The National Pork Board invests in the next generation with its Pork Industry Scholarships
Eden Lambert, Orange City, Iowa, National Pork Board Scholarship recipient
Don Wick: 00:01 From the Pork Checkoff in Des Moines Iowa it’s Pork Pod! Pork Pod, a look at the hot topics in today’s pork industry. The pork Checkoff is working for you through various forms of research promotion and consumer information projects. This is Don Wick speaking on behalf of the Pork Checkoff. And today our guest is Eden Lambert who is from Orange City Iowa and has been awarded the pork industry scholarship from the National Pork Board. Eden, let’s begin by way of introduction. Tell us a bit more about yourself.
Eden Lambert: 00:29 Yeah. So I am from Orange City Iowa, far northwest corner and I will be a senior next year at Iowa State University, majoring in Animal Science. And grew up actually not in this swine industry. My grandparents have a feed lot cow calf operation. So I grew up mostly with that but I was very fortunate to start showing pigs at a young age. And I absolutely loved that and decided going into college that something that I had a passion for and a lot of amazing people that had a passion for the pork industry were placed on my path had given me opportunities and took chances on me and have had wonderful internships throughout this swine industry this far.
Don Wick: 01:08 Interesting to have that background from our cattle feed lot operation and then moving into the swine business.
Eden Lambert: 01:13 Yeah. It’s nice to have the best of both worlds. They’re both amazing industries but absolutely fallen in love with the swine industry and the people here and I’m just every all opportunities that are out there for the swine industry and for my future as well.
Don Wick: 01:28 So talk to me a little bit about how you started showing hogs where you learn really from that very early age showing pigs and really to the transition where you are today.
Eden Lambert: 01:38 Yeah I thought in high school middle school when I started showing pigs that you know raising six pigs every summer was all it took and it was easy. And then I had my first summer internship freshman year with Christensen Farms and had to take care of sow herds and got to work in nurseries and finisher’s and then a big light bulb went off and I realized maybe it wasn’t so easy raising six pigs every summer. But it was an amazing opportunity, amazing foundation to be able to work with that 2000 head sow farms and really just get the farrow to finish foundation under my belt and then further that education and knowledge that I’ve learned throughout the rest of my career and into my future as well.
Don Wick: 02:25 That opportunity Operationally Christensen it’s got to be pretty eye opening.
Eden Lambert: 02:26 Yeah it was! I cannot thank them enough and the people I’ve met at Christensen and then for that foundation and for taking that chance on me because I was just a small little kid from northwest Iowa that showed pigs and that was about it. I showed them my county fair. I didn’t go nationally. I didn’t go throughout the state. I just did it at the county fair and they took a chance on me and gave me the opportunity. And it’s helped my career and my education immensely, and then led into my internship last summer with Merck Animal Health and then this summer with Form-A-Feed incorporated as well. So I’ve had the privilege of starting in production, seeing the pharmaceutical side, and now the feed industry as well. So I’ve been very fortunate to see all aspects of this swine industry.
Don Wick: 03:09 Pretty diverse background that you’ve had already. What’s the future hold for you?
Eden Lambert: 03:13 Hopefully, just graduate college after this next year for starters. But I really love the nutrition side of the swine industry and just love kind of the numbers going into that and all that just making production better and the amount of opportunity there is for nutrition and for working with producers and I love being in the barns. I love working with the producers. I mean they’re the heart of the industry are these producers out there every day raising pigs and so to get to work with them through these feed companies is quite the experience.
Don Wick: 03:45 It’s interesting how the Pork Checkoff really invest in human capital with scholarships like this. Why would you encourage young people like yourself to go under a production?
Eden Lambert: 03:54 Oh to me that’s a no brainer. But it’s the people are honestly the best. People give you opportunities and coming from a cattle background and the people that love the swine industry so much and saw opportunity in me and wanted me to be a part of their industry was absolutely amazing. And there’s just so many opportunities that you never think you’d be able to get. And people see things in you that you didn’t think you saw in yourself in the pork industry and it’s it’s amazing that those types of people can come across your paths and give you those opportunities.
Don Wick: 04:30 This scholarship is s a pretty big deal. Tell me what it means to you.
Eden Lambert: 04:33 Yeah this scholarship. I would never take a single scholarship for granted. The Pork Checkoff and the Pork Board and the people that put those dollars towards education and towards supporting students going into this swine industry is a big deal. Tuition is not cheap. And for people to recognize that and want to grow and develop future pork producers is quite humbling.
Don Wick: 04:33 Congratulations!
Eden Lambert: 05:01 Thank you very much.
Don Wick: 05:01 Thanks to you for listening to this edition of Pork Pod. For more information on this topic or the Pork Checkoff itself, visit pork.org.