Taylor to attend okPORK’s Youth Leadership Camp

After reviewing a multitude of applicants statewide, Oklahoma Pork Council (okPORK) officials have selected 12 Oklahoma high school students, including one Okemah High School student, as 2017 okPORK Youth Leadership Camp participants. Rhett Taylor, Okemah High School senior, will spend June 25 – 30 learning about the pork industry, including production, sales and career opportunities.
The camp begins in Stillwater, and includes sessions in Ames, Hennessey, Guymon, Woodward and Oklahoma City.  Camp participants will learn all phases of the industry from breeding sows to selling pork chops. Participants will also complete a live animal evaluation and actually harvest and process the hogs they evaluate. They will also spend time in the Sonic headquarters in Oklahoma City and visit Platt Culinary College making the week a true farm-to-fork experience.
“The pork industry is the state’s second-largest agriculture enterprise and provides 15,000 jobs for Oklahoma,” said Cathy Vaughan, member of okPORK board of directors. “We want young Oklahomans to know how our industry impacts our state and most importantly that there are great career opportunities in this growing industry. The students will learn all of this and more next week at camp, including getting a chance to visit with members of Oklahoma’s agricultural news media.”
Joe Poppelwell, operations manager at Seaboard Foods, board member of okPORK, and camp instructor for genetics says he hopes the students will return to pursue an internship. However, even if they don’t he finds that “the kids are often spokespeople for us,” and by sharing their experiences with others, the industry benefits as a whole.
The Youth Leadership Camp is also being presented, sponsored, or hosted by the following partners: OSU Animal Science Department, OSU Food & Agricultural Products Center, Luthi Farms, Roberts Ranch of Oklahoma, Seaboard Foods, Hitch Enterprises, Platt Culinary Institute, Sonic, Oklahoma Horizons, Oklahoma Career Tech and the National Pork Board.

Rhett Taylor

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