Skip to main content

Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc.


Last Updated: 2016-06-06

At A Glance

Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc.

Agricultural Research Division, 2510 Samuel Noble Parkway

Ardmore, United States 73401

Telephone: (580) 223-5810


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Family foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $1,247,618,554

Total giving: $2,377,341





Additional Contact Information

Letters of Inquiry may be sent to Mary Kate Wilson, Dir. of Philanthropy, Engagement and Project Mgmt., e-mail:; Mary Kate Wilson's contact for questions concerning granting-related matters: tel.: (580) 224-6246, e-mail:


Trust established in 1945 in OK; incorporated in 1952 - Lloyd Noble, an Oklahoma oilman who founded the Noble Drilling Corporation and the Samedan Oil Corporation, created and named the foundation after his father

Purpose and Activities

The Noble Foundation conducts its operations through the work of three operating divisions: 1) Agricultural Division - assists more than 1,700 regional farmers and ranchers in achieving their individual financial, production, stewardship and quality-of life goals; 2) Plant Biology Division - conducts basic biochemical, genetic and genomic plant research for the purpose of improving crop productivity and value, and enhancing animal and human health; and 3) Forage Improvement Division - translates basic plant science research into tangible plant varieties. Within the institution, the Forage Improvement Division serves as a link between the discoveries in the laboratory and the field, where such discoveries are intended to enhance agricultural outcomes in Oklahoma and around the world. Through its grantmaking program, the Noble Foundation assists community service, health research and delivery systems, educational and other nonprofit organizations through grants and employee involvement. The foundation also administers a matching gift program for employees of the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Noble Corporation and Noble Energy, Inc.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Agricultural Division

The division assists agricultural producers and land stewards in attaining their financial, quality-of-life and stewardship goals in an ever-evolving environment by educating and counseling them on the adoption of sustainable, research-proven practices. Noble Foundation agricultural consultants advise on forage-based livestock operations, crop production, range management, horticulture, and developing and managing wildlife enterprises. The consultation program is a key divisional focus. This program is staffed by consultants with expertise in the following disciplines: forages, livestock, soils and crops, agricultural economics, horticulture, and wildlife and fisheries. Consultants work closely together - across these disciplines - to make recommendations that address each client's unique circumstances. Factors that influence these recommendations commonly include the type of land being managed, the skill set of the producer or land manager, and the specific goals the producer wishes to achieve. These consulting services are provided at no cost to program participants. Recommendations from Noble Foundation specialists are based on an understanding of the participants' operations, skills and goals and are successful only when there is active participation and interaction between the specialists and the participant. The division serves a 47-county area within a 100-mile radius of the Noble Foundation's headquarters in Ardmore, Okla. The Agricultural Division regularly hosts educational seminars and workshops that are open to the general public. In addition, the Agricultural Division offers a helpline telephone service that provides callers, inside and outside the 47-county service area, access to its agricultural specialists and specific expertise.

Employee Matching Grants Program

Matches dollar-for-dollar contributions made by employees and directors of Noble companies to educational institutions of their choice.

Forage Improvement Division

Formed in 1997, the Forage Improvement Division translates basic plant science research into tangible plant varieties that can be used by agricultural producers in Oklahoma, North Texas and similar climate regions worldwide. The division focuses on the development and improvement of grazeable and harvestable forages, including legumes and grasses. Forage Improvement researchers use a broad range of techniques to accomplish plant improvement, from conventional breeding to the use of emerging biotechnologies, such as genomics and transgenics. Once improved varieties are successfully created, their performance is analyzed through extensive evaluations. The group also designs crop management plans to capitalize on the plant's value-added traits and performs animal grazing trails to assess the impact and safety of new traits. All evaluations and assessments of new varieties are conducted in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations. While the focus of this group remains the improvement of a wide range of forages to support livestock production, its work will also positively impact the dairy industry and the emerging field of bioenergy. Research into sustainable and renewable feedstocks, mainly switchgrass, will contribute to the energy needs of this nation and offer new production opportunities for America's agricultural producers. Together, these activities accomplish the division's mission to develop better forages through variety development and, in the process, advance the science of plant improvement.

Grants to Individuals Program

Four-year scholarships to children of OK employees of Noble-affiliated companies and the Noble Foundation and scholarships in the fields of agriculture and technology to southern OK students.

Noble Educational Fund

Provides a maximum of ten $20,000 ($5,000 per year) four-year scholarship awards to children of employees of Noble companies selected, upon application, by an independent scholarship awards committee.

Plant Biology Division

For more than 20 years, the Plant Biology Division has conducted fundamental biochemical, genetic and genomic plant research. A primary research focus includes understanding and improving legumes. The Noble Foundation is recognized internationally for contributions to the scientific community and, in particular, its efforts to advance the legume Medicago truncatula as the genomic model for the study of all legumes, including economically significant crops such as soybean, alfalfa, clover and peanut. The division's studies range from the potential use of plants to produce health-benefiting natural compounds, such as anthocyanins, tannins and isoflavonoids, to the study of beneficial microorganisms that live within plants and enhance plant performance and stress tolerance. The Plant Biology Division is also recognized for its contribution to the field of plant cell wall engineering. The outcomes of this work will extend from the pastures - enabling new forages that are more easily digested by grazing livestock - to tomorrow's biorefineries, providing new, advanced cellulosic feedstocks that have the potential to yield more liquid biofuels per acre. .

Program-Related Investment

The foundation has made PRIs to a neighborhood revitalization group and a life sciences research firm.

Sam Noble Scholarship Program

This scholarship was established by the late Sam Noble to provide scholarships in the fields of agriculture and technology to students residing within one of 15 south central and southeastern Oklahoma counties including Atoka, Bryan, Carter, Choctaw, Coal, Garvin, Jefferson, Johnston, Love, Marshall, McCurtain, Murray, Pontotoc, Pushmataha and Stephens. See web site for additional guidelines.

Fields of Interest

  • Diseases and conditions
  • Education
  • Health
  • Higher education
  • Human services
  • University education
Population Groups
  • Academics
  • Children and youth
  • Students

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $1,247,618,554 (market value)

Expenditures: $76,829,500

Total giving: $2,377,341

Qualifying distributions: $43,028,323

Giving activities include:

$2,085,466 for 225 grants (high: $250,000; low: $50)

$291,875 for 77 grants to individuals (high: $6,250; low: $1,875)

$36,700,783 for foundation-administered programs