Minnie Lou Bradley | 2014
Updated: Nov 18, 2020
Innovative rancher, a progressive land steward, a purebred Angus master breeder, and a renowned livestock industry leader.
Born 1931 | Artist: Richard Steward Halstead (born 1947)
Impact & Accomplishments
Minnie Lou Bradley, matriarch of the Bradley 3 Ranch in the Texas Panhandle, was the second woman to be inducted into the Saddle & Sirloin Club Portrait Collection. A pioneer livestock breeder in her region, Bradley was the first woman president of the American Angus Association.
Born in Hinton, Oklahoma, Minnie Lou Ottinger played on the state championship high school basketball team and showed livestock in 4-H (girls were not permitted in Future Farmers of America at the time). She was the first female student to enroll in animal husbandry at Oklahoma A&M and the first female member of the college’s legendary livestock judging team. She captured the attention of many in 1951, as the first woman to earn high individual in beef cattle at the American Royal, and then surpassed that achievement as the first woman named high individual overall at the International Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Contest in Chicago.
In 1953, Ottinger earned another “first’: the first female to complete a bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry at Oklahoma A&M. She married fellow student, Billy Jack Bradley, soon thereafter. She has operated the Bradley 3 Ranch in partnership with her daughter and son-in-law.
Minnie Lou Bradley’s beef packing plant was one of the first to market branded beef products, and her ranch was one of the first quality assurance programs in the U. S. She has been honored as a Master Breeder by OSU, was named a top leader in the industry twice by Beef Magazine, and has been inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame.
Bradley has devoted much of her energy to encouraging women in ranching and has been honored for her model land stewardship practices as well. Her accomplishments in the livestock industry are extraordinary, regardless of her gender.
Did You Know?
Bradley was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Museum in 2006 and joined many of her early OSU mentors when her portrait was added to The Saddle & Sirloin Club in 2014.
“Surround yourself with good people. Not only good morally, but those that have ambition, that want to do something or have done something,” Bradley says. “I think that’s what makes you a better person.”
In 1949, Bradley made history when she enrolled in animal husbandry at Oklahoma A & M (now Oklahoma State University), and then signed up for the livestock judging team. She went on to win high individual in the Intercollegiate Livestock Judging contest in Chicago that year. When they gave out a tie clasp for an award, team coach Glen Bratcher said, “Don’t worry. We’ll have it made into a locket for you.”
Courtesy of Ranch House Designs/Paige Wallace, Director 2014
Sally Northcutt, the first female faculty member of OSU’s Department of Animal Science now with Method Genetics LLC, also was among the many livestock professionals advocating for Bradley’s entry into the Saddle and Sirloin Club.
“Minnie Lou understands the impact animal genetics and producer management decisions have on seedstock and commercial cattle, and is exceedingly knowledgeable about the many facets of beef cattle production, from cow-calf through to consumer satisfaction,” Northcutt said. “I was a student when I first met Minnie Lou. She reminded me that we should work hard and not dwell on the extra time and effort we contribute, but consider our labors as service to the industry.”
Courtesy of Angus TV and the American Angus Association