okPORK PAGES official magazine of the Oklahoma Pork Council | www.okpork.org
Volume 19 | Issue 4 | Winter 2015
Oklahoma Pork Congress Be sure to mark February 26, 2016, on your calendars. That’s the date for the next Oklahoma Pork Congress. You’ll find all the details inside.
OALP Update Kristin Alsup continues her journey with the Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program. Learn more about her journeys to northwest and southeast Oklahoma.
Pork Events Galore This fall pork was front and center at three - yes THREE - great dinners. Read all about 6 Degrees of Bacon, Bacon & Bourbon, and Swine & Stein.
Warm Heart, Open Home To celebrate October, Pork Month, Tina Falcon hosted a luncheon featuring pork in every course. Find out what her friends thought of this on-the-farm experience.
Queen of the Barn Rose Bonjour has been the face of the Tulsa State Fair for young swine exhibitors. Kaylen Baker tells more about Rose’s commitment to the show and how it’s much more than just stall assignments. 2 • Oklahoma Pork Council
Bringing Agriculture into the Classroom Twenty school teachers will be able to provide more hands-on agricultural education this fall because of a grant through the Ag in the Classroom program. okPORK has been providing the grant opportunities twice each school year for several years. If you know someone who might be interested have them contact the okPORK office for more information. This year’s Ag in the Classroom Grant recipients are: • Aryale Mahan, Collinsville Early Childhood • Kim Cox, Bill Wallace Early Childhood in Chickasha, Okla. • Megan Sowers, Kerr Elementary, Tulsa, Okla. • Connie Copenhaver, Winds West, Oklahoma City • Mendy Burris, Skyline Elementary, Stillwater • Patty Green, Checotah Middle School • Tammy Will, Morrison Public School • Amber Bales, Morrison Elementary • Pamela Ward and Melanie Taylor, McIntosh County Ext. • Lori Newmark, Oakridge Elementary, Moore • Johnna Anderson, St. Paul’s Lutheran, Enid, Okla. • Janet Howard, Friend School, Chickasha, Okla. • Stacey Morris, Sooner Elementary, Moore, Okla. • Trent Hughes, Mulhall-Orlando High School • Lani Barrick, Canute Schools • Beth Soost, Zion School, Stilwell, Okla. • Amanda Whiteley, Zion School, Stilwell • Teresa Short, Spring Creek Elementary, Oklahoma City, Okla. • Zena Lewis, Owasso 6GC/Owasso 7GC • Anne M. Graham, Flower Mound School, Lawton, Okla.
Winter 2015 Volume 19 • Issue 4 BOARD OF DIRECTORS OFFICERS President | Keith Reiner, Enid President Elect |Cathy Vaughan, Rosston Vice President | Robbie Woods, Enid Treasurer | Phil Olipahnt, El Reno BOARD MEMBERS Darren Appleton, Enid Tina Falcon, Tecumseh Dottie King, Calvin Joe Popplewell, Stillwater Chris Wallis, Allen EX OFFICIO Dr. Scott Carter, Stillwater Wathina Luthi, Gage Brett Ramsey, Jones Rob Richard, Stillwater STAFF Executive Director Roy Lee Lindsey, Jr. • email@example.com Office Manager Donna Jackson • firstname.lastname@example.org Communications Specialist Kristin Alsup • email@example.com Event and Outreach Specialist Lloyd Hawkins • firstname.lastname@example.org 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 ON THE COVER A perfectly prepared piece of uncured pork belly presented by Wedge was featured at the 6 Degrees of Bacon in OKC. Photo by Nikki Snider 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 email@example.com Writer Kristin Alsup Designer Nikki Snider Editor Donna Jackson
Left: Tina Falcon, okPORK Board Member, presents an AITC grant check to Lori Newmark at Oakridge Elementary in Moore, Okla. Right: Keith Reiner, okPORK Board President, presents an AITC grant check to Johnna Anderson of St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Enid, Okla.
Stay Connected : search okpork •3
FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | ROY LEE LINDSEY, JR.
