**For Immediate Release**
Murphy-Brown LLC Pledges Funding
- released by OPSU Campus Communications 08-21-07
by Laura Hays
Goodwell, Okla. — Murphy-Brown LLC has pledged $100,000 to Oklahoma Panhandle State University for the science and agriculture building currently under construction. The total amount will be paid over 10 years at $10,000 per year, and company officials Todd Wilson and Brad Jesko presented the first check to President Dave Bryant last week. The money will be used to help purchase and maintain laboratory equipment in the new Murphy-Brown LLC Water Quality Testing Laboratory.
Wilson, the General Manager for the company’s Oklahoma operation, said, “We committed to this project because it will provide more easily accessible water quality testing for area municipalities, the agricultural sector, and other entities that require water testing on a regular basis. It’s an ideal way for us to give back to the community.” Currently, local officials responsible for municipal water testing must ship the samples to the Department of Environmental Quality in Oklahoma City. The sample must be less than 30 hours old from the time it is drawn to the time it is set up for testing in a lab over 200 miles away. The new lab located on the OPSU campus will help Oklahoma cities and towns save money on freight and time.
A Cresco, Iowa native, Wilson will return to his home state to serve the company as the Grower Development Manager for contract growers in the Midwest. His replacement, Brad Jesko, was raised in Clayton, New Mexico and oversaw the initial construction of the Beaver County site before it was owned by Murphy-Brown.
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. The company maintains operations in 12 states and internationally in Mexico, Poland, Brazil, and Romania. It remains committed to the company policy of supplying quality product while protecting the environment and preserving family farms. Locally, Murphy-Brown operates 85 sites in Texas, Beaver and Harper counties for 70,000 sows. They have a significant economic impact on the area with 460 employees and an annual payroll over $12 million.
Jesko said, “OPSU is an asset not only to the community, but also for our company. We have several employees who continue their education at the university and we are also interested in hiring more employees with college degrees. We are pleased to support this worthy project.”
“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,” Bryant stated.