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okPORK PAGES official magazine of the Oklahoma Pork Council |

Volume 18 | Issue 4 | Winter 2014

Meet Chris P. Bacon



One Big Pig All For One Great Cause

Weighing in at 9,000 pounds and standing 9-foot tall, Chris P. Bacon wowed shoppers at Penn Square Mall in mid-October. Find out how he came to life.


The Journey Begins

Kristin Alsup began her tenure as part of Class XVII of the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program. She recaps her first two sessions for you.


Bacon: America’s Sweetheart Downtown OKC was awash in the aroma of bacon during the city’s second annual 6 Degrees of Bacon festival. okPORK was a sponsor, of course.


Oklahoma Pork Congress The date is set and we hope you’ll join is for the 2015 Oklahoma Pork Congress. There’s a great new location and a keynote speaker already lined up. All the details are inside.


A Tale of Two Fairs Updates to the Oklahoma State Fair Pork Chop Shop and a new product offering at the Tulsa State Fair made this fair season extra exciting for okPORK and fair-goers. 2 • Oklahoma Pork Council

Winter 2014

Winter 2014 Volume 18 • Issue 4 BOARD OF DIRECTORS OFFICERS President | Dottie King, Calvin President Elect | Keith Reiner, Enid Vice President | Tina Falcon, Tecumseh Treasurer | Darren Appleton, Enid BOARD MEMBERS Bert Luthi, Sharon Phil Olipahnt, El Reno Cathy Vaughan, Rosston Chris Wallis, Allen Robbie Woods, Enid EX OFFICIO Dr. Scott Carter, Stillwater Wathina Luthi, Gage Brett Ramsey, Jones

November 21, 2014 | Gaillardia Country Club 5 Courses & 5 Bourbons | Tickets $100 | 405.232.3781

STAFF Executive Director Roy Lee Lindsey, Jr. • Office Manager Donna Jackson • Communications Specialist Kristin Alsup •

Balsamic Rosemary Pork Loin With Roasted Potatoes Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hour Servings: 8 - 10

Ingredients 2 1/2 pound New York (top loin) pork roast, boneless 1 1/2 cups fresh rosemary 12 cloves garlic 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons black pepper 2 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges

Cooking Directions Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a food processor, combine rosemary leaves, garlic, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper and pulse to make a coarse, wet paste, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Spread 3/4 of paste on all sides of roast. Place roast, fat side up, in shallow roasting pan large enough to hold roast with 3 inches room around all sides. Roast 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine potatoes and remaining paste.

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 ON THE COVER Meet Chris P. Bacon, a giant pig made totally out of cans. He spent a week at Penn Square Mall and then was donated to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma during Hunger Prevention Month. Photo by Jack Frank 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 Writer Kristin Alsup Designer Nikki Snider Editor Donna Jackson

Reduce oven to 350 degrees F. Add potato mixture to pan, arranging potatoes around roast. Continue roasting 40-45 minutes, tossing potatoes halfway through, or until internal temperature of roast reaches 145 degrees F and potatoes are tender. (If roast is done before potatoes, transfer it to a cutting board and return roasting pan with potatoes to oven.) Remove roast from oven and let rest 10 minutes. Slice roast and arrange on platter. Surround with potatoes and serve.

Stay Connected : search okpork •3


Remembering a dear friend Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. – Marcel Proust I don’t know where to start with this column. Rarely am I at a loss for words, but this has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever tried to write. It’s been more than a month and I’m still struggling to organize my thoughts in some coherent manner. In September I lost a friend. Oklahoma’s pork industry lost a friend and a true champion. I first met Bart McSpadden in December 1998 just after I started at the Oklahoma Pork Council. Our weekly conference calls about what was happening at the legislature were a Monday morning staple at some unreasonably early time. On an almost weekly basis, Bart would joke about his desire to start representing the night club owners because he was sure they wouldn’t have a conference call at 7 a.m. on Mondays. And it made me smile every time I heard it because I felt exactly the same way. For the past 16 years, I had the pleasure and honor to work with Bart. In 2013, the Oklahoma Pork Council honored him with our distinguished service award. There is no questioning the impact Bart had on our industry 4 • Oklahoma Pork Council

and on our success at the state Capitol. One of the most frustrating times in his professional life was the 1998 legislative session when the pork industry was slapped with some of the most onerous rules and regulations in the country. Every day Bart was at the Capitol after the end of the 1998 session, he was looking for ways to address the most onerous of those rules. Our Pork 2007 legislative agenda was Bart’s idea and he helped us change statutes that no one really believed we would be able to change. Included in those changes was an elimination of the setbacks for

you have to offer. While I have many, many memories of Bart in a professional setting, the strongest memories I have are personal. In 2007, okPORK moved our offices and had extra space. McSpadden & Associates was looking for a new office and they moved in with us. That was a great opportunity for me to get to know Bart even better. We would see each other regularly and it gave us a chance to spend more time talking about friends and family. It gave me a chance to learn about the man Bart was. It was always a joy to just sit and share stories with

Anyone who raises hogs in Oklahoma owes a debt of gratitude to Bart for his tireless efforts on behalf of our industry. our farms that prevented farms from obtaining water permits. We followed that with a major revision to the license hearing process. Anyone who raises hogs in Oklahoma owes a debt of gratitude to Bart for his tireless efforts on behalf of our industry. But even more than working with Bart on okPORK issues, Bart helped teach me how to be successful at the Capitol. Bart and his father, Clem, taught me the importance of honor and integrity in a business where that is all

