The Pork Checkoff has awarded 22 scholarships to college students around the United States as part of its strategy to develop the pork industry’s future leaders. Successful applicants were selected from a pool of 35 applicants based on scholastic merit, leadership activities, involvement in the pork production industry and future plans for a career in pork production.

“The 2016 scholarship winners will positively impact the swine industry in the future,” said the National Pork Board President Derek Sleezer, a pork producer from Cherokee, Iowa. “We have an ongoing obligation to producers to help develop the next generation of pork producers. The goal is to ensure a sustainable source of leaders who will be ready to produce safe, wholesome food in a socially responsible way.”

The 22 student recipients hail from 10 states and 15 universities and represent five different majors in swine-related fields. The 2016 Pork Industry Scholarship recipients are:

  • Taylor Homann, Pipestone, Minnesota – University of Minnesota
  • Kyle Anderson, Abilene, Kansas – Kansas State University
  • Ashton Yoder, Welda, Kansas – Kansas State University
  • Kristin Hansen, Elk Horn, Iowa – Iowa State University
  • Marissa Lorenz, New Paris, Indiana – Purdue University
  • Rachel Stika, Ames, Iowa – Iowa State University
  • Tyler Dick, Mountain Lake, Minnesota – University of Minnesota
  • Julia Holen, St. Paul, Minnesota – University of Minnesota
  • Riley Wattonville, Huxley, Iowa – Iowa State University
  • Katlyn Kahler, Cambridge, Iowa – Iowa State University
  • Tana Luna, Troy, Texas – Texas A&M University
  • Scott Schroeder, LeMars, Iowa – South Dakota State University
  • Kayla Hoenert, Wadesville, Indiana – Purdue University
  • Sarah Battista, Suffield, Ohio – West Virginia University
  • Morgan Weinrich, Yuma, Colorado – Colorado State University
  • Caleb Plett, Duncan, Oklahoma – Cameron University
  • Carly Lukas, Galesburg, Illinois – Western Illinois University
  • Madison Furr, New Braunfels, Texas – Texas A&M University
  • Sarah Morton, Nehawka, Nebraska – University of Nebraska Lincoln
  • Keegan Vander Molen, Pella, Iowa – Oklahoma State University
  • Camille Ogdon, Normandy Park, Washington –
    Washington State University
  • Madalyn Tessa Cowser, Elmwood, Illinois –
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This year’s top candidates were Taylor Homann and Kyle Anderson, who will receive $5,000 and $3,500 scholarships respectively. Homann, a senior at the University of Minnesota, is majoring in animal science. She plans to continue her academic career by pursuing a doctor of veterinary medicine degree in the fall. Anderson, a junior at Kansas State University, has worked at the university’s feed mill and would like to pursue a career as a mill manager after graduation. The remaining award recipients will receive $2,000 each.

“The next generation of industry leaders will face new challenges, so we definitely need a skilled workforce and strong leadership,” Sleezer said. “We are excited that this group of young people look at pork not just as a food choice, but also as a career path. On behalf of the Pork Checkoff, the National Pork Board and the pork industry, I congratulate this year’s Pork Industry Scholarship recipients and look forward to welcoming them into our industry in the future.”

Pork Checkoff Announces 2016 Pork Industry Scholarship Recipients