The pork industry is the largest livestock user of corn in Illinois. For the 2009-10 marketing year, 72 million bushels of Illinois corn will be transformed into delicious and nutritious pork chops, pork burgers, ham, bacon, pork loins, etc. In celebration of everything “pork” (and we’re glad to say that corn is part of that!) we encourage Illinois youth to check out this leadership opportunity offered by the Illinois Pork Producers Association.
The Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) is seeking youth with an interest in the pork industry to attend the 2011 Illinois Pork Leadership Institute (IPLI) June 21-23. IPLI focuses on leadership, citizenship, and communication skills through hands-on experiences. Youth participate in a bus tour of various aspects of the agriculture industry and learn about pork promotion, research, consumer information and issues that affect the pork industry.
This year’s trip will be focused in the Chicago area. Trip itinerary includes: Chicago Board of Trade, Museum of Science and Industry, and many more interesting stops.
“IPPA supports numerous checkoff-funded youth related activities as a way to develop future pork industry leaders,” said Mike Borgic, IPPA Director of Membership & Outreach. “This program expands their knowledge of the pork industry and helps open their eyes to the many career possibilities in the pork industry and agriculture.”
IPLI attendees must be finishing their junior year in high school (or older) by the date of IPLI and no older than 23 years of age by March 31, 2011. IPLI attendees do not have to be pork producers or from pork producing families, but must exhibit a sincere interest in the pork industry and agriculture.
“The IPLI was a fantastic, educational experience that helped me meet fellow ambassadors, enjoy new learning experiences, explore various aspects of agriculture, enhance my knowledge of the pork industry, and become a better leader throughout all aspects of my life,” said Nathan Dobbels, previous IPLI participant from Galva, Ill. and Iowa State University student. “I had the chance to attend this trip four times. Each year, I realized I was truly fortunate to have this wonderful, life-changing opportunity.”
The deadline for applications has been extended until May 18th. A $100 registration fee per attendee is due at time of application. Attendees are encouraged to seek sponsorship from county pork producer groups for their registration fee and other expenses. IPPA covers the cost for any lodging, meals, and other expenditures which are a part of IPLI.
“IPLI gives youth the tools and skills to become spokespersons for the pork industry in their local areas, at their school, and in their careers,” said Borgic. “IPLI is an investment in the future of the pork industry.”
IPLI applications can be downloaded at www.ilpork.com or by contacting the IPPA office at (217) 529-3100.