Bart about what his kids were up to and how my experiences with one child was sometimes very similar and sometimes very different than Bart’s with his four children. One thing evident in every conversation was how much Bart loved his family. For the past two years, we had our annual Board planning session in Tulsa. Both years, Bart attended our discussion but skipped out on our group dinner so he could run up to Chelsea to have dinner with his mother. When I

You Are Missed

Bart McSpadden Friend and champion of the pork industry

suggested he could invite his mother to join us, he told me it was important to him to go see his mother and share some quality time with her. I still remember like it was yesterday the day Bart called to tell me his father had passed away. “We lost dad last night,” was all he could say and it was all he needed to share. Bart gave the eulogy at his dad’s memorial and shared stories many of us in attendance had never heard. These were personal stories about growing up and traveling together and the love of family. Bart shared that same love of family with Kate, Noah, Chloe, Tucker, and Luke. One of the last real conversations I had with Bart was about Noah learning to play golf and since Bart didn’t play,

he wanted some advice on buying clubs. Nothing was too good for his kids or Kate. When I started learning about wines, Bart and I would have long discussions about what wines he and Kate liked and what wine clubs we belonged to. My wife is committed to her flowers and the landscape around our house. Bart was an avid gardener and they loved to sit and discuss what each was planting and did either have any suggestions on how to address what weed or bug challenge they had in the flowerbeds. For several years, we had ceramic “yard pigs” or pig planters donated to the okPORK auction. It almost always became a friendly bidding competition between Bart and

Melissa to see who would win the pig. Bart was that charming gardener that made all those around him blossom. As I sat at Bart’s memorial service, I was reminded of the words from his father’s famous Cowboy’s Prayer: So, when we make that last ride, that we know is inevitable, to the country up there – where the grass is green and lush and stirrup high and the water runs crystal clear and deep, You will tell us, as we enter that Arena, our entry fees are paid. I’m sure on that day, Bart was met at the Arena by his father and was told “your entry fees are paid.” • •5

It’s Time To Be Social! by Krisitn Alsup


hat was the first thing you used your phone for this morning? Did you shut off your alarm and look at your email? Did you pop open Facebook to see what was happening? Did you make a call? If your answer matches the second item on the list you are not alone. According to a study performed by the Pew Internet Research Study, 74 percent of internet users participate in social media activities. Research also shows Millennials – those born between 1981 and 1996 – will be lifelong social media contributors. These facts help to explain okPORK’s decision to work with different social media platforms to talk with people. It is a simple fact that if you talk to someone in a language they understand you are more likely to get your point across. Social media is a perfect way to branch out, create a community and be more transparent with the consumer audience okPORK needs to reach. okPORK is currently active in six social media platforms. While you may be engaged with okPORK on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, there are other, newer platforms on which okPORK is building an audience. Each social platform –

Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest – has a slightly different audience and loyalty. Walt Disney said, “Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.” Instagram took his meaning to heart by creating a platform where users share photos with their followers and friends with only a short caption. It is ranked among the top 10 social media platforms across several different studies. Time and time again studies show posts with graphics reach more people so why not use a platform which is always pictures? okPORK decided to get involved and share pictures during the fair and Youth Leadership Camp. As time goes forward, more events will be shared through the Instagram account so follow okpork there. While Google+ is not the most widely used social media platform, those who do use it are very loyal. Reaching the audience there is important to okPORK. Beyond the audience, Google uses its Google+ accounts to rank topics in searches – so a more active Google+ account helps okPORK to show up more often in related searches. When you hear a friend discussing how more people should use Google+,

Talk to us! We are okPORK on all social media chanels.

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tell them okPORK has an account and would be more than pleased to interact. Pinterest is one of the newest social media platform on okPORK’s list and continues to grow all of the time. Users are given “boards” in which to “pin” posts to. The posts can be anything – recipes, ideas for decorations, workout routines, cars, a funny picture and gift ideas – and usually contain a picture, a link and a comment. As more people begin to share their ideas with their friends and family – this platform continues to grow and okPORK wants to share in the growth of this community. Find the okPORK on Pinterest to see recipe ideas for all occasions, fun with bacon and pig related crafts. As audiences split and find niche ways to communicate, okPORK will continue to find the best ways to interact. We hope you will chose to not only interact with okPORK but also with the consumer audiences. Find a platform that fits your style and share about pork, farming or your family. It will open doors no one knew existed. The author Greg Mortenson said, “When you take the time to actually listen, with humility, to what people have to say, it’s amazing what you learn.” •

NEWS YOU CAN USE Renew Your Membership Early and Save

As you know, the okPORK board of directors approved a new membership dues schedule at the June 20, 2012 board meeting. Increasing the membership dues was thoroughly discussed at the meeting, including the fact that dues had not increased at that time since 2003. The Bylaws gives the Board of Directors the authority to increase dues by a maximum of 100 percent at any time up to a maximum of $100. The 2015 producer and friend dues will be $75 and for 2017 the dues will be $100. However, if dues are paid prior to January 1, 2015, the dues will be at the 2014 rate of $50. This reduction rate will also be available for

2017. Renewal notices will be mailed at the end of November, after the Thanksgiving holiday. Or you can print the membership form on page 19 and return it with your dues. With your membership you get subscriptions to the okPORK publications including E-Pork Partner, Pork Partner and Pork Pages. You also will have representation at the Oklahoma State Capitol and be invited to attend the Oklahoma Pork Congress and Annual Meeting. These are not the only things you receive, but become a member and discover the benefits. There are three kinds of membership opportunities:

