WPA Offers Mentorship Program

The Wisconsin Pork Association is now accepting applications for its Pork Mentorship Program. College students with a passion for agriculture and an interest in the swine industry are encouraged to apply. Prior experience in the pork industry is not required.

The Wisconsin Pork Mentorship Program is designed as a year-long program beginning at the Association’s Annual Meeting in February. During the course of the year, selected participants will expand their 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, students will receive a $500 scholarship to apply towards their education expenses.

The 2016 Mentorship Program participants, Mikayla Wehrle and Mercedes Schulz, say they have appreciated the opportunities to be exposed to a variety of careers and potential employers in the industry. “One of my job shadows included a tour of a pork processing facility” said Mikayla. “It was such a great experience, especially because I was able to see the entire process from harvest all the way to packaging products to be sent to the grocery store.”

Mercedes said she appreciated the opportunity to tour a larger-scale farm. “I had never before witnessed commercial production first-hand, so the experience was very educational and eye-opening. I learned so many new things about raising pigs that never even crossed my mind before.”

To be considered for the program, applicants must submit a completed application form, personal résumé, and current college transcript. The program is open to Wisconsin residents enrolled full-time at any post-secondary school. The application and additional program details are available at www.wppa.org/mentorship-program or by contacting the WPA office at 608-723-7551 or mmasters@wppa.org. All application materials must be submitted by December 1, 2016.