**For Immediate Release**
Murphy-Brown LLC Honored by State Regents
- released by OPSU Campus Communications 05-14-2008
by Laura Hays
Goodwell, Okla. - The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) recently recognized Murphy-Brown LLC and OPSU for their partnership in economic development. Murphy-Brown LLC is the livestock production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc., the world’s largest pork producer and one of the nation’s leading turkey producers. Locally, Murphy-Brown operates 85 swine sites in Texas, Beaver and Harper counties. They have a significant economic impact on the area with 460 employees and an annual payroll over $12 million. Twenty-one business and higher education institution partnerships throughout the state were celebrated for their outstanding cooperation that furthers the education of Oklahoma’s workforce through OSRHE’s Economic Development Grant that highlights successful partnerships between institutions of higher education and businesses.
Last August, Murphy-Brown LLC pledged $100,000 to OPSU for the science and agriculture building currently under construction. The total amount will be paid over 10 years at $10,000 per year, and will be used to help purchase and maintain laboratory equipment in the new Murphy-Brown LLC Water Quality Testing Laboratory. The lab will serve an important function in the community. Currently, local officials responsible for municipal water testing must ship the water samples to the Department of Environmental Quality in Oklahoma City. Samples must be less than 30 hours old from the time they are drawn to the time they are set up for testing in a lab that is more than 200 miles away. The new water lab on OPSU’s campus will help area Oklahoma municipalities save on freight and time.
The partnership also provides $500 for tuition waivers to employees of the partnering business, internships for current students of the institutions to work at the partnering business or faculty externships with the partnering business. OSRHE provides a $500 match for the waivers.
The State Regents Chancellor, Glen D. Johnson said, “If we’re to improve Oklahoma’s future, we need creative collaborations like this program,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “The partnership between business and higher education benefits us three-fold: Businesses retain employees, employees improve their education and the immediate needs of the business community are being addressed.”
“Thanks to Murphy-Brown’s long-term agreement, we can purchase the necessary equipment and also plan ahead for maintenance and replacement. This significant contribution will help provide a needed community service and enhance education,” OPSU President Dave Bryant stated.