The Pork Checkoff has selected 13 college students to represent the #RealPigFarming Student Social Forces team this year. Candidates were selected based on their involvement in the pork industry and their strong communication skills. The team will be active July through December.
“Social media is ingrained in young people’s lives,” says Claire Masker, director of sustainability communications for the Pork Checkoff. “It’s an easy tool for them to share their insights and inspiration about an industry that they are so proud to be a part of. With so many diverse social media channels, they each have an opportunity to share their passion for pig farming with their followers.”
2019 class of Social Forces
Arthur (Tré) Smith: Oklahoma State University
Cole Spain: Iowa State University
Kathryn Helmink: Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
Jenna Wheeler: Lake Land College
Anna Link: University of Missouri-Columbia
Hunter Frobose: Ohio State University
Morgan Fitzsimmons: Iowa State University
Courtney Griffith: Butler Community College
Shelby Shank: Murray State University
Jake Sterle: Iowa State University
Mekenzie Beattie: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Blake Price: Northwest Missouri State University
Rachel Frazier: Iowa State University
“Consumers continue to have questions about how pigs are raised, and pig farmers know the answers better than anyone else,” Masker says. “Through the Pork Checkoff’s social media outreach program, real farmers are sharing their real stories with consumers through #RealPigFarming.”
The hashtag (#) before RealPigFarming helps people search social media posts with the same phrase, making it easier for them to follow conversations, Masker says.
“I am excited for the opportunity to bridge the disconnect between pig farmers and consumers by proactively engaging in conversation about modern pork production practices,” says Morgan Fitzsimmons, a new member of the #RealPigFarming Student Social Forces and a student at Iowa State University.
“The social forces team will be encouraged to use #RealPigFarming as advocates for the pork industry,” Masker says. “While serving on this team, the students will be able to improve their communications skills and expand their professional network within the industry.”