SQ777 – Right to Farm I shared a little with you in the last issue and Keith also discusses passage of State Question 777 in his column on page 5, but this is an issue that absolutely deserves our undivided attention and we must keep this issue top of mind. As I write this column we are exactly 51 weeks from Election Day 2016 when Oklahomans will be voting on SQ777 and deciding if the Oklahoma Constitution shall be amended to include a protection for farming and ranching. That’s not a lot of time! One of the most common questions I get when I speak to groups about SQ777 is “why do we need this protection? Don’t we already have a right to farm?” The simple answer to that question is NO. We do NOT have a constitutional right to farm in Oklahoma. We have constitutional protections for hunting, fishing and rodeos but nothing that protects agriculture. I think most people believe hunting, fishing and rodeos are part of the fabric of life in Oklahoma and that’s why we have adopted protections for those activities. With that thought in mind, I would ask what is more a part of the culture of Oklahoma than agriculture? Passage of SQ 777 will provide a constitutional protection for “the right to make use of agricultural technology, the right to make use of livestock procedures, and the right to make use of ranching practices.” 4 • Oklahoma Pork Council
The ballot language still allows for the state to regulate agriculture. It just requires the state to have a compelling state interest to any new laws that are adopted. What is a compelling state interest? The first thing I think of is clean water. Nothing in this question would allow farmers or ranchers to pollute Oklahoma’s water. We have environmental protections in place today and this question does nothing to change those protections. In fact, the ballot language clearly establishes these new protections do NOT impact state statutes and political subdivision (municipal) ordinances that were in effect on December 31, 2014. There are lots of ways you can learn about SQ 777 and help us promote its passage. On social media, you’ll find us on Twitter, @Yeson777, and Yes on 777 on Facebook. The website is www. oklahomarighttofarm.com. There’s lots of great information available through these outlets. We need you to familiarize yourself with this information and to help us share it in your local community. Here is the actual ballot language as it will appear on the November 2016 general election ballot: This measure adds Section 38 to Article II of the Oklahoma Constitution. This new Section creates state constitutional rights. It creates the following guaranteed rights to engage in farming and ranching:
• The right to make use of agricultural technology,
• The right to make use of livestock procedures, and
• The right to make use of ranching
practices. These constitutional rights receive extra protection under this measure that not all constitutional rights receive. This extra protection is a limit on lawmakers’ ability to interfere with the exercise of these rights. Under this extra protection, no law can interfere with these rights, unless the law is justified by a compelling state interest - a clearly identified state interest of the highest order. Additionally, the law must be necessary to serve that state interest. The measure - and the protections identified above - do not apply to and do not impact state laws related to: • Trespass, • Eminent domain, • Dominance of mineral interests, • Easements, • Right of way or other property rights, and • Any state statutes and political subdivision ordinances enacted before December 31, 2014. I encourage all of you to let your voices be heard and support SQ 777. The November 2016 election will be here quickly so don’t wait to get familiar with this issue and start talking to your friends and neighbors. •
FROM THE PRESIDENT | KEITH REINER
Greetings from the farm! Wow! What has happened to this year? The State Fair of Oklahoma has come and gone and now we are already planning for the Oklahoma Pork Congress. I must say this year is one of the best years I’ve had the pleasure of participating in during the fair. Pretty much went off without a hitch. Thanks to the work of our great staff, Board members and the group of guys from the United States Navy, to which I can say with great pride I’m partial. The tireless hours put into planning and executing the plans for the fair seemed to go as designed. Great job team. With the annual okPORK Congress on the horizon and the plans falling into place, I would ask you to take the time now to mark it on your calendar. Please note on page 6 of this edition of the magazine is a tentative agenda, with the time for the speakers and auction listed. It’s going to be worth your time to spend the entire day and evening with us in Norman. The facilities are wonderful with easy access to I-35. I had the pleasure of participating in the world’s biggest and baddest bacon contest recently in the town of Cransfill Gap, Texas. The population is 284, and is located 420 miles south of Enid, Okla. It is sponsored by our sister company, Pederson’s Natural Farms of Hamilton Texas. This event, and the Red Dirt Cookoff we sponsor in Enid, are the hardest
to compete in, but it is truly the most fun and rewarding. All the proceeds go to help find a cure for childhood diabetes and also helps to clothe the homeless. I find great pleasure in doing these types of community activities, with full support from the suits upstairs. For one, not only are we flying our flag south of the red river, but we are also meeting people from all walks of life and showing that PIG FARMERS know a thing or two about bacon. Most of the contestants are foodies out of Dallas and Ft Worth, however there is also quite a lot of local support. Our team is the only team of pig farmers to compete. We wore our Inventors of Bacon and Real Pig Farming t-shirts and if I would have taken some to sell, I’d be on the beach today instead of at work. We were welcomed not only as contestants from the land of those evil Cowboys and Sooners, but also as pig farmers. They greeted us with a million question of why and how come. The group from Pederson’s comes to Red Dirt each year and we always return the favor to show our support to other producers but also to let people know we are not afraid to interact with the community. We are not hiding what we do for a living and we are proud pig farmers from Oklahoma, the best place in the United States to raise baby pigs. Our occupation is about being transparent, we need to interact with the community as much as possible,
answer questions not with “bullets” but with real conversation, and when someone disagrees with our process and practices, we let them do so. I’m not here to judge, I’m here to inform. I think as time goes on we need to participate in as many local and state community activities as possible. The more we are out there, the better people feel about our product. They will feel safer at the grocery store about picking up a package of chops or a pound of bacon. The best way to address the concerns of our customer is to meet it head on, to make sure people know where their food comes from, the people who grow it and the people who deliver it to their stores. I would venture to guess we spent more time explaining to the groups from Dallas and Ft. Worth what it is we do, than about what it was we were cooking, and the support was overwhelming. Most people in big cities just don’t understand what goes into growing a hog. They just don’t, I know first-hand because I’m from the northeast and a big city. If we don’t reach out to them and share the good message, they have nothing to compare to when they hear a negative message. I just ask you all to think about participating in your communities, talk with folks. But more than that – get out of your rural communities and talk with the CITY FOLK... they are our customers
continued on page 19 •5
Friday, February 26, 2016 Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center 2501 Conference Dr, Norman, OK 73069
Registration Morning refreshments available in the lobby
Update on National Issues and Programs National Pork Board & National Pork Producers Council
Friends of okPORK Panel Several core groups okPORK donates to and works with each year share about their programs and answer okPORK member questions.
