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Pork Checkoff and Partners Announce Recipients of the 2010-11 Pork Industry Scholarships

Pork Checkoff and Partners Announce Recipients of the 2010-11 Pork Industry Scholarships

Students receive more than $42,000.

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.

"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:   

Arkfeld, Emily

University of Nebraska

Dunbar, Neb.

Animal Science

De Jong, Jon

South Dakota State University

Orange City, Iowa

Animal Science

Eder, Jett

Oklahoma State University

Sharon Springs, Kan. 

Animal Science/


Goehring, Devin

Kansas State University

Lowell, Wis.

Animal Science and Industry

Hays, Linsey

University of Central Missouri

Monroe City, Mo.

Animal Science

Johnston, Justin

University of Minnesota

Morris, Minn.

Animal Science

Jordan, Sarah

Purdue University

Richmond, Ind.

Agricultural Economics

McAuliffe, McKenzie

University of Nebraska

Sterling, Neb.

Animal Science/


Meyer, Kayla

University of Illinois

Hinckley, Ill.

Agriculture Education

Mohler, Erin

University of Missouri

Charlotte Hall, Md.

Animal Science

Oberbroeckling, Ryan

Iowa State University

Garnavillo, Iowa

Agricultural Studies

Phipps, Warner

Cornell University

Kearney, Neb.

Development Sociology

Samson, Anna Marie

Montana State University

Three Forks, Mont.

Animal Science

Shaffer, Lynsee

Purdue University

Albany, Ind.

Ag Education

Smith, Courtney

Purdue University

Michigantown, Ind.

Ag Economics/

Animal Science minor

Sparks, Joel

Michigan State University

Cassopolis, Mich.

Animal Science

Spronk, Ethan

South Dakota State University

Edgerton, Minn.

Animal Science/


Spronk, Seth

South Dakota State University

Edgerton, Minn.

Ag Engineering

Weitekamp, Katie 

University of Illinois

Farmersville, Ill.

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."

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. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health, pork safety and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or go to at

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