By Beth Lutter

The Pork Checkoff recently awarded 21 scholarships to college students (right) for the 2018-2019 school year. Applicants were selected based on scholastic merit, leadership activities, involvement in the pork production industry and plans for a career in pork production.

“We’re excited to support young people who are pursuing an education in the pork industry,” said National Pork Board President Terry O’Neel, Friend, Nebraska. “Whether it’s in veterinary medicine, swine research, swine nutrition or another related field, we applaud their enthusiasm and look forward to their future contributions.”

This year’s top recipients are Madison Wensley and Amanda Anderson, who will receive a $5,000 and $3,500 scholarship, respectively. The other students will each receive $2,000.

Victoria Abner Texas A&M University, Animal Science
Amanda Anderson Iowa State University, Animal Science
Madison Anderson Dordt College, General Agriculture
Kelsey Batson University of Missouri-Columbia, Animal Science
Joshua Beam Penn State University, Animal Science
William Boyd Virginia Polytechnic, Animal Science
Erin Bryan University of Illinois, Animal Science
Chloe Creager Kansas State University, Animal Science
Hunter Everett North Carolina State University, Animal Science
Evan Gibbs Iowa State University, Agricultural Studies
Piper Hopple Ohio State University, Animal Science
Kiera Leddy Oklahoma State University, Ag Communications
Katelyn Lowery North Carolina State University, Animal Science
Meg Meeker University of Illinois, Ag Leadership
Sara Strathman University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Animal Science
Madison Wensley Michigan State University, Animal Science
Whitney Whitaker Kansas State University, Animal Science
Ben Wikner Iowa State University, Agricultural Studies
Zoe Wolfe North Carolina State University, Animal Science
Morgan Wonderly Cal Polytechnic University, Animal Science
Luke Zimmerman University of Illinois, Animal Science

What sparked your passion for pigs and how do you see it playing out in your future?

Answers:

Madison Wensley:

“When I transferred to Michigan State my sophomore year and applied to work on campus farms, the only one hiring was the swine farm. I had no idea what a blessing that was. My eyes were opened to opportunities in the pork industry, and soon I was hooked. I had internships at The Maschhoffs and the Michigan Pork Producers Association, and now I’m excited to begin pursuing a master’s in swine nutrition at Kansas State this summer.

As a swine nutritionist, I want to contribute to overall herd health and production efficiency while decreasing input costs. I want producers to be confident in calling on me for advice and troubleshooting.”

Amanda Anderson:

“My love of pigs and involvement in the industry started while showing pigs in 4-H and FFA. At Iowa State, I have spent much of my time conducting research and disease outbreak investigations. After vet school, I would like to practice swine medicine and specialize in applied swine research. I’m looking forward to doing my part to help raise high-quality, affordable protein for the world. I am happy to follow in the footsteps of my dad, Matt Anderson, who was president of the 2013 American Association of Swine Veterinarians.”