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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Unitherm’s David Howard honored as DASNR Champion by OSU

STILLWATER, Okla. – A European by birth, David Howard has become a great American success story, to the benefit of the U.S. food industry, the state of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
Unitherm’s David Howard honored as DASNR Champion by OSU

Mike Woods of DASNR (left) presents the 2014 DASNR Champion award to David Howard during May 6 ceremonies. (Photo by Todd Johnson)

“We are privileged to name David Howard of Bristow, Oklahoma, a 2014 recipient of the OSU DASNR Champion award,” said Mike Woods, DASNR interim vice president, dean and director. “He is well deserving of this recognition, which is one of the most prestigious honors presented by the division.”

The DASNR Champion award recognizes individuals with exceptional records of providing meaningful and lasting benefits to Oklahoma as part of the state’s production, processing and related agricultural industries, in addition to being outstanding leaders in their communities and supporters of OSU’s land-grant mission.

Howard was born in England, raised in Northern Ireland and returned to England where he completed the National Higher Diploma with Distinction in Business Studies at North East London Polytechnic in 1985.

While at North East London Polytechnic, Howard launched a start-up business in 1983. He named his new business Unitherm Food Systems, which developed and built thermal processing systems for the United Kingdom’s food industry. After graduation, he concentrated on the day-to-day management of his business, expanded his operations and placed thermal processing units in food manufacturing facilities throughout the United Kingdom.

Reviewing his business expectations and food industry growth potential, Howard projected greater opportunities for growth could be realized in the United States market. In a bold and entrepreneurial move, he relocated his already very successful business to the United States in 1995, and established offices and a manufacturing facility in Ponca City, Oklahoma.

He spent the subsequent six years establishing Unitherm Food Processing Inc. in the American marketplace as an equipment supplier and innovator and then, in 2001, the potential for facility expansion and increased ease of doing business led him to relocate Unitherm Food Processing Inc. to the industrial park in Bristow, Oklahoma.

Today, Unitherm is a market leader in innovative equipment technologies for pasteurization, cooking and chilling of raw, partially-cooked and fully-cooked food products and agricultural food commodities. Unitherm’s annual sales now exceed $25 million, with more than 40 fulltime employees from the Bristow area. The company has opened business and sales offices in Europe and Australia.

“The company is known throughout the food processing industry for its innovative approach to the design and creation of machines and systems to maximize yields and reduce processing times, while enhancing safety and profitability,” said Roy Escoubas, director of the OSU Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center (FAPC).

An avid proponent of the DASNR center, Howard has donated state-of-the-art equipment vital to helping the FAPC serve food industry clients and businesses across Oklahoma, notably the electrolyzed water treatment system, boot washing system and spiral oven system.

“David has never put any constraints on any of his donations, giving because he appreciates the value of what FAPC provides to state food businesses,” Escoubas said. “He also freely gives of his time and knowledge, serving for three terms on the FAPC Industry Advisory Committee, including stints as chair and vice-chair.”

Over the years, Howard has funded four FAPC graduate research assistantships for the full term of each assistantship, totalling approximately $200,000 in money provided. He has funded more than $100,000 worth of focused FAPC research projects and has provided $25,000 in funding for focused FAPC marketing and business projects such as the Dallas Gourmet Market Project.

Howard has provided funds to support travel by FAPC faculty and staff to national and international trade shows as a way to promote Oklahoma’s food industry and the role of science-proven knowledge in advancing its business opportunities and capabilities.

“David also has been a major proponent of the FAPC at his own food industry client visits and trade show presentations,” Escoubas said. “He truly has been one of our greatest champions.”

Additional information about Howard and Unitherm is available online at

For more information about the FAPC, visit or contact the center by calling 405-744-6071 or emailing


Donald Stotts and Mandy Gross

Donald Stotts
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
143 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-4079
Fax: 405-744-5739

Oklahoma State University, U. S. Department of Agriculture, State and Local governments cooperating; Oklahoma State University in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices, or procedures, and is an equal opportunity employer.

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078

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