Pork Checkoff Announces #RealPigFarming Student Social Forces

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The Pork Checkoff has selected 12 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 from July through December.

“Social media is ingrained in young people’s lives,” said Claire Masker, communications director for the Pork Checkoff. “It’s an easy tool for them to use in sharing their insights and inspiration about an industry that they are so proud to be a part of. With so many diverse social media channels available to them, they each have an opportunity to share their passion for pig farming with their followers.”

The 2018 class of Social Forces include:

Name Institution
Abbie Greer The Ohio State Agricultural Technical Institute
Caitlyn Wileman Iowa State University
Haley Fischer Northwest Missouri State University
Jenna Siegel Lincoln Land Community College
Logan Fullerton University of Missouri
Mackenzie Wille Oregon State University
Madeline McGarry Iowa State University
Mati Abner Texas A&M University
Meghan Clancy Texas A&M University
Shelby Veum Iowa State University
Wade Hutchens Illinois State University
Whitney Whitaker Kansas State University

“Consumers continue to have questions about how pigs are raised, and pig farmers know the answers better than anyone else,” said Masker. “The Pork Checkoff’s social media outreach program helps real farmers share 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.

“I am excited for the opportunity to bridge the disconnect between pig farmers and consumers by proactively enagaging in conversation about modern pork production practices,”said Madeline McGarry, newly selected 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 said. “While serving on this team, the students will be able to improve their communications skills and expand their professional network within the industry.”

The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety and sustainability and environmental management.

For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at www.pork.org.

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