When I think back on the people I’ve met, the places I’ve seen and the experiences I’ve had as an editor writing about the pork business, it’s difficult to describe in any word other than “extraordinary.” And the industry changes I’ve witnessed! From outdoor production to Cargill floors, to curtain-sided buildings to filtered barns—it’s difficult to even fathom what pork production will look like 20 years from now. The U.S. pork industry is a thriving, multifaceted business, and it has been a privilege to be part of it.
But, it’s time to turn the page: I want to relax a little more, spend more time with family and enjoy a little less hectic pace in the future. While I will miss the daily interactions with staff, producers and industry leaders, I am thrilled to introduce the new editor of Farm Journal’s PORK: Jennifer Shike.
Jennifer is the perfect choice for this role. She most recently served as director of communications and marketing for the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). In this role, she functioned as editor of the ACES@Illinois magazine; guided strategy, development and distribution of ACES news; supervised a staff and student workers; served as the primary communications liaison for the dean of the ACES College; and much more.
Jennifer Shike, new editor of Farm Journal's PORK
Previously, she directed junior activities for the National Swine Registry. She started the National Junior Swine Association, taking it from an idea, to an organization of more than 12,000 youth members from across the country.
Jennifer first attended Black Hawk College East Campus, where she earned an agricultural transfer associate’s degree. She then attended and graduated from Kansas State University with bachelor’s degrees in both agricultural journalism and communications; and animal sciences and industry. She has received many awards and honors, but most importantly, she is passionate about animal agriculture and is excited to take on this new role.
Jennifer and her husband, Dan, met on the livestock judging team in college. They have three children: Olivia, 12; Hunter, 10; and Harper, 4. They are involved with the family club calf operation and enjoy following their kids around to wrestling meets, cross country races, livestock judging practices and horse shows. Their favorite thing to do as a family is spend the summer exhibiting pigs throughout the Midwest.
This young woman is extremely talented, capable and personable. She will start on Sept. 12, and I have no doubt she'll do great things with the PORK brand.
While I’m retiring from full-time work, I will still be involved in the pork industry, and I look forward to seeing many of you at upcoming events. This isn’t starting a new chapter or closing a book—it’s simply turning the page.
Thank you all for making this the most rewarding, fulfilling career possible.