The National Pork Producers Council today at its annual business meeting – the National Pork Industry Forum – awarded scholarships to 10 college students who intend to pursue careers in the pork industry. The Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship program is sponsored by CME Group and the National Pork Industry Foundation and managed and administered by NPPC.
The 2019 winners of the $2,500 scholarships – named after the late NPPC vice president from Mt. Olive, N.C. – are:
- John Altendorf, Drake University
- Jenna Chance, Kansas State University
- Holly Cook, Iowa State University
- Hunter Everett, North Carolina State University
- Sarah Heiller, Iowa State University
- Kathryn Helmink, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
- Mariah Huge, Purdue University
- William Mengler, Iowa State University
- Sierra Williamson, University of Minnesota
- Blake Wolters, South Dakota State University
The scholarship program was introduced in 1990 by CME Group and NPPC to celebrate the 25th anniversary of CME hog futures. The scholarship was renamed in 2006 to honor the passing of NPPC board member Lois Britt, a lifetime supporter of agriculture. Britt spent 34 years with the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, finishing out her career for 15 years with Smithfield Hog Production in public and government relations. She was inducted into the NPPC Pork Industry Hall of Fame, the N.C. Pork Council Hall of Fame and awarded the N.C. 4-H Lifetime Achievement Award.
To be eligible for a scholarship, students must be undergraduates in a two-year swine program or a four-year college of agriculture, provide a brief letter describing their expected role in the pork industry, write an essay on an issue affecting the pork industry and submit two letters of reference from professors or industry professionals.
"These outstanding young people represent the future of the U.S. pork industry," said NPPC President Jim Heimerl, a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio. "They are the next generation of leaders, and NPPC and CME Group are pleased to recognize their commitment to the pork industry with these scholarships."