Oklahoma-based food producers are one of the highlights each month at Oklahoma State University, in Stillwater. Through the Made in Oklahoma program, Oklahoma vendors are invited to campus each month to introduce themselves and their products to the campus community—from honey to beef jerky and syrups to protein bars. “It’s just amazing how diverse the different kinds of businesses are here in Oklahoma and that’s what we really wanted to show the students, that there really are a lot of Oklahoma treasures,” shares Terry Baker, director, university dining services.
In April, all vendors introduced during the academic year are then invited back to campus for a larger event. In partnership with the Made In Oklahoma Coalition, based in Oklahoma City, the dining services team prepares the student union for the sampling spectacular. “The students just love it,” Baker says. “They’re just amazed at the variety [of products] and talk to the vendors and get to know how they started their business.”
The program is a hit for the department, too—showcased products often make it into dining services’ recipes and onto store shelves. “It’s gotten so popular in our c-stores we even have dedicated areas for Made in Oklahoma products, in part because of the program,” Baker says.