South Dakota Pork Producers Council announce pork ambassadors

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Farm Forum

SIOUX FALLS, SD – The South Dakota Pork Producers Council awarded Jacob Brandt of Clear Lake, South Dakota and Noah Thaler of Brookings, South Dakota with a $1,000 scholarship.

Brandt is the son of Paul and Lisa Brandt. He currently attends South Dakota State University (SDSU) in Brookings, SD, and is a sophomore majoring in Animal Science Production.

Brandt has been active in 4-H where he showed pigs, judged livestock and did a variety of projects. Brandt would often attend with his dad on his many Operation Main Street speeches about the pork industry.

Some of Brandt’s past and present activities are: high school cross-country, track and wrestling as well as band, choir, FFA and Key Club. In the summer of 2012, he was the Deuel County recipient of the Citizen Washington Focus Trip. He traveled to Washington DC and learned about the US government during that time. At SDSU, he is involved with the SDSU Swine Club where he serves as a representative to the Prexy Council.

In his spare time he enjoys hunting, fishing, training his dog and going to the lake with his family and friends.

This past summer Brandt spent his time working for his dad on their diversified family farm.

Noah Thaler is the son of Bob and Karen Thaler. He currently attends South Dakota State University and is majoring in Ag Systems Technology with an emphasis on livestock production.

Thaler grew up on an acreage just south of Brookings, SD. Growing up, Thaler had many different animals at one time or another; from horses to chickens and from cows to pigs. This is where Noah’s love for the outdoors and livestock began.

When Noah isn’t studying or hanging out with friends you can find him in his parent’s barn building something or out shooting. Through middle school and high school Noah was very involved in soccer, football, and basketball. His time was also taken up by choir and working AV for his church.

This past summer Noah had the opportunity to work with Pipestone Vet Systems as a summer intern. His time there allowed him to work both in the barns as maintenance and barn worker, and also in the sales office with permitting and compost. He was also able to work at the Discovery Barn at the Sioux Empire Fair.

You could find both of these young students attending and helping promote the pork industry with their families.

The South Dakota Youth Pork Ambassador Program is designed to provide youth with an opportunity to become actively involved in the pork industry. The program helps youth develop strong relationships with both pork producers and allied industry members. It is an opportunity to learn about pork production and the industry and to improve communication and leadership skills. The main goal of the Youth Pork Ambassador program is to promote the South Dakota Pork Producers Council and the swine industry at various events.

Some of the duties as the Ambassador are that they are required to attend four events throughout the year. The required events are the South Dakota Pork Congress and Trade Show, Taste of Elegance, South Dakota State Fair and one Executive Board Meeting. The Ambassador will also be asked to assist at other promotions during their term. The Ambassador will begin the program at the 2015 South Dakota Pork Congress and Trade Show and finish the program at the 2016 South Dakota Pork Congress and Trade Show. If the Ambassador is not able to attend one of these events, other events may be substituted with the approval of the Executive Director.

The Ambassador with the assistance from SDPPC staff is asked to set up a booth promoting pork at their local county fair or other public event. The South Dakota Pork Producers Council staff will also assist the Ambassador in finding appropriate contacts for job shadowing opportunities.

Brandt and Thaler will gain valuable experience and develop relationships that will last a lifetime.