National Junior Swine Association (NJSA) members from across the country are joining together with the National Pork Board to provide relief to Iowa and Nebraska communities that have been affected by the recent floods.
On Thursday, NJSA will host the National Youth Leadership Conference (NYLC) in Kansas City, Mo. The young swine enthusiasts will be bringing Clorox wipes, baby wipes and hand sanitizer to the conference to support Iowa communities that will be without water for an extended period of time due to compromised water treatment plants.
Young people who are flying or not attending NYLC are being encouraged to make monetary donations to a relief fund to support Nebraska communities that was set up by the Nebraska FFA Foundation, at neffafoundation.org.
“Water was already being donated to these communities, but there was a need for Clorox wipes, baby wipes and hand sanitizer donations,” says Cassie Godwin, social media coordinator at the National Swine Registry, the org responsible for NJSA. “School is still in session in these communities. While they have water to use the restroom, they will have to use sanitizer and wipes to wash their hands.”
One of the National Pork Board’s We Care principles is community. Godwin says the NJSA agrees that a large part of being a good, productive citizen is to take care of your community and neighbors. One of NJSA’s major initiatives is to instill the desire to give back and make a positive difference within its members.
“Being a leader is so much more than being in charge and calling the shots. The NJSA believes that the best leaders genuinely care for others and do what can be done to make a difference,” Godwin says. “By providing community service initiatives for our members to participate in we are hopefully leading by example and setting the tone for how they will each be as leaders.”
NSR staff developed a social media campaign last Friday to promote this cause and encourage people to get involved with this effort. You can follow NJSA’s journey to give back at #NJSAGivesBack on social media.
“In times of need, the commitment that livestock producers have to help each other amazes me,” says NJSA member Adrian Austin, 20, from Mt. Vernon, Ill. “When times get tough, we are there for each other, and the flood victims service project is proof of that. This project is such a simple way for NJSA members to give back to those impacted by flooding. I’m thankful to serve an org that is dedicated to making a difference.”
More than 50 NJSA members ages 14 to 21 will gather for this swine youth leadership conference featuring tours of Biozyme, Inc., Merck and the American Royal facilities. Industry professionals from Smithfield, Seaboard, the Livestock Marketing Association and the National Pork Board will also share their expertise during educational seminars and sessions.
“The NJSA is very appreciative of National Pork Board for allowing us the opportunity to help with relief efforts,” Godwin says. “We are always amazed at how eager and willing NJSA members and their families are to help others. The young people who make up the NJSA are truly kind, hardworking kids who have big hearts.”
The NJSA is the largest youth livestock org in the world with more than 10,500 members, according to the National Swine Registry website. The NJSA’s mission is to provide a network uniting swine enthusiasts while offering competitive opportunities to reward excellence, enhance educational opportunities and develop leadership skills.
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