Student Opportunities with the Pork Checkoff

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National Pork Board communications intern Amanda Crow outlines the social media force for college students, which tells the Real Pig Farming story through social media. Amanda also offers information on the Pork Checkoff student internship program.


Don Wick


Amanda Crow, Communications Intern, National Pork Board




Don Wick: 00:01 From the Pork Checkoff in Des Moines, Iowa, it’s Pork Pod, Pork Pod, a look at the hot topic 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 Amanda Crow from Lamont, Iowa, an incoming senior at Iowa State University. And now an intern in the Communications Department at the National Pork Board. Amanda, let’s begin by learning a bit more about the social media forces, the social media team activity with the National Pork Board.

Amanda Crow: 00:35 So one thing that we have going on right now before actually seeking and college aged applicants or our #realpigfarming students social forces team, there’ll be active this fall all the way through the end of the years. And their main mission is to help farmers advocate for pig farming using social media.

Don Wick: 00:53 So if someone’s interested, what would they have to do Amanda?

Amanda Crow: 00:56 Interested students should go to our website, There they can fill out an application where anyone between the ages of 18 and 23 that are going to college, we’d really invite them to fill out that application, answer just a couple of questions, send them links to their social media. Um, and then by July 15th they’ll actually know if they made the team or not.

Don Wick: 01:18 How much of a commitment is that for those students if they become a part of this effort?

Amanda Crow: 01:24 That’s a great question. So we would expect them to post, they would meet certain milestones throughout their time as honesty, social forces team. Um, so for example, the first milestone is announcing you’re on the team posting a few times on Facebook and Instagram and then sharing some#realpigfarming statistics on Twitter. So they would just be expected to post a few times throughout the month or throughout different to meet certain milestones in order to hopefully receive a scholarship at the end of their time.

Don Wick: 01:54 Well, it sounds like a great incentive for signing up for a program like this.

Amanda Crow: 02:00 I think so anyway. I mean, has it caused you myself, I know that I would definitely be interested in this, um, even with the scholarship, a good portion of it, but even just knowing that you’re helping promote pork in a positive way that’s almost reward enough for me.

Don Wick: 02:13 And switching gears, Amanda, you are also an intern in the Communications Department at the National Pork Board. Tell me about that experience.

Amanda Crow: 02:20 I was actually fortunate enough to find out about this position from the College of Ag Career Services Office at Iowa State. Um, I had some mentors who recommended me that this was just a wonderful program and that if I had the opportunity to get involved that she definitely take advantage of that. So I applied last October, interviewed and actually found out like the week of Christmas that I would be joining the National Pork Board in Pork Checkoff, as their communications integrity. So they’ve had me spread out quite a bit so far. I’ve gotten my first World Pork Expo, which was only a little overwhelming. Um, it was wonderful to see everybody and see really what pork is all about, especially since I do come from an agriculture background but not specifically a pig farming. So it’s been just crazy to see the amount of technology and innovation and really the amount of passion that people really put into their farming operation.

Amanda Crow: 03:19 So beyond that they’ve had me, um, let’s see. Yeah, they’d given us opportunity to travel. As an intern team, we visited an Iowa Select sow farm. We get to go to a packing plant here at the end of the month. I think um, will be to go. I’m fortunate enough that as a communications intern to get to attend Ag Media summit in Arizona, the first part of August. They’re really doing such a good job of getting us out into the industry but also in house here. I’m just doing so much it, like actual real projects that I’m not just running around getting people coffee. I’m like, I feel I was able to work with media relations, I posted on our real pig farming social media accounts for a couple of days. Um, I’ve learned about business to business marketing, which has been really interesting for me. Um, and also gotten to see a lot of the strategic communications that goes behind all of our different campaigns that we put forth.

Don Wick: 04:23 Think about all the people you are able to get connected to really build your network by being a part of this internship crew as well.

Amanda Crow: 04:30 It’s so true. I, um, yeah. I thought that agriculture, I know that agriculture was a pretty small industry to be a part of, but then you get into a specific sector such as pig farming and oh my gosh, everybody knows everybody. You can’t go anywhere without, without finding someone who you have a connection with somehow.

Don Wick: 04:47 So somebody is interested in being part of this, say for the summer of 19. Should they be working with their state Pork Checkoff organization? Should they be checking up to the national website? How do they find out more?

Amanda Crow: 05:06 So future interns, actually one of my projects this summer is building. I’m an intern page on our website, so hopefully we’ll have that launched in time. Future interns could go to that website, they could get more information, um, and hopefully apply on there as well. But in the meantime, definitely reach out to your state organization. They would be more than happy to put you in touch with the right people.

Don Wick: 05:27 Sounds like a great opportunity.

Amanda Crow: 05:30 It is. I, I just, I can’t think of enough that it’s an absolutely crazy. I just love it here. It’s so much fun and so, so as I’ve learned so much in such a short amount of time, I’ve only been here a month as of yesterday and I feel like I’ve been here for a whole year and it’s been crazy.

Don Wick: 05:47 Thanks for listening to this addition of Pork Pod. For more information on this topic or the pork checkoff itself, visit