The Wisconsin Pork Association (WPA) recognized scholarship recipients during the organization's annual meeting held on Feb. 4 in conjunction with the Corn/Soy Expo in Wisconsin Dells. Eight high school seniors and college students were awarded a total of $2500 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 Kurt Weisensel, a UW-Platteville junior pursuing a degree in animal science. He has been raising his own pigs for the past 10 years on his family's farm and has been involved with many of the breeding and farrowing decisions. After completing his degree from UW-Platteville, he plans to seek a career in either swine genetics or nutrition and hopes to one day purchase his own farm.
In addition, finalists Mikayla Wehrle, a junior majoring in animal science at UW-River Falls and Morgan McCue, a UW-Madison senior majoring in Animal Science, were each awarded a $250 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 2016 recipient of the $500 WPA scholarship is Jacob Krebs, son of David and Kimberly Krebs, Rio. Krebs has been showing pigs since he was five years old and now owns his own sows. In addition to showing his own pigs, he has a passion for helping other youth excel with their pig projects and educating the general public about how his pigs are raised. Krebs will graduate from Rio High School in June and plans to attend South Dakota State University in the fall where he will major in animal science with an emphasis on swine genetics or swine nutrition.
The other finalists, listed below, were also recognized and awarded $250 scholarships.
·· Jim Buttles, son of Tim Buttles and Bonnie Walters, Wilson
·· Amber Patterson, daughter of Dennis and Denice Patterson, Bloomington
·· Ellie Ries, daughter of Allen and Amy Ries, Lomira
·· Caitlyn Wileman, daughter of Randy and Mary Wileman, Janesville
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.
Mikayla Wehrle, New London, is the 2016 Gunderson Memorial Scholarship recipient. Wehrle is a UW-River Falls junior majoring in animal science. After receiving her undergraduate degree, She plans to attend graduate school and hopes to find a job within the swine industry where she can work with youth and the community. She also plans to continue raising pigs with her parents, Richard and Ann Wehrle.
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.