“Community Leadership and Broadening Our International Understanding”
Wednesday, December 2, 2009 a.m.
Scribe: Lisa Blubaugh
We met at the Wes Watkins
center at promptly 9:00 a.m. We were anxious and excited to learn more
about our upcoming international trip. It is hard to believe that just 16
short months ago our class started this journey together in this very same,
We were welcomed by Dr.
Joe and were joined by the OCES for an In-Service seminar. Dr. Joe talked
to us about the importance of leadership and how important it will be to
take what we have learned out of our class and bring it back to the rural
communities. Dr. Joe's presentation addressed healthy communities and how
they are struggling and that there is little to no growth in rural Oklahoma.
We also discussed how important a diverse economy, efficient infrastructure
and good leadership are to rural communities. A diverse and resilient
economy consists of: Agriculture (wheat, grains and cattle), value-added
(for example, the pizza dough factory in Alva), manufacturing, micro/home
based businesses and recreation/tourism. An efficient infrastructure
consists of roads, water and electricity, digital communications, families,
healthcare and youth development.
Our next speaker was Lara
Brooks, Assistant Extension Specialists, OSU. Lara talked about "Trends in
Rural Oklahoma". She explained the difference between metropolitan
counties, micropolitan counties and frontier counties. A metropolitan
county has a core city of at least 50,000 persons, a micropolitan county has
a core city of at least 10,000 persons and frontier counties have less than
6 persons per square mile. A lot of frontier counties are farming
counties. Oklahoma's population is 36.3% non metropolitan population. We
also learned about pull factors or a number of percentage shoppers pulled to
your area. Pull factor counties usually have a Wal-Mart. We also discussed
cluster activities to include entrepreneurship and cultural changes. Some
of the positive outlooks for Oklahoma are oil prices are on the rise and our
wheat production. www.rdokstate.edu.
We next listened to Dave
Shideler, assistant professor, OSU about whether or not the economy will
stall out in Oklahoma. He explained a policy briefing about the general
economy and trade and how it impacts Oklahoma. We discussed that there are
some cautious optimism but it won't be back to "normal" for a long time.
Oklahoma's economy may get worse, but not as bad as the US, and it will
likely get better sooner. Dave also told us that at the beginning of a
recession the weak dollar is generally good for agriculture because
agriculture is trade-dependent. Macroeconomic uncertainty: increased need
for effective risk management tools in agriculture. We also discussed that
nonfarm employment is essential and that most farm family income comes from
off-farm. Some of the other topics that Dave touched on are that we import
more than we export and that FHA is "running out of money" to secure loans.
Also, because of the stron dollar net exports are down. Finally, in closing
we were left with these thoughts: consumers are changing their behavior and
that our economy can not rely on retail sales as we have in the past to keep
our economy going.
Next we listened to Doug
Enns, Senior applications engineer, OSU about growing rural Oklahoma. He
briefed us about the Applications Engineering Program and New Product
Development. The goal of this program is to create manufacturing jobs in
rural Oklahoma. Rural jobs- Ag and energy industry no longer require large
labor forces. Many rural communities are turning into ghost towns.
Manufacturing jobs on average pay more than service industry jobs ( $16.00
per hour is the average production wage in Oklahoma). The program is in
cooperation with the College of Engineering, OSU and the Oklahoma
Manufacturing Alliance and the OSU college of Engineering Architecture and
Technology. They provide any engineering that manufacturers need, process,
redesign and engineer designs, provide failure analysis, plant layout and
facility design as well as product development (small scale) and product
testing and redesign. The NDPC uses university based research teams to
assist in taking existing manufacturers ideas for new products from
conception to production, www.okalliance.com, www.ndpcokstate.edu.
Mr. Charles Willoughby,
manager business and client relations, OSU talked to us about the Robert M.
Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center. Oklahoma grows 3 billion
agriculture products and sells that product at wholesale prices to out of
state buyers. The FAPC staff provides information and conducts workshops to
meet specific business needs and assistance in a variety of business and
marketing areas, such as: Business plan development, market identification,
product pricing and promotion, finance option evaluation, co-processor
identification and state and federal regulation compliance. The FACP
processing facilities accommodate meat, cereals, fruits and vegetables, as
well as specific unit operations for thermal processing, drying, freezing,
packaging, milling and fermentation. The technical faculty and staff, with
experience in university and industry settings, can assist food companies
and entrepreneurs with projects including compliance with USDA regulations,
process optimization, and product development or improvement, www.fapc.biz.
