Each year, the Illinois Pork Producers Association offers scholarships to students pursuing a higher education degree, at a two or four-year institution, who have an interest in the pork industry. Recipients are selected based on activities, IPPA involvement and an essay explaining the potential impact of a foreign animal disease on the United States.
"It gives us pride, as an association, to provide these scholarships and see the recipients become an active part of the industry," says Alan Kollmann, chair of the IPPA Youth Committee. This committee is responsible for youth activities that IPPA conducts throughout the year, such as Illinois Livestock Leadership Institute, county ambassadors and scholarships.
IPPA is proud to offer nine awards for the 2020-2021 school year, totaling $13,500. There are three levels of award dollars: gold, silver and bronze. Funding for these scholarships is made possible through the Wilbert & Carol Keppy Foundation.
Gold level recipients, who are receiving a $2,000 award are: Lauren Curry of Alpha; Emma Kuhns of Mason; and Jaidyn Miller of Sheffield.
Silver level recipients, who are receiving a $1,500 award, are: Chase Clausen of Sycamore; Matthew Engnell of Andover; and Colin Stark of Pontiac.
Bronze level recipients, who are receiving a $1,000 award, are: Justin Huff of Dix; Jacob McIntire of Pittsfield; and Brandon Stickler of Pleasant Plains.
IPPA had the distinction of collecting an additional application in honor of Joy Dedert. Joy was a dedicated individual, wife, mother and advocate for the pork industry in western Illinois. Jenna Wheeler of Jacksonville is the recipient of this $1,000 scholarship.
"These recipients excel in advocating for agriculture, especially the pork industry," says Jenny Jackson, director of Communications for IPPA. 'They are a great representation of our association and have bright futures ahead of them."