Trucking and an AFR Insurance agent from Tecumseh, OK. He also operates a cow/calf operation with registered Limousin cattle and a commercial herd of Limousin crossbreds. He is also Co-Owner of Crossing Hearts Ranch, an agri-tourism venue as an added value to their cattle operation. He has been involved in Agriculture all of his life.

Randy graduated from Tecumseh High School in 1978 and then attended Oklahoma State University and graduated in 1983 with a B.S. in Agriculture Education. Randy began his career as an Ag-Ed/FFA Instructor in Lawton, OK for 5 years. In 1988 he returned to Tecumseh to run the family trucking business. He has been involved in business management for over 30 years. He has also devoted countless resources and volunteer hours to promote agriculture youth.

He is a lifetime member of the Oklahoma Limousin Breeders Association, Lifetime member of the FFA Alumni Association and Lifetime member of the Oklahoma State University Alumni. He is a member of the Oklahoma Cattleman’s Association and the Sirloin Club of Oklahoma.

Randy is very passionate about Oklahoma and his local community and the opportunities for growth in rural Oklahoma. Randy and Suzanne have two daughters, Annie Jo and Dustie, Son-In-Law Jordan and three wonderful grandchildren, Taycie, Legend and Bryar.

Chad Warmington

OYE Board Member

President and CEO, Oklahoma State Chamber

Chad Warmington has more than 20 years of experience in Oklahoma politics. Before becoming president and CEO of The State Chamber of Oklahoma, he served as the president of the Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma and executive vice president for The State Chamber, where he managed political, government affairs and marketing operations.

Warmington has also served as chief of staff to three Speakers of the Oklahoma House, on the staff of a U.S. Senator and as a campaign manager for multiple statewide candidates.

He believes that programs like 4-H, FFA and the Oklahoma Youth Expo foster key life skills that better prepare our young future leaders.

Tyler Norvell

President of OYE and the Onward Foundation

Tyler has been involved in the Oklahoma Youth Expo since he was nine years old as an exhibitor, volunteer and now staff member. Having grown up on his family’s farm and ranch in Oklahoma, he’s always been closely involved in agriculture. Previously he served as vice president of public policy at Oklahoma Farm Bureau.

Since 2012, Tyler has worked for the Oklahoma Youth Expo. His primary focus remains being the lead in strategy development and fundraiser for the Oklahoma Youth Expo and the Onward endowment. He also works to properly position “The Greatest Show” for both the short and long term success as the premier livestock show in America.

Board of Directors Advisory Committee

Jared Boehs
President, Sirloin Club of Oklahoma

Rachel Pickens
President, Diamond Hats

Clint Rusk
Oklahoma State University Head of the Department of Animal Science

Scott Nemecek
State Program Administrator and FFA Advisor

Blayne Arthur
Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Forestry

Our Team

OYE’s team is a young group of individuals who operate and manage ‘The World’s Largest Junior Livestock Show’!

Tyler Norvell

President of OYE and the Onward Foundation

Tyler has been involved in the Oklahoma Youth Expo since he was nine years old as an exhibitor, volunteer and now staff member. Having grown up on his family’s farm and ranch in Oklahoma, he’s always been closely involved in agriculture. Previously he served as vice president of public policy at Oklahoma Farm Bureau.

Since 2012, Tyler has worked for the Oklahoma Youth Expo. His primary focus remains being the lead in strategy development and fundraiser for the Oklahoma Youth Expo and the Onward endowment. He also works to properly position “The Greatest Show” for both the short and long term success as the premier livestock show in America.

Kass Newell

Executive Vice President

As a native of Orlando, Oklahoma, Kass grew up showing cattle and goats at OYE and across the United States. As a graduate of Oklahoma State University, member of OALE Class XI, she came to the Youth Expo as the livestock data coordinator in 2015.

Today, she serves as the show manager, coordinating the logistics of OYE, is responsible for day-to-day office operations and works to ensure every exhibitor’s experience is superior in every way possible.

Bray Haven

Vice President of Operations

Joining the team in 2018, Bray came to the Youth Expo to serve as the director of operations. Prior to this, Bray served as the agricultural coalition specialist for Governor Stitt’s gubernatorial campaign. As a former state FFA officer, OALE Class XIII member and OYE intern, Bray is quite familiar with the Expo.

Today, Bray works with community and industry leaders to help better fund and serve the youth of the Oklahoma Youth Expo.

JD Rosman

Vice President of Communications

Washington state native, JD is a self proclaimed Okie and works to tell the stories of Oklahoma’s 4-H and FFA students and works to promote agriculture and rural based companies through various media platforms on a national and global level. Previously, JD was a member of OALE Class XIII and served as an OYE communications intern.

Today, JD works to tell the stories of OYE’s more than 7,000 exhibitors, its sponsors and those who impact Oklahoma agriculture. Sharing those stories across the Oklahoma Youth Expo’s various media platforms gaining exposure for “The Greatest Show.”

Melissa Eisenhauer

Director of Special Events

Her love for stock shows and the Oklahoma Youth Expo run deep having competed at the Expo as an exhibitor. Exhibiting at OYE was and continues to be a family affair for her. Prior to joining the team at OYE, Melissa served the Oklahoma Farmers Union as the director of youth and education.

Melissa has served OYE in several roles since 2003 and is one of the main contributors to its continued success. Today, she serves as the director of special events coordinating the OYE Marketplace, Diamond Hats and Sirloin Club events, continuing the legacy as the world’s largest and greatest junior livestock show.

Whitney Walker

Director of Livestock

An Arkansas native and no stranger to the showring, Whitney grew up raising and showing cattle across the country. Whitney is a current student at Oklahoma State University and has previously interned at OYE as a livestock intern.

Today, she coordinates and manages all livestock nominations, entries, class breaks and various show operations. Whitney’s expertise continues to keep OYE as the front runner in stock show operations.