Luncheon – Youth 4 Pork Speech Contest winner
okPORK Update – Roy Lee Lindsey
Legislative Update McSpadden and Associates
Right to Farm panel discussion
okPORK Annual Business Meeting
Keynote with Kevin Folta
Reception and Silent Auction
okPORK Awards Banquet
6 • Oklahoma Pork Council
2016 Auctions Will Support Oklahoma Farmers Care The 2016 silent and live auctions are taking a new direction. Interested? okPORK Executive Director Roy Lee Lindsey took the opportunity to explain why and what it means for the future of the auction. okPORK PAGES: Tell us what is new in 2016 with the auctions at Pork Congress. Lindsey: For the auction in 2016 the Board of Directors has decided all the proceeds from the auctions will be donated to Oklahoma Farmers Care in support of State Question 777 also known as the Right to Farm. Our Board feels it is vital to put our full support behind this effort and this is one way we can help put dollars into it. okPORK PAGES: What does that mean for the Political Action Committee fund we normally support with the auction? Lindsey: We’ve been fortunate during the last several years and have been successful in our PAC fund-
raising. It is the belief of our Board that foregoing one year of the proceeds from the auctions would not be detrimental to the fund. okPORK still has the resources in the fund to support our friends. It is one way for okPORK members to focus on our number one goal in 2016, passage of SQ 777 protecting Oklahoma’s farmers and ranchers. okPORK PAGES: Will we see a difference in the kind of items in the auctions this year? If so, what new items will we see this year? Lindsey: In addition to the fun type items we usually sell we are attempting to bring in more items related to actual production. We hope this will allow our individual members to have more resources they can invest in Right to Farm. Our hope is to have items used on the farm every day so that money used normally to purchase those items can be used to support SQ 777.
To that end – we would love to receive suggestions of what you would like to see in the auction. If there are equipment or supplies, suppliers or dealers you would like to see gift certificates or merchandise donated from, please let someone at the okPORK office know. We are happy to work on securing items you want to purchase at the auction. okPORK PAGES: What will the auction look like going forward into 2017? Lindsey: We would expect in 2017 to return to a PAC auction where we will continue to support the extremely important work toward our longterm success at the Capitol. Given the importance of the passage of SQ 777, our Board felt this one-time deviation from our PAC fund raising plan would help us focus every resource we have available to us on SQ 777. •
Meet the Keynote Speaker Kevin Folta, Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida Kevin Folta is a professor in and chairman of the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He got his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from University of Illinois at Chicago in 1998, and he has worked at University of Wisconsin before settling in at the University of Florida. Dr. Folta researches the functional genomics of small fruit crops, the plant transformation, the genetic basis of flavors, and studies at photomorphogenesis and flowering. He has also written many publications and edited books, most recently was the 2011 Genetics, Genomics, and Breeding of Berries. Dr. Folta received the NSF CAREER Award, an HHMI Mentoring Award and was recognized as “University of Florida Foundation Research Professor” in 2010. •
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 Dottie King. King is not eligible for reelection. The open atlarge seat is held by Robbie Woods who is eligible for reelection. The open west district seat is held by Darren Appleton
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, 2016. 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. • •7
OALP Update photos and story by Kristin Alsup
I love agriculture and Oklahoma more each day
8 â€˘ Oklahoma Pork Council
hen I sat down to write about my Oklahoma Agriculture Leadership Project experience it hurt almost as much as stubbing your pinky toe in the dark. Why does it hurt more in the dark? I don’t know. I think it might be science. My point – this is the second to last article I will write about my experience with Class XVII. The next time I write an article will be after we return from our international experience in Vietnam and the Philippines. I want to say once again how much I appreciate your support and interest in this project. I want to thank you all for helping me to meet some of the most amazing people I have ever known. Experiencing Oklahoma in this way is more exciting than a barrel of monkey chain that doesn’t break. Northwest Oklahoma At the end of August class XVII jumped aboard a charter coach – apparently if it has a bathroom it is not a bus, but a coach, according to the driver – and traveled to the far northwestern reaches of our fair state. We stopped many places, toured and learned about what there was to see. There were pig farms and wind farms, grain sorghum and corn. We saw cattle feed yards and picked up dead trees from a local park so no one would get injured. There are a few stops which stick out in my mind for various reasons. We toured the Seaboard harvesting facility in Guymon, Okla., which I have often had the opportunity to visit. This was a different kind of trip because I expected those with me to have certain reactions. The most mind-blowing part of the entire experience there was that no one reacted as I expected. There was excitement and questions from those I least expected. Another highlight of the trip occurred when we toured yet another harvesting facility – yet this time it was for beef. Never before had I seen inside a beef facility and I was excited to tour National Beef in Kansas. It may sound silly, but it was still somewhat shocking to me. The carcasses have so much more to cause a mess. There is so much more to trim that it seems to spread.
