April is Made in Oklahoma Month, and Oklahoma State University’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center is encouraging Oklahomans to celebrate by supporting local food companies.
“Made in Oklahoma Month is a great way to remind Oklahomans to support their local food products,” said Andrea Graves, FAPC business planning and marketing specialist. “When you buy local products, you are putting money back into the state—keeping the products, jobs and money in Oklahoma, which is the main priority of FAPC.”
FAPC, a part of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, supports the food industry by offering businesses, producers and entrepreneurs access to expertise in business and technical disciplines to stimulate and support the growth of value-added food and agricultural products and processing in Oklahoma.
FAPC has worked with University Dining Services for the past 10 years to provide more locally made and grown food on campus and promote MIO companies.
The focus is to promote more MIO companies, offer their products in campus dining locations and catering services, and introduce the companies and products to OSU students, faculty and staff.
“FAPC works and is in contact with Made in Oklahoma companies on a daily basis and helps local companies enter the market,” Graves said. “It just seemed like a logical fit for FAPC and University Dining Services to work together. It’s a great opportunity for both OSU and Made in Oklahoma companies.”
In addition, FAPC is partnering with University Dining Services and the Made in Oklahoma Coalition to support MIO Day at OSU on April 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the Student Union Plaza.
The focus is to promote more MIO companies, offer their products into campus dining locations and catering services, and introduce the companies and products to OSU students, faculty and staff.
“Optimizing food and nutrition through local products educates students on foods produced in the state of Oklahoma and encourages entrepreneurship for local businesses,” said Vedda Hsu, University Dining Services associate director.
Oklahoma companies representing the MIO Coalition will distribute complimentary samples of products during MIO Day at OSU, including meat, beverages and condiments. The companies include Ace in the Bowl, Amelia Creamery, Fidler Marketing, Griffin Foods, Lloyd’s Cuts, No Man’s Land Beef Jerky, Ozarka Water, Ralph’s Packing Co. and Stryve Biltong Snacks.
University Dining Services is currently working with more than 40 Oklahoma companies, said Steven West, University Dining Services assistant director.
“The event is appreciated by students and provides a learning opportunity about the Made in Oklahoma items,” West said. “Based on our students’ wants and needs, we attempt to introduce as many MIO vendors to campus as possible. It is a perfect opportunity to introduce students to the MIO concept and make them more aware of locally produced items.”