okPORK PAGES official magazine of the Oklahoma Pork Council | www.okpork.org
Volume 17 | Issue 4 | Winter 2013
All About Bacon
okPORK sponsored 6 Degrees of Bacon, a chef event organized by Downtown OKC, INC. Read about all the scrumptious pork dishes presented.
8 Bacon & Bourbon Dinner
The third Bacon & Bourbon Dinner was another huge success. Read about the new chef, new venue and see amazing pictures of all the bacon goodness.
10 Blessings in Tiny Packages
Ben and Tina Falcon experienced premature births and long NICU stays with 4 of their 5 children. This year they are serving as an ambassador family for Oklahoma March of Dimes.
Oklahoma Pork Congress Our yearly congress is just around the corner! Check out the tentative agenda and find out ways you can help us make this event successful.
Working Hard to Promote Pork Each year okPORK supports the FFAâ€™s Food for America program through grants. Read about how the Pauls Valley FFA chapter promoted pork at a recent football game in their community. 2 â€˘ Oklahoma Pork Council
okPORK Open House
Winter 2013 Volume 17• Issue 4 BOARD OF DIRECTORS OFFICERS President | Basil Werner, Kingfisher President Elect | Dottie King, Calvin Vice President | Tina Falcon, Tecumseh Treasurer | Keith Reiner, Enid BOARD MEMBERS Darren Appleton, Enid Darren Kraus, Weatherford Bert Luthi, Sharon David McMullen, Minco Chris Wallis, Allen Robbie Woods, Enid EX OFFICIO Dr. Scott Carter, Stillwater Wathina Luthi, Gage Brett Ramsey, Jones STAFF Executive Director Roy Lee Lindsey, Jr. • firstname.lastname@example.org Event and Outreach Specialist Mark McGinnis • email@example.com Office Manager Donna Jackson • firstname.lastname@example.org Communications Specialist Kristin Alsup • email@example.com Oklahoma Pork Council 901 North Lincoln Blvd., Suite 380 Oklahoma City, OK 73104-3206 Phone 405.232.3781 • Fax 405.232.3862 Toll free in Okla. • 888.SAY.PORK WEBSITE www.okpork.org
Thanks to everyone who joined us for the open house at the new okPORK office. If you couldn’t make it, stop by and see us anytime. We’d be glad to show you around.
ON THE COVER Fayth Falcon holds a baby pig outside one of her family’s hog barns on their farm near Tecumseh. Photo by Brooke Clay. Programs are made available to pork producers without regard to race, color, sex, religion or national origin. The Oklahoma Pork Council is an equal opportunity employer. okPORK PAGES is the official publication of the Oklahoma Pork Council and is published four times per year in March, June, September and December by the Oklahoma Pork Council. All Pork Pages inquiries should be directed to the okPORK office or firstname.lastname@example.org Writer Kristin Alsup Designer Nikki Snider Editor Donna Jackson
Stay Connected : search okpork •3
FROM THE PRESIDENT | BASIL WERNER
News and Notes Experience the dinner of your dreams Some time back – the okPORK Board of Directors decided it was of extreme importance to find new avenues of revenue. The staff and the board together have spent lots of time discussing ways to bring in support from new audiences. As a result, the Bacon & Bourbon dinner began in 2011. This year I attended the third-annual dinner. It was my first time to be able to make it out. I was blown away by the event and promise to do everything in my power to be in attendance at this event from now on. Held in the Grand Ballroom at the Gaillardia Country Club’s club house – the event really was something special. What a great time. The room was incredible and very classy. The tables were laid out in a fashion where everyone could be comfortable. Oh, did I mention the food? The kind of gourmet experience I received with my ticket blew me away. The chefs are top notch and each bite was better
than the previous mouthful. The meal and the experience of getting to eat it were worth the price of the ticket. I was also in attendance at the inaugural Swine & Wine dinner at Hensley’s Top Shelf Grill in Yukon. These are the kind of events we were looking for, and I will tell you – something you need to try. I won’t miss another one if I can help it. okPORK office moves As you know, Roy Lee and his staff have settled into new office space near the Capitol in Oklahoma City. The office is now housed in the Oklahoma Blood Institute’s new building and everyone is excited be moved and settled. The location and the building itself give our offices a whole new feeling and dynamic. With the proximity of the Capitol we hope to be able to host more of our friends and show ourselves with ever-increasing good grace. If you haven’t had the chance to see the new digs – stop by when you are in the neighborhood. Everyone would love
for you to see how our new space fits the Oklahoma Pork Council. Other changes of note Due to some complications with the Oklahoma Youth Expo and Spring Break – the date for the Oklahoma Pork Congress has been changed. The event will still be at the Reed Center in Del City, but will now take place on February 28. We look forward to seeing you there. You can RSVP for Pork Congress anytime and don’t forget to renew your membership. There is a form located on the back page of the magazine and one will be mailed to you. The cost of your annual membership is now $50 and can be put toward the Oklahoma Pork Council’s PAC fund. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Oklahoma Pork Council – so don’t miss your opportunity. •
The okPORK staff and board wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and all the best in 2014.
