Recipients of Lois Britt and Neil Dierks scholarships announced at 2024 National Pork Industry Forum.

March 15, 2024

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The National Pork Producers Council proudly announced 12 scholarship winners last week at the 2024 National Pork Industry Forum. The Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry and the Neil Dierks scholarships recognize outstanding university students pursuing careers within the U.S. pork industry.

“Highlighting the remarkable dedication of these scholars to the U.S. pork industry is significant,” said Scott Hays, outgoing NPPC president. “By offering awards such as the Lois Britt and Neil Dierks scholarships, we're paving the way for the next generation of industry leaders and visionaries.”

"We want to congratulate and commend this year’s scholarship winners for their hard work and commitment to the U.S. pork industry, which plays a key role in the global food system," said Derek Sammann, senior managing director and global head of commodities, options and international markets at CME Group. "CME Group is so pleased to support these scholarships as part of our long-standing partnership with the NPPC to help advance future food production leaders."

The 2024 winners of a $2,500 Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship are:

  • Ethan Baldwin, Purdue University

  • Chloe Calhoun, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

  • Kirby Cook, Iowa State University

  • Jenna DeRouchey, Iowa State University

  • Halle Evans, Iowa State University

  • Lydia Johnson, Iowa State University

  • Kaley Pieper, Texas A&M University

  • Addison Randall, Iowa State University

  • Jackson Sterle, Iowa State University

  • Joshua Wiley, Iowa State University

The Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship program, sponsored by CME Group and the National Pork Industry Foundation, is awarded to undergraduates in a two-year swine program or a four-year college of agriculture program. The scholarship program was introduced in 1990 and later renamed in 2006 in honor of Lois Britt, a former NPPC board director. A lifetime supporter of agriculture, Britt spent 34 years with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension and finished her career after 15 years with Murphy-Brown LLC (now Smithfield) doing public and government relations. She was inducted into the NPPC Pork Industry Hall of Fame and the North Carolina Pork Council Hall of Fame and was awarded the North Carolina 4-H Lifetime Achievement Award, among many other achievements.

The 2024 winners of a $5,000 Neil Dierks Scholarship are:

  • Abigail Jenkins, Kansas State University

  • Jeremy Perez, Iowa State University

The Neil Dierks Scholarship, founded in 2021 and sponsored by NPIF, is awarded to current or applied-for-acceptance graduate students in a swine program. Dierks served as the NPPC’s CEO for 20 years. Retiring in December 2021 after 31 years with the NPPC, Dierks made countless lasting contributions to the U.S. pork industry and established the NPPC as a top-tier advocacy organization and the global voice of the U.S. pork industry. He was inducted into the NPPC Pork Industry Hall of Fame in 2022.

Scholarship applications for 2025 will open in September 2024. To learn more about the application process, please visit the website.

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