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Vaughan brings decades – long experience to FAPC advisory board

An Oklahoman whose family has been a fixture in the state’s food industry for more than 50 years been appointed to the Industry Advisory Committee of Oklahoma State University’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center. Appointed by the Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, Mark Vaughan, former owner of Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma, joins the 16-member advisory board to help oversee the center’s mission and vision.

By Mandy Gross, FAPC Communications Services Manager

(Stillwater, Okla. – Oct. 9, 2015) An Oklahoman whose family has been a fixture in the state’s food industry for more than 50 years has been appointed to the Industry Advisory Committee of Oklahoma State University’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center.

Appointed by the Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, Mark Vaughan, former owner of Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma, joins the 16-member advisory board to help oversee the center’s mission and vision.

“The work FAPC does is important for our state,” Vaughan said. “I don’t know how you would start a small food business without the center. There is a need for FAPC to assist not only start-ups but also larger companies.”

Vaughan was born into a family of entrepreneurs in the fresh produce industry. His parents were owners of Quik Spuds in Oklahoma City.

This 1960 start-up family business focused on fresh-cut French fries, cut and whole tomatoes, fresh head lettuce, onions and vegetables for the local food service/restaurant market.

Following the death of his mother, Vaughan became more involved in the family business. Soon after, he purchased Sooner Spuds of Stroud, Oklahoma.

Following his father’s death, Vaughan moved the Stroud business to the Oklahoma City home facility and renamed the business Vaughan Foods.

This move allowed the company to provide fresh-cut potato products, processed products such as hash browns, fresh cut produce and fruit, and a variety of prepared salads to additional food service businesses in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas.

“I’m very passionate about the food business, especially the produce,” Vaughan said. “My great love is the fruit and vegetable side.”

Following significant growth in the company, Vaughan purchased a warehouse in Moore, Oklahoma, and opened a newly renovated and expanded facility in 1999.

In 2011, Reser’s Fine Foods based in Beaverton, Oregon, purchased Vaughan Foods.

Today, Vaughan Foods employs 480 full-time employees and ships millions of pounds of fresh-cut produce, refrigerated prepared salads, sauces, dressings and side dishes for the retail and food service trades annually.

Vaughan recently visited the center and met with FAPC Director Roy Escoubas, OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Vice President, Dean and Director Tom Coon, and center faculty and staff. The visit also included a tour of the FAPC facility.

FAPC’s relationship with Vaughan Foods dates back to 2009, and the center continues to assist the company with food safety projects, including meeting Global Food Safety Initiative standards.

“I want to make sure the whole Vaughan Foods team is aware of FAPC,” Vaughan said. “We could and should do more work with the center.”

Vaughan will join the other advisory board members during their next biannual meeting Nov. 5 at Lopez Foods in Oklahoma City.

“I’m looking forward to Mr. Vaughan being on the Industry Advisory Committee and having him interact with the other board members,” Escoubas said. “His extensive knowledge in the fresh-cut produce business makes him an excellent asset 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.