4 • Oklahoma Pork Council
FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | ROY LEE LINDSEY, JR.
Another undercover video It seems we can’t go a month without another “undercover” video being released by an animal activist group pressuring some retailer or restaurant chain trying to dictate a change in production practices on the farm. October was no different. In late October, Mercy for Animals released a video allegedly shot on a farm in Minnesota. In much the same theme as its predecessors, this video used dark, grainy images, background music designed to evoke raw emotions, and a celebrity spokesman. It was all aimed at a major food retailer in hopes they would agree to try to force a phase out of gestation stalls. As I looked over some of the media coverage – including agricultural media – I found a commentary on Feedstuffs. com written by Dr. Nevil Speer that talked about the people in the video. I thought Dr. Speer raised some good points and I want to share them here. According to Feedstuffs, “Dr. Nevil C. Speer is with Western Kentucky University and serves on the board of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture, a national organization devoted to engaging livestock producers and livestock health professionals in developing solutions for issues in the livestock industry.” The idea behind Speer’s commentary is that the starting point in animal care is with the people who
provide that care. When asked about the position of the Oklahoma Pork Council on the use of gestation stalls my answer has been we believe the people best equipped to make decisions about production practices on our farms are the people who care for those animals every day. Dr. Speer’s commentary reinforces that position. But Speer’s information is more than just support material for our position. It is also a reminder of the responsibility everyone who owns or works on a farm has for providing proper animal care. “The shortfall in husbandry is predominately the result of poor employee training, oversight and timely feedback,” Speer said. “Just like every industry and every workplace, problems always begin with the people. Nothing ever works correctly until we properly train and empower our employees — no matter what the job is.” As we have toured the state with our Youth Pork Leadership Camp the past two years, we have repeatedly heard from farm owners and operators that they have a 100% zero-tolerancepolicy for animal abuse. We’ve heard all employees on a given farm have been trained in proper animal care and what the expectations are for each and every person who works on the farm. These expectations go farther than simply providing proper animal care. They require every
employee to report any acts that do not meet the standards and protocols for animal care on the farm. One message that was consistent in the response to the latest video was an attitude of continuous improvement. The farm owner acknowledged there were actions that did not comply with the protocols of the farm and they were working hard every day to address those shortcomings and to do a better job on the farm every day. The owners of the farm in the latest video say they have terminated one employee, reassigned another to an area that does not work with animals, and updated training for all employees. I know that producers across the state of Oklahoma and around the country have protocols in place for training of all employees who work with animals. As you look around your farm on a daily basis, ask yourself if you are really doing everything you can to create a culture of doing what’s right every day. The challenge to everyone involved in raising livestock today is to continue to work every day to get better. Have you shared that challenge with everyone associated with your farm? Editor’s note – The full commentary from Dr. Speer can be found at http:// feedstuffsfoodlink.com/blogs-animalcare-relies-human-element-7816. •
BACON photos and story by Kristin Alsup
