Apache Farmer’s Coop Receives Partners for Progress Award at 2021 OkACTE Awards Banquet

Caddo Kiowa Technology Center is pleased to honor the Apache Farmer’s Coop as their Partner in Progress. Apache Farmer’s Coop is comprehensive service center handling a complete line of products for today’s farmers and ranchers. Headquartered in Apache, Oklahoma, it is the leading agricultural industry provider in the Caddo Kiowa district. Apache Farmer’s Coop is a progressive and dynamic business dedicated to agricultural sustainment, environmental care, client satisfaction, and employee stewardship. 

The long standing partnership between the Coop and Caddo Kiowa Technology Center provides extensive outreach in community education, short term trainings, client based services, ag business management, and safety training. 

Apache Farmer’s Coop sends numerous employees to the Caddo Kiowa Crop Care Professional program. The Crop Care program trains for the complexities of modern pesticide and fertilizer services. The program develops awareness of product safety, environmental oversight, and precision ag application. This Crop Care Professional program significantly impacts Apache Farmer’s Coop’s safeguard practices, job retention and customer relations. 

Above: L to R: CKTC Superintendent Tony Hancock, CKTC Ag Business Management Coordinator Keith Brownback, Apache Farmer’s Coop Agronomy Manager, Dennis Crow and CKTC Business & Industry Services Director John Noel at the 2021 OkACTE Awards Banquet.

Caddo Kiowa Tech Center’s Truck Driver Training Program is another proven relational partnership. Not only do graduates seeking CLD employment get hired by the Apache Farmer’s Coop, but the Coop sends select employees through the program for career advancement.

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The Apache Farmer’s Coop believes in employee growth. The Washita Valley Leadership Program enriches local leaders through mentorship, team building, governance, youth and education, area agriculture, and economic development. The Apache Farmer’s Coop has been an avid supporter of the leadership program since inception 26 years ago, providing support through educational tours, informational sessions, and sponsoring employee attendance.

Apache Farmer’s Coop began in 1920 and have been in service for over 100 years. They have grown to service four sites in southwest Oklahoma, employing more than 40 full time employees. The Apache Farmer’s Coop is a strong supporter of the local FFA programs, and aim to provide for the community through providing revenue, jobs, and foundational support. 

CKTC Employees Win OkPACE Awards

Above: Dale Lewis and Shawn Freie

Oklahoma Post-Secondary Career Education (OkPACE) announced its 2021 award winners at its annual conference in April. Caddo Kiowa Technology Center brought home two of the six awards presented.

Shawn Freie, Small Business Management Coordinator, was awarded the OkPace Economic Development Award for her work with TetherTech USA. This award recognizes the individual or collaborative team efforts who creatively provide assistance relating to business start-ups, entrepreneurship, expansion and retention, and job creation.

TetherTech Safety, USA is housed in CKTC’s Business Incubator, under the direction of Freie. With more than 16 years’ experience in small business management, and as the first in SW Oklahoma to be Incubator Certified, Freie was able to provide TTS with the direction, assistance, and facilities needed to launch their successful business. TetherTech Safety provides a product to protect against tractor trailer wheel-off incidents, using a thick steel cable running through the axle tube and tethered to a pair of wheel-end caps. This design prevents the wheel assembly from separating in the event of a bearing failure. Freie works diligently with her clients assisting in the expansion and advancement of this lifesaving product.

Dale Lewis, Director Truck Driver Training, received the OkPace Innovation Award for the creative training partnership with CHS Cooperative in Frederick, Oklahoma. This award recognizes the most unique and innovative individual or collaborative activity which took the nominee beyond the normal scope of business and industry service.

Lewis developed a one of a kind training for CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative. CHS places workers from South Africa who have their I-94 work Visas with local farmers who need assistance during harvest. Lewis arranged for CKTC’s award winning truck driver training program to educate CHS workers to achieve a Certified Driver’s License (CDL). This training program put successful and highly qualified CDL drivers to work for numerous farmers in SW Oklahoma.

Freie and Lewis will represent Oklahoma Post-Secondary Career Education nationally at Vision in December. Vision is the annual conference of the national Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE).