Camping with the future of pork farming 

Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities do not often gather themselves together. However, as elusive as those moments tend to be - eight high school students jumped on a bus adventure and snagged a whole handful of experiences even pork industry veterans haven't been invited to do.

 

On June 3, the students - who came from hometowns which span all of Oklahoma - arrived at Oklahoma State University without a firm idea of what the inaugural okPORK Youth Leadership would be like, where they would go or the kind of people who would be attending the camp with them.

 

The camp participants - Kelsey Brown, Clayton Davison, Kaydee Hall, Spencer Lukasek, Rachel Shuey, Katie Taylor, Lacie Underwood and Taylor Vaughn - did know a few things though. They knew they were the first class of students to be able to attend the camp, they were going to meet the Texas Youth Leadership Camp participants and they knew they were going to be able to get a hands-on experience with commercial pork farming most adults have never even dreamed of.

 

The entire trip began so early in the morning most of the inhabitants of the charter bus were too sleepy to even attempt to get to know one another. As the adventure began rolling toward the first stop in Perryton, Texas the students groggily got to know one another while the chaperones nailed down the details of what shape the day would take.

 

Upon arrival in Perryton, the campers slowly found their seats among the participants from Texas. As the group grew, time slid on toward orientation. To officially start the camp Roy Lee Lindsey - the executive director at okPORK and Ken Horton - the executive director for the Texas Pork Producers Association stood together and laid some rules and expectations on the table for the assembled campers from both states.

 

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It isn't Summer until someone breaks out the ribs...

 

Apricot-Sauced Ribs

4 pounds pork spareribs, cut into serving-size pieces
1 8-oz can apricot halves, undrained
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon dry ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt 
 
Cooking Directions

Prepare medium-hot coals for indirect grilling in covered grill. Place ribs on grill not directly over coals, cover grill and cook ribs over indirect heat for 1 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, blend remaining ingredients together in blender. Brush ribs generously with sauce and continue to cook, about 15-20 minutes, basting and turning 2-3 times


"Hoot'n Holler" Baby back ribs
2 racks baby back pork ribs, (about 1 1/2-pounds per rack)
1 12-oz jar prepared mesquite-flavored marinade
3 bay leaves
1 medium onion, peeled
1 cup prepared barbecue sauce, (mild or spicy)
1/2 cup brown sugar
 
Cooking DirectionsIn a large stockpot, place both racks of ribs; add enough water to cover ribs. Add marinade, bay leaves and onion. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. (This will create foam on top.) Reduce to medium-low heat; simmer 45 minutes or until ribs are just tender. Remove ribs from cooking liquid; drain on rimmed baking sheet. Heat grill to medium heat (about 350 degrees F.). Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, stir together the barbecue sauce and brown sugar. Brush over both sides of ribs. Place ribs on grill, bone side down, close lid. Grill for 7 minutes, turn and grill 7 minutes more.

About Oklahoma Pork Council

The Oklahoma Pork Council, a producer organization consisting of Oklahoma pork producers, represents the interests of all pork producers. Partially funded by federally collected Pork Checkoff dollars, OPC promotes pork and pork products, funds research, and educates consumers and producers about the pork industry. For more information about this or any other programs of the Oklahoma Pork Council visit www.okpork.org or call 1.405.232.3781.

 
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