Our last speaker before
lunch was Dr. Brian Whitacre, assistant professor, OSU. Dr. Whitacre
enlightened us about E-Commerce and what it means for rural communities.
What is e-commerce? It is the buying and selling items over the internet.
If you purchase anything online then you are contributing to e-commerce. We
learned that e-commerce is growing much faster than general retail sales and
that e-commerce slowdown was smaller during the recession. Some examples of
e-commerce are Agritourism, services and retail. Almost all businesses can
benefit from a website, but several are more suited to actually be selling
online. The OSU E-Commerce program has several different workshops
including intro to e-commerce, small business websites, PayPal and website
marketing and websites for small manufacturers. They also provide a
hands-on experience where you actually sit down with a computer and are
given basic instruction.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009 p.m.
Scribe: Charles Rohla
After a good lunch, Dr. Renee Daugherty shared with us
the different module downloads available through the leadership development
program with OCES. There are 9 modules that take around 6 hours each. The
- Understanding Leadership
- To teach participants the definition of leadership and how to develop
a personal leadership style.
- Humor and Leadership
- Recognize the “Humor Paradox” and identify serious messages and to
recognize which types of humor can do more damage than good.
- Team Building
- Help participants understand the stages of team development, how
unique background and expertise can contribute to effective teams and to
understand principles for developing and managing teams.
- Managing Controversial Public Issues
- Identify elements of community issues; distinguish between
myths, facts and values and to appreciate the importance of naming an
- Managing Challenging Situations and People
- Recognize the personal and professional benefits of successfully
working with challenging people and situations and identify the
characteristics of challenging people and situations.
- Power and Influence
- Help participants understand the idea of power as it pertains to
community leadership development and learn the seven bases of power.
- Ethical Leadership
- Integrate principles of leadership and principles of ethics and
enhance the capabilities of community leaders to recognize and act
according to their ethical beliefs.
- Citizen Engagement through Public Deliberation
- To increase knowledge of public deliberation and how it can be used to
engage citizens in public decision making.
- Leadership Plenty
- Is a community leadership program designed to equip citizens to
take effective civic action?
Dr. Glenn Muske spoke to us about entrepreneurs and
their importance in rural areas. Dr. Muske shared an example of rural
entrepreneurship and how it affects communities.
“Entrepreneurship is someone who is in business. To be in business you must
be trying to make a profit, if no profit it is a hobby.”
Mr. Stan Ralstin spoke to us about the PRIDE program
(Producing Resourceful Informed Devoted Employees). PRIDE can be the link
between customer service and community success. Customer service is usually
the frontline workers with the first contact many people have with a
community. If this person is negative about the community then the traveler
may move on to the next community. With the many issues facing OK
communities attracting business into small communities will be important and
the service sector is very important in keeping this business.
Dr. Notie Lansford spoke to us about having a healthy
government through training opportunities. The OCES provides education,
training and technical assistance to county offices and state and local
agencies. OCES promotes professionalism and efficiency of county government
operations. The objectives of the training program are to encourage
professional development of county officials and employees.
Next we had a panel to discuss activities community
activity involvement. Topics that were discussed follow:
Suzette Barta – Payne Co.
- Use of e-commerce
- Micro-business resource conference for small home base businesses
- Training on demand
Darla Heller – Wagoner Co.
- Community and Industrial development
- Leadership development programs
- Economic development roundtables
- Focuses on building the small businesses to increase community
Mick Jones – Lincoln Co.
- First involvement in rural development was after the May 3rd
tornado were they looked at economic impact of the mall before
and after the tornado
- Working with communities on strategic planning
- Importance of getting people interested and involved in meetings and
Jackie Roberts – USDA Rural
Development –single family housing
- Shared with us the different programs that are available
- Hurricane replacement program where they provided housing for
- Grants for home improvements for low income and elderly
- Talked about issues and challenges within the county
- The importance of the PRIDE program for small communities
- The importance of ‘Use Tax’ for small rural communities
- Feasibility studies to attract businesses in communities
- Promotion of events in communities.
- Programs through OCES that are available and their importance
- It is important to be passionate about the community
Ms. Allie Shinn, an OSU international graduate student,
visited with us about her summer trip to Morocco.
