April is officially Made in Oklahoma month, and we will be celebrating the great foods that are grown and produced right here in our state. We have plenty to celebrate as restaurants and consumers are realizing the importance of buying local for quality and freshness but also to boost the economy of our state. We'll take you behind the scenes with producers and share recipes you will want to bring to your Oklahoma table.
We visited with Kerry Barrick, Made in Oklahoma Coalition coordinator, who shared some of the impressive statistics from the organization. An enthusiastic proponent of Oklahoma agriculture-based foods, Barrick is excited about the future of this growing organization of restaurants, producers and retailers who carry made in Oklahoma foods. By pooling their resources for advertising and promotions the sales of Oklahoma produced foods continue to grow.
It is easy to confuse the Made in Oklahoma Coalition focused on food with the Made in Oklahoma Program, which is designed to help Oklahoma businesses grow and develop.
If you have a product or an idea for a product, the MIO Program can help get it established in the market. The coalition and the program work together under the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
If you have a local agriculture-based food product that is already established, the Made in Oklahoma Coalition can help you grow and promote your product in and outside the state. If you want to be a farmers market vendor, check out the markets listed in the Made in Oklahoma program. Both the MIO Coalition and the MIO Program have websites worth checking out.
If you have a recipe you love made with an Oklahoma food, you'll be interested in this year's MIO Recipe Contest. There are $500 cash prizes in four categories and a $1,000 overall winner so that should inspire your creativity. The categories include: Blue Ribbon Dinners, Party Time Appetizers, Delectable Desserts and Small Bites (Kids' Cooking). Check out the MIO Coalition website for more details.
Keep in mind the recipes must be new, created by the contestant and use at least two MIO products. The recipes must be unpublished and cannot have previously won any award or prize. We have some creative Oklahoma cooks who will love getting paid for their creations so check out all those Oklahoma products and where to find them at miocoalition.com.