Producer: Individuals, partnerships, corporations or firms that are actively engaged in the production of swine in Oklahoma Friend: Extension educators, agriculture education instructors, local businessmen and businesswomen, others supporting OPC and Oklahoma’s pork industry. Associate: Feed companies, veterinary suppliers, pork product manufacturers, etc. Choose which one is right for you and make your decision final before dues increase on January 1. •

Welcome Back Lloyd Hawkins The Oklahoma Pork Council is pleased to announce the hiring of Lloyd Hawkins as Events and Outreach specialist. Hawkins will start at okPORK on January 1, 2015. “Many of the responsibilities and expectations we have today of our Events and Outreach specialist were established when Lloyd held that position,” said Roy Lee Lindsey, okPORK executive director. “With his previous experience at okPORK and his recent experience working in the Pork Chop Shop at the Oklahoma and Tulsa State Fairs, Lloyd was uniquely qualified and I am very excited to welcome him back to okPORK. Lloyd has always worked well with our members and I know they will be thrilled to welcome him back to our team.” Hawkins first worked at okPORK from 2006 to 2009. He was the first person to hold the community outreach position. •

Warm Holiday Ham Crescents Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Servings: 8 Ingredients 1/2 pound brown-sugar fully-cooked ham, shaved 1 8 oz-can crescent dinner rolls, refrigerated 4 slices mozzarella cheese, OR Swiss, cut diagonally 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, OR salad dressing 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

Divide ham among the 8 dough/cheese triangles. Beginning at widest end, roll up to form a crescent. Place on baking sheet that has been coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375 degrees F for 13 to 15 minutes.

Cooking Directions Separate package of crescent rolls into triangles; place on waxed paper. Place cheese triangle over each dough triangle.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together mayonnaise and mustard; serve with Ham Crescents.


by Justine Reeves-Barth As a Washington transplant to Oklahoma, I have always been impressed with Oklahoma’s show hog industry. After graduating from Oklahoma State University I accepted the internship and began working for the Oklahoma Pork Council. I quickly learned Oklahoma’s hog industry, as a whole, is progressive, strong and proud. The first couple of weeks I learned about the Oklahoma pork industry and how the office runs. Everywhere I went and everything I did were new experiences for me. World Pork Expo was a great place for me to start my journey. During my time there I was able to learn from the National Pork Board. What impressed me the most was the diversity and number of careers the National Pork Board offers. During the Expo anyone could get their PQA Plus certification and I was certified. The interns and ambassadors helped coordinate the youth training for PQA Plus certification. My part of the training focused on how to read a medicine label. It was great getting to know other interns from around the United States and hear what the hot topics are in their states. It was not all work though, National Pork Broad employees took us out for bowling and good food. Later in the week I was able to attend additional mini seminars, watch various market classes, and walk around the Expo. The people at the World Pork Expo were very kind. I look forward to going back in the future. I was happy I was able to learn more about the pork industry because the next event I had was Youth Leadership Camp. I had been preparing for this event since the first day I started with okPORK. The entire week left me feeling

8 • Oklahoma Pork Council

blessed to be on the trip. I was learning right along with the students and the advisers on the trip. My favorite part of the trip was being able to tour the Seaboard Foods processing plant in Guymon. The guides did such a great job of explaining everything and making us feel safe. Learning about how Temple Grandin had helped with the design of the facility was especially interesting. Overall it was a great experience traveling across Oklahoma seeing different steps of the pork industry. Along the way we were able to meet the people who work everyday in the pork industry. I would like to thank all the individuals who help make this program better every year. An impressive sight was swine field days at Oklahoma State University. The sheer number of students who came out to judge was amazing. After the event, the day continued with the okPORK speech contest. I have always believed it is important for all students to be able to speak in public. I participated in speech contests and did additional speeches during my time as a Washington state FFA officer. I was very impressed with all the speeches and can see the youth of Oklahoma’s pork industry being able to stay strong because of these abilities. After learning about the Canstruction project that okPORK would be facilitating I headed to Stillwater to spread the word. My first stop was to the Oklahoma FFA state office. Each teacher received a packet of information about how to get involved with this project, which helped the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. My second stop was the 4-H

Round Up where I got to talk with educators from different counties. okPORK sponsored the meal for the evening. I took part in eating the pulled pork sandwiches and all the fixins’. It was a great evening talking about the upcoming event and I am always impressed with the enthusiasm from both 4-H and FFA members. I had never been on a golf course before the okPORK golf tournament. This event was full of terms I did not understand or even heard before. Even though it rained a little, it seemed like all the golfers enjoyed golfing and their pulled pork sandwiches. Good food is something to be expected at any okPORK event, and the Taste of Elegance was no different. Before opening the doors to ticket buyers I was able to watch the behind the scenes action of the contest. Each chef prepared a dish for a group of judges. I have never seen a high stressed situation with food. I was even nervous for the chefs. After the judging was finished all attendees were able to walk around and taste small versions of the dishes created. It was a very fun night and filled with amazing food. I would like to thank okPORK for being so open and warm to me for the short time I was there. The experiences I had have truly inspired me to continue working in the industry. When given a project I was trusted to finish the project on my own, which gave me great pride. I am very proud of the work I was able to accomplish and will miss all the people who I met as a part of the industry in Oklahoma. To all the office staff, you are all hard working people making a difference every day. •


Story by Kristin Alsup Photos by Jack Frank


One BIG Pig  One GREAT Cause

10 • Oklahoma Pork Council


he actor Jeff Bridges once said, “Public charities, food banks and church pantries are doing more than ever before, but they can’t keep up with the need. We can never end hunger only through the wonderful work of local charities.”

