WPA Announces 2015 Scholarship Recipients

 The Wisconsin Pork Association (WPA) recognized scholarship recipients during the organization’s annual meeting held on January 29 in conjunction with the Corn/Soy Expo in Wisc. Dells. Nine high school seniors and college students were awarded a total of $3000 in scholarships.

Whitmore Memorial Scholarship
The Whitmore Memorial Scholarship was established as a legacy to the late Rex Whitmore, a master statesman and communicator who served as the first executive director of the Wisconsin Pork Association. Applicants for this scholarship must be a junior or senior at UW-Madison, UW-Platteville or UW-River Falls. Each university selects a candidate to represent their school in the selection of this scholarship. 

The $500 scholarship was awarded to Kate Griswold. Griswold is a UW-Madison junior studying Communication with certificates in Agriculture Business and International Agriculture. While growing up, Kate was involved in 4-H and showed a variety of livestock, however hogs were always her favorite project. She says her diversified experiences in the livestock and hog industries inspired her to seek a career in agriculture where she can give back to the hog industry.

In addition, finalists Mikayla Horstman, a junior majoring in Agricultural Business and Soil and Crop Science at UW-Platteville and Emily Warren, a UW-River Falls senior majoring in Animal Science with a Meat Animal Emphasis, were each awarded a $250 scholarship.

WPA Scholarship
This scholarship is presented each year to high school seniors pursuing further education with an interest in agriculture. Five finalists were selected from the applications received.

The 2015 recipient of the $500 WPA scholarship is Kori Beisbier, daughter of Mark and Amy Beisbier, Reedsburg. Kori has been very engaged in 4-H and FFA Swine projects and has been helping her dad on the farm since she was very young. On the farm, Kori’s responsibilities vary to include everything from breeding to selecting hogs for market, but she most enjoys spending time in the farrowing house. Kori will graduate from Reedsburg Area High School in May and plans to attend Iowa State University in the fall where she will major in Food Science with a minor in meat science.

The other finalists, listed below, were also recognized and awarded $250 scholarships.

·        Cody Adams, son of Arnold and Alicia Adams, Platteville

·        Kari Breuer, daughter of Joe and Cindi Breuer, Glen Haven

·        Mercedes Schulz, daughter of Bruce and Loretta Schulz, Dalton

·        Sarah Strathman, daughter of Tom and Lisa Strathman, Brodhead

Gunderson Memorial Scholarship
The Wisconsin Pork Association, in cooperation with the family of Buell Gunderson, established a scholarship program in 2007 to recognize the many contributions that Buell Gunderson made to the Wisconsin pork industry. Gunderson, together with his wife, Bernice, served as Secretary/Treasurer of the Wisconsin Pork Association for 20 plus years and assisted in growing the organization from its initial roots to the successful organization that it is today–sponsoring scholarships, developing youth programs and helping to support the pork producers of the state.
Individuals who have shown considerable dedication and involvement to the pork industry are eligible for this scholarship. Consideration is given to youth who have established their own production herd, been involved on their family operation, or shown specific interest in pork production or livestock judging.


Claire LeFevre, Luxemburg, is the 2015 Gunderson Memorial Scholarship recipient. LeFevre is a second year veterinary student at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. She became interested in the industry while growing up on her family’s hobby farm and her passion for swine expanded further while attending UW-River Falls for her undergraduate degree in Animal Science. Upon completing veterinary school, Claire’s goal is to become a swine vet in Wisconsin.