f it is visions of sugar plums that dance in your head – this may not be the article for you. If you are more like the folks around the okPORK office, where delicious bacon treats are the star of the show then – by all means – keep reading. It was October 17, at 7 p.m. and 500 bacon-hungry ticket holders began to stream through the gates of the 6 Degrees of Bacon event. In its second year, 6 Degrees of Bacon brings together more than a dozen restaurants from the Midtown District of downtown Oklahoma City. Organized by Downtown OKC Inc., okPORK is the title sponsor and reaches a very urban audience to share the love of pork. With wide-eyed wonder the diners peered into the covered lot, which held several tables of food and smelled better than your grandma’s kitchen. Spread along the perimeter of the space, each restaurant hung a sign above their tables and claimed a few feet of space. Inside each space the restaurant had complete control of the décor and the food. Representatives from Red Prime Steakhouse, Kitchen No. 324, The Basement Modern Diner, LOCAL, Bricktown Brewery, The Melting Pot, Packard’s New American Kitchen, Peloton Wine Bar, In the Raw Sushi, McNellie’s, Fassler Hall & Dust Bowl and 1492 New World Latin Cuisine were in attendance. Each restaurant brought a sampling of bacon inspired dishes. From The Basement Modern Diner’s Vanilla bean milkshakes spiked with house-made bacon-infused vodka and topped with maple whipped cream to Packard’s New American Kitchen’s bacon soda brittle, each table hosted delights for your tastebuds. People could be seen trying a bit of herbed cream cheese and bacon jam on crostini from LOCAL and then sliding over to the Bricktown Brewery’s table for a taste of Buck’s bourbon, bacon and beer chili. In addition to the food, COOP Ale Works joined in the fun. From their beer truck – which boasts six different local brews from Zeppelin, a German-style wheat to the Gran Sport Porter – COOP offered each ticket holder two complimentary cups of beer. Once the guests were full to bursting with the bite-sized fare and their thirst was slaked, they were encouraged to jump into the photo booth or onto the dance floor. Each area offered fun covered by the cost of the entry ticket. As the event drew near its end, an okPORK prize pack was awarded to the two people who had been most active in mentioning 6 Degrees of Bacon in the social media world. Two people were awarded with a bag full of swag, which included the cook book Bacon Nation. The other diners did not leave empty handed though, because each ticket-holder took home a pint glass from COOP. This event not only provided a large group of people with a reason to consume one of pork’s most popular cuts, but also provided okPORK with the means to reach a captive audience outside of the agriculture industry. Between the logo, the signs, the announcements and the social media reach – new contacts were made across the state for okPORK. The night filled with delicious food and fun was a hit among the crowd and okPORK was proud to be a part of it. • 6 • Oklahoma Pork Council
acon is called many things: Meat candy, the Duct tape of the kitchen, the meat of kings and strips of pork heaven. No matter what you call it – you can’t deny its popularity. However, bacon is only one half of the inspiration for the Bacon & Bourbon Dinner. The dinner included five courses prepared by Chef Brett Mashore at the Gaillardia Country Club along with five expertly paired bourbons. “Several years ago, our members challenged us to develop new revenue
8 • Oklahoma Pork Council
streams from people who don’t normally financially support okPORK,” Roy Lee Lindsey okPORK’s executive director said. “One avenue for this would be to create an event or events that enticed the general public to participate and contribute. This led to the creation of the Bacon & Bourbon Dinner and this year’s dinner was the 3rd annual.” A new location, a new chef and new people helped to keep the event fresh in its third year. The menu was enticing and creative. The presentation was impeccable. “This was my third Bacon & Bourbon Dinner with okPORK,” said Cole Perryman, okPORK’s account executive from Schnake Turnbo Frank | PR. “It’s easy to say the food, the bourbon and the presentation has improved every year. This year they took the additional step of labeling each pour of bourbon for the guest – which helped guide the guests who may have been more familiar with wine or beer than bourbon.” The dinner began with a bacon dashi with Miataki mushrooms for the soup course paired with the Jim Beam Black. The flavors were savory and robust, making it truly feel like a comfort food. The single most discussed course was the salad. With a crispy pig ear atop a bed of grilled pear and baby rocket lettuce all drizzled with warm bacon vinaigrette, no one could stop discussing it. The Basil Hayden was a beautiful
