DES MOINES – April 13, 2015 – 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 human capital for the future. Recipients were selected based on scholastic merit, leadership activities, involvement in the pork production industry and future plans for a career in pork production.
“Developing the next generation of leaders in the pork industry is one of the top issues that the Pork Checkoff has identified as being critical for the industry’s future. Finding new leaders also is part of our strategic plan,” said Dale Norton, president of the National Pork Board and a pork producer from Bronson, Mich. “Our ongoing goal is to help ensure that there is a sustainable source of new leaders ready to take on the industry’s charge of producing a safe, wholesome food product in a socially responsible way.”
The 21 student recipients, who hail from 15 states and 15 universities, are majoring in nine different swine-related fields. The 2015 Pork Industry Scholarship recipients are:
|Kaylen Baker||Yukon, Okla.||Oklahoma State||Animal Science and Ag Communications|
|Matthew Romoser||Keota, Iowa||Iowa State University||Animal Science|
|Morgan Cox||Hope, Ind.||Purdue University||Animal Science|
|Hayden Williams||Iowa Falls, Iowa||Wabash College||Biology|
|Annie Clark||Overland Park, Kan.||Kansas State University||Animal Science|
|Danika Miller||Terre Haute, Ind.||Purdue University||Food Science|
|Taylor Owens||Boerne, Texas||Texas A&M University||Animal Science|
|KaLynn Harlow||Rocky Mount, Va.||Virginia Tech||Animal Science|
|Darby Dillard||Starkville, Miss.||Mississippi State University||Animal Science|
|Allison Knox||Savoy, Ill.||University of Illinois||Animal Science/Pre-Vet|
|Nicole Gross||Johnson Creek, Wis.||University of Wisconsin||Animal Science|
|Grant Price||Tiffin, Ohio||The Ohio State University||Animal Science|
|Benjamin Smith||Aurora, Mo.||Iowa State University||Animal Science/ Ag Systems Tech|
|Abigail Wehrbein||Plattsmouth, Neb.||University of Nebraska Lincoln||Animal Science/Meat Science|
|Morgan Pittz||Mineral Point, Wis.||Iowa State University||Animal Science|
|Garrit Sproull||Uhrichsville, Ohio||The Ohio State University||Animal Science Production|
|Adam Krause||Clear Lake, S.D.||South Dakota State University||Ag Business|
|Kaleb Sargent||Clinton, N.C.||North Carolina State University||Animal Science/ Ag Business|
|Sarah Marketon||Howard Lake, Minn.||University of Minnesota||Ag Education|
|Ellen Nieuwoudt||Washington, Kan.||Kansas State University||Animal Science|
|Cody Milbrath||Springfield, Minn.||South Dakota State University||Animal Science|
This year’s top candidates were Kaylen Baker and Matthew Romoser, who will receive $5,000 and $3,500 scholarships, respectively. The remaining 19 applicants will receive $2,000 each.
Kaylen Baker, a junior at Oklahoma State University, is from Yukon, Okla., and is majoring in animal science and agriculture communications, with a minor in agriculture economics and business. She plans to continue her academic career by pursuing a Master’s of Science degree in animal welfare.
Matt Romoser, a senior at Iowa State University, is from Keota, Iowa. He plans to pursue a Master’s of Science degree in reproductive physiology with Dr. Jason Ross at Iowa State University after completing his undergraduate degree. He hopes to have a career where he can play a key role in bringing applied reproductive technologies to pork production in order to facilitate genetic improvement and improve reproductive efficiency.
“To remain competitive on the global stage, a skilled workforce and strong leadership are essential,” Norton said. “We need young leaders to look at pork not just as a food choice, but as a career. The issues the next generation will face will be substantially different from those we are currently facing. Pork producers will need strong leadership in order to produce pork in a manner that is good for people, pigs and the planet.