It’s All In the Family

By: Kristin Witte, Mentoring Student

Growing up as the youngest of five girls I have often followed in my sisters footsteps and learned from their mistakes.  Three out of my four older sisters were members of the Pork Mentoring program, so when I came to college it was a program that was on my list of things to do. From remembering what my sisters did in the Pork Mentoring program I knew I would have the chance to attend the World Pork Expo in Des Moines Iowa, meet new people, help at the appreciation lunch at the state fