Five young pork industry enthusiasts have been selected to serve as 2020 Missouri Pork Association Youth Pork Ambassadors. Their appointments were announced during the 2020 Missouri Pork Expo on Feb. 11 in Columbia.
- Carly Collins, a senior at South Shelby High School. She is the daughter of Jay and Michele Collins of Lentner and currently works on the family farm raising cattle, hogs and row crops. Collins is actively involved in school activities: FFA sentinel, Student Council vice president, FBLA president and Environmental Club secretary. She plays basketball and softball as well. After graduation, Collins plans to attend the University of Missouri in Columbia, where she will major in ag education-leadership with an emphasis in ag economics.
- Mikalah Schafer, a freshman at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Schafer is the daughter of Brian Schafer and Marda Brooks, both from Springfield. She currently works on the family farm raising cattle, pigs, and dairy goats, and at the University of Missouri feed mill. She has also worked for Hedricks Exotic Animal Farm and Farm Fresh Steakhouse and Bakery. Schafer is actively involved in Mizzou Block and Bridle, Sigma Alpha Sorority, Pre-Vet Club and Swine Club. She was active in high school organizations and was chapter 2nd vice president and secretary of the Willard FFA, vice president of the Area X FFA Association, and president of her 4-H Club. Schafer was also in National Honor Society, softball, band and jazz band. She is majoring in animal sciences and minoring in agriculture economics at the University of Missouri. After graduation, she hopes to continue her education at the University of Missouri's Veterinary School and obtain her DVM, then open a veterinary practice near her hometown of Salem.
- Anna Kate Link, a freshman at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Link is the daughter of Troy and Tara Link from Moberly and has worked at PEPCO Manufacturing and the Country Meat Shop, both in Moberly. She has also worked with White House Genetics out of Warrensburg on marketing for their annual Youth Pig Camp. She was also on the ShowPig.com All Star Team and enjoys showing Hereford hogs. Link is actively involved in the Mizzou Swine Club, Mizzou Block & Bridle, Sigma Alpha Alpha – Chi and Mizzou Ag Communicators of Tomorrow. During high school, she was president of Moberly FFA and the Randolph County Challengers 4-H Club, MATC FBLA treasurer, Missouri FFA Area IV reporter and Missouri State 4-H Council Northeast Region representative. She has received the MATC Career & Tech Outstanding Member Achievement Award, MATC Student of the Month, and National Junior Swine Association NYLC Scholarship. Link is majoring in general agriculture, with an emphasis in plant and animal science and ag communications. With this education plan, she hopes to pursue a career in leadership, education and engagement to support agricultural partnerships.
- Lauren Robinson, a senior at the University of Missouri High School. Robinson is the daughter of Eddie and Tammy Robinson of Wellsville. She is currently employed part time at her church as secretary and is an assistant teacher for the preschool Sunday school class. She also works on the family farm where she is responsible for breeding and assists with farrowing and farm management. She has held many offices with the Coon Creek Cronies 4-H Club, including president. She has been involved in the MPA Youth Show Pig Circuit and National Junior Swine Association. Robinson traveled to Washington D.C. as a representative of the Consolidated Electric Cooperative. After graduation, Robinson plans to attend the University of Missouri in Columbia, where she will double major in ag systems management and computer science. She hopes this will give her an in-depth knowledge of technology to drive progress on her family farm and in agriculture.
- William Crain, a senior at Monroe City R-I High School. Crain is the son of Joe and Mary Ellen Crain from Monroe City. He stays busy working as needed at Two Mile Pork, Long Branch Pork, Crain Family Farms and Orscheln Farm and Home. Crain is actively involved in school activities, including the Monroe City Black and Gold Band and FFA. He as held numerous offices in the Mark Twain 4-H, and received the Jacquie Stuart SS Award and Outstanding 14+ Boy Award. After graduation, Crain plans to attend Moberly Area Community College, majoring in horticulture. After college, he hopes to open a landscaping business while staying involved in the family farm.
The Missouri Youth Pork Ambassador program combines a scholarship opportunity with the chance to actively participate in Missouri's pork industry. It provides an opportunity for youth to develop strong relationships with both pork producers and allied industry members, while improving communication and leadership skills.
Throughout the next year, the five ambassadors will participate in various events in the pork industry. At the end of the program, each will receive a $1,000 scholarship, payable to a technical school, community college or four-year university.
Qualified applicants must be involved in the pork industry or the son/daughter of a parent or guardian involved in the pork industry, and between their senior year of high school and sophomore year of college as of Jan. 1, 2020.
2020 Missy North Memorial Scholarship
During the Missouri Pork Expo, the Missouri Pork Association awarded the fifth annual Missy North Memorial Scholarship to Katelyn Robinson, a sophomore at the University of Missouri. The scholarship, awarded to a student planning to pursue a career in the pork industry, was made possible by Bob North and his family in honor of his late wife, Missy. She had a passion for raising pigs and was very active in the industry.
Robinson is the daughter of Eddie and Tammy Robinson of Wellsville. She has grown up on the family farm, raising and showing pigs at the local, state and national level. While in college, she continues to expand her Duroc herd into a premier breeding program.
In 2019, she was appointed to the National Junior Swine Association's board of directors and has traveled across the country working with the next generation of youth swine exhibitors. Robinson has been a member of the Missouri Youth Show Pig Circuit for the past eight years and was an MPA Youth Pork Ambassador in 2018.
She is currently majoring in animal sciences at the University of Missouri, with plans to continue her education in graduate school and receive her doctorial with an emphasis in swine nutrition. While attending MU, she is actively involved in Block and Bridle and Sigma Alpha.
To be eligible, students must be an undergraduate in a two-year swine program or a four-year college of agriculture majoring in animal sciences or a related field and planning to pursue a career in swine production management or related field. Applicants were to complete an online application and provide two letters of recommendation and academic transcripts.
Six students compete in 2020 state speech finals
Anderson Rogers, a student with the South Harrison FFA program, impressed the judges with his speech to win the FFA Pork Speaking Contest state finals.
Anderson was one of six speakers to reach the state finals. Students qualified for the finals by winning their area, then district contest. With the victory, he earned a plaque and a check for $200.
Madison Holmes, a member of the Columbia FFA chapter, placed second, earning $150. Kaitlin Kleiboeker from the Pierce City FFA finished third, earning $100. Also competing in the state finals were Kelsey Wallis, Eldon FFA; Chris Brashear, Koshkonong FFA; and Ava Laut, Fredericktown FFA—each received $50.
Alltech sponsored the FFA Pork Speaking Contest, which took place during the Missouri Pork Expo held in Columbia at the Holiday Inn Executive Center.