How would you celebrate 50 years of pork-style?

Have you heard the news? The Nebraska Pork Producers Association will be 50 years young in 2011 and it’s going to be a year-long celebration of service to Nebraska’s pork producers, pork industry, allied members and consumers! To honor this special milestone, NPPA is “amping” up its annual events like Ribs and Bibs, Pork Industry Day and Ribfest, but we’re also celebrating with a One Big Night on September 24, 2011 at the Stone Creek Event Center in McCool Junction.

We’ve already held a 50th Anniversary Logo contest and selected a winner – 13-year-old Taven Zelnio of Lincoln, Neb. 50th anniversary logoZelnio entered the contest after searching the web for local contests and knew that he had what it takes to compete in the 50th Anniversary Logo Contest. The logo incorporates the current Nebraska Pork Producers Association logo while highlighting the service the association has provided over the years.

“This experience was good practice for if I ever decide to follow in my father’s footsteps, and work for a publishing company,” Zelnio said. “I’ll use my winnings to save up for college so that I can achieve whichever career I pursue.” Zelnio’s father leads a small publishing company.

However, NPPA wants to get even more involvement through its year-long celebration. If you could attend the ultimate 50th Anniversary Celebration, how would you celebrate? What creative and cost-effective pork-style celebration would top off the event of the year? NPPA wants to hear your ideas on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the association and Nebraska’s pork producers. What could “amp” up an annual event like Pork Industry Day or the Capital City Ribfest?! Let NPPA know your thoughts by leaving a comment or sending NPPA an e-mail to

Pork Mentoring Program Opens the Door to New Opportunities

Lacey SchardtBy Lacey Schardt, 2010 Nebraska Pork Mentor

Growing up on a diversified farm in rural Nebraska, I always found myself searching for new things to learn and new opportunities to get involved.  Coming to the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, in the fall of 2009, created a new challenge that I was unsure that I could handle.  Making a move from graduating from a class of 23 students, to a University of over 25,000 students became a huge step in my life.  I accepted this challenge and took advantage of every opportunity that became open for me.  With this mindset, I applied for, and got accepted into the Pork Mentoring program in February of 2010.

I have grown up around hogs my entire life, and the opportunity to learn more about the Pork Industry excited me.  I never knew how beneficial this program would be, nor how it would change who I am for the better.  Through this year-long program there are several requirements which need to be met:  Four Job Shadows, Four Pork Promotions, Attend the World Pork Expo and State Intern Training, and 20 hours of Community Enrichment (Volunteering).  My first  thought after hearing the requirements, was that I was a little intimidated.  Now, after I have been in the Program for nine months, I am excited to finish the requirements.

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NPPA staff take on pork in the kitchen

By Kyla Wize, NPPA Youth Leadership and Events Specialist

I am the novice chef at 6500 Adams Street. Maybe novice isn’t the right word. Actually, I don’t think chef is the right word either! By no means am I a whiz in the kitchen. I am more like molasses in January when it comes to cooking. I maintain a pokey pace for many reasons.

 1. I don’t like messes. I spend about half my time in the kitchen wiping and rinsing and then wiping and rinsing some more! Disarray cripples my progress.

2. I am easily distracted. Since I tend to focus so much of my efforts on cleaning as I cook, sometimes I forget that I’m cooking! I know it’s pretty common to boil a pot of noodles over on the stove or to forget about garlic toast baking in the oven, but I am not entirely sure that I’ll ever master boiling without boiling over or baking and using the timer. Since I’m easily distracted, I am forced back into cleaning up the messes I just made while I was supposed to be boiling and baking. Do you see the vicious cycle emerging?

3. I get overwhelmed. It’s probably pretty easy for you to understand why I feel overwhelmed in the kitchen. As a matter of fact, I bet you can just imagine me standing in my cute little kitchen with sauce spattering, smoke alarm blaring, and tears beginning to form.

So, why do I subject myself to this kind of failure? I am a perfectionist and I refuse to quit. I will not let cooking some food get the best of me – I will successfully prepare some new, delicious dish and enjoy it every last bite of it.

Speaking of something being good to the last bite, you have got to try this easy to make and awesome tasting Italian Style Pork Tenderloin recipe! It was a classy dinner for two at our house last Friday. And the best part was, I didn’t even cry! 


This is what you'll need!

Italian Style Pork Tenderloins

2 whole pork tenderloins, about 1 pound each

4 tablespoons butter, divided

½ cup green onions, sliced

1 (6 ounce) package long grain and wild rice, cooked according to package directions and cooled. (I used the microwavable version, only takes 90 seconds!)

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup flour

1 (10 ounce) container Alfredo sauce

3 tablespoons Chardonnay or other dry white wine

 Prep: 15 minutes — Cook: 30 minutes — Yield: 6 to 8 servings

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2010 scholarships for college-aged Nebraska students now available

Academic researchThe Nebraska Pork Producers Association is pleased to sponsor four $500 scholarships to recognize outstanding college-aged students involved in the pork and agriculture industry. Scholarships will be awarded to students who intend to pursue a career in the pork or related industry.

To be eligible you must:

  1. Be an undergraduate student, enrolled in a swine program or college of agriculture at a two or four-year academic institution in Nebraska. Previous scholarship recipients are eligible to participate in this essay contest.
  2. Write a brief letter that explains the role you see yourself having in the pork industry after graduation.
  3. Write an essay 2,000 words or less that responds to one of the following issues affecting the pork industry. In your essay, please explain what the issue means, how it could positively and/or negatively affect the pork industry, and share potential solutions to the issue. The attached PDF “Trends to Watch” from the January 2010 issue of the Pork Business Journal should be a great resource and starting point for your writing.
  4. Submit one letter of reference from a current/former professor or industry professional.
  5. Prepare a cover sheet.
  6. Mail the above items in a single envelope to:
Nebraska Pork Producers Association
Attn: Kyla Wize
7441 O Street, Suite 104
Lincoln, NE 68510
All entries must be received by December 20, 2010.

To read the complete Scholarship Criteria please click here.

Road Hogs: Paving the way to cleaner energy – with manure

By Kristen Hinman for the Atlantic Magazine, November Issue

…. Innoventor, a design-build firm based in St. Louis, Missouri, who, with the help of almost $1 million from the Environmental Protection Agency, have created a contraption that recycles pig waste for road-paving and roofing products. The technology, which Innoventor believes has billion-dollar potential, eliminates the need for manure lagoons and could reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Innoventor’s machinery acts like a pressure cooker: at a certain temperature and pressure, it converts solid excrement into bio-oil while reserving wastewater. According to Rick Lux, an Innoventor engineer, the process retains the nutrients in the wastewater and results in a liquid fertilizer suitable for spraying.

Last spring, I drove with Lux to Rehmeier Farms in St. Charles County, Missouri, a landscape dotted with hobby farms with white picket fences and carpets of corn, to check out Innoventor’s Swine-Manure-to-Energy Unit in action. There was no hint of pig in the air until we were within 25 yards of a barn.

“That’s one problem I don’t have,” Rick Rehmeier told me, before describing the red that’s been bleeding across his ledgers. The last several years haven’t been good for a commodity hog farmer.

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