As people involved daily in agriculture, a day’s work aids in providing food for those who need it. As an organization, okPORK stands on the ethical principle of giving back to our communities. When these two things combine, the naturally expected outcome is charity in the form of food. Each year okPORK searches for opportunities to partner with others to provide food to the food banks in Oklahoma as part of Governor Fallin’s “Feeding Oklahoma Food Drive.” The food drive is a state-wide food and fund drive with a goal of raising 2 million meals to help feed hungry families, children, and seniors. This year okPORK chose a new kind of project, an idea born after learning about an event completed by the Nebraska Pork Producers Association. okPORK learned about a company who designs and helps build structures out of canned food and the company had completed a giant pig during the Nebraska State Fair. Where to start? Alone, the project would be too much to handle, therefore the okPORK staff and Board of Directors began brainstorming ideas to share the weight of it. The first question is how to collect the number of cans needed to complete the pig. Once the cans are collected, how

many people are needed to build the pig, what location has enough space to build a giant pig and how do we move all of the materials needed to build it? When deciding where to build a giant pig the biggest issues to deal with are space and protection. Locations were discussed and discarded along the way before the decision was made to build the pig in Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City. “We were looking for a place that was really visible,” Executive Director Roy Lee Lindsey said. “We wanted to draw attention to the needs of the hungry in Oklahoma and wanted a high traffic location. We considered the two state fairs, but that was a commitment of time and resources we couldn’t meet. Penn Square offered us a great location, tremendous visibility, and a good working partnership to highlight hunger in Oklahoma.” Then to generate interest, the decision was made to host three separate can collection contests – one each for FFA chapters, for 4-H groups and for pork producers. The contests were simple and straightforward. In each contest the group collecting the most cans would win the contest. For the pork producers the first prize was 10 $25 gift cards. The decision was made to award a first and second prize to the 4-H and FFA groups.

In each contest the first prize winner receives a banquet style meal provided by okPORK and the second prize winner receives 50 pork burgers. Each of the groups was given specific types of cans to collect, which when all put together would assist in making a giant pig come to life. McCloud, Elmore City-Pernelle, Calera, Cimarron, Mustang and Geronimo FFA chapters all signed agreements to participate. The 4-H groups were excited too and Leflore County, Garvin County, Grant County, Blaine County, Garfield County, Major County and Oklahoma County also jumped on board. Several pork producing groups joined their contest including the Tyson Pork Group, Roberts Ranch of Oklahoma, The Maschhoffs, Murphy-Brown, Seaboard Foods and PIC. The contests ran from August 1 through September 15. During the same time frame a social media contest ran to help find a name for the giant pig. When the social media contest concluded the name Chris P. Bacon rose to the top of the list and the giant pig finally had a handle by which to go. When the blood, sweat and tears of collecting the cans came to an end and the crying which often accompanies doing math finished, the

continued on next page

What’s in a name? Who decided that a giant pig constructed in the middle of a mall should have the name Chris P. Bacon? Well, for those of you who didn’t see the Facebook and Twitter contest, there was a contest which lasted for approximately two weeks. Fans and friends were asked to share their ideas for names. When the time was up – a panel of social media marketers picked the top names and voted on their favorite. Chris P. Bacon was the clear winner. However some of the others were fun too! You can peep a few of the ‘honorable mentions’ in the list below. Snoop Piggy Pig | Okie Porky | Aporkalypse | Oliver | Hamlet | Okie Hamhock Chumley | Pigzilla | HamHawk | Hamilton | Notorious PIG | Hammie | Wilbur Hog Kong | Buster | New pig on the block | Pork Chop | Magnum P.I.G. Chris P. Bacon | Sir Pigalot | OkiePig | BaCANator | Einswinecan | Tin Man • 11

contests collected a little more than 5,600 cans. The entire project requires approximately 10,000 cans – so the contests raised more than half of the cans needed. Wheeler’s Meat Market in Oklahoma City agreed to partner with okPORK and help provide assistance with the remaining cans. Murphy-Brown took home the top prize in the pork producers’ contest while the top spot in the 4-H and FFA contests were Leflore County and McCloud respectively. Chris P. Bacon comes to life At 5 p.m. on October 13 a group of people begin to assemble in the seating area between two escalators on the ground floor in front of Macy’s department store in Penn Square Mall. Starting precisely at 6 p.m. the supplies started rolling into the mall and the building crew was in place. Starting at 6 p.m. to build a giant pig out of canned food and finishing before the mall opens is a daunting task. The task never would have been accomplished without the help of the volunteers. There were volunteers from a variety of places including MurphyBrown, the Governor’s office and even Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese. The volunteers patiently waited for instructions and leaped at the chance

to be a part of the build. After 11 hours of climbing ladders, hauling cases of cans around and carefully stacking, Chris P. Bacon was no longer an idea, but had become reality. He stood approximately nine feet tall and weighed close to 9,000 pounds. Monday morning when the mall opened, people were able to catch a glimpse of Chris P. Bacon for the first time. Armed with information about pork farming in Oklahoma, the food drive, okPORK’s social media and email contests, volunteers began to interact with mall-goers. The list of volunteers included members of the Oklahoma State University Swine Club, pork producers, friends, National Pork Board staff, okPORK staff and Board of Directors members. Each volunteer had a story about the time they spent interacting with the mall patrons. Rob Christine of the National Pork Board spent time talking to a lady who walked the mall for exercise in the morning. During his discussion about hunger and pork he explained about a contest okPORK hosted where she would be entered into a drawing to win a Bacon Nation cook book in exchange for signing up for the Pork Fan Confidential newsletter. Her answer was simple, “It looks lovely – but I don’t need it. I gave up

