At Pipestone, we are committed to the pork industry in all aspects, and that commitment doesn’t get left at the office. We take our passion for promoting the pork industry to our homes, friends, and communities. In 2014, Pipestone County was represented by three young individuals that are sons or daughters of Pipestone Management employees or shareholders. The Minnesota Pork Ambassador program gives young people involved in the pork industry a chance to develop leadership skills. These individuals were as follows:
Parents: Curtis and Diane Johnson
After completing high school, Donavon Johnson plans to pursue a degree in the agriculture field. Being a three sport athlete and a member of 4-H and FFA has taught Johnson determination and a strong work ethic. Johnson holds jobs at his family pig farm and Douty’s Floral and Landscaping. He credits these experiences for the skills he has gained like teamwork and communication. His drive to serve as a Minnesota Pork Ambassador stems from wanting to tell others about agriculture. “I will be energetic in sharing my story with the public,” said Johnson. He believes that personal connections are a great way to share his farm story.
Parents: Barry and Karen Kerkaert
Hayden Kerkaert wants to serve as a Minnesota Pork Ambassador to promote pork and better the industry. He believes an important audience to inform are students. “We need to educate the future of America about what we do with our animals and how we raise them,” said Kerkaert. His passion is traced back to his experiences working with livestock knowledge bowl, livestock judging and has shown pigs nationally. Kerkaert has also gained skills like a strong work ethic and responsibility by working for Pipestone Managements, Pipestone Livestock Auction Market, and Rule Sheep System. Kerkaert will attend South Dakota State University in the fall to begin studies in animal science. From there he plans to get his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree with a specialization in swine at Kansas State University.
Parents: David and Angela Homann
Taylor Homann will be a freshman at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities this fall pursuing a degree in biology. She is interested in the field of public health and hopes to incorporate her passion for the swine industry with her love of helping people. “I’m especially interested in the field of public health and believe education about pork is key to the success of both the public health and pork industries,” said Homann. Through high school Homann gained many valuable experiences being active in 4-H, FFA, and competitive speech. She desires to be a Minnesota Pork Ambassador to expand her skills and knowledge while also engaging others in conversations about agriculture.
Congratulations to Taylor Homann on being selected as first-runner-up as Minnesota Pork Ambassador. Taylor, Allison Baustian, and Molly Frank will spend the following year as ambassadors promoting the pork industry while continuing to learn about pork production and how to best represent Minnesota pig farmers during their year of service. A big thanks to the Minnesota Pork Board for sponsoring this program for our youth and our industry.