addition to the course. “To my knowledge, I have never eaten a helping of food that has taken a trained chef two full days to prepare,” Perryman said. “On another note, I’ve never eaten a pig’s ear either.” A sea scallop topped with candied bacon surrounded by a pancetta and pea risotto graced the plate of the third course paired magically with the Maker’s Mark 46. At one table, the scallop and the Maker’s were decidedly the favorite pairing of the night and one could hear the declaration from across the room. A pork belly and bacon crepinette – or flat sausage made of minced meat – which was so tender it melted in the mouth. The meat served with a roasted potato, asparagus and a Bourguignonne sauce paired strongly with the 100 proof Knob Creek. Finishing out the meal was a delicacy words cannot fully explain. On the last plate of the evening each plate delivered featured a maple and bacon cake doughnut liberally drizzled with a Dr. Pepper and bacon glaze. Maple Knob Creek bourbon was a match made in heaven for the pastry delight There is more to the Bacon & Bourbon Dinner than just a reason for pork fans getting together and eating. “In addition to the revenue success for okPORK, we also get the opportunity
to work with some tremendous chefs around Oklahoma,” Lindsey said. “This puts our products in the hands of some extremely talented chefs and it encourages them to be creative. Who would have thought about making a crispy pig ear or a gorgonzola bacon ring? That’s the kind of thinking we want these chefs to use in their restaurants and hopefully some of this will carry over into everyday menus.” There is no reason to despair if you missed the event this year. Much like taxes and Santa Claus – the Bacon & Bourbon dinner will be back again next year. You might want to pick up your tickets early, only 100 will be available. •
Story by Paige Wallace
Blessings in tiny packages
When Tina Falcon gave birth to her first child, she dressed her in what most young girls would put on their dolls. Tiny red hearts covered the delicate onesie in Tina Falcon’s hand as she described the fragile life of her daughter. Ben and Tina Falcon’s first child, Fayth, was born at just 23 weeks of age. “They never expected her to live,” said Tina Falcon, vice president of the Oklahoma Pork Council. “They told me before delivery that we probably wouldn’t have a baby to bring home.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a premature baby is born three weeks before its due date, or less than 37 weeks of age. The CDC states more babies die from preterm-related problems than from any other single cause. “They deemed her their littlest miracle,” Tina Falcon said. “She was a fighter.” 10 • Oklahoma Pork Council
Fayth Falcon was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Center for three months, three weeks and three days. Ben and Tina Falcon had to leave Fayth at the Doctor’s Hospital in Modesto, Calif., almost an hour away from their home. “Twenty-four weeks is considered the point of viability,” said Jennifer Lacy, division director for the Central Oklahoma March of Dimes. “These babies need every week possible.” Tina Falcon said Fayth was “touch and go” the whole time in the hospital. “They’re so susceptible to infection,” Tina Falcon said. “They’re susceptible to everything because they don’t have an immune system at all.” Tina Falcon said she was unsure of what her daughter would look like. “How do you know what you’re going to see?” Tina Falcon said. “I was kind of trying to prepare myself in my mind and I got down there and here she
lay, just this perfect little baby. She had 10 fingers, 10 toes, fingernails, eyebrows, and eyelashes. She had hair, you know, she had everything.” Tina went on to describe the one thing that looked unusual on Fayth – her skin. The top layer had not developed yet. “She was transparent,” Tina Falcon said. “You could hold her hand up, shine a flashlight through, and see the light on the other side. It just looked like she had sunburn. I couldn’t hold her for 10 days.” Holding Fayth would cause her pain because it was like her skin had suffered from a burn. Tina and Ben Falcon decided they wanted another child. However, they were left grieving after two miscarriages. Doctors told Tina something was wrong and they would not be able to have additional children. “My doctors told me, ‘Be thankful you have one,’” Tina said.
