The Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents joined Connors State College faculty and staff along with a host of others to dedicate the Dr. Stuart Woods Shooting Sports Complex and Wetlands at the CSC Gary Harding Research Ranch on Friday, April 22, 2016.
We are blessed to have hardworking men like Dr. Stuart Woods as part of the Connors State family, said Dr. Tim Faltyn, Connors State College President. Dedicating this facility and wetlands to Dr. Woods is fitting, as his work in the community and at the college through the years have helped set the stage for our research ranchs success.
The Gary Harding Research Ranch, just south of Warner, provides a unique learning environment for students in agriculture, ecology and wildlife management. With more than 1,600 acres of ranch, timbered hardwoods, lakes, wetlands and trails, Connors State College provides an exceptional educational opportunity for students interested in agriculture, ecology, and outdoor shooting sports.
It is such an honor to have the Connors State College Shooting Sports Complex and Wetlands dedicated to me, said Dr. Stuart Woods, CSC biology instructor. Years ago, when Gary Harding and I worked together to acquire the land, the thought of turning it into a first-class outdoor classroom and ranch was exciting. We often talked about the South Ranch as being a journey, and weve now officially reached a milestone. I only wish I knew how many thousands of kids have had the opportunity to experience the ranch, wetlands and shooting facility, and how many will in the future.
The addition of the wetlands to the South Ranch make Connors State College a Partner for Fish and Wildlife with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a member of the North American Waterfowl Management plan.
Years ago, we were right we built it and they did come, said Woods. This dedication, on the 46th anniversary of Earth Day, was a milestone; but milestones will come and go, while the journey continues. The future is uncertain, but if we will take care of nature and the kids, then theres a future for both.
We are very fortunate to have this first-class shooting facility for our students, said Brandon Miller, CSC Shotgun Shooting Sports Coach. Not only does it allow the team to be better prepared for competition, but also the college is able to host regional tournaments for 4-H and FFA members. The complex itself is a great recruiting tool, with exciting expansions in the works for the future.With the only junior collegiate shotgun sports program and complex in the state, the CSC Shotgun Shooting Sports Club attracts a wide range of students to campus. Students on the Shooting Sports Team compete in American Trap and Skeet.
At the conclusion of the dedication ceremony, many of the attendees, each paired with a Shotgun Shooting Sports Team member, participated in a skeet shooting competition. When the clays were tallied, and a tie-breaker complete, Dr. Faltyn took home top honors. Oklahoma A&M Regent Doug Burns was runner-up.