For Immediate Release
Oklahoma State Student Charley Rayfield Named First Recipient of Ron Gustafson Scholarship From NAMI Scholarship Foundation
Food Science Major Awarded $5,000 Grant in Program Honoring Coast President and Chairman, Will Advance Her Focus on Food Safety
Oklahoma State University Food Science major Charley Rayfield has received the first Ron Gustafson Scholarship, established by the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) Scholarship Foundation in honor of Coast Packing Company President and Chairman Ron Gustafson, Coast announced today.
Rayfield is one of eleven high-performing undergraduate students who received a combined total of $55,000 to pursue degrees in animal, meat and food science, and in culinary arts. The NAMI Scholarship Foundation announced the recipients of its 2018-2019 undergraduate scholarship awards in mid-October. The Foundation received nearly 70 applications for the 2018-2019 academic year.
“I am honored to be the first recipient of the Ron Gustafson Scholarship,” Rayfield said. “Having the opportunity to receive such a prestigious scholarship enables me to further pursue my education in the field of food science. Without generous and supportive donors such as Mr. Gustafson, opportunities such as these would not be possible. Having the support of prominent industry leaders is invaluable, and I look forward to giving back to the food industry as I graduate and transition to a career in food safety.”
“We couldn’t be more delighted that Charley is our inaugural scholarship recipient,” Ron Gustafson said. “Her commitment to food science and food safety, along with a remarkable list of accomplishments during her academic career, make her exceptionally worthy of this honor. We look forward to her joining – and helping to lead — our industry in the years ahead.”
Rayfield, a food science major with an emphasis in food safety, hails from Bainbridge, Georgia. “The food safety option provides a unique approach to learning current food safety plans and regulations that directly impact the food industry,” Rayfield said, “and most importantly the safety and security of our food supply.”
Growing up, Rayfield was heavily involved in 4-H and FFA, where she showed sheep and swine, competed in speech contests, and judged livestock all over Georgia. She was active in the Animal Science Leadership Alliance, Alpha Zeta, Meat Science Association, the Animal Science Undergraduate Research Scholar program and was a member of the 2017 OSU Meat Judging Team. After graduation, Rayfield wants to create and implement food safety regulations in the United States.
The Ron Gustafson Scholarship consists of a $5,000 award honoring Gustafson, the founding president of the Scholarship Foundation and a meat industry leader. Each year, the NAMI Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships to eligible sophomores, juniors and seniors attending accredited four-year colleges or universities who are enrolled in an approved animal, meat or food science degree or culinary arts program.
The NAMI Scholarship Foundation is supported by Institute members and industry allies. Donations, which are tax deductible, should be sent to NAMI Scholarship Foundation, 1150 Connecticut Ave., NW 12th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20036. Questions regarding the NAMI Scholarship Foundation can be directed to KatieRose McCullough, Ph.D., MPH at email@example.com.
About Coast Packing Company
Coast Packing Company (coastpacking.com), a closely held corporation, is the number one supplier of animal fat shortenings – particularly lard and beef tallow — in the Western United States. The company sells to major manufacturers, distributors, retailers, smaller food service operations, leading bakeries and lesser concerns. The company participates actively in various ethnic markets – from Hispanic retail chains, with its VIVA brand, to various Asian specialty markets. Based in Vernon, Calif., Coast Packing Company is regional, national and, increasingly, global. In some cases, supplier relationships are multigenerational, extending back 50 years and more.