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FAPC hosts second annual Media Day

The Food & Agricultural Products Center on the campus of Oklahoma State University recently hosted its second annual Media Day, “Making Headlines: Media Meets FAPC 2006.”


STILLWATER, Okla. – The Food & Agricultural Products Center on the campus of Oklahoma State University recently hosted its second annual Media Day, “Making Headlines: Media Meets FAPC 2006.”

Approximately 75 media representatives and industry personnel from across the state came to Stillwater to learn how the FAPC is involved in adding value to Oklahoma, said Mandy Gross, FAPC communications specialist.

“The event provided the media participants with multiple story ideas about the FAPC and companies who have worked with the FAPC,” Gross said.

Ron Hays, founder of the Oklahoma Agrinet and co-founder of Clear Channel Ag Networks, moderated the event. Robert Whitson, OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources vice president, dean and director, welcomed the participants to the FAPC, and J. Roy Escoubas, FAPC director, explained the purpose of the center.

Brent Kisling, State Director for U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development in Oklahoma, served as the keynote speaker discussing the crucial roles of agriculture in the state.

Kisling also talked about the USDA value-added agricultural product market development grants for which many independent agricultural producers and FAPC clients are eligible.

Donning lab coats and hairnets, attendees participated in four round-robin demonstrations in the FAPC pilot plant.

FAPC faculty and staff conducted a Kona coffee sensory panel in the FAPC test panel room. Participants had the opportunity to taste samples of Dr. Paulo’s Kona Coffee. Even though Dr. Paulo’s Kona Coffee is grown in Hawaii, the company has an operation in Oklahoma.

The identifying and tasting different meat products demonstration highlighted various beef products from National Steak and Poultry of Owasso, Okla., that have been making an impact nationally, including recent introduction to Chili’s restaurants. Other products from Oklahoma-based companies, such as Advance Foods and Chef’s Requested, were also featured. The FAPC assists these companies in product development and employee training.

Attendees also viewed the production of Abe’s Creations peanut butter syrup. In addition to seeing the mixing, bottling, labeling and packaging processes, each person received a bottle of the freshly made peanut butter syrup compliments of Kathy Privett, owner of Abe’s Creations.

The final demonstration was a small-scale beef jerky dehydration unit the FAPC developed. The entire unit can be constructed for less than $7,500, thus making it feasible for smaller meat processors to enter the jerky industry. Three hundred pounds of raw product were dehydrated which produced about 100 pounds of jerky for the participants to sample.

The event also included FAPC client and research booths that provided media with information for potential stories. The booths included Spencer’s Smokehouse, RitaRims, Upper Red Fork Innovations, Lasley Family Farm, Guymon Extracts, a winery feasibility template, converting sweet sorghum into ethanol, and potential uses of probiotics in dog food.

Spencer’s Smokehouse in Midwest City, Okla., has been in business for 17 years and has developed a trademark cloverleaf yeast roll. The company also makes cinnamon rolls as a byproduct of the yeast rolls. Spencer’s Smokehouse provided both cinnamon rolls and dinner rolls for the Media Day event.

RitaRims of Blanchard, Okla., produces cups that are pre-rimmed with either lime flavoring and salt or strawberry flavoring and sugar. RitaRims are ready-to-use, shelf-stable and ideal for serving specialty drinks.

Upper Red Fork Innovations of Hunter, Okla., produces a variety of products including Country Raised Lamb, Grandma Opal’s cookie mixes, stone-ground whole-wheat flour and handspun wool yarn.

The Lasley Family Farm, LLC of Eakley, Okla., has been producing value-added peanut products since 2003. The Lasleys produce five candies, including sweet crunchy, cinnamon crunchy, peanut patties, peanut clusters and peanut brittle, in addition to roasted and salted peanuts and hot and spicy peanuts.

Guymon Extracts was established in 2004 in Guymon, Okla. The company manufactures pork extract and pork fat from pork bone obtained from a nearby meat packer. The pork extract and fat are exported to Japan for further processing for use as seasoning in Japanese dishes such as noodle soup.

FAPC Director J. Roy Escoubas said he was pleased with this year’s Media Day.

“Not only did the event highlight several companies the FAPC works with, but the Media Day also highlighted several activities performed at the FAPC,” Escoubas said.

The FAPC strives to discover, develop and deliver technical and business information that will stimulate and support the growth of value-added food and agricultural products and processing in Oklahoma.

For more information about the FAPC, call (405) 744-6071.

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Oklahoma State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, State and Local Governments Cooperating. The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, or status as a veteran, and is an equal opportunity employer.