Pork Checkoff Announces Recipients of the 2015 Pork Industry Scholarships

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:

Applicant City, State Institution Major
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.


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.