Hall of Fame | 2015
Betty Baker was the first female to be elected to the okPORK Board of Directors and ultimately the first woman to serve as an officer,” said okPORK Executive Director Roy Lee Lindsey, Jr. “As I was learning what to do as a new association executive – how to manage the budget and how to do those things – Betty had a very calming effect on the Board.”
One might believe for these reasons alone Betty Baker should be inducted into the Oklahoma Pork Council Hall of Fame. She was inducted – posthumously – as the 2015 okPORK Hall of Fame inductee, but for so many more reasons than simply being the first woman to be a part of the Board of Directors.
“She was a great ambassador and a great leader for the industry at a time when it really needed leadership and it needed a kind of persona,” okPORK member Rick Maloney said. “She really believed in small business and the importance of small business in the community. She wasn’t just a person who talked about things – she DID things and was engaged in the community.”
Another shining example of Betty’s dedication to the pork industry was apparent in the way she took care of the natural resources in her care. She was recognized as both an Oklahoma and National Environmental Steward.
“She thought stewardship was an everyday thing,” Maloney said. “It was how you should run your business – being a good steward of the land and taking care of the environment as well as taking care of your people and taking care of your animals.”
Betty chose to serve as the face of the pork industry in multiple ways throughout her time raising pigs. Perhaps the obvious way she served in this role was when she agreed to do commercials for okPORK to run on television and in print ads across the state.
“Those commercials were important to her showing the fact that this was a growing industry, this was a good industry – it creates jobs,” Brian Baker, Betty’s husband, said. “She was a believer in letting the world know that the pork industry was here to stay and it was doing good things.”
Betty continues to inspire people to work harder to be stewards of the land, pillars in the community and spokespeople for the industry. Brian says that if she were here today and receiving this award herself that she would be happy and excited. He shed more light on the topic when he said beyond the well-deserved recognition for her work and achievements, in the end it would help to elevate the entire industry.
“She was a representative for the industry everywhere and was a tremendous example for all of us about how to represent yourself professionally, how to represent your business, your industry and no one did that better than Betty did,” Lindsey said.