MANKATO, Minn. – Katie Winslow of Fountain, Minn., will serve as the new Minnesota Pork Ambassador.
Judges selected Winslow from a field of 17 county pork ambassadors on Aug. 3, during competition held in conjunction with the agricultural event, Farmfest.
The Minnesota Pork Ambassador program, funded through the Pork Checkoff and sponsored by the Minnesota Pork Board, strives to develop young pork industry leaders.
Winslow, the daughter Scott and Jean Winslow, represented the Fillmore County Pork Producers Association. She is a University of Minnesota student majoring in agricultural education and minoring in political science.
As Minnesota Pork Ambassador, she will receive a $1,500 scholarship from the Minnesota Pork Board.
After college, Winslow’s career path includes becoming an ag instructor or working with commodity or farm groups to carry out promotional and educational programs.
“My political science background will help me in any career, as well as one at the state capitol where the telling of our story is vitally important,” she said.
First runner-up was Ryan Strobel of Pemberton, Minn., the son of Greg and Robin Strobel. He represented the Blue Earth County Pork Producers Associa-tion.
Second runner-up was Natalie Johns-ton of Morris, Minn., the daughter of Lee and Judy Johnston.
She represented the Stevens County Pork Producers Association.
Strobel is a veterinary medicine student at the University of Minnesota. His career goals are to work as a swine veterinarian and to remain actively involved on his parent’s crop and hog farm. He will receive a $750 scholarship.
Johnston is pursuing an animal science degree at the University of Minnesota, preparing for a career in animal health and pharmaceuticals.
She will receive a $500 scholarship.
Winslow, Strobel and Johnston will represent the state’s 4,000 pork producing families at various functions throughout their term as pork ambassadors.
Part of their ambassadorship work will include consumer and producer educational events, and promotional activities that encourage pork consumption and public understanding of how pig farmers care for their animals.
They will also have opportunities to enhance their understanding of the U.S. pork industry and to expand their leadership and communication skills.
Lee Kloeckner of Adams, Minn., the son of John and Barb Kloeckner, received $250 for his winning essay, Pork Safety. Kloeckner will be a freshman at the University of Minnesota with his career sights set on becoming a large animal veterinarian. He represented the Mower County Pork Producers Asso-ciation.
Kevin Welter of Stewartville, Minn., representing the Olmsted County Pork Producers Association, received congeniality honors from his fellow pork ambassador candidates. He is the son of Randy and Myrna Welter and he will attend South Dakota State University, Brookings, where his major is agricultural and biosystems engineering.