Food industry leaders meet with legislators at State Capitol
Thursday, December 12, 2019
The Industry Advisory Committee of the Oklahoma State University Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center met at the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City to help build relationships with legislators and discuss impacts of the OSU food center.
Led by committee chair Ed Clements of Clements Foods in Oklahoma City, the advisory board offers counsel, makes decisions and takes leadership action to ensure FAPC makes sound short and long term plans to accomplish its mission and objectives. State Statute 2-5-60 requires the committee to hold meetings biannually to help meet the needs of the Oklahoma value added food processing industry.
“The committee meetings give us an opportunity to discuss important issues and challenges facing FAPC and the food industry as a whole,” Clements said. “The meetings are vital to keep the committee members informed, so we are able to provide the necessary leadership to the center.”
During the Nov. 7 meeting, FAPC Industry Advisory Committee members met with several Oklahoma legislators to discuss how the center provides assistance to small, medium and large companies.
“The Industry Advisory Committee wanted to enjoy a working session and lunch with legislators at our State Capitol to discuss how FAPC impacts and supports growth of the food industry in our state,” said Roy Escoubas, FAPC director. “The advisory board was pleased with the outcome in developing beneficial relationships with legislators and reporting the performance of the center.”
Committee members Erica Hering of Ralph’s Packing Co. in Perkins, Oklahoma; Paul Schatte of Head Country Food Products and Paul’s Food Products in Ponca City, Oklahoma; and John Patrick Lopez of Lopez Foods in Oklahoma City, gave personal testimonials on how FAPC has helped meet the needs of their companies.
“Ralph’s has an exceptional relationship with FAPC, and we continue to benefit from one another,” Hering said. “Several people in the state believe FAPC targets primarily startup businesses, but as a business that’s been operating for 60 years, I can attest FAPC has services to offer long standing businesses. I’ve also talked with many colleagues from around the United States, and many are envious of our close connection to FAPC and the services offered to us and our employees. So many of my colleagues in different parts of the country don’t have a resource in their backyard as important and unique as FAPC.”
Guests during the meeting included Reps. Cyndi Munson, Dell Kerbs, John Talley, Ken Luttrell, Cynthia Roe and Chris Sneed; Sens. Ron Sharp, Tom Dugger, David Bullard and Bill Coleman; Tonya Pogue, legislative assistant for the Speaker of the House; and Amy Dronberger, OSU Research.
Members of the committee are appointed by the Oklahoma governor, speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, the Senate president pro tempore and the vice president for agricultural programs of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
In addition to Clements, Hering, Schatte and Lopez, other members of the committee include Scott Dvorak, Dvorak Farms; Joe Ford, Shawnee Milling Co.; John Griffin, Griffin Foods; David Howard, Howard Industries; Curtis Jurgensmeyer, J-M Farms; Rodger Kerr, Southwest Economic Development Corp.; Tommy Kramer, Kramer Consulting Co.; Max McDermott, deVine Water Co.; David McLaughlin, McLaughlin Group LLC; Mark Vaughan, Fresh Avenue Partners; and ex-officio Tom Coon, OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
FAPC, a part of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, helps to discover, develop and deliver technical and business information that stimulates and supports the growth of value added food and agricultural products and processing in Oklahoma.
MEDIA CONTACT: Mandy Gross | FAPC Communications Services | 405-744-0442 | firstname.lastname@example.org