Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center
Beverage industry expert joins food-processing center advisory board
By Mandy Gross, FAPC Communications Services Manager
(Stillwater, Okla. – March 10, 2017) A beverage industry expert is the newest member of Oklahoma State University’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center advisory board.
Appointed by the Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, Max McDermott, owner of deVine Water Co. in Jet, Oklahoma, joins the 16-member Industry Advisory Committee to help oversee the center’s mission and vision.
“It is an honor to be appointed to the committee, especially by someone I hold in high regard,” McDermott said. “The fact that someone would have faith in me to contribute at this level is a humbling experience.”
In 2003, McDermott purchased an artesian well, located north of the Great Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge. Drilled in 1954, the site is well known by locals as the “Artesian Well on Highway 11.”
“People from all around the world visit the well,” he said. “It’s a tourist attraction.”
Even after starting his own bottling company, McDermott has continued to make the premium water at the main well site available to the public at no charge.
The 13,000-square feet facility produces bottled water, available in 12 ounces, 16.9 ounces, 20 ounces, 1 liter, and 3, 4 and 5 gallon-sized containers, which can be delivered to home, office, retail and wholesale outlets. The company also manufactures private-labeled water for schools, colleges and businesses.
The company employs six full-time and part-time area residents.
McDermott visited the center and met with Roy Escoubas, FAPC director; Tom Coon, OSU vice president in charge of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources; and center faculty and staff. The Feb. 1 visit also included a tour of the FAPC facility.
McDermott said the wealth of knowledge and the programs available through FAPC are a treasure.
“Being from NW Oklahoma, having general knowledge of agriculture, oil, manufacturing and building a water-bottling facility, I know firsthand the road blocks that new business face and the advantages we have here in Oklahoma,” he said. “FAPC has been there for deVine Water since the beginning. With new innovations in the water-bottling industry, FAPC will continue to be indispensable for the future of deVine.”
McDermott will join the other advisory board members during the next biannual meeting June 1 at FAPC.
Escoubas said he is looking forward to having McDermott on the Industry Advisory Committee and having him interact with the other committee members.
“Max is a farmer at heart and is always looking for opportunities to pursue a value-added venture with his resources,” he said. “His experience in creating a bottled-water business that continues to grow each year makes him an excellent resource to the committee.”
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Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU has more than 36,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 25,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, Oklahoma State has graduated more than 260,000 students who have been serving Oklahoma and the world for 125 years.