cooking years ago.” Chris was exciting for children too. Chris’ temporary home being located near the Lego Store brought many children to meet him. One boy looked up at the structure and exclaimed, “Those are some BIG Legos!” The greatest part of Chris P. Bacon spending a week in Penn Square Mall was the topics he could raise. Beyond learning about pork farmers in Oklahoma, people learned not only about hunger in Oklahoma but also about the path to providing assistance to the hungry. “I think this was a great way to bring agriculture awareness to a group of people who aren’t familiar with agriculture on a daily basis,” Secretary Reese said. One week after his completion it was time for Chris P. Bacon to leave the mall and continue his journey to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Every can would be sent to a hungry Oklahoman and agriculture was represented in the state-wide food drive. “Having a large pig named, Chris P. Bacon, made from almost 10,000 cans of food gave an excellent illustration of the support and compassion pig farmers in Oklahoma have for providing food for those in need,” said Wathina Luthi, pork producer from Fargo, Okla.•

See Chris Come to Life Through the power of technology you can see how Chris P. Bacon was built. An 11 hour process is captured via time-lapse video and condensed into a one minute. Check it out on okPORK’s YouTube Page.

12 • Oklahoma Pork Council


You can’t listen to a pop radio station at the moment without hearing “But first, let me take a selfie!” A contest was created with the idea of the song in mind. Why not ask people to take a picture with Chris P. Bacon and share it on Facebook and Twitter? The top 10 photos were posted the Monday after the structure was dismantled and taken to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. okPORK’s friends on social media were asked to like their favorite of the top 10 and the photo with the most likes on Wednesday evening would win the prize. What was the prize? Of course bacon was the prize. The subjects of the winning photo became a member of the Baconof-the-Month club for six months. The engagement on social media boosted our pages, shared the news about okPORK and the food drive farther than okPORK could alone and four high school girls are sharing bacon each month. What a contest! • 13

The Journey Begins stories and photos by Kristin Alsup

Thoughts on my Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program experience so far


have been on pins and needles patiently waiting to have the opportunity to share my experiences during OALP. For those of you who are unfamiliar with OALP, it is the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program and a few months ago I was chosen to be a part of Class XVII. The process of waiting for the first seminar was slightly maddening. Each new story from the alumni I met would unearth a new piece to be excited or nervous about – sometimes both at the same time. This train onto which I jumped began to build steam with my acceptance and really got moving as I joined the rest of my class for the first time on August 20, in Stillwater, Okla. Looking through the agenda can’t even begin to scratch the surface of how the experience felt. I met 23 people I knew I would spend at least 55 days with during the next few months. Between knowing I would speak first during the “Who I Am” speeches and having professional photos taken in front of these people, it could be said I was not at my most confident. However – I seemed to catch my stride during several rounds of ice breakers – and wouldn’t you know it before long whichever group l sat with would be laughing. It wasn’t long before I could sense more about personalities and begin to look forward to how each of these individuals could help me expand my understanding of Oklahoma, agriculture and the world in which I live. Day two saw me take my first turn as chair person and also held the

14 • Oklahoma Pork Council

single event about which I was the most nervous – the Challenge Course at Redlands. All 24 of us looked stupid, said something silly, sweat, faced fear and left dirty. Climbing telephone poles onto tiny platforms 60 feet in the air, which sway with the breeze may not be a favorite occurrence for me – but afterward there was no awkwardness among MY class. In those few hours and a trip down the zip line we had become a group. When day three dawned the soreness and the discomfort from the Challenge Course was palpable in the conference room. Each shift in a seat brought forth a groan or a sigh. It was also a day packed with brain exercise. Goals were made and accountability partners were chosen to aid in achieving those goals. Leadership was defined and each of us were able to actively participate in a demonstration. By the end of the first session I felt it was hard to leave. Would it really be six weeks before I saw these people again? We discussed what we looked forward to and voted on how to deal with minor instances of broken rules. A committee was put in charge of implementing the punishment. Together we laughed as the first infraction was punished by one of my classmates performing the “Hokey Pokey” alone in the middle of the room. The next few weeks were a whirlwind of smoked pork chop sandwiches and Coca-Cola cups. Before I knew it I was loading up in a van along with the rest of Class XVII headed for destinations across the southwestern

part of the state. The days began early and we were on the move non-stop all day long for the next three days. I saw things I had never thought about growing in Oklahoma. I talked with people who faced real, farm-killing decisions daily. Day one started talking about cotton. In the Plains Cotton Cooperative Association we talked about how cotton is purchased, stored, moved and graded. During lunch, Dr. Randy Bowen discussed anything anyone could ever think to ask about growing cotton in Oklahoma. It was then on to meet the Mullers and see cotton growing at Martha Valley Farms. This experience made one of the bigger impressions on me. Growing cotton in this water district is hard. Growing cotton without the water (due to the drought) was nearly impossible – yet this family still spent every day toiling to make something from their crop. I was very quiet and a little lost in my head after this experience. We visited two more cooperatives in the area where we encountered a cotton gin and a rail car loading system unlike anything I’d ever seen in Oklahoma. We visited Rio Rojo Outfitters where we learned about guided hunts for wild game of all sorts near Eldorado. We finished up the evening with dinner at the beautiful home of a former class member and his family. Day two started early and it was the longest day yet. The first stop was Phelan Ranch. We talked about cattle, native grasses and how we as American