After they received this news, the Falcon family decided it was time to move to Oklahoma. Tina’s cousins Richie and Eddie Robinson, also from California, moved to Oklahoma to raise commercial hogs in contract with Tyson Foods LLC. During a family reunion in Oklahoma, Ben took a tour of the cousins’ hog operation. “Ben told me ‘This is what I want to do,’” said Tina with a grin on her face. Tina’s cousins searched and found property for her family in Oklahoma. Together Tina and Ben partnered with her parents on the new farm. On June 1, 2002, the Falcon family became owners of a hog farm in Tecumseh, Okla. Today, Tina and Ben own two farms in Oklahoma, one near their home in Tecumseh and the other in Paden. Under contract with Tyson, the two farms maintain about 1,800 hogs. However, when the Falcons made their first visit to their home in Oklahoma, Tina became ill. After seeking treatment at the hospital, her doctor recommended a specific medication, but it caused birth defects. “My doctors asked me, ‘Is there any chance you can be pregnant?’” Tina said. She told them no – she had just had her third miscarriage. “It didn’t set right with [my doctor]. So, he insisted on a pregnancy test. That’s when we found out we were pregnant with our second daughter,” Tina said. Once the Falcon family moved to Oklahoma for good, Tina was 23 weeks pregnant. She carried their second child, Alyson, through a full term. “She was totally healthy – 8 pounds, 8 ounces. A beautiful baby,” Falcon said. Tina Falcon’s doctor in Oklahoma told her there was no reason she couldn’t have all the babies she wanted. “So he gave us the green light,” Tina Falcon said. After trying to get pregnant, Tina suffered another miscarriage. A hint of pain immerged in Tina’s blue eyes as she said, “But we didn’t let that get us down.” Ben and Tina Falcon attempted to conceive another child and this time, they were successful. “The pregnancy was great,” Tina Falcon said. “Everything was going fine. My husband was in the kitchen cooking. We were having company for dinner.
I was out cleaning furniture in the den and my water broke. Just out of the blue. I’d had a perfect pregnancy.” Tina Falcon was immediately placed on bed rest at Baptist Hospital in Oklahoma City. Five days went by as the doctors continued to check the baby. However, one morning around 4 a.m., doctors discovered the baby was in distress. Tina was given an emergency C-section. “I was obviously by myself,” Tina Falcon said. “[And it was] the morning of a snow storm.” Tina’s family rushed to get there but could not make it in time. Tina’s third child, Zoey, was born at 28 weeks of age, weighing 3 pounds, 2 ounces. She was breathing and not as critical as her older sister Fayth had been. Zoey was doing so well they moved her downstairs to make room for more critical babies. “We decided at that point we did not want to ever put another baby through NICU,” Tina Falcon said. “Even though both of our [premature] girls did great – they came out perfect, they didn’t come out with any problems, no disabilities – it’s still hard. It’s hard on everybody. It puts a lot of strain on the family.” However, after a year and a half, Tina was pregnant again – with twins. According to the March of Dimes, the risk of pregnancy complications increases for women expecting multiples. Approximately 60 percent of twins are born premature.
“Of course, when you’re carrying multiples and have a history, it’s almost expected to come early,” Tina Falcon said. “So, we were already prepared this time. We had already been through the NICU twice, and we knew we were going to go one more round.” Her doctors wanted to extend the pregnancy as long as possible, so Tina was sent to a specialist in Oklahoma City. Dr. Charles Mirabile of Mercy Hospital put Tina on a weekly injection of artificial surfactant. According to Lacy, the surfactant increases lung development while babies are in the womb. “If their lungs are more developed it doesn’t matter how much they weigh,” Lacy said. “They are more likely to survive outside the womb.” Twin boys, Benjamin and Christian, arrived after 28 weeks, weighing 3 pounds 5 ounces and 3 pounds 6 ounces, respectively. “We are very blessed,” Tina said. “A lot of parents that come out of the NICU with babies, especially as critical as our first at 23 weeks, come home with disabled children.” According to the CDC, babies born prematurely may face lifelong challenges like cerebral palsy; intellectual disabilities; hearing loss; and breathing, visual, and digestive problems. “We are so extremely blessed because we have five healthy children, five normal children,” Tina Falcon said. “Everything that was an issue was continued on the next page • 11