There were three full days of interesting stops, amazing businesses, fascinating people and enchanting stories. What I carried away from the trip most might surprise you though. It was the hardiness, the pride and the community among the people who live in the panhandle. It’s a tough country. It is a place few choose to make their home. However, those who do take fierce pride in it and come together to protect and support one another. I learned once again how proud I am to be a part of agriculture in this great state. Southeast Oklahoma A quick list of several things you may or may not know about me: • I love southeastern Oklahoma in all of its hilly and tree-filled glory. • I like to sit backwards on the bus when it tops hills, somehow it feels more like a roller coaster. • I love lists and birthdays. • I turned 31 while with Class XVII during the seminar in southeastern Oklahoma. This was the seminar I had been waiting for since the beginning of my time in OALP. Being from the central region of Oklahoma, I never feel as though I can adequately vie for either the eastern or the western side of the state, but I am partial to the southeast from which my mother hails. Once again our three days were filled with the wonders one can find in Oklahoma and much of the discussion centered around how many available natural resources existed in this region. We started the first day on a fish farm. The entire class got involved asking questions and exploring new topics. One stop took place at the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture. A quiet dinner and tour of a beautiful ranch-house bed and breakfast was the last stop of the day. The most touching part of the first day for me was the service project on this trip. Our group stopped at the Veterans Affairs facility in Talihina, Okla., and helped to replant a garden. We toured and chatted with some of the patients and one man helped us decide where to position plants. Often we find it hard to find meaningful projects we
can fit into our schedule but the looks on the faces of the men we met were better than anything else we did on this trip. During the next two days we saw pecan orchards, sod farms, an interesting auction house, irrigation systems, trees harvested, a wetland conservation project and took a quick hay ride. We spent most of a day learning about forestry. Many of the reactions were beyond words when the discussion turned to the 30 year waiting period for a tree stand to mature. The many different kinds of equipment we saw during this trip, as well as others, flipped a switch in my brain during this seminar. There is often talk about how without technology food would be much more difficult to produce. However, we rarely talk about paper, lumber or sod. It was a thought that sticks with me and I continue to think about what other pieces I can’t wait to find. One part of the trip to southeastern Oklahoma stands out to me more than anything else. We took the opportunity to stop at a chicken farm while we were in the area. The farmer spoke with us about many things. He spoke of his love of being independent, the lack of jobs to make a living on in the area, his happiness about being able to move home and be a part of the family. He also spoke about animal activists, advocating for agriculture, getting out of life what you put in and how disease can still strike and take it all away. His voice is in my head today. I can hear the words he spoke about his industry. I can hear the words he spoke about all of animal agriculture. He wants you to know he is continuing to take care of his animals the way they should be taken care of and he knows you are too. He wants you to tell people about it too. He says it’s the least we can do for the industry which allows us to make our homes and feed our families. I love this program. I love the people I meet and I love the state I am from but most of all I love becoming more involved with agriculture of all kinds and knowing we are a family. Thanks again for all of the experiences you are supporting me through. •
All about that
story by Kristin Alsup, photos by Nikki Snider
okPORK Sponsors 6 Degrees of Bacon
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 fourth-annual 6 Degrees of Bacon event is a testament to Oklahoma City’s passion for this pork product. The celebration held October 8 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 10 • Oklahoma Pork Council
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 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. Since its inception four years ago okPORK has been involved with 6 Degrees of Bacon as the title sponsor. More than supporting an event celebrating bacon, okPORK’s involvement in this event helps reach an audience okPORK doesn’t see often. The majority 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, besides all of the food was excellent!” In addition to Falcon, and hundreds of local pork lovers, okPORK Board Members Phil Oliphant and his wife, Cathy, and Robbie Woods and his wife, Carol, enjoyed all the bacon goodness. 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.” •
12 â€˘ Oklahoma Pork Council
Dinner Dates With Are story and photos by Kristin Alsup
ou look in the mirror and you check how you look one last time. You’re good to go. You’re all dressed and ready. You’re headed out to dinner and you’re excited. You are excited to go have something good to eat, right? Do you get excited about the same old dinner at the same place? Do you get a little nervous when you try something new, knowing there isn’t something familiar on which to lean? Either way, if this dinner you were headed to was happening on October 16, 2015, at Vast, you were in for a night of elegance, beauty and flavor. It was a night to remember. The fifth installment of the Bacon and Bourbon dinner moved to Vast this year, which is located at the top of the Devon Tower in downtown Oklahoma City. The anticipation of the view alone is enough to get the heart racing. As you parked downtown you couldn’t help but look at the renovated buildings and artwork around you. You began to dream of the view from the windows of the restaurant above, through the clouds. As diners began to arrive for the dinner, the sun was setting over Oklahoma City and as people picked up drinks from the bar they drifted to the windows to watch the sunset paint familiar buildings in new light. It wasn’t long before Chef Kurt Fleischfresser was introducing the menu and welcoming the diners to the event.
