Pork Checkoff Commits $500,000 to Develop Highly Trained Industry Professionals

Submit applications to the National Pork Board by February 25th

DES MOINES, IOWA – Feb 7, 2020 – The National Pork Board has opened the application period for a new series of swine research fellowships to provide a pipeline of highly skilled employees for the pork industry. The Pork Checkoff has committed a total of $500,000 for the fellowships, which will fund professional student education and training in critical areas of impact, including animal science, feed science and management, engineering and human resources, among many others.

“Labor supply is a critical issue across the entire pork industry,” said David Newman, president of the National Pork Board and a pig farmer representing Arkansas. “This fellowship program will develop highly trained professionals who possess skills and abilities with direct application to pork production now and in the future.”

According to Chris Hostetler, director of animal science for the National Pork Board, past Checkoff research funding supported graduate students based on specific research priorities.

“While results of swine-related research is not the desired outcome of these fellowships, the Pork Checkoff recognizes that research is a critical component of professional student training,” Hostetler said. “Research outlined in the proposal must be of importance for the pork industry.”

Fellowships will be awarded for a maximum of two years and can be used for M.S., Ph.D. or DVM-Ph.D. programs. Fellowship funding will be capped at $30,000 annually for two years. Second-year funding will be contingent on the submission and approval of a progress report at the end of the first year.

Go to pork.org/rfp for more information, guidelines and the application. All materials must be submitted by Feb. 25 at 5:00 p.m. CST.

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 http://www.pork.org. 

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.