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Student in a meat lab.
Blake Robbins, a student worker at the Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center, received a Freshmen of Excellence Award and was selected as a Top 20 Freshmen. (Photo by Kirsten Hollansworth)

FAPC student worker recognized with Freshmen Excellence Award and selected as Top 20 Freshmen

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Media Contact: Kirsten Hollansworth | FAPC Communications Graduate Student | 405-744-0442 | kirsten.hollansworth@okstate.edu

At the Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center, student workers are an invaluable resource that play a large role in the operations that take place at the facility.

Blake Robbins, a food science sophomore from Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, and student worker in the meat pilot plant at FAPC, received an Oklahoma State University Freshmen Excellence Award and was selected as a Top 20 Freshmen. This recognition is for individuals who exemplify the highest form of excellence within academics, leadership, community service and extracurricular activities.

“This award means a great deal to me, especially because I was nervous to join the Ferguson College of Agriculture,” Robbins said. “I discovered my passion from taking animal and food science courses, in addition to working at FAPC. Receiving this award shows there is a place for everyone with the Ferguson College of Agriculture.”

Robbins chose to attend OSU because of the community and food science facilities, especially at FAPC. In addition to working at FAPC, his involvement on campus includes the President’s Leadership Council, the Ferguson College Freshmen/Transfer Council, Food Science Club, Meat Science Association and the Farmhouse fraternity.

“My favorite part of working at FAPC is assisting food companies with projects,” Robbins said. “I have gained industry experience with a wide variety of foods from helping these companies develop new products or refine old ones.”

After graduation, Robbins plans to attend graduate school at OSU before working in research and development for a major food company.

“My advice for current freshmen is to try as many things as possible during the first year of college,” he said. “Clubs, work activities and college events are ways to learn find your passion and gain experiences in a wide variety of fields.”

Joel Jackson, meat pilot plant manager, believes Robbins’ work ethic and reliability makes him a trustworthy representative of FAPC when working with client projects, or various groups on campus.

“The student workers, both graduate and undergraduate, are the driving force of production at FAPC,” Jackson said. “I have a group of talented and ambitious students who seek to gain valuable experience, learn and make an impact at FAPC and throughout the OSU community.”

Students on the Cowboy Meats crew participate with animal handling, harvest, food safety, sanitation, carcass fabrication, packaging, labeling, sales and marketing.

“Blake joined FAPC in the early spring as a freshman and took the opportunity to work full time throughout the summer to hone his processing skills with involvement in multiple projects,” Jackson said.

Robbins has high school experience in a retail meat shop, and his work is completed effectively, efficiently and with quality in mind.

“Blake is always eager to jump in and learn about new products, processes and techniques,” Jackson said. “I’m proud to have him as part of the Cowboy Meats crew and he is surely an asset to the daily workings of FAPC.”

Roy Escoubas, FAPC director, said Robbins brought experience with him but is an eager and ready learner.

"Blake knows how to work and is not intimidated by any of assignments,” Escoubas said. “I am very pleased he is a part of FAPC and the pilot plant team.”

FAPC, a part of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, helps 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.

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