The US pork industry has awarded 22 scholarships to college students as part of its strategy to develop the pork sector leaders of the future.
The successful applicants were selected according to scholastic merit, evidence of having leadership qualities, involvement in the pork production industry and a future commitment to a career in pork production.
“Scholarship winners will positively impact the pig industry in the future,” said the National Pork Board (NPB) president, Derek Sleezer (pictured above), who is also a pork producer from Cherokee, Iowa.
“We have an ongoing obligation 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.”
This year’s top candidates will receive $5,000 (£3500) with the bulk of receiving $2,000 (£1400) each.
“The next generation of industry leaders will face new challenges, so we definitely need a skilled workforce and strong leadership,” said Mr Sleezer, adding that it was exciting for the industry that the 22 winners look at pork not just as a food choice, but also as a career path.
The scholarship programme is run by Pork Checkoff, the promotional arm of the NPB.