Thursday, December 3, 2009 a.m. Scribe: Kent Switzer
The morning began with our Chairperson Annette Riherd
introducing our facilitators for the morning: Dr. Larry Sanders, Professor
and Extension Economist in the Ag. Economics Dept. of the College of
Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at OSU. Next to be introduced
was Dr. Joe Schatzer. Dr. Schatzer is the undergraduate advisor coordinator
and undergraduate curriculum coordinator for the Dept. of Agricultural
Economics at OSU. Our final facilitator for the morning was Dr. James Trapp.
Dr. Trapp currently serves as Associate Director of Extension Programs for
OSU. Also joining us were Drs. Shideler, Campiche, and Dicks.
The class members were divided into different “occupations” including the
roles of farmers, buyers and sellers, a trader, a labor chief, government
officials, a factory manager, and two bankers.
The premise of the game in the fictional country of Lusitania was for the
farmers to acquire seed and fertilizer as well as any chemical they might
need for the year. They then planted the crop, and were randomly given birth
rates, different insect problems, and rain scenarios; all of which affected
their potential margin for profitability. They were also required to keep
enough crop (rice) as carryover to feed their necessary work force.
As the game progressed the farmers were required to buy, sell, or trade
their assets to acquire more desirable or needed assets. They could do this
through the buyer, seller, or trader. A need for additional capital would
send them to the bankers. Those farmers fortunate enough to have surplus
capital would then go to the factory to buy equipment to make their farm
more profitable and sustainable. The factory owner at the same time was
constantly under pressure to maintain and feed workers that he obtained from
the labor chief. The middlemen (buyer and seller) were attempting to buy
products from the farmers or trader and re-sell them on the international
market while maintaining a margin despite governmental taxes (brides) they
were required to make to the government officials. The government officials
were forced to provide economic stimulus back to the farmers in order to
stabilize the economic base of the country.
As you can tell from the above, as the game went on from year to year,
everyone was forced to make deals, back out on previous obligations, and
maintain enough capital to feed and ever increasing labor force. In the end,
some of the farms made money, others had people starving to death, and
eventually the government itself became virtually insolvent.
As we wrapped up the game, it was apparent that those farms with a low per
person to land ratio were able to survive while others had to sell assets to
stay afloat. The factory, banker, and trader had a profit ratio of 2:1 when
comparing ending assets to beginning assets.
I enjoyed the exercise. I thought it was fairly realistic to what we as
producers face on an everyday basis; raising a crop with variable inputs,
unpredictable weather, and unforeseen expenses.
Thursday, December 3, 2009 p.m.
Scribe: Daniel Skipper
After our brain teasing game of Green Revolution the
group headed back down stairs to one of the conference rooms in the Wes
Watkins Center to learn about Oklahoma’s involvement in international trade.
Our first guest speaker was Dessie Apostolova, the Director of the
International Trade Offices with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. She
has been with the Department of Commerce for the past 8 years and is
originally from Bulgaria. This was her second time to speak with an OALP
class before they leave for their international trip.
She first involved the group by asking the class what we expect to see and
really make note of while we’re abroad. Carol Cowen expects to see lots of
different landscape than she typically sees in western Oklahoma; Allen Entz
expects to see different types of agriculture and methods of production;
Dana Bessinger expects to see lots of different architecture while we
travel; and Scott Neufeld expects to visit with different producers and
learn about production issues they have and compare those to the ones we
have in the US. Ms. Apostolova told us that those are very common needs and
expectations of “globalization,” however the most common need to globalize
is because of technology. We then watched a short video called “Shift
Happens: ManHeim” that can be found on YouTube that discussed how important
technology is to globalization.
Ms. Apostolova told the group that it is essential to build global
relationships in business. Companies can either ignore international trade
or join it to enhance competitiveness and increase market share. In 2008,
Oklahoma exported over $5 billion in manufactured products out of the US;
meanwhile, nearly 20% of manufacturing jobs in Oklahoma are supported by
exports. She emphasized that it is very important for individuals that want
to enter the international market to learn as much as they can about those
countries and be prepared to experience new cultural shocks as those
Lastly, Ms. Apostolova briefly spoke about the economies of Spain and
Morocco and the import market opportunities that exist in those countries.
Following questions from the group, she gave us some travel friendly advice
while abroad, the most important being, watch what people from that country
are doing and do that when you’re unsure.
The next speaker on our agenda was Barbara Charlet, the Market Development
Coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. Her primary
responsibility is to partner with Oklahoma processed food manufacturers and
assist them with their export marketing endeavors. She has also worked
closely with the Made in Oklahoma Coalition.
