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FAPC Leaders Remain Optimistic In Food Industry


The Industry Advisory Committee of Oklahoma State University’s Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center recently met to learn more about faculty research and to discuss how the advisory board can contribute to the needs of the center.

“The committee members bring real-world knowledge and experience oversight,” said Roy Escoubas, FAPC director. “They continue to be strongly supportive of FAPC and engaged with the Oklahoma food industry, which is why I am so very pleased to have them advising us.”

The advisory board, representing food and agricultural leaders around the state, met in-person June 3 at the OSU Stillwater campus. While meeting with faculty and staff, the advisory board learned of updates on the facility and ongoing faculty research projects.

“Research is an important aspect of our mission,” Escoubas said. “The collaboration with our advisory board allows for open discussion to better understand important issues facing the food and agricultural industries.”

Faculty presented the following research projects in five-minute segments during the meeting:

  • Degradation of Compostable Plastics – Dani Bellmer, Ph.D., food process engineer;
  • Development of Effective Strategies for the Reduction of Shigatoxigenic E. Coli and their Biofilms in the Food Industry – Divya Jaroni, Ph.D., food microbiologist;
  • Value-added Processing of Pecan Nut Shells – Nurhan Dunford, Ph.D., oil/oilseed specialist;
  • From Sour Dough to Supplements for Well-being – Patricia Rayas-Duarte, Ph.D., cereal chemist;
  • Comparison of ‘Natural Nitrite’ vs Sodium Nitrite for Inhibition of Spores of Clostridium sporogeneses in Low- and High-Fat Hot Dogs – Peter Muriana, Ph.D., food microbiologist;
  • Preparing Oklahoma Pecan Processor for FSMA and Third-Party Audits through Research and Technical Assistance – Ravi Jadeja, Ph.D., food safety specialist;
  • Feasibility of Producing, Processing and Packaging Choctaw Heritage Products – Rodney Holcomb, Ph.D., agribusiness economist; and
  • Oklahoma Grape Library of Viticulture Extension: Varietal Wine Testing – William McGlynn, Ph.D., horticultural processing specialist.

Marc Jones of Homeland Retail Grocers in Oklahoma City said the meeting was insightful to learn about the amount of work by FAPC faculty and staff.

“I’m relatively new on this board and it is impressive from an outside perspective to learn about the continuous faculty research,” Jones said. “It’s interesting to learn about how FAPC helps Oklahoma businesses.”

During the meeting, the committee elected new officers for 2021-2022. Tom Kramer of Kramer Consulting Company in Durant will serve as chairman. Erica Hering of Ralph’s Packing Company in Perkins will serve as vice chairman. Mark Vaughan of Fresh Avenue Partners in Oklahoma City will serve as secretary.

Members of the committee are appointed by the governor, the speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, the Senate president pro tempore and the VP of agricultural programs of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, of which FAPC is a part.

Other members of the committee include John Lopez, Lopez Food Co.; John Griffin, Griffin Holdings Inc.; Edward Clements, Clements Food Co.; Dan Jolliff, U.S. Roasters Corp.; Rodger Kerr, Southwest Economic Development Corp.; Dave McLaughlin, McLaughin Group LLC; Marc Jones, Homeland Retail Grocers; Max McDermott, deVine Water Co.; Scott Dvorak, Dvorak Farms; Curtis Jurgensmeyer, J-M Farms; Joe Ford, Shawnee Milling Co.; and ex-officio Tom Coon, OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

“Two mandatory meetings of the committee are defined by the state statute,” Escoubas said.

The spring meeting always is held at FAPC because it allows the committee to be updated on activities, discuss new food industries issues and opportunities for Oklahoma, and be reacquainted with faculty and staff.

The November meeting takes place off-site at the discretion of the committee.

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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