The National Pork Board has named its 2019 Pig Farmers of Tomorrow. The three young farmers will share stories about every day life on the farm with consumers through outreach events and social media activity, while representing the pork industry’s We Care ethical principles.
Recent Iowa State University graduate Ben Wikner is excited to be part of an industry he describes as being on the forefront of sustainability and providing a safe product.
“With antibiotic resistance, sustainability, environmental stewardship, I mean, pork is really leading and pushing the front of caring for the environment, caring for our animals and providing a safe product for our consumer,” said Wikner, who farms with his father and brother. “And that’s why I’m excited to be in the pork industry. That’s something I can be proud of and that’s something I can share with my family and my neighbors and my friends, is that we do care.”
Bailee Arnold manages a 2,000 sow farm for Goldsboro Milling in North Carolina. She hopes she is setting an example for other young people who might consider entering the pork industry.
“I want to encourage the youth to pursue this. It’s a very rewarding career,” said Arnold.
Central Missouri farmer Ben Luebbering hopes to promote a better understanding of farming as he shares daily experiences on his family’s farrow to finish operation.
“If I can share to one person and help them to understand why we do what we do and let them feel that they’re comfortable with farmers, I think it would be a successful year for me,” said Luebbering. “For me, this is the beginning of sharing my story. It kind of gave me the platform to really start doing that. So when this program is over, I don’t want to stop sharing my story.”
All three representatives will do some traveling and plenty of engaging on social media platforms as they represent the pork industry over the next year.
Listen to Chuck’s interviews with all three Pig Farmers of Tomorrow here:
Interview with 2019 Pig Farmer of Tomorrow Ben Wikner, Iowa
Interview with 2019 Pig Farmer of Tomorrow Bailee Arnold, North Carolina
Interview with 2019 Pig Farmer of Tomorrow Ben Luebbering, Missouri