resolved at the time they were released from the NICU.” Just last month, the twins, age 5, started kindergarten. Zoey, Alyson and Fayth are ages 7, 10 and 15, respectively. Tina and her family owe a big thanks to the support and research the March of Dimes does for families, she says. According to March of Dimes, one in eight babies is born prematurely. March of Dimes works to reduce this statistic, with their mission to “help moms have full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threaten the health of babies.” A partnership between March of Dimes and six national health organizations is urging doctors not to perform elective delivery before 39 weeks. “In Oklahoma, 87 cents of every dollar we raise goes back into our mission,” Lacy said. “I am proud of our reinvestment rate.” All four of Tina’s premature children received lung surfactant – a March of Dimes research discovery. “Even though they did not, one on one, come up and help us, they did help us because of all the research and programs they’ve done through March of Dimes,” Tina said. This year the Falcon family was nominated to serve as the Oklahoma March of Dimes Ambassador family for Pottawatomie County. When contacted they immediately said yes. As the ambassador family, their
12 • Oklahoma Pork Council
responsibility was to put together a team to volunteer at the Walk for Babies fundraiser Oct. 6, 2013, in Shawnee, Okla. Sixteen members made up Team Falcon. Each member collected donations in preparation for Walk for Babies. Tina Falcon said her family’s goal as the ambassador family is to create awareness for March of Dimes. Telling their story helps them inform others of the March of Dimes’ impact. “The Falcons are very active in raising money for March of Dimes because they were personally touched,” said Kristin Alsup, Oklahoma Pork Council communications specialist. Tina Falcon’s involvement in the Oklahoma Pork Council has enabled her to tie her two interests together. With five kids, two hog farms, and
responsibilities at both the Oklahoma Pork Council and March of Dimes, Tina Falcon has a lot on her plate. Yet her sincere smile and contagious laugh lends no notion of a frantic life. Tina Falcon said one day she hopes to volunteer and advise families in the NICU. “You just have all of these questions,” Tina Falcon said. “The doctors are busy, and the nurses are busy. It’s hard to just sometimes sit down and counsel with somebody.” “She is one of the most amazing women I have ever met,” Alsup said, “She is active in all of her children’s lives, and she is always willing to give of herself to help with whatever she is involved with.” •
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Friday, February 28, 2014 Reed Center • Midwest City, Okla. Tentative Agenda 9 am Registration 10 am Update on national issues and programs with NPPC and NPB 11:15 am Morning Speaker – to be announced Noon Luncheon 1:30 pm okPORK update with Roy Lee Lindsey 2:15 pm Legislative Update with McSpadden & Associates 3 pm okPORK annual business meeting 4 pm Keynote Speaker – to be announced 5 pm Reception and Silent Auction 6 pm okPORK Awards Banquet 8 pm Live Auction
14 • Oklahoma Pork Council
okPORK needs you to help us find auction items okPORK will holds its annual silent and live auctions each year during Pork Congress. The auctions raise non-Checkoff funds for okPORK. The funds help us support legislators and fund activities that are outside the Pork Checkoff scope of work. The more money raised during the auctions – the more impact okPORK can have in our state. Examples of past auction items: • Hunting trips and supplies • OSU and OU sports memorabilia • Tickets to local events • Restaurant gift cards • Home decor and crafts • Farm supplies In our continued effort to improve the auction, we would like to hear from you! We want to know what items you would be interested in purchasing. If you have items to donate or a suggestion of an item that would sell well, contact Roy Lee Lindsey, email@example.com or 405-232-3781. •
New okPORK Board Members Needed At the okPORK Annual Meeting, the membership of okPORK will elect three members to the okPORK Board of Directors. The east district seat that is open is held by Tina Falcon. Falcon is eligible for re-election. The open at-large district seat is held by Darren Kraus who is not eligible for re-election. The open west district seat is held by David McMullen and he is eligible for reelection. The west district is composed of counties west of I-35 and includes those which contain I-35. The east district includes all counties east of I-35. Any paid okPORK member in Oklahoma can
run for and vote for the atlarge board members. If you are interested in running for the board of directors, please submit a photo and bio to okPORK before February 1, 2014. We will publish your bio for the Pork Congress participants to review before the election. We will also take nominations from the floor during the meeting and candidates will have the opportunity to address the okPORK membership prior to the election. •
Show off your products
If you are interested in getting your message or product in front of Oklahoma pork producers, Pork Congress is a perfect opportunity. okPORK is offering sponsorships of the educational program, luncheon, banquet and program printing. As a Pork Congress sponsor, you will be recognized in the printed Pork Congress program, in okPORK PAGES and on www. okpork.org. If you are interested in a sponsorship, contact Mark McGinnis, 405-232-3781 or firstname.lastname@example.org. • • 15
