Senator Julie Daniels and Representative Mark McBride Receive okPORK Outstanding Legislator Award

OKLAHOMA CITY – August 2, 2019) On August 2, 2019, okPORK honored Senator Julie Daniels and Representative Mark McBride with the Outstanding Legislator Award during the 60th annual Oklahoma Pork Congress.

In 2010, the Oklahoma Pork Council established the Outstanding Legislator Award to honor members of the Oklahoma legislature for supporting Oklahoma’s pork industry. Since joining the Oklahoma Legislature, both Daniels and McBride have continually stood behind the pork industry in support of farmers. 

okPORK had the most productive legislative session in organization’s history. The most notable accomplishment of this session was House Bill 2373, which established caps on non-economic damages in agricultural nuisance lawsuits.  

As authors of HB 2373, Daniels and McBride were clear choices to receive the 2019 Outstanding Legislator Award. 

“I enjoyed working with [Oklahoma Pork Council] to rein in non-economic damages in agricultural nuisance lawsuits,” Daniels said. “The success of your industry is a critical component of our state’s economy.”

Sen. Julie Daniels was elected to the Senate in 2016. She currently serves as the chairperson of the Judiciary Committee and on the Appropriations, Health and Human Services and Rules Committees in the Senate.

With her legal background and role as chair of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Daniels was the perfect choice to carry HB2373 in the Senate. 

McBride was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012 and currently serves as the chairman of the Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Education and on the Business and Commerce and Energy and Natural Resources Committees.

His understanding of business issues and the threats on-going legal action to pose to all of agriculture convinced him this was an essential piece of legislation for Oklahoma’s pork producers and all agricultural producers in the state.

Executive Director of okPORK Roy Lee Lindsey said, “The Oklahoma Pork Council greatly appreciates the work of Rep. Mark McBride and Sen. Julie Daniels in authoring HB2373 and helping us protect the future of our industry.”

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Oklahoma Youth Expo and Tulsa State Fair Swine Committee Members Receive okPORK Ambassador Award

(OKLAHOMA CITY – August 2, 2019) On August 2, 2019, okPORK will honor Oklahoma Youth Expo and Tulsa State Fair Swine Committee members Rusty Gosz, Rose Bonjour, Jason Harvey, Guy Shoulders, Brett Ramsey and Steve Thompson, with the 2019 Ambassador Award during the 60th annual Oklahoma Pork Congress.

Rusty Gosz, youth livestock specialist at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., said the both livestock shows have been going on for more than 60 years and the youth livestock industry is robust, active and flourishing.  

“Working at both the TFS and OYE swine shows is a highlight for me personally,” Gosz said. “It is one of the many pinnacles that our great state has the privilege to enjoy.” 

At OYE and TSF the committee members are in charge of checking-in members, weighing hogs, managing the show ring and making sure the shows are running efficiently. However, what the six members really enjoy is engaging with the youth.

“Both shows allow us to interact with Oklahoma’s youth as they showcase their hard work and months of investing time with their families and into their projects,” Gosz said. “I have spent the bulk of my life working in teams and the team I get to work alongside at both of these shows is as good as it gets.”   

The six members are not just recognized by the livestock exhibitors at the show, but by the staff at okPORK as well. 

“These six swine committee members go above and beyond for okPORK and the entire show pig industry,” Roy Lee Lindsey, okPORK executive director said. “Without a swine committee there would be no organization at the shows and these individuals do a tremendous job at making sure these shows are some of the best in the country.” 

okPORK is proud to present Oklahoma Youth Expo and Tulsa State Fair Swine Committee members, Rusty Gosz, Rose Bonjour, Jason Harvey, Guy Shoulders, Brett Ramsey and Steve Thompson, with the 2019 Ambassador Award, for not only their dedication to the swine industry, but also for their support of the future of agriculture. 

Donna Jackson Receives okPORK Distinguished Service Award

(OKLAHOMA CITY – August 2, 2019) On August 2, 2019, okPORK will honor Donna Jackson with their Distinguished Service Award during the 60th annual Oklahoma Pork Congress.

For more than 18 years, Jackson dedicated her time making okPORK what it is today. She served as the office manager at okPORK from 1999 to 2017 where she handled billing, accounts receivable, human resources, and many other activities related to keeping the okPORK office running smoothly. 

“When okPORK approached me and said I needed to find an assistant, I did not have to think long about who I wanted,” Roy Lee Lindsey, okPORK executive director said. “I called one person and that was Ms. Donna.”  

Jackson came into the okPORK office knowing little about the pork industry, but quickly became accustomed to serving and representing pig farmers across the state.