Before anyone knew it, the dinner was underway and the first course would be arriving on the tables like magic. Course one was billed as a fried green tomato with bacon aioli, spiced sherry and molasses. Some of the diners at one table could be heard proclaiming they were pretty sure these were no ordinary tomatoes but must be something grown exclusively for the gods and delivered to us by accident. It was paired perfectly with a taste of Makers Mark. Before the room could calm down from the first course the second began to filter into the tables. The salad was a warm, wilty frisee with grape tomatoes, Humboldt Fog and warm bacon vinaigrette dressing. Between each bite you might see a diner take a sip of the Basil Hayden served with it. People would get up and move between tables making jokes about stealing any morsels left on plates along the way. By the time the third course arrived, no one knew what to expect. How could you have expectations when everything had already been exceeded? The roasted garlic gnocchi with apple wood smoked bacon lardons, baby kale and caramelized onions stole the room’s collective breath. As the more than 100 diners took bites and sips of the Bakers which was served alongside the gnocchi there was very little said. Yet as soon as the dishes began to empty the exclamations of joy could be heard. Upon finishing the main course
of bourbon barrel-aged maple glazed pork loin with sweet potato puree, Swiss chard and bacon gremolata, one extremely experienced pork eater claimed it was the single best pork chop he had ever finished. The Makers Mark Cask Strength was able to hold its own against the bold flavors of the meal and everyone was stuffed upon finishing the fourth course. However one more course was delivered to each of the diners. Who would miss dessert? A peach and candied bacon tart with blueberry buttermilk ice cream landed in front of each person and a glass of Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 year perfectly finished the dinner. Full bellies, warm faces and happy hearts were all symptoms from the newest of the locations serving the Bacon and Bourbon dinner. Why does okPORK continue to host dinners like this? Why not celebrate how versatile bacon can be with some of the best chefs in Oklahoma City? Why not raise money to make more possible for the pork industry in Oklahoma? More intoxicating dishes and enchanting drinks will be served in the future at events like Pork and Cork, Swine and Stein and Bacon and Bourbon. Don’t miss the opportunity to join us and celebrate fun with pork, versatile dishes and innovative Oklahoma City chefs. •
Swine & Stein story and photos by Kristin Alsup
n the beginning there was an idea. If Bacon & Bourbon and Swine & Wine work, why wouldn’t Swine & Stein? Once the idea was born it became a fledgling plan, looking for a place to grow into a full scale dinner. With all of the excitement of being a teenager, settling down and finding a place to live is not always the easiest thing to accomplish. However, once you find the perfect place, that perfect first place, the rest is history. Land and Sea in north Oklahoma City was the perfect mix of class, comfort and size for the dinner. With no more than 40 seats available for the event, everyone was ensured to feel like 14 • Oklahoma Pork Council
part of the action all night. Owned by Sean Cummings, long-time friend of okPORK’s, the food and beer selections were sure to be excellent while the ambiance was warm, friendly and welcoming to everyone in attendance. Chef de Cuisine Micheal Bowles and Executive Chef Christopher Bickel agreed on four courses paired with beers which were more than filling for the bellies of the diners. Oklahoma beers were chosen and the menu was set. As the first course was served, glasses of the Prairie beer, “Elizabeth” were served. The salad was made with pickled beets, crispy chicharones, Chevre, micro greens and topped with
a scallion vinaigrette. Even the driest of mouths began to water. As the people at tables got to know each other and the salad magically began to disappear no one could deny the smiles on their faces. New glasses arrived at each place setting and the Marshall “Bound for Glory” was poured. Just behind the beer came a plate with Bavarian-style pretzels and a bowl of sharp cheddar cheese dip with crispy bacon. The simple looking dish took on a whole new life once it touched the diners tongues and immediately brought the room together in a chorus of pleased shouts. No one wanted the second course to end but soon the pretzels were finished, the bowls licked clean and the last of the glasses drained. The staff wasted no time setting up a third glass where the next Marshall Brew, the “Black Dolphin Imperial Stout” would make its impression. The entrée arrived and it was announced as a Creole guanciali. While few if any knew what this dish was, no one seemed too shy to begin tasting. It was a spicy braised pork cheek with a Creole dirty rice and roasted garlic brussels. There were complaints at this point in the dinner that there was no more room for food or drink on the table or in the stomach of those sitting at them. But when the dessert and final course arrived, surprisingly, room was found. For dessert a maple pull-a-part with a bacon crème en glaze was served with the Prairie “Noir.” As the diners began to stir from their seats and the first – of what okPORK hopes to be many Swine and Stein dinners – came to a close, the staff of Land and Sea loaded up to-go sacks with food and well wishes for the road home. It might have been the best, first dinner one could ask for. However – you don’t have to take my word for it. I asked both Dustin Akers and Will Joyce the same six questions about their expectations and time at the Swine and Stein dinners. You can read their answers on the next page.