Ms. Charlet spoke with the group about Oklahoma agriculture and
international trade. She said that for every $1 in agricultural trade, it
creates $1.48 in supporting business activity. She also said that in
Oklahoma, almost all food processors are located in small to medium size
towns but many of them are in the international market, such as Seaboard
Foods, Bar S, Head Country, and Griffin Foods.
Next Ms. Charlet told the class about the Southern United States Trade
Association (SUSTA) that helps companies begin international trade and
search for target markets for their products. They look at trade statistics,
market sizes, market regulations, market fits, and selection of appropriate
activities for particular countries.
Lastly, Ms. Charlet closed with passing out handouts that show international
trade statistics for Spain and Morocco and discussed the importance of the
US to their import and export markets.
Due to some scheduling conflicts, the last speaker on our agenda, Dr.
Rosslyn Biggs, D.V.M. from the USDA Veterinarian Services, was not about to
attend. She is supposed to be passing her presentation materials on to the
In her place, class member John Cothren presented his portion of Team 3’s
international presentation. He gave a very good overview of the Spanish
government. Spain is a constitutional monarchy that consists of 3 branches
of government. In the legislative branch there are 350 seats in congress, in
the judicial branch there is a Constitutional Tribunal Court and a Supreme
Tribunal Court, and in the executive branch there is a king, King Juan
Carlos I who has ruled since November 1975. John spoke briefly about the
government’s history and how it became what it is today. He also spoke about
the Spanish military and its relationship to the US military. Lastly, John
cited a website that we should all visit for up to date Spanish information
in English, www.spanish.com.
Our session adjourned after a few comments from Dr. Joe. While dinner was on
our own, the group decided to meet at Hideaway Pizza to eat and surprise
Ryan and Marcy Luter with a baby shower! A wonderful time was had by all!
Friday, December 4, 2009
Scribe: David McMullen
Our day started promptly at 8:00 am with Scott
introducing John Caddel who had worked six years in Morocco from 1971 to
1977. Mr. Caddel started by showing us a map of Morocco and the route we
will be taking on our trip in February. He went on explaining the different
regions of Morocco and the major cities in the country. He was employed by
the University of Minnesota and contracted by the United States Agency of
International Development. There purpose was to build a Moroccan
Agricultural University a project that lasted 20 years. The first graduating
class was 6 students in 1972. He went on to explain that Morocco is a very
liberal Muslim nation and is very modernized, and is a kingdom about the
same size as California. They gained their independence over a 30 to 40 year
period from France. It has a Mediterranean climate with mild and wet winters
and dry and hot summers. Its population has grown from 13 million in 1970 to
about 35 million in 2009. It has a good infrastructure that was started by
the French and was carried on by the Moroccans. Its economy is based on
tourism, phosphate, and horticultural exports. Over the years the country
has went from mostly rural to a very urban society. Mr. Caddel showed us
several slides of the Moroccan people and interesting scenes that you will
see around the country of Morocco. Some of those included Roman ruins that
have been there for over 2000 years and have been restored by the Moroccans.
Slides of Moroccan agriculture, livestock, minimum till that has been used
for thousands of years. Not all Moroccan agriculture is primitive they do
have tractors and modern farm equipment in some parts of Morocco. Mr. Caddel
closed by answering one question from Allen about what shots we may need
before going to Morocco, and he answered by mainly stating to consult your
local physicians for their advice.
Scott then introduced Dr. Don Wagner, who spent 7 weeks in Morocco in 1987.
He was there as a member of a review team associated with the University of
Nebraska. He went on to talk about his time in Morocco and stated that it
was completely fascinating. He warned us that we would experience culture
shock especially if we had never had any experience in a developing country.
Another thing is that we would find that they did not like their women to be
photographed and referred to it as a religious no-no. He talked about their
climate and rainfall and that they have many different climates in the
country with rainfall from 0 to 100 inches depending on where you were. He
talked about the fact there are a lot of rocks there but they just cultivate
around them. He stated that they still live in a lot of ways just like in
the time of Christ, and farm much in the same way as they did then. They
waste nothing he said and use wheat straw to feed their animals and to build
their homes. Their markets are very much social events and there is a lot of
bartering going on at these sales, they do prefer the smaller animals
because of the lack of refrigeration. He closed with the observation of the
farmer using a donkey and a camel pulling a plow, and through a translator
they were able to ask the farmer why he didn’t use two camels. The farmer
replied that you could not get the camel to follow the furrow, but the
donkey would. So the conclusion to his observation was that even with some
training you can teach a jack ass to be an effective leader.
