Emma Lasco of Roscoe, Iowa is one of three U.S. Pig Farmers of Tomorrow. Lasco has a unique background and tells her story in this edition of Pork Pod
Emma Lasco, National Pork Board's Pig Farmer of Tomorrow
Don Wick: 00:04 From the Pork Checkoff in Des Moines, Iowa, this is Pork Pod. Pork Pod, I 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. I’m Don Wick speaking on behalf of the Pork Checkoff and today our guest is Emma Lasko who is from Roscoe Iowa. She represents the Pork Checkoff as one of the 2018 pig farmers of tomorrow. Emma let’s begin by way of introduction, tell us about yourself.
Emma Lasco: 00:31 Yeah, definitely. I grew up in northeast Illinois. Um, kind of have a little bit journey, a different journey than most people, I grew up in, more of an urban area. And then I came to Iowa state and that’s really where I dove in and deeper into my passion for agriculture that I’ve found through my family when I was younger and kind of got involved in the swine industry through various internships and jobs that I worked, everything from the south side to the finishing side. That’s kind of kind of where I found my track into the swine industry and led me into my career with Smithfield today and then onto the honored with this pig farm of tomorrow award.
Don Wick: 00:31 What’s your roll with Smithfield?
Emma Lasco: 01:14 So I currently work, um, for the Midwest, Smithfield hog production departments in a north central. I was a territory I’m located at, so I work with a roughly 30 farmers that contract grow hogs, the Smithfield. Um, so I’m visiting with, with all my farms and my caretakers in farm owners as a couple of times a month just to check on the pigs, making sure they’re healthy, getting the attention they need. They have ample supply of feed and water, ventilation, all those kinds of things. I get the opportunity to kind of create relationships between all of our farmers and Smithfield and constantly sharing industry knowledge, I get learn something new every day. It’s a rewarding career path and I’m kind of kind of reminded that when I get to be out in the barns with the farmers.
Don Wick: 02:02 With this award really recognizes that next generation of a pig farmers. First of all, what’s the, the recognition, the honor mean to you?
Emma Lasko: 02:13 It’s an incredible honor to be recognized as a Pig Farmer of Tomorrow and I hope to be able to give that title justice in the next year, um, by taking this opportunity to not only share my story, but the story of agriculture and the importance of it to the economy and the strive and effort we put in every day to making sure that our animals are getting the best care. Um, so like I said, it’s just an another opportunity. I’ve been granted by this incredible industry.
Don Wick: 02:42 Do you think the issues or maybe the message coming from the younger producers different than, than, uh, some of your colleagues that have a little more experience?
Emma Lasco: 02:52 I don’t necessarily think it’s different. I think in the end we’re all kind of striving for the same thing. I think maybe it’s more of an audience we can connect to. It’s more of those people, um, that we can share similar stories to or similar paths. I mean, for me it’s more of a, I grew up in an urban area and that’s an audience that I hope that I can address when going through this program or I’m someone who’s sitting at Iowa State or college there that’s wanting to pursue a passion or has a passionate in the agriculture industry and wants to pursue a career in that, um, that they can understand that the importance of sharing our story and how to get, get where they want to be. I think maybe that it’s a target audience. It’s not necessarily a story. A difference that we’re sharing.
Don Wick: 03:41 Vehicle may be different. Some cases social media would be a big part of it now. And how do you hope to carry the message in social media?
Emma Lasko: 03:50 Yeah. Social media is going to be a huge part of this program and the next year, and I hope they continue that for honestly the rest of my life. Um, I think a lot of it, we’re going to do a lot of blogs talking about, um, different hot target things in the industry. We’re going to take on facebook live and give you that front row view to our barns and what we’re doing every single day we’re gonna share those articles that mean something and try to get them circulating. Just give that picture. That may be words cannot describe and put that on social media so we can have these consumers being able to take, uh, take a day on the farm and walk a day in our boots.
Don Wick: 04:32 Sounds exciting. Looking forward to working with this in the year ahead.
Emma Lasco: 04:38 Definitely. Definitely. I am too. I just, I guess I could take the time to. Thank you for having me this morning and then I just reiterate how much this award means to me and I hope I can use this as an opportunity to show the correct pig farming story and we are the people that are committed to caring for these animals every day. I’m more passionate about what we do, keeping them safe, comfortable, healthy, contributing to our community. And at the end of the day, all this care that we provide for the animals translate into a safe product for those consumers. And, and I hope that I can be able to take this next year to explain all of that and paint a picture for these consumers to understand.
Don Wick: 05:16 Adam Krause from South Dakota. And Christine’s Snowden from Iowa also recognized as pig farmers have tomorrow. Thank you for listening to this addition of pork pod. For more information on this topic or the pork checkoff itself, visit pork. org.