okPORK: When you think of eating pork – what is the first meal that comes to mind? DA: I immediately think of a pig pickin’. Growing up in the southeast, my neighborhood hosted an annual block party where all the neighbors got together and roasted a whole hog. There is nothing better than fresh pork right off of the grill! WJ: I always think of barbecue pulled pork, preferably a picnic shoulder, dry-rubbed, with a mustard based sauce and some coleslaw. okPORK: Have you ever been to a beer pairing dinner before? DA: I had been to one beer pairing dinner before Swine and Stein, but it was very different. Swine and Stein was a fun interactive dinner with personal presentations from the chef that really elevated the experience. WJ: Prior to Swine & Stein, I had never been to an event of this kind. okPORK: What was your idea of what Swine & Stein would be before entering the room? DA: I really had no clue what to expect, but the meal was so much more substantially creative than I would have thought. The courses were unique and really showcased the range of cuisine that pork can be included in. WJ: I was expecting more of a tasting kind of event, where we walked around sampling a few different dishes and a few beers. I wasn’t expecting a sit-down meal with each course paired to a whole different beer. okPORK: Which of the courses at Swine and Stein was your favorite and why? DA: The third course was my favorite! It was so rich and complex. The pork melted in your mouth. WJ: It was all good, but the main course was phenomenal. The pork cheek was really tender and flavorful, and the dark beer went well with the Cajun spice of the dish. okPORK: What was the most surprising part of the dinner to you? DA: I was truly surprised by how many unique ways the pork and beer were incorporated into the meal, from the salad dressing and toppings to the dessert’s sauce. WJ: The general quality of the event as a whole. I went in expecting samples of food and beer, but ended up having a great, unique meal in a really nice setting. okPORK: What else would you like to share about the event? DA: The casual, but sophisticated, experience of great food, beer, and company really made the event special. It was nice to meet new people and enjoy a lovely meal together. WJ: I’d love to go to another of these events and try the different cuts of pork and ways to cook it. I’d never had cheek before this event, and I’m looking forward to getting to try more things. •
October Pork Month
ctober – as many of you know – is Pork Month. Farmers and associations across the country celebrate with 4-H and FFA groups, announce it from state capitols and proclaim it on social media. The fun of pork month is simple. Anyone can get involved and it doesn’t matter if you are talking about eating pork or raising pork, you are still a part of the action. Tina Falcon a pig farmer, a wife, mother of five and a resident of Pottowatomie County decided she had a perfect idea for how to celebrate Pork Month. She decided to invite several ladies to share a day with her, in her home and in her life. The luncheon A luncheon was planned toward the end of October and it would begin 16 • Oklahoma Pork Council
late morning. Planning began weeks in advance and each aspect needed to be perfect. What would it look like, what would be served and what would take place? Holy Pork Month there was a lot to decide. “What better way to show people a small peek into the hog farming life,” Falcon said. “I decided to name my luncheon Swine and Dine. I wanted to showcase several different types of pork products, so I served five courses.” Falcon used the many different kinds of pigs she’s collected throughout the years and decorated the common areas. The table set with care and a menu set atop each place setting causes each diner’s mouth to water. The appetizer was inspired by a pork loin slider with a mixed berry glaze. Served on rolls and divided into bite-sized slider pieces, each one was
Hear t held together by a tooth-pick. Creating some fun and fruity beginning helped the luncheon feel light and bright. The diners couldn’t be sure what to expect as Falcon settled the pig shaped tureen of ham and potato soup onto the table. “The ham and potato soup was my absolute favorite, it was so amazing. I would like a bowl of it right now,” diner Barbara Buzzard said. The salad course was not to be outshone and was a crowd-pleaser as well. Falcon chose and served a BLT chopped salad – which of course starred bacon. She claims it is her most favorite salad now and may never make a different kind again. The star of the show for the luncheon was a stuffed bell pepper. Inside a bell pepper ground pork, cous cous, cheese and a mixture of other
Open delicious ingredients melted together to create a delicious main course. The final item on the menu was a delicious cookie Falcon picked up from a bakery – in the shape of a pig – and then she dipped bacon in chocolate and served them together! Several of the lunch attendees couldn’t believe how good the chocolate covered bacon tasted. What’s after lunch? Once you have several ladies on the farm, and you’ve enjoyed a five-course pork luncheon then what do you do? Well, you talk more pork of course. Part of Pork Month and the point of Falcon’s Swine and Dine luncheon was to bring up farming with people who don’t farm in a comfortable setting. When you get to know people over a meal, real conversations happen. When the luncheon concluded
Home Falcon loaded everyone up in her vehicle to go for a tour of the farm. “I knew because of the pigs health and biosecurity we couldn’t all go into the barns, but we could drive around and look at the farm and talk about what was going on inside,” Falcon said. The icing on the proverbial cake of the entire day came when Falcon had one of the farm employees bring two baby pigs out of the barn and to the vehicle. Each of the ladies were able to meet the pigs up close and were able to learn more about what baby pigs look like, how they grow and what kind of care they need to grow. A new tradition is born Falcon said many times how much fun she had during the luncheon and the kind of difference it made to those who were able to attend.
