NJSA members on list of Pork Checkoff scholarship recipients

Pork Checkoff and partners announce recipients of the 2010-11 Pork Industry Scholarships

The Pork Checkoff, Pioneer Hi-Bred and PIC have awarded 19 scholarships to college students around the United States as part of their strategy to develop the pork industry's human capital for the future. Many of the scholarship recipients are current or past members of the National Junior Swine Association (NJSA), the largest youth livestock organization in the country, and for youth ages 21 and under who have an interest in the Duroc, Hampshire, Landrace and Yorkshire breeds of swine. 

"Helping to develop the next generation of pork professionals is one of the issues the Pork Checkoff identified as critical for the industry to address," said Gene Nemechek, president of the National Pork Board and a swine veterinarian from Springdale, Ark. "Our service and obligation to producers includes ensuring that there is a sustainable source of capable people ready to take on the industry's charge of producing a safe, wholesome food product in a socially responsible way."

The 19 student recipients hail from 13 universities and eight swine-related fields of study. The 2010-11 Pork Industry Scholarship recipients are:
  • Emily Arkfeld, Dunbar, Neb. – University of Nebraska, Animal Science
  • Jon De Jong, Orange City, Iowa – South Dakota State University,      Animal Science
  • Jett Eder, Sharon Springs, Kan. – Oklahoma State University, Animal Science/Pre-vet
  • Devin Goehring, Lowell, Wis. – Kansas State University, Animal Science and Industry
  • Linsey Hays, Monroe City, Mo. – University of Central Missouri, Animal Science
  • Justin Johnston, Morris, Minn. – University of Minnesota, Animal Science
  • Sarah Jordan, Richmond, Ind. – Purdue University, Agricultural Economics
  • McKenzie McAuliffe, Sterling, Neb. – University of Nebraska, Animal Science/Pre-vet
  • Kayla Meyer, Hinckley, Ill. – University of Illinois, Agriculture Education
  • Erin Mohler, Charlotte Hall, Md. – University of Missouri, Animal Science
  • Ryan Oberbroeckling, Garnavillo, Iowa – Iowa State University, Agricultural Studies
  • Warner Phipps, Kearney, Neb. – Cornell University, Development Sociology
  • Anna Marie Samson, Three Forks, Mont. – Montana State University, Animal Science
  • Lynsee Shaffer, Albany, Ind. – Purdue University, Ag Education
  • Courtney Smith, Michigantown, Ind. –Purdue University, Ag Economics/Animal Science minor
  • Joel Sparks, Cassopolis, Mich. – Michigan State University, Animal Science
  • Ethan Spronk, Edgerton, Minn. – South Dakota State University, Animal Science/Pre-vet
  • Seth Spronk, Edgerton, Minn. – South Dakota State University, Ag Engineering
  • Katie Weitekamp, Farmersville, Ill. – University of Illinois, Animal Science

The top candidate, Joel Sparks, will receive a $5,000 scholarship, and the runner-up candidate, Emily Arkfeld, will receive a $3,500 scholarship sponsored by Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business. The other 17 students selected will receive $2,000 each.

"A skilled workforce is essential for the competitiveness of this industry," Nemechek said. "We need young leaders to look at pork not just as a food choice, but as a career. This is a chance for the industry to encourage these young people to join a workforce that offers many diverse opportunities.  We have needs in production management, veterinary medicine, environmental management, food safety, genetic improvement, nutrition and much more.

"On behalf of the Pork Checkoff and its partners, the National Pork Board and the pork industry, we congratulate this year's Pork Industry Scholarship recipients," Nemechek said. "We look forward to welcoming them into our industry in the future."

Congratulations NJSA members and all other scholarship recipients!

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