agriculturalists look at things differently than they do in other parts of the world. Stop two was the Woods and Waters Winery and Vinyard. Owner and Operator, Dale Pound, led us through the different parts of the winery showing us each piece of equipment and explaining it to us. We then sat down to a scrumptious lunch at the winery of soup, salad and paninis. After everyone was sufficiently stuffed we rolled ourselves out to a notill farm. Alan Mindemann showed us his operation and had help explaining how his soil was improving over time due to his practices. Once again – I was in awe. I had never visited with people so extensively on a no-till operation of this magnitude. We left in a hurry headed to a pumpkin patch to enjoy some Oklahoma agritourism at its finest and then we headed to one of the largest Canna farms in the world. With each stop my brain would stretch a little with a wealth of new knowledge. We stopped at Red Rock Premium Beef near Hydro to learn about how

they were marketing a specialty beef product in the area. Moving into this area is still new to their crew and each one sounded more sincere than the last as they explained how their passion was to provide the best tasting beef ever experienced. Jokes were shared as legs stretched at Historic Lucille’s Service Station on old Route 66. The members of the class moved around forming and reforming groups to discuss the many different experiences of the day. The alumni from southwestern Oklahoma joined us for dinner at United Country Entz Auction & Real Estate. During dinner experiences were shared, advice given and hosts met for the evening’s home stays. The next morning was once again a whirlwind as we met at the local fairgrounds, learned history and jumped on one big bus for the day’s tour. As we journeyed between farms so diverse we could barely keep up with what they grew, much less how they did it, I saw farming I didn’t know even existed in Oklahoma.

We saw peanuts, corn and wheat but also where watermelons, spinach and peppers grew. The area farmers rode the bus with us and talked about their operations, water issues and the unique history of the area. By the time we made it to lunch everyone was starving. Speakers helped to fill our heads even more throughout lunch and finally we were able to get our hands dirty doing community service. With a bus ride back to reality day three ended and I found myself immediately looking forward to my November adventures. I am sharing this with you for so many reasons. First, I want to say thank you for being members of an organization who see this as something on which your staff should spend time. Second, if you have the opportunity to join class XVIII or beyond – do it. I haven’t even been to my third seminar and OALP has already changed how I think about some things. It is an experience unlike any other you will find and worth more than you can imagine. •

• 15

America’s Sweetheart

6 Degrees of Bacon returns to Downtown OKC


ou know, it’s hard to beat bacon at any time of day,” said the actor Nick Offerman. While there are those who disagree with Offerman, one simple Google search is proof of America’s love affair with bacon. The third-annual 6 Degrees of Bacon event is a testament to Oklahoma City’s passion for this pork product. The celebration held October 17 in Downtown Oklahoma City brought together chefs from across the city. Each chef’s table offered small plate options of their best bacon-inspired fare. The eyes of the ticket holders seemed to be as big as saucers as they gathered in line at the entrance. One could pick up the aroma for blocks around and no one was quite sure what to expect. Upon entry one was assaulted with the necessity to choose where to start. Did one start with the bacon burger sliders or the pancetta pizza with the bacon stuffed crust? Should one get in line for something to drink from COOP Aleworks first or head over and snag a maple milkshake spiked with bacon infused vodka? No matter in what order one decided to proceed, culinary inventions came from some of Oklahoma City’s hottest spots. The choices were Picasso’s Café, Kamp’s 1910 Café, Local, Elemental Coffee, Fassler Hall & Dust Bowl, McNellie’s, Bricktown Brewery, In the Raw, Knucks Wheelhouse, Coco Flow, 1492 New World Latin Cuisine, Packard’s New American Kitchen, Kitchen No. 324, Irma’s Burger Shack, The Basement Modern Diner, The Garage, Viceroy Grille at The

16 • Oklahoma Pork Council

Story and Photos by Kristin Alsup

Ambassador Hotel, Peloton Wine Bar and The Wedge Deep Deuce. In addition to the food, one could “pin the bacon mustache” on a picture of Offerman dressed as his character Ron Swanson. Other activities included a dance floor, bacon mad-libs and a photo booth. It’s easy to say in OKC the event is one-of-a-kind and it’s popular. The event sold out again this year, for the third year in a row. “Where else can you try a number of cool OKC restaurants within a few yards,” ticket holder Kirby Smith said. “Bacon brings people together! It was evident by all the conversations generated among complete strangers. The unique bacon dishes gave everyone a reason to strike up a conversation – ‘Did you try the dates?’ or ‘You have to

try the milkshake! Sounds weird but it’s really delish!’” Since its inception three years ago okPORK has been involved with 6 Degrees of Bacon as the title sponsor. More than simply supporting an event celebrating bacon, okPORK’s involvement in this event helps to get in front of an audience okPORK doesn’t see often. Most of ticket holders are urban residents who simply love food. “I loved it and my friends loved it!” Tina Falcon, okPORK Board VicePresident said. “I think it is very beneficial for okPORK to be involved since the entire event revolves around pork. It was a lot of fun and very well attended. All of the food was excellent!” Downtown OKC, Inc. plans the event and uses the money it generates

to invest in programs to revitalize Oklahoma City. It’s no wonder with the love America has for bacon that this event is one of the highlights of the okPORK calendar. “The power of bacon seems to know no bounds,” wrote the comedian Jim Gaffigan in his new book Food, A Love Story. “It’s not just the taste, which is like eating pure joy. The frying of bacon even sounds like applause… Bacon is so good it is used to improve other foods. If it weren’t for bacon, we probably wouldn’t know what a water chestnut is or why anyone would eat a fig. Bacon bits are like the fairy dust of the food community, sprinkling magical taste on undesirable dishes.”•

• 17

2 0 1 5 « O K L A H O M A

Pork Congress Friday, February 27, 2015 Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center Norman, Oklahoma

9:00 a.m.