“I think I am going to make this a new tradition,” Falcon said. “Maybe it will be an annual event from now on.” Now you may be asking yourself why this is so important. October Pork Month is a time when all across the nation small celebrations like Falcon’s luncheon took place. Some are small and just a few people while others may be quite large – but the point is still the same – share the love and the story of pork. Pig farming people are awesome. “I think pork makes for better friends,” Buzzard said. Think you might know some people who agree with her? •
story by Kristin Alsup. photos from Tina Falcon
by Kalyen Baker
Queen of the Barn
ose is the lady with a smile that greets you with your penning assignment at the shows, said Rusty Gosz, assistant extension specialist at the Oklahoma State University Department of Animal Science and swine committee member. She is also the lady that handles all the issues that arise during the shows with an equally positive attitude, Gosz said. Bonjour currently serves as the central district program specialist for the Oklahoma FFA Association. She said her job includes working with FFA members and agricultural education instructors across the state, specifically in the central district, with a wide variety of activities including leadership events, speech contests and day-to-day operations. Through her position with the Oklahoma FFA Association, Bonjour said she also received a position on the swine committee for the Tulsa State Fair and Oklahoma Youth Expo. This is where okPORK Executive Director Roy Lee Lindsey got the opportunity to know her. Working alongside her throughout all of his time on the committee, one could see her dedication to the young people raising show pigs in Oklahoma. “Rose is an extremely detailed professional because she cares so much that everything is as right as it can be,” Gosz said. “It’s not a glamorous job and she is definitely in the background, but we consider her the ‘queen’ of our 18 • Oklahoma Pork Council
committee. At the end of the day, she is the one who makes the final call.” From setting up the ring to cleaning out scales and working on penning assignments, Bonjour said she works on a little bit of everything, especially when it comes to the Tulsa State Fair. “I answer all the questions and handle all the issues that arise during the show,” Bonjour said. “I also coordinate with the other committee members and help solve problems so we can keep the show running.” Bonjour said every show will have its issues no matter how hard you work. However, Bonjour said her goal for each show is to resolve issues that arise without letting the participants and spectators know there was ever an issue in the first place. “Anytime you are working with Rose, she may be the one in charge, but she takes a servant’s role in leading and is always willing to lend a hand,” said Jason Harvey, market development coordinator at the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and swine committee member. “She is there working hard for the kids. Not for the recognition or the fame, but because she loves the kids.” Gosz said Bonjour’s endless perseverance to finish the job is one of her best virtues. “She works day in and day out to serve Oklahoma’s youth through the Tulsa State Fair and the Oklahoma
Youth Expo,” Gosz said. “Everything she does is for the youth she is serving. That is her payoff and she is not looking for anything else.” Harvey said Bonjour’s willingness to take on the thankless tasks around the fair makes her work invaluable, especially at the Tulsa State Fair. “Rose is always ready to take on the thankless tasks that no one else wants to do,” Harvey said. “For example, each year she figures out how to pen 3,000 barrows and 3,000 gilts at the fairs and does it with a smile on her face. She then goes the extra mile to label everything throughout the barn, just to make it easier on everyone else and to make sure things run smooth.” In addition to working countless hours to make sure everything is in place in time for the hog shows, Gosz said Bonjour has earned the respect from agricultural education instructors across the state. “Rose really enjoys what she does and has the respect from the teachers,” Gosz said. “That says a lot because it’s not like she came from a highly-honored swine program or a large commercial farm. She has worked to establish her title through her years of service.” Gosz said he believes the Tulsa State Fair is the greatest state fair in the country, and Rose has a lot do with how well the hog barn, which is what most people see when they first walk on the fairgrounds, is viewed by the public.
she takes a
servant’s role in leading and is
always willing to lend a hand “Most of the public passes through the hog barn first, so it is important that everything is running smooth and nothing gives them a negative perception of agriculture,” Gosz said. “Rose is a huge part of making that happen. She is running a swine show that is very competitive, but is also managing biosecurity, animal health and presentation for the general public. She is the one balancing all of those factors.” Bonjour said part of her job includes helping the general public learn more about agricultural practices, especially at and during the Tulsa State Fair. Bonjour sings in the choir at her local church and said her choir director came to the Tulsa State Fair for the first time this year and was amazed by the amount of pigs and work that went into the hog show. “My choir director put it in perspective that we take a lot of things that go on at shows and in agriculture
for granted,” Bonjour said. “He was someone who had no clue about agriculture and was simply amazed by what he saw. There are times I am walking around the fair and people come up to me and ask questions about what we are doing and how things work. We always have to be ready to answer those questions as agriculturists.” Aside from educating the public about agriculture and working to make sure the fairs run smoothly, Bonjour said her favorite part of working on the swine committee is working with Oklahoma’s youth. “I love seeing the look on kids’ faces when something goes their way or when they accomplish a goal,” Bonjour said. “Sometimes the animals have a mind of their own, but I love watching the kids stick with it and do the best they can. I love watching them grow.” Aside from working with FFA and
4-H members through her roles at the Oklahoma FFA Association and as a swine committee member for the Tulsa State Fair and Oklahoma Youth Expo hog shows, Bonjour said she enjoys spending time with her husband, Edmond, and two children, Sophia and Ean. The family enjoys hiking, biking and working on home improvement projects. Bonjour said her family also owns a craft business where they make and sell baby bath bundlers, blankets and wooden items like earrings, nativity scenes and ornaments. Although Bonjour said she would like to bicycle across the United States one day, retirement is not in her future anytime soon. “I’ve never been good at sitting still,” Bonjour said. “I’ve still got a lot of life left in me!” •