“Donna was the glue that held everyone together at the office,” Nikki Snider, okPORK director of marketing and communications, said. “She was the steady force that kept everyone going and connected in the Oklahoma swine industry.” 

Jackson created life-long relationships with pig farmers and the staff at okPORK and is still included in the many events they host every year.

“She was the first person you would see when you walked into the office and I still hear producers today talk about how they miss hearing her voice answering the phone,” Snider said. “One of the greatest benefits to working at okPORK was my relationship with Ms. Donna both as a co-worker and a friend.”

okPORK is honored to present Donna Jackson with the 2019 Distinguished Service Award thanks to her love and passion for the swine industry and the people who helped make it one of the best.

“Over the 18 years I was at okPORK I have put my all into the job, working to make the Oklahoma swine industry stand out.” Jackson said. “Receiving this award was totally unexpected and I was surprised and honored at the same time.”


Jim Seward Receives okPORK Excellence Award

(OKLAHOMA CITY – August 2, 2019) On August 2, 2019, okPORK will honor Jim Seward, of Tyson Foods, with their Excellence Award during the 60th annual Oklahoma Pork Congress.

Seward is an alumni of NEO A&M College in Miami, Okla., and Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla. He began working for Tyson Foods on May 23, 1977, and retired on June 1, 2019, after more than 42 years of service and loyalty to Tyson Foods and The Pork Group.   

During his time with Tyson and The Pork Group, Seward was involved in sow, nursery and finishing operations in Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, Oklahoma and spent time in the Philippines establishing farms and training communities how to raise pigs. 

Today Seward is happily enjoying his retirement and enjoys spending time with his wife and kids.

“Pigs have been a part of our family my whole life,” Seward said. “I had my first show pig when I was seven-years-old.”

Clayton Bailey, system improvement manager and sow nutrition lead at Tyson Foods, said Seward is one of the hardest working individuals he knows. 

“The numerous leadership positions that Jim has assumed over his 42-year career have given Jim the experience and swine management skills that few possess,” Bailey said. “He has a tireless work ethic and has demonstrated the ability to lead both farm managers and contract producers to be successful.”

Seward said he was shocked and surprised to hear about his peers nominating him for the okPORK Excellence Award.

“I felt quite honored when I heard the news at my retirement party,” Seward said. “There are a lot of people in this industry and I know some who have received this award in the past. I hope I can live up to what they did.”


Jim has been an enthusiastic and highly engaged member of the community. He has volunteered many hours of his time and energy working on projects that would support local schools and churches. He has been actively involved in the Arkansas Pork Council serving as both a board member and president, as well as serving on various committees for the National Pork Board. He has always been the first to lend a hand (or a grill) to any fundraiser or charity event being held.


Curtis Creed Receives okPORK Excellence Award

(OKLAHOMA CITY – August 2, 2019) On August 2, 2019, okPORK will honor Curtis Creed, of Smithfield Foods, with their Excellence Award during the 60th annual Oklahoma Pork Congress.

Creed began his career in the hog industry in 1997 as a contract truck driver. He hauled feeder pigs from Lonestar Nursery, a contract farm of Murphy Family Farms, now known as Smithfield Foods. He would load feeder pigs on a Monday morning and haul them to a finisher in South Dakota, come home, wash the truck then load the next barn on Thursday and make the haul again. 

In his time with Smithfield Foods, Creed is responsible for scheduling cull loads, wean movements, feeder movements, market loads, mortality removal and the day to day washing and baking schedules at the High Plains Truck Wash in Laverne, Okla. In 2010, Smithfield Foods built a baker at the truck wash.  All commercial trucks are washed and then baked prior to hauling new loads where Creed has been the primary operator. This innovative process of cleaning the trucks with heat, overseen by Creed, has improved health outcomes for Smithfield’s pigs significantly.

“I have enjoyed all of my time here at Smithfield Foods,” Creed said. “It has been a great journey to serve the swine industry and I love my job.”

Cathy Vaughan, safety coordinator at Smithfield Foods, said Creed has great relationships, and respect from all of his co-workers and the contract drivers.

“Every one of those trucks is washed and baked at the High Plains Truck wash under Curtis’s direction and watchful eye,” Vaughan said. “1 million wean pigs come out of Oklahoma annually and Curtis is an integral part of that process.”

Creed said he was both happy and emotional when he heard about his nomination for the okPORK Excellence Award. 

“I really don’t know if I deserve it, but it is a huge honor,” he said. “I am proud to represent Smithfield Foods with this award.”