WORKING HARD to Promote Pork story and photos by Kristin Alsup
he current generation of almost adults has been called by many “the laziest generation ever.” They have been dubbed narcissistic, impatient and coddled. Older generations have been heard to marvel at “what the world is coming to” and seen lamenting over the loss of respect. However, it is often easy to see a younger generation dedicated to teaching others about the benefits our world receives from agriculture. On November 8, the FFA students at Pauls Valley High School seized the opportunity to create a buzz around the pork industry at their last home football game. Using the money they received from okPORK’s Food For America grant program – they took their plan and set it in motion. The plan was to bring the Food for America program – a program designed by the National FFA Organization to inspire FFA chapters to teach the younger students and communities about the agricultural industry and its benefits – to life in Pauls Valley. The FFA students and their agriculture education instructor Scott Stevens began the process by reaching out to the community and asking for teams to join something brand new called the Grillmaster contest. However the cooking contest was only one part of the program – the part that helped get the community involved. The contest invited teams from the community to come and smoke ribs all day before the last home football game of the season. Before the game five teams - John Tobey; Max Runyon and Rick Campbell; Micheal Mullen and Ricky Wilkerson; James Walk and the 16 • Oklahoma Pork Council
Hines Family – spent the day smoking 27 donated slabs of ribs. “I read about it in the Pauls Valley Democrat and the kids were asking for any and all cookers to join the contest so I decided I’d try it,” said James Walk, a local resident. “It’s my first time cooking for anything other than family events and I had a great time.” Once cooked, the ribs were delivered to a team of four tasters who judged which set of ribs would win the contest. The judges were also members of the community who were happy to get involved with the students. “I like to be involved in the community and I like to help Mr. Stevens whenever I am called upon,” Tim Tate, one barbecue judge said. “I enjoyed this because it’s a great way to come together and fellowship and educate the people about pork.” The FFA Booster club was involved in the program as well. In addition to their usual concession duties – where they sell pulled pork sandwich dinners – they passed out the ribs from the competition and pork recipes, as well as okPORK pens. “My daughter is involved in FFA and I am here to support the booster club,” Connie Upton said. “We are just a tight-knit group and events like this help bring everyone together. Plus this event is part of what we do in agriculture. Most of these kids raise pigs themselves so it helps to show the end result.” In addition to the Grillmaster competition the Pauls Valley FFA students also visited the third grade classes in the local community and talked to them about the contribution that pork makes in our communities.
To make it fun for the children they held a coloring contest where all of the coloring sheets were pictures of pigs. The winners will be included on every other month of a calendar which will be handed out to members of the community. The months not featuring one of the coloring contest winners will feature delicious pork recipes. The winner of the Grillmaster contest, John Tobey, and the winners of the coloring contest, Mackenna Clemens, Tanner Perry, Logan Nelson and Ximena Sanchez, were announced and presented with their prizes during half-time of the football game. The idea for getting involved with the Food for America program began for the Pauls Valley FFA students during their trip last year to the National FFA Convention. “We saw a video at National convention and it showed how some people had no idea where their food came from,” Nicole Stevens a Pauls Valley FFA student said. “Some thought dairy cows could produce 5,000 gallons of milk each day, while others believed that cows produced bacon.” So they planned to get their community involved with an event to help them understand more about the agriculture industry. With the help from okPORK’s grant program, among others, they did just that. While many may consider the next generation of adults to be coddled, lazy narcissists the Pauls Valley FFA students prove that is not always true. They took on a problem they saw in society and showed the initiative to make a change for the better. •
13 FFA Chapters Receive Grants