president speaks, contiunted from page 5 on which we need to focus. Let’s face it, small town folks know more about farming than those outside your comfort area. You’ll be surprised in the interest and great conversation you will find everywhere – especially with the moms – they want to know what they are feeding their children. The only dumb question is the one not asked. Work on State Question 777
continues both within okPORK and within the rest of the barnyard, Roy Lee has all the info you need and more will come as the first of the year approaches. I just would like to say that the support from the pork producers has been tremendous and we need to be proud of ourselves for the initial push. Now we need to start thinking about putting ourselves out there in our
communities and getting the word out as the time approaches. There will be lots and lots of information to follow. I look forward to seeing ALL OF YOU at the okPORK Congress, it’s going to be a really good one so don’t be the one who says I wish I would have gone. Fair winds and Following Seas, - Keith •
Fun at the FAIR T
he friendship that exists between the Oklahoma Pork Council and the Oklahoma State Fair isn’t shiny and new. It isn’t one of those friendships where the waters are still being tested or a friendship where you have to wonder if the other person will still be your friend if you don’t call them immediately. okPORK and the Great State Fair of Oklahoma are old friends. Things change and there are always growing pains and new things to discover about the friendship but as time moves forward it never fails to be a friendship okPORK comes back to again and again. Once again the fall of 2015 found okPORK nestled into the same old spot between the Oklahoma Expo Hall and 20 • Oklahoma Pork Council
the Space Needle slinging pork chop sandwiches and sharing a little bit about the love of pork to the people attending the fair. What has been seen before? One doesn’t fix something if it isn’t broken, right? So when stopping by the Pork Chop Shop this fall the famous pork chop sandwich was available. The pork chops were juicy and cut thick enough to give you the perfect mouthful of sandwich. If you picked up a coupon book from the fair information booths, you could even get a discount on that famous sandwich. If a customer prefers the pulled pork sandwich or was seeking the ground pork burger there also was no
cause for alarm. Each of the sandwiches could be found and would be served with a smile. One could also, of course, add some Head Country to each bite if it sounds tasty. For the second year the service with a smile at the Pork Chop Shop came from a group of volunteers currently serving in the Navy who are stationed at Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City, Okla. They brought more than their hard work to the booth. The volunteers were always willing to talk with anyone who stopped about how delicious they found the food, how much they had eaten of it themselves and how much they liked working with okPORK. The volunteers were involved with setting up the booth and tearing
it down. They were there to help in the heat and in the rain. It was a wonderful arrangement and everyone who came by was able to engage in a conversation about sandwiches, pigs, working with pig farmers or even the Navy. What was new this year? Did you hear about the Pork Chop Shop on the radio this year? Well, you could have. The first morning of the fair food was taken to the Cumulus radio stations to share and help get people excited to stop by and have some grub. There was more though. The Morning Animals hosted Communications Specialist Kristin Alsup and Outreach Specialist Lloyd Hawkins and talked about the new item at the booth. Also, two radio remotes were hosted at the booth during the duration of the fair and people couldn’t help but get excited about hearing Mitchell in the Morning and the Sports Animal at the Pork Chop Shop. The new item was called the Chop Stick. For the first time at the Oklahoma State Fair you could get bacon at the Pork Chop Shop and it was a hit. Three medallions of pork loin wrapped in bacon and sprinkled with rub, all juicy and tender and sold for $7 were more than people could pass up. Do you remember when okPORK used to have a promotional booth? Well, for the first time ever okPORK brought the promotion to the Pork Chop Shop. Trey Reiner, the son of an okPORK
member, donated an original, one-ofa-kind, hand-made fire pit to be given away during the fair. Anyone who stopped by the booth was eligible to enter. The catch? There was no catch. For an extra entry – those interested could play a game of corn hole with volunteers from among okPORK’s members, staff and friends. Why would okPORK do this? There are several reasons okPORK was excited about the promotion including bringing more people to the booth to sell more sandwiches. However, each of the people who stopped by to enter and play a game provided a chance to put in face-to-face time with a member of the public who may never have another opportunity to meet someone in the pork industry. The entry form also provided a way to connect with them in the future. Through the promotion okPORK made long-term friends. Speaking of friends, okPORK and the Oklahoma State Fair still haven’t stopped being friends, okPORK is friends with the volunteers, made new friends by playing games but are you their friend? Did you come by and get a sandwich or a chop stick? If not, it’s okay. You can try again next year, and there will once again be some of the same old things, but there will also be at least one new thing about which to be excited. Don’t be one to miss out on finding out what will be new and exciting at the Pork Chop Shop. •
Rain-or-Shine Pulled Pork and Pimiento Cheese
Hot and Sweet Cubano Sandwich
Smoky Hot Chops with Cool Cucumber-Tomato Salad
Rain or shine, get your daily recipe Porkcast at PorkBeInspired.com/Porkcast
©2015 National Pork Board, Des Moines, IA USA. This message funded by America’s Pork Producers and the Pork Checkoff.
22 • Oklahoma Pork Council
Perfect Day Pork and Black Bean Nachos
Easy, Breezy Honey-Chipotle Pork Kabobs
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Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin with Cranberry-Orange Glaze Prep: 5 minutes | Cooking: 40 minutes | Serves: 6 2-3 pound new york (top loin) pork roast 6-7 slices bacon Salt and pepper 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries Juice and zest of 2 oranges 1 sprig rosemary, chopped 1/3 cup orange marmalade Preheat oven to 350 degrees and heat a nonstick skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Liberally sprinkle the pork loin with salt, pepper and oil. On the stove, sear the pork over medium heat until its light brown on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the pork from the heat. Wrap the pork loin with bacon and place it in the oven. Meanwhile, cook your cranberry glaze: Place cranberries, orange juice and zest, rosemary and orange marmalade in a saucepan. Cook the sauce over medium heat for 10 minutes and set aside. After 20 minutes of cooking time, brush about 1/2 the glaze over the pork. Cook for an additional 15 minutes for a total cooking time of 35-40 minutes (20 minutes per pound), or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches between 145 to 160 degrees F., using a digital meat thermometer. Remove the pork from the oven and let it rest for three minutes. Brush the rest of the glaze on the pork.