First Year of Pork Mentorship Program Concludes, New Participants Announced

Darby Guse

The first year of Wisconsin Pork Association’s new Pork Mentorship Program is nearing completion and participants for the 2017 program have been selected. Wisconsin Pork Association is excited to announce Darby Guse, Galesville, and Samantha Lenius, Poynette, will participate in the 2017 Pork Mentorship Program.

Darby is a junior at UW-River Falls majoring in animal science and dairy science with a meat animal emphasis. Darby’s involvement in the pork industry began with showing pigs as a third grader and evolved into her eventually owning and farrowing her own gilts. Samantha is a junior at UW-Platteville majoring in agribusiness marketing and communications with a minor in animal science. Her interest in the pork industry began with

Samantha Lenius

attending swine shows with friends; however, it was an internship at the University Swine Center that led her to become more involved in the industry.


The 2016 program participants, Mikayla Wehrle and Mercedes Schulz, will conclude their time in the Pork Mentorship Program during the Wisconsin Pork Association’s annual meeting in February. Throughout the past year, Mikayla and Mercedes have participated in a variety of pork industry events including World Pork Expo, the National Pork Producers Council Legislative Action Conference, and the Pork Schoppe at the WI State Fair. They also completed job shadows with pork industry businesses including Johnsonville Sausage, Morgan Myers, DeWitt Ross & Stevens, UW-Extension, and Reicks View Farms.

The Wisconsin Pork Mentorship Program is a year-long program designed to expand participants’ knowledge of the swine industry through hands-on experiences and job shadows, involvement in pork industry programs, and partaking in Wisconsin Pork Association activities. The program, which has a strong focus on career development, will provide opportunities to network with pork industry leaders, identify future career goals, and create valuable connections with potential employers. Upon successful completion of the program, the selected participants receive a $500 scholarship to apply towards their education expenses.

Any individuals or businesses interested in offering job shadow opportunities to the Pork Mentorship Program participants, or would like to become involved in this program in another way, are encouraged to contact the WPA office at 608-723-7551 or email

The Wisconsin Pork Association’s mission is to insure the future success of the Wisconsin pork industry. WPA represents the interests of the pork industry members with a strong emphasis on social issues, public and government policies, environment, animal welfare and safety.