You are here: Home / News / FAPC advisory board tours Lopez Foods

FAPC advisory board tours Lopez Foods

FAPC’s advisory board recently met at Lopez Foods to discuss food and agricultural issues and take a tour of the Oklahoma City facility.

By Mandy Gross, FAPC Communications Services Manager

(Stillwater, Okla. – Nov. 20, 2015) Although Oklahoma’s food industry can be quite competitive, one way state food and agricultural leaders support the industry as a whole is through the Industry Advisory Committee of Oklahoma State University’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center.

FAPC’s advisory board recently met at Lopez Foods to discuss food and agricultural issues and take a tour of the Oklahoma City facility.

“It was an honor for Lopez Foods to host the committee meeting and show the food-processing capabilities of our business,” said John Patrick Lopez, chief operating officer of Lopez Foods and Industry Advisory Committee chair. “I was pleased with the outcome of the board meeting and enjoy working with the other committee members and center faculty and staff.”

Employing about 500 greater Oklahoma City residents and producing more than 1 million pounds of food products each day, Lopez Foods is a principle supplier to McDonald’s Corp. for premium all-beef patties, sliced Canadian style bacon and pre-cooked premium pork sausage patties.

Lopez Foods also supplies a range of fully cooked products for the retail and foodservice industry under the Quick-N-Eat brand. Customers include Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costco, Kroger, H.E.B., Burger King and the Associated Wholesale Grocers to name a few.

During the Nov. 5 meeting, FAPC Industry Advisory Committee members met with faculty and staff and heard updates about the newly approved food safety option available through the OSU Department of Animal Sciences’ food science degree and the center’s Oklahoma Audit Alliance program, which focuses on food safety, quality and continuous improvement for Oklahoma companies.

In addition, Jeff Ragen of KiZE Concepts in Oklahoma City discussed experiences in starting his business and working with FAPC. KiZE Concepts produces high-energy and high-protein nutrition bars and snacks, which are sold in natural food stores, grocery stores, coffee and juice bars, sport teams and fitness studios.

“The committee looks forward to meeting and hearing about successful entrepreneurs who work with FAPC,” Lopez said. “I was impressed at how much Jeff has accomplished in such a short time. It shows how committed he is to his company and his products.”

Recently, KiZE partnered with FAPC to implement a new bar extruder at its manufacturing facility. FAPC helped KiZE identify its equipment needs, look at alternatives, make a decision, install the equipment, evaluate product results and make adjustments.

“We kept growing,” Ragan said. “We reached a major stall point, where we couldn’t make more any faster by hand. None of us have any food or technical background. We had to rely heavily on FAPC to help assist us through that process and keep up with growing demand.”

More than 600 companies make up Oklahoma’s food-processing industry, which accounts for almost 2 percent of the state's employment base, according to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. Small companies make up the majority of Oklahoma's diversified food industry.

In the last 5-year economic impact study on 75 Oklahoma food businesses, FAPC was credited with generating more than $18 million in annual sales revenue. These companies were located in communities across Oklahoma from Guymon to Tahlequah to Ponca City to Ardmore, generating more than 350 jobs in these communities.

“FAPC is fortunate to have an advisory board that is invested in the future of the center,” said Roy Escoubas, FAPC director. “The committee members understand the importance of FAPC and are continuously looking for ways the center can grow and better serve the food and agricultural industries.”

Members of the committee are appointed by the speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, the Senate president pro tempore and the vice president, dean and director of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, of which FAPC is a part.

In addition to Lopez, other members of the committee include Luis Bogran, Curwood, a Bemis Co. of Pauls Valley; Edward Clements, Clements Foods of Oklahoma City; Gary Crane, Ralph’s Packing Co. of Perkins; Scott Dvorak, Dvorak Farms of Perry; Joe Ford, Shawnee Milling Co. of Shawnee; John Griffin, Griffin Foods of Muskogee; David Howard, Unitherm Food Systems of Bristow; Virgil Jurgensmeyer, J-M Farms of Miami; Rodger Kerr, Southwest Technology Center of Altus; Tommy Kramer, Durant Industrial Authority of Durant; David McLaughlin, retired from AdvancePierre Foods of Oklahoma City; Paul Schatte, Head Country Food Inc. of Ponca City; Mark Vaughan, Vaughan Foods of Moore; and ex-officio Tom Coon, OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

The committee meets twice a year, usually in June and November. The June meeting is held at FAPC, while the November meeting is held off-site at the discretion of the committee.

- ### -

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.