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23 college students explore pork industry, careers through Wintership

Seaboard Foods' Winternship started in 2010, and since then, 258 students have completed the educational opportunity.

January 10, 2023

2 Min Read
Seaboard Foods Winternship 2023 3.jpg
Seaboard Foods

Last week, 23 students from 16 different colleges participated in Seaboard Foods' annual Winternship program. The week-long Winternship provides an opportunity for students to explore the operations of a connected pork production company, network with company experts, better define career paths and gain knowledge about how pork is produced. 

"Studies have shown there are misconceptions and a low awareness regarding career paths in agriculture for college students. Seaboard Foods' Winternship showcases the diverse opportunities available within the pork industry by offering a week packed full of activities within our integrated system," says Jennie Watkins, director of human resources at Seaboard Foods. 

Maycee Price, a senior at Tarleton State University, plans to earn her master's degree in agriculture and consumer science with an emphasis in leadership after graduation. With a background showing pigs, she chose to attend Winternship because she wanted more information about Seaboard Foods and how it operates. 

"I'm passionate about agriculture and excited to tell everyone what I have learned at Seaboard Foods. The whole process has been surprising to me. It's crazy how many pigs and sows that are cared for here, and there are so many details involved in the farm to fork process," said Price.

Seaboard Foods' Winternship started in 2010, and since then, 258 students have completed this unique educational opportunity. Students augment their formal education with a real-world view of the industry through tours and presentations, connection with professionals and better define their career goals through a look at career paths. 

Many times, exploratory Winternship opportunities result in a longer-term commitment with students. Last year Seaboard Foods offered nearly two-thirds of the Winternship students paid summer internships or trainee positions. 

"We want the Winternship to provide a realistic look at how pork is produced and the job opportunities our sector of agriculture has to offer," says Grae Griffin, vice president of human resources at Seaboard Foods. "As an industry, we have a responsibility to ignite students' passions about the pork industry and demonstrate that we are innovative and provide opportunities for fulfilling careers."

With young people having less exposure to agriculture, farming and rural life, opportunities like the Seaboard Foods' Winternship are more important than ever. They learn about Seaboard Foods' unique integrated business, and about the many different business sectors the company touches. Students gain knowledge about the company's departments from operations of farms, feed mills and a pork processing plant, to transportation, environmental resource management, food safety, supply chain, finance, human resources, marketing, sales and more. 

"Our Winternship experience is a great way to show students how pork is produced from beginning to end. The information they take away is key to building future industry leaders and advocates," says Rick Sappington, plant vice president and general manager for Seaboard Foods. 

Source: Seaboard Foods

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