Pork Checkoff Announces the 2018 Pork Industry Scholarship Recipients

DES MOINES, IOWA – April 11, 2018 – The Pork Checkoff has awarded 21 scholarships to college students around the United States as part of its strategy to develop the pork industry’s future leaders. A National Pork Board committee judged the pool of 70 applicants based on scholastic merit, leadership activities, involvement in the pork production industry and the applicants’ plans for a career in pork production.

“The 2018 scholarship winners are an important part of the pork industry’s future,” said National Pork Board President Terry O’Neel, a pork producer from Friend, Nebraska. “These young people are critical to helping us develop the next generation of pig farmers and industry leaders who will be ready to produce safe, wholesome food in a socially responsible way.”

The 21 student recipients hail from 15 states and 14 universities and represent six different majors in swine-related fields. The 2018 Pork Industry Scholarship recipients are:

Applicant Name Home Town Institution Major
Victoria Abner Howe, Texas Texas A&M Animal Science
Amanda Anderson Ames, Iowa Iowa State University Animal Science
Madison Anderson Bend, Oregon Dordt College General Agriculture
Kelsey Batson Princeton, Missouri University of Missouri-Columbia Animal Science
Joshua Beam Elverson, Pennsylvania Penn State Animal Science
William  Boyd Chesapeake Virginia Virginia Polytechnic Animal Science
Erin Bryan Urbana, Illinois University of Illinois Animal Science
Chloe Creager Olpe, Kansas Kansas State University Animal Science
Hunter Everett Mebane, North Carolina North Carolina State University Animal Science
Evan Gibbs Cascade, Iowa Iowa State University Agricultural Studies
Piper Hopple Clyde, Ohio The Ohio State University Animal Science
Kiera Leddy Stockholm, South Dakota Oklahoma State University Ag Communications
Katelyn Lowery Clayton, North Carolina North Carolina State University Animal Science
Meg Meeker Emden, Illinois University of Illinois Ag Leadership
Sara Strathman Brodhead, Wisconsin University of Wisconsin Platteville Animal Science
Madison Wensley Parma, Michigan Michigan State Animal Science
Whitney Whitaker Templeton, California Kansas State University Animal Science
Ben Wikner Farmersburg, Iowa Iowa State University Agricultural Studies
Zoe Wolfe Raleigh, North Carolina North Carolina State University Animal Science
Morgan Wonderly Bakersfield, California Cal Polytechnic Institute Animal Science
Luke Zimmerman Forrest, Illinois University of Illinois Animal Science

This year’s top scholarship recipients are Madison Wensley and Amanda Anderson, who will receive a $5,000 and $3,500 scholarship, respectively. Wensley, a senior at Michigan State University, is majoring in animal science. She plans to continue her academic career by pursuing a master’s of science degree in swine nutrition at Kansas State University. Ultimately, she would like to provide pig farmers with the tools they need to improve feed management practices. Anderson, a senior at Iowa State University, is majoring in animal science. She plans to pursue a doctorate of veterinary medicine at Iowa State University in the fall. The other award recipients will receive $2,000 each.

“We are excited that these young people see the opportunities available in today’s pork industry,” O’Neel said. “On behalf of the National Pork Board and my fellow pig farmers, I congratulate this year’s Pork Industry Scholarship recipients and look forward to welcoming them into our industry in the future.”


The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety and sustainability and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at pork.org.