Career Conservationist: Greg D. Robertson

USTRC Cinch NFTR winner Greg D. Robertson didn’t plan on a career in conservation management, but he’s just closed the books on a 40-year run.

Greg D. Robertson, a 4.5 heeler from Hugo, Oklahoma, put a winning heel shot on his USTRC Cinch National Finals of Team Roping Steer to win the #9.5 Legends over 50 with his friend, Ross Harley, for $24,000. Andersen/CBarC Photography

May 31, 2022, marks the end of Greg D. Robertson’s lifelong career as Oklahoma’s Kiamichi Conservation District Manager.  

“When I was in college,” Robertson said, “the job became available and I applied and got it. I wasn’t planning on staying that long, but I ended up staying for 42.5 years.”

The Kiamichi Conservation District covers nearly a half-million acres (497,500 to be exact) in southeastern Oklahoma and cozies up to the Texas state line a notch west of the Arkansas state line. 

“We do a little bit of everything,” the 4.5. heeler from Hugo said. “We rent equipment out to the landowners. We have programs to help them install conservation practices on their land. We do conservation education.”

Despite his college-aged premonitions of moving on, over the years, Robertson developed a fondness for the work, especially when it afforded him the chance to work with his community’s next generation. 

READ MORE: Want to Rope? Go to Work

“I enjoyed the work. I enjoyed working with the kids. We have a speech contest, a poster contest, a land judging contest and a forestry judging contest. And we give scholarships away.”

The district works in partnership with the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service and, in some cases, offers cost-share programs with the state.

“We go out to people that are having problems on their land,” Robertson explained, “and we tell them what they need to correct the problem.”

As diverse as the work is, it would be fair to assume that Robertson’s day-to-day workload will ease up with retirement, but he’s not so sure. 

“I don’t know about taking it easy,” he said. “I have a cow-calf deal, and it keeps me pretty busy.”

Not to mention the roping. Robertson, 62, grew up roping calves and steers and rodeoing, but has seen some pretty great success heeling steers in the last few years. 

Most recently he won the #9.5 Legends Over 50 at the 33rd USTRC Cinch National Finals in Fort Worth with his friend Ross Harley. The pair were 36.89 seconds on four head for a winning check worth $24,000. In December, he and Tom White made good on his WSTR Finale qualification by placing 17th in the #8.5for $6,500 and, in 2020, he kicked off his Fort Worth Finals run with an #8.5 Legends win with lifelong friend Jack Hicks for $7,260.

READ MORE: Full Results: 2022 USTRC Cinch National Finals of Team Roping

“So, about every two years I’m due,” Robertson has decided, and we’re here for it.

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