Pork Checkoff Announces the 2018 Pork Industry Scholarship Recipients

Scholarships help defray costs and encourage students to consider a career in the pork industry. ( iStock )

The Pork Checkoff has awarded 21 scholarships to college students around the U.S. as part of its strategy to develop the pork industry’s future leaders. A National Pork Board committee judged the pool of 70 applicants based on scholastic merit, leadership activities, involvement in the pork production industry and the applicants’ plans for a career in pork production.

“The 2018 scholarship winners are an important part of the pork industry’s future,” said National Pork Board President Terry O’Neel, a pork producer from Friend, Nebraska. “These young people are critical to helping us develop the next generation of pig farmers and industry leaders who will be ready to produce safe, wholesome food in a socially responsible way.”

The 21 student recipients hail from 15 states and 14 universities and represent six different majors in swine-related fields. The 2018 Pork Industry Scholarship recipients are:

Applicant Name

Home Town



Victoria Abner

Howe, Texas

Texas A&M

Animal Science

Amanda Anderson

Ames, Iowa

Iowa State University

Animal Science

Madison Anderson

Bend, Oregon

Dordt College

General Agriculture

Kelsey Batson

Princeton, Missouri

University of Missouri-Columbia

Animal Science

Joshua Beam

Elverson, Pennsylvania

Penn State

Animal Science

William Boyd

Chesapeake Virginia

Virginia Polytechnic

Animal Science

Erin Bryan

Urbana, Illinois

University of Illinois

Animal Science

Chloe Creager

Olpe, Kansas

Kansas State University

Animal Science

Hunter Everett

Mebane, North Carolina

North Carolina State University

Animal Science

Evan Gibbs

Cascade, Iowa

Iowa State University

Agricultural Studies

Piper Hopple

Clyde, Ohio

The Ohio State University

Animal Science

Kiera Leddy

Stockholm, South Dakota

Oklahoma State University

Ag Communications

Katelyn Lowery

Clayton, North Carolina

North Carolina State University

Animal Science

Meg Meeker

Emden, Illinois

University of Illinois

Ag Leadership

Sara Strathman

Brodhead, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin Platteville

Animal Science

Madison Wensley

Parma, Michigan

Michigan State

Animal Science

Whitney Whitaker

Templeton, California

Kansas State University

Animal Science

Ben Wikner

Farmersburg, Iowa

Iowa State University

Agricultural Studies

Zoe Wolfe

Raleigh, North Carolina

North Carolina State University

Animal Science

Morgan Wonderly

Bakersfield, California

Cal Polytechnic Institute

Animal Science

Luke Zimmerman

Forrest, Illinois

University of Illinois

Animal Science

This year’s top scholarship recipients are Madison Wensley and Amanda Anderson, who will receive a $5,000 and $3,500 scholarship, respectively. Wensley, a senior at Michigan State University, is majoring in animal science. She plans to continue her academic career by pursuing a master’s of science degree in swine nutrition at Kansas State University. Ultimately, she would like to provide pig farmers with the tools they need to improve feed management practices. Anderson, a senior at Iowa State University, is majoring in animal science. She plans to pursue a doctorate of veterinary medicine at Iowa State University in the fall. The other award recipients will receive $2,000 each.

“We are excited that these young people see the opportunities available in today’s pork industry,” O’Neel said. “On behalf of the National Pork Board and my fellow pig farmers, I congratulate this year’s Pork Industry Scholarship recipients and look forward to welcoming them into our industry in the future.”

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