Oklahoma Christian is not an “ag” school, but it once owned one of the state’s most far-flung ranching operations: 13,000 acres of land and 2,500 head of Black Angus cattle. The ranch operation was a gift to the school in 1977 from longtime supporter, the late William Guy Davisson of Ardmore.
The $6.8 million gift put Oklahoma Christian into the cattle business, but the university had to find someone to manage the operation.
The Board of Trustees turned to one of its own, Canton native Ralph Chain. Chain owns Chain Land and Cattle Company, which consists of eight ranches in Oklahoma and Kansas.
Management of Oklahoma Christian’s ranching business fell to Ralph because he was the only member of the board “who understood ranching,” he said.
Chain managed the school’s ranch property for 14 years. “It’s a story in itself,” he said of the school-owned ranching business. Eventually, the ranching operation was sold, and Chain turned his attention to more traditional university business.
He served as chairman of OC’s board from 1997 to 2002. He clearly sees the impact that our campus makes as a Christian educational institution.
In serving on the Oklahoma State Fair Board or in running a sprawling business operation, Chain is a vocal supporter of the university.
“The Lord has really blessed Oklahoma Christian,” Ralph said. “I see it continuing to grow. I don’t think it’s going to do anything but get better.”