Registration - Morning refreshments available in the lobby

10:00 a.m.

Update on National Issues & Programs - National Pork Board & National Pork Producers Council

11:15 a.m.

Educational Program

12:15 p.m.

Luncheon – Lunch program will feature participants from the 2014 okPORK Youth Leadership Camp

1:30 p.m.

okPORK Update – Roy Lee Lindsey

2:00 p.m.

Legislative Update - McSpadden and Associates

Afternoon Break 3:00 p.m.

okPORK Annual Business Meeting

4:00 p.m.

What’s Your Kodak Moment - Keynote address by Dino Giacomazzi

5:00 p.m.

Reception and Silent Auction

6:15 p.m.

okPORK Awards Banquet

8:00 p.m.

Live Auction

18 • Oklahoma Pork Council

We need you! Calling all those with a dab hand for shopping! okPORK plans to hold the annual silent and live auctions during the 2015 Oklahoma 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 community!

Donations are needed of all kinds! Some ideas of past donations are: • Hunting trips and supplies • OSU and OU memorabilia or tickets • Tickets to other local events • Restaurant gift cards • Home décor and crafts • Farm Supplies • Anything “pig” related • Jewelry

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, or (405) 232-3781. •

New okPORK Board Member 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 Chris Wallis. Wallis is eligible for reelection. The open at-large seat is held by Bert Luthi who is not eligible for reelection. The open west district seat is held by Keith Reiner and

he is eligible for reelection. The west district is composed of counties west of I-35 and includes those counties 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 at large board members. If you are interested in running for

the Board of Directors please submit a photo and bio to okPORK by Jan. 10, 2015. 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. •

Changes to bylaws or amendments A. Proposed bylaws or amendments to bylaws must be submitted in writing to the okPORK Board of Directors 30 days prior to the annual meeting – by Jan. 28, 2015. Please mail them to the okPORK office at 901 N. Lincoln Blvd, Suite 380, Oklahoma City, OK 73104. B. Bylaws changes or amendments to bylaws must be approved by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the membership at an annual meeting. •

Meet the Keynote Speaker Dino Giacomazzi is the 4th generation to manage his family’s dairy farm founded in 1893 by his SwissItalian great-grandfather. The dairy operation consists of 1,000 milking cows; 900 acres of cropland that provides corn silage, wheat silage, and alfalfa for the cows; and almonds. Dino has managed his family farm since 2002.  Prior to that he had a thirteen year career in the music and internet industries where he managed rock bands and developed online applications for internet startups and Fortune 1000 companies. Dino is a promoter of sustainable dairy and farming practices and

was the 2012 Leopold Conservation Award recipient for California, named Sustainable Ag Champion by U.S. EPA in 2010. Dino’s work on strip-tillage of dairy forage crops has been published in numerous journals and techniques developed on his farm have been adopted throughout California. Dino is a dairy activist, social media advocate and technology coach.  He writes the Tech Talk column for Dairy Today Magazine.  His personal blog which states he is “saving the world one cow pie at a time” can be found at www.   Dino lives on the dairy with his wife Julie, sons Miro (7) and Gio (2). • • 19

A Tale of Two Fairs by Kristin Alsup


t is no secret. The okPORK staff and crew for the state fairs spend many hours in preparation. Each year the three sandwiches – the pork chop, the pulled pork and the pork burger – make their appearance starting at the Oklahoma State Fair. There are things one expects from the fair each year, and on the other hand there is always a new trial or exciting moment around the corner. The 2014 Oklahoma State Fair and Tulsa State Fair both brought something exciting and new to the table. Oklahoma State Fair 2014 brought a facelift to the Pork Chop Shop at the Oklahoma State Fair. Updating the front counter, the awning, menu board and signage were all part of the preparation for the fair. A color

20 • Oklahoma Pork Council

scheme using the three signature colors from the okPORK logo inspired the look. Beyond a new look, there was a new crew manning the booth both inside the trailer and behind the front counter. In an attempt to make the Oklahoma State Fair run more smoothly while continuing to show support for our community, a deal was reached with Naval Training unit VQ-7 for them to work the booth and for okPORK to donate food and money in return. Everyone who worked at the fair in Oklahoma City agreed about the smoothness and fun surrounding the Pork Chop Shop. Sales were up, laughs were everywhere – both among the staff and the patrons – and the stress was low. There are many factors you can attribute the success of the Oklahoma State Fair, but there is one simple fact

that cannot be overlooked. The men and women who worked with us from the Navy were professional, dedicated and a joy to work with. okPORK is looking forward to a long relationship with Naval Training unit VQ-7. Tulsa State Fair If you have been a patron at the Pork Chop Shop during the Tulsa State Fair the last few years, you probably recognize the faces at the counter. While the crew at the Oklahoma State Fair has always changed from year to year, and drastically so this year, the Tulsa crew has remained closer to constant. With the crew the same, it was time for a different kind of change. It was time for an addition to the menu. Shortly after the Tulsa State Fair kicked off, the okPORK staff pulled out

