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March 27, 2013

Oklahoma agritourism spotlighted at CTHC

DUNCAN — From jellies and jams to peanuts and root beer, almost 20 companies came to Duncan to promote their products, all of which are made within the state.

All of the companies are Made in Oklahoma members, which means they were accepted by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture as being grown, processed or manufactured within the state boundaries. The department hosted a MIO and Agritourism Expo Tuesday at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center. This was the first time for many of the MIO members to visit Duncan and they were all feeling positive by the end of the day about having their products promoted here.

The event attracted a variety of people, including local business owners, who wanted to see what kind of products Oklahoma has to offer. Samples, sales and orders were all offered from the various booths.

“I saw it in the paper and wanted to know what is made in Oklahoma,” said Leonard Cripps of Marlow. “This is an easy way to do that.”

Some of the items featured included jalapeno peanut brittle, homemade soaps, blush wine jellies and hand carved wood items.

From Stephens County, there were four MIO members  — TwoBulls in Duncan, Cable Meat Center and The Wood Shop in Marlow, and KS&A Orchards dba The Sheep Stop in Comanche. TwoBulls owner Jim McLain Jr. has been in business since 1990 with his Pro Sports Rub.

“I was a professional bull fighter and I needed something that would work good for me,” said McLain.

“It’s been a great success. I’m proud to be a Made in Oklahoma member and it’s great to see all these people creating an economic impact.”

What helps keep these companies going is not only individual buyers but store owners who are trying to keep their product lines based on American made, and specifically, Oklahoma made items.

“There are some of my vendors who are here but I came to find a few new ones today,” said Deana Adair, owner of American Scents in Duncan.

“I’ve been looking forward to this. All of my products are made in America, but I have a Made in Oklahoma section that is just growing,” she said.

Some of the vendors remarked at the end of the day they were excited to have established contacts and are hopeful about having their products distributed in Duncan stores. Several also were pleased they had sold out of many of their products, like the people from Rockin L-H Asparagus Farm in Checotah. They said they had sold out of four of their Ben Jack Larado Gourmet Mustards. Stacey Cramer, executive director for CTHC, said it is possible several of the products from MIO could be found in the museum’s gift shop in the near future.

A complete list of Made in Oklahoma members and products can be found at madeinoklahoma.net.

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