Scott then introduced Dr. Jayson Lusk who is a professor at OSU, who spent a
week in Spain this past summer around Barcelona. He talked about the hotels,
the beaches, and the transportation in Spain and Europe. He talked about the
Spaniards concept of time and how laid back they were, and how interesting
the food is there. Mostly seafood and they have very big lunches with wine
and beer. And then dinner is not till around 9: oo p.m. tipping at
restaurants is not expected but is appreciated. He went on to talk about
taking money and said now when he goes he just takes his debit card and uses
the ATM’s that are there. He talked some about the architecture in Spain
particularly in Barcelona and how unique and beautiful it is. He closed by
stating that one of the great things about Europe is that you can hop on a
train and be just about anywhere in a day or less.
We then started our
group presentations, below are the group members and selected topic with
reports due by Jan. 15th.
Group 1: Geography/ Climate and Trip Preparation- Scott Neufield, Dana
Bessinger, Allen Entz, Jackie Roberts
Group 2: Agriculture of Spain/ Morocco-Brent Thompson, Burton Harmon, Scott
Sproul, Tim Taylor, Charles Rohla
Group 3: Spain’s/ Morocco’s Government-John Cothren, Annette Riherd, Mary
Group 4: Culture of the people of Spain/ Morocco-Carol Cowan, Rose Bonjour,
Kent Switzer, Chad Selman
Group 5: Health and Education in Spain/ Morocco-Lisa Blubaugh, Wesley Crain
Group 6: Spain/ Morocco Economics and as Global Competitors-Daniel Skipper,
Ryan Luter, Michael Marlow, David McMullen
Group 7: Transportation, Communications, and Infrastructure of Spain/
Morocco- Gary Kafer, Brandon Winters, Jared Cullison
Group 8: Spain/ Morocco Current Events-John Leonard, Mechelle Hampton
Dr. Sue Williams then came to instruct us on the challenge and effective
packing methods for our international trip. The main challenges are not to
over pack and keep your bags under the 50 lb weight limit. We are only
allowed one bag per person and that is mainly for our own benefit. With all
of different means of transportation we will be using, getting around with
more than one bag will be very difficult on a 14 day trip. Dr. Sue suggests
a suitcase that is no more than 26” long and 18” wide, it is a good size
that will keep you within the limitations. Taking a suitcase that has good
rollers and an attachment to connect your carryon bag, so you only have to
keep up with one bag while in transit. Before packing spend some time with
the itinerary and check the weather, so you will know what type and how
heavy of clothes to pack. How much walking we will be doing which is quite a
bit so good shoes for that. She talked about packing personnel items,
makeup, toiletries, and medications. She suggested packing Band-Aids, triple
antibiotic ointment, and new skin for blisters on your feet. Try and stay
with a color scheme such as black or brown and stick with that scheme
throughout the trip. This makes packing a whole lot easier rather than
different color schemes for different days. Dr. Sue gave an excellent list
to use while packing for the trip; it included packing suggestions for women
and men, what to bring in a carryon bag, and what to carry on your person.
This list will be distributed shortly and will be a tremendous tool to all
of us. Thank you Dr. Sue this was very valuable information.
Dr. Joe closed Seminar XII with a few announcements. He commented on our
team reports and how good of a job we all did. With Kelly present he thanked
her for all of her hard work and the class all agreed with a round of
applause. Dr. Joe mentioned passport and medical information that is needed
before we leave. This information is needed now and not right before we
leave so if provisions need to be made there will be adequate time to do so.
He then passed out packets from AgroTours with information about our trip,
and encouraged us to read over the information before our trip. He also
asked that each of us bring $25.00 to the airport and one or two class
members would be in charge of tipping drivers and guides when appropriate.
He also asked for the classes consent to purchase more pens to give to
presenters while we are there. We will all be responsible for the cost of
our own luggage charges on the trip, so be prepared to handle those
ourselves. Bring your name tags we will be wearing them while on farm visits
and with our guides. The ladies are not required to bring head dress, but if
needed can be purchased there with a minimal cost. Each one of us will need
to bring a small picture album of our operations and family that we can
share with the people in Spain and Morocco. Also Dr. Joe closed with
insurance information we all need to find out if our medical insurance will
cover us during international travel and if so that information needs to be
given to Kelly and Dr. Joe as soon as possible. The main concern for our
trip is safety, safety, and safety we all want to learn and have a great
experience while in Spain and Morocco. See everyone in February