Nine Students Selected
For nine selected students it is nearly time to pack their bags and put on their walking shoes – or boots – whichever they prefer. Those students will become the first class to experience okPORK’s Youth Leadership Camp. The camp is June 3-7, 2012, is designed to give high school-aged students a glimpse into all the different facets of the pork industry in Oklahoma.
Selecting camp participants began with an application and those students rising to the top of the application pool were then granted an interview. The committee chose the top nine candidates – Melinda Beck of Canute, Kelsey Brown of Talihina, Clayton Davison of Guthrie, Kaydee Hall of Edmond, Spencer Lukasek of Kingfisher, Rachel Shuey of Oklahoma City, Katie Taylor of Okemah, Lacie Underwood of Shawnee and Taylor Vaughn of Sand Springs. All nine are between the ages of 16 and 19 and each will return home to a different area of the state.
“The Oklahoma Pork Council has long been involved in supporting Oklahoma’s young people,” said Rick Maloney, an ex officio member of the okPORK Board of Directors and the Youth Leadership Camp coordinator. “We developed this camp as a way to introduce a handful of bright young students to the pork industry in Oklahoma. It is our hope to help them understand the economic impact of pork production in our state as well as the career opportunities it provides.”
While traveling through Oklahoma and the panhandle of Texas, camp participants will immerse themselves fully in the regional pork industry. From visiting farms and evaluating meat to media training and a look at processing make up only a small part of the camp’s eventful schedule. Each participant will have a first-hand look at each activity in the supply chain from farm to plate.
“One of the greatest challenges hog farmers in Oklahoma are facing is finding young people who recognize the opportunities a career in hog production can provide,” said Roy Lee Lindsey, okPORK‘s executive director. “This camp will show our participants a wide variety of the opportunities that exist in our industry. Not only will we see live animal production, but we’ll also see processing, packaging, and marketing of pork products.”
The camp is planned and put on by okPORK and is supported by OSU Animal Science Department, OSU Food and Ag Products Center, Advance Foods, Luthi Farms, Roberts Ranch of Oklahoma, Seaboard Foods, Texas Farms, Associated Wholesale Grocers, Lopez Foods and Crest Foods.