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Class XIV Curriculum

"Family Relationships, Leadership and Community Concerns"

 Seminar VIII

Thursday, July 16, 2009
Scribe: Brandon Winters

On July 16, 2009 Class XIV met at the Wes Watkins Center to begin our summer session where we were allowed to bring our spouses. We all met at 10:30 am that morning and walked over to the FAPC (Food Agriculture and Products Center) where we met with Dr. Christine Dewitt and Dr. Brad Morgan for a tour of the center. We then split up into two groups and my group started our tour on the second floor through the processing center. Our tour guide was Dr. Christine Dewitt. We learned that the processing side had three full time specialists who worked full time and the rest of the staff are part time or students. The class began by going through the cooling room for the meat and then into the fabrication room where meats were cut up and then sent to the portion room. In the portion room the meats were cut and then injected with or blended with protein and water to help make lower quality meats better. We then proceeded to the packaging room where they tested different types of packaging techniques for meet to help preserve the freshness and improve shelf life. We learned that they test packaging by utilizing gas packaging and vacuum packaging as their two main types of techniques. With the gas technique they use 80% oxygen and 20% CO2 blend. We were able to see where they help people that think they have an idea to sell lay out a business model and are able to allow them the opportunity for a trial run on their products to see if it is feasible to process and market while being profitable. We also saw the slaughter room. We were able to see inside the freezers that were 20 below zero, where they are able to store meets that they are working on. My favorite area was the smoke house and the seasoning room. That would be a sportsman’s dream. After touring the second floor we went down to the first floor where we were able to view the taste testing room. We however, did not get to taste test any food that day. We were told that the FAPC had a third floor that we did not tour however contained laboratories for testing.

After touring the FAPC center we walked back to the Wes Watkins Center to eat lunch. After lunch we had an opportunity to hear Mr. Hal Ellis (Attorney at Law) visit with us about the importance of estate planning. This is where my wife and I learned the actual importance of estate planning and how we need to get our affairs in order to insure that our son will get all of our stuff and not have the State tie it up in a legal disaster. We learned that if we do a will that it would have to go through probate before our son could get anything and that a trust would make things go smoother for him if when we pass away. My wife and I had always talked about this however kept putting it off and not knowing for sure what we really needed to do anyway. This session was really helpful for my wife and I and helped us to understand more of what we need to do to protect our assets and for them to be handed down to our sons when our time comes for us to pass on.

Our next speaker was Dr. Jason White who spoke to us of the importance of communication and stress management. I think all of us were very surprised to learn that we all communicate in different ways and that sometimes we allow stress to get in the way of the things we say but don’t really mean. We learned the importance of learning how to communicate with one another and how to help deal with stressful situations when they arise the best that we can. This was very important to learn because we all have stressful times and have situations where we will need to use our leadership and what we have learned from Dr. White to effectively handle those issues when they arrive. Dr White spoke to us on how to manage stress, how to recognize stressful situations and then how to communicate those problems.

Our final speaker was Mrs. Natalea Watkins who spoke to us about 2-1-1 call center. This was very interesting to me because I was not aware that we even had such a center where people can call for just about any issue. It was very interesting to hear how this was formed and how it worked. I know just from my own experience with trying to help my grandparents get some help that this would be very helpful to use. I am going to tell everyone I know about this, and who might need help in finding out things or places in order to help others. This is another great example of great leadership.

Our dinner that evening was at the Woodland Park Vineyards courtesy of Silver Top Farms. We had fellowship and a very good meal as well. We were also able to celebrate the beginning of a new family and also the celebration of birthdays for Ryan Luter and Mechelle Hampton. My wife commented to me that we seem to be a very enjoyable group and that if you didn’t know us any better you would think we have known each other longer than we really have. It was very good to have gotten together and for some of us to share our spouses with such great friends.


 Friday, July 17, 2009
Scribe: John Cothren

Our Friday session started with the "Real Colors" program. The presenters were Ranel Lasley and Susan Routh, Extension Educators from Southwest Oklahoma. "Real Colors" is designed to facilitate communicate by understanding how personality traits affect communication styles. Our first exercise used M&M’s as an ice breaker. Then we had to write our name with our right hand and then try it with our left hand. This showed us how to work outside our comfort zone. We next started working through our workbooks. We evaluated ourselves based on pictures, then word descriptions and finally by answering multiple choice questions. We then determined if we were green, blue, gold or orange. The majority of the class was Gold, followed by Blue, then Green and finally Orange. Once we were in our color group we went through an exercise to explain our color and a spokesman from each group presented our explanations to the rest of the group. It was very interesting to see the dynamics of each group come out by the color group description. Mrs. Routh and Mrs. Lasley pointed out little things that fit each group and made us realize we were true to our "real color".

After a short break we heard from Dr. Renee Daugherty on "Using Humor Effectively in Leadership". Dr. Daugherty stated that there are situations where humor can be effective in leadership situations if used correctly. She also reminded us that humor is in the eye of the beholder and that what you find funny others may not see the humor. We learned it is important to recognize the "Humor Paradox". The "Humor Paradox" states that we curtail humor when working – yet, we respect people who use humor effectively. We need to identify your serous messages and recognize which type of humor can do more damage than good. She also stated that you must use strategies to find your inner comedian. In the end she helped us to see that we as a people enjoy others with a sense of humor, and even prefer working with people who use humor over those who do not.

At the conclusion of Dr. Daugherty’s, we all traveled to the Boren Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital, as known as the "Vet School". We were given a brief overview and introduction to the vet school by Dr. Katrina Meinkoth. The vet school is organized in three centers and serves as a teaching institution for all vet students. The center is open to the public to anyone who has a large or small animal with a medical need. Dr. Meinkoth explained that the "vet school" is often preferred by the public because the school has more diagnostic capabilities than most public practices.

Following the brief introduction, we broke into groups to tour of the facility. My group’s tour guide was a senior student from Tulsa named Carrie. Carrie did a great job leading our group on a very informative tour. The hospital is divided into groups for large and small animals. Every case that comes to the school is assigned to a 4th year student – this student is responsible for the case from admission through completion. We were shown all aspects of the hospital that included: radiology, surgery, the new ICU, the Zoo and Exotic ward to just name a few. Due to the physical limitations, the school can only accommodate 80 students. There are 27 vet schools in the United States, so admission is very selective. There are over 250 applicants each year to the program. Carrie told us that in the program today the breakdown is 70% female and 30% male. She also said that among the students that are currently in the school, 50% are planning on entering small animal practices, 25% are planning to enter large animal practices and 25% are going into mixed practices. This tour very informative and the class and spouses really enjoyed seeing all that is involved in becoming a doctor of veterinary medicine.