photo by Nikki Snider

a new menu idea and began to tinker with it. Pork chop medallions served on a skewer and wrapped in bacon arrived in the kitchen but that is simply where the fun began. The first order of business was to decide what to call the new menu item. After several quick discussions the bacon-wrapped treat was labeled a ‘chop stick.’ Knowing what to call the new item was only the beginning of the excitement. Anyone walking past the smoke shack outside the kitchen door could hear the conversation, “Do we smoke it? If we do, do we put it on foil or in a basket or something? What do you think about trying it in the convection oven?” Each of the different ideas on how to properly prepare the chop sticks were tested. After the initial taste test of

each method, a few of the sticks were wrapped and placed in a warmer to determine how well they lasted. Lucky customers who came by during the testing phase were asked to taste a chop stick or two and share their opinions on them. It wasn’t long before a protocol was instituted and the new item was officially for sale. Marketing consisted of walking around eating the chop sticks, sharing them with other vendors and giving them to people who had large orders. One could pop onto social media and find a photo to share or inspire a quick stop by the Pork Chop Shop. While the chop sticks might not have single handedly changed the bottom line for the Pork Chop Shop, the introduction of a new item was not only exciting, but also delicious. •

photo by Kristin Alsup • 21


inside and outside the SHOWRING E

veryone who has raised a show animal has a different idea of success. For some, success may mean keeping the animal growing at a certain rate and, at the same time, another showman might measure success by the amount of purple and blue ribbons won. Whether one looks out at a healthy, vibrant animal and is pleased or if they need to hear their name over the loud speaker to find their fulfillment is a choice the showmen themselves must make. The Tulsa State Fair Junior Livestock show is the end of the show season in Oklahoma during the fall. The success and failures of the season come to an end as the judge announces the winners. okPORK is there to support the show in several ways. Rewarding those who are leaders among their peers as well as those whose animals perform well are both supported by okPORK and Executive Director Roy Lee Lindsey also dedicates his time as a part of the Swine Committee for the Junior Livestock Show. No matter how well the animals perform during the show, okPORK finds winners in a different way. During the market show all of the hog exhibitors who are certified in the Youth Pork Quality Assurance Plus program have an equal chance to win. As a reward for taking the time to be YPQA+ certified okPORK randomly draws the names of two certified students and rewards them with a brand new iPad. The winners of the iPads were Trenton Day of Mulhall-Orlando FFA and McKayla Malone of Chelsea FFA. You may remember Malone’s name as one of the Class III Youth Leadership Camp participants. Malone continues to show her leadership among her peers by ensuring she is current with her YPQA+ certification. The students aren’t able to get certified without help and okPORK wouldn’t want to overlook anyone. Teachers who manage to assist their FFA chapters in the process of certification are also rewarded by okPORK. Two teachers’ names are drawn to receive $500 gift cards. Brandon Kahle of Sapulpa FFA and Kevin Kornele of Ft. Supply FFA were the teachers whose names were drawn. okPORK also provides support to 4-H and FFA hog projects by spending money at the bonus auction. Those 22 • Oklahoma Pork Council

Above: Brandon Kahle (right) of Sapulpa FFA recives $500 from Roy Lee Lindsey for seeing that his students are current in YPQA+. Below are the student iPad winners: Trenton Day (middle) of Mulhall-Orlando FFA and McKayla Malone (right) of Chelsea FFA. animals who excel during the show are placed into the auction in order of their level of success in the ring and are then sold to the highest bidder. This year okPORK was involved with buying eight animals during the auction. Delynna Beard of El Reno FFA, Cheyenne Gaff of Timberlake FFA, Marissa Jordan of Covington-Douglas FFA, Kelby Corbett of Elgin FFA, Chase Sucharda of Blanchard FFA, Andrew Coakley of Hobart FFA and Jayme McMasters of Depew FFA were the owners of the animals okPORK helped to purchase. There are many ways to get involved in the lives of young people in your community. Supporting the FFA and 4-H groups in your area can be a fun way to encourage a younger generation to continue to be involved with agriculture. Who knows, today’s Grand Champion exhibitor could be tomorrow’s farm manager. •

• 23


901 N. Lincoln Blvd., Suite 380 Oklahoma City, OK 73104-3206

Pork Loin with Prosciutto, Fontina, and Sage Prep: 10 minutes | Cooking: 1 hour, 15 minutes | Serves 8-10 2 1/2 pound New York (top loin) pork roast, boneless 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs, (Japanese bread crumbs) 1/3 cup Fontina cheese, shredded (about 1 ounce) 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped To taste salt and pepper 4 thin slices prosciutto

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine panko, fontina, and sage. Stand roast on end and insert thin-bladed knife down center of loin to make 2-inch opening all the way through. Use your fingers to force the slit into a long 1-inch-diameter hole. Pack panko mixture into hole, working from both ends of roast. Season roast on all sides with salt and pepper. Place roast, fat side up, on work surface. Arrange prosciutto slices across top of roast. Tie with kitchen twine at 1- to 1 1/2-inch intervals. Place in shallow roasting pan, prosciutto side up, and roast 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Remove roast from oven and let rest 10 minutes. Remove twine. Slice roast and arrange on serving platter. Serve drizzled with any pan juices.

okPORK PAGES Winter 2014  

Official publication of the Oklahoma Pork Council.

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