Each fall okPORK offers a grant to the state’s FFA chapters to assist with their Food for America projects if they feature pork. This year the office received more applications than ever before. The decision for who receives the money is based solely on the application and the program outlined within it. From the abundance of applications – 13 programs received grants: Bethel FFA, Broken Arrow FFA, Fairland FFA, Fairview FFA, Lindsay FFA, Minco FFA, Moore FFA, Mustang FFA, Paden FFA, Pauls Valley FFA, Tipton FFA, and Weleetka FFA. According to the national FFA organization’s website “Food For America is an educational program focusing on agricultural literacy in elementary schools and communities. It is a program developed to assist FFA members and all agricultural education students in leadership skill development as they reach out to youth, peers and their entire communities by sharing the world of agriculture.”•
State Fair Round-Up Show results Congratulations to Jayme McMasters from the Depew FFA chapter for taking home the honor of Grand Champion Market Barrow with her crossbred at both the Oklahoma and Tulsa State Fairs. PQA+ winners Also during the Tulsa fair okPORK took the time to reward swine showmen who made the commitment to become Youth PQA+ certified. Two lucky exhibitors were picked from among the entire pool of certified swine exhibitors to win an iPad. They were beyond excited to be selected and were both looking forward to using the tablet this fall during their travels. In addition to the exhibitors, okPORK decided to give a big “thankyou” to the advisors who help their students get the PQA+ certification class
completed. Christy Jennings of Crescent and Jeffery Evans of Dibble each received a gift card for $500 for their dedication to seeing their students are able to complete the PQA+ certification. Pork Chop Shop The okPORK staff once again thanks everyone who came by and supported the Pork Chop Shop while it was open at both the Oklahoma State Fair and the Tulsa State Fair. The booth ran extremely smoothly for the duration of both fairs. Not only does the Pork Chop Shop raise much needed non-Pork Checkoff funds for okPORK, but it also provides a way for okPORK to interact with the consumers all across the state. Thank you for your time both as a volunteer and also as a customer. okPORK could not carry off an operation this size without your help and support. •
Ag in the Classroom grants Teachers across the state are invited each semester to not only participate in the Ag in the Classroom program, but also to apply for a grant provided by the Oklahoma Pork Council. Each grant awarded is up to $300 and awarded based on the merit of the projects outlined in the grant’s application.
18 • Oklahoma Pork Council
This year okPORK awarded grants to: Jeannette Behne, Stratford Elementary; Christy Briscoe, Stratford Elementary; Shannon Comer, Sangre Ridge Elementary School, Stillwater, Okla.; Kim Cox, Bill Wallace Ec Center, Chickasha, Okla.; Joyce Hembree, Mark Twain Elementary, Tulsa, Okla.; Janet Howard, Friend School, Chickasha, Okla.; Debi Merkey, Cordell Elementary; Shannon Mitchell, Hoover Elementary School, Tulsa, Okla.; Liz Mosier, Cleveland Primary Elementary School; Stacy McFarland, Greenwood Elementary School, Tahlequah, Okla.; Danina Mullin, Keystone Public Schools, Sand
Springs, Okla.; Kim Nault, Canton Elementary; Lori Newmark/ Jennifer Golden, Oakridge Elementary School, Moore, Okla; Kimberly Pearson, Gore Upper Elementary School; Lisa Storm, Kingfisher Heritage School; Connie Tebow, Deer Creek Lamont Elementary; and Amanda Whiteley, Zion Schools, Stillwell, Okla. The teachers are always ecstatic to see Outreach Specialist Mark McGinnis show up at their classroom door to deliver the grant checks. Many explain to him they would be unable to do many of the programs without the help of the grant checks. “Also, their curriculum is really lacking in science,” Janet Howard, grant recipient from Chickasha, said. “Using the ag in the Classroom ideas and introducing agriculture to them, science blossoms into an important part of the curriculum.” •
NON-PROFIT U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit No. 8 OKLA. CITY, OK
901 N. Lincoln Blvd., Suite 380 Oklahoma City, OK 73104-3206
Company’s Coming Pork Roast
Prep: 15 minutes |Cook: 1 hour
2-3 pound boneless pork roast Glaze: 1/2 cup honey mustard 3 tablespoons horseradish 2 tablespoons brown sugar Garnish: 2 16-oz cans peach halves, drained 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 2 tablespoons butter
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place roast in shallow roasting pan and roast for 45-60 minutes. Meanwhile, in small bowl mix together Glaze ingredients. Spread Glaze over roast the last 20 minutes, continue roasting until internal temperature on a thermometer reads 145 degrees F. Remove roast from oven; let rest about 10 minutes. Place peach halves in shallow baking dish, cut side up. Sprinkle peaches with combined 2 tablespoons brown sugar and cinnamon; dot with butter. Slice roast and serve surrounded by peaches. While pork is resting, place peaches in oven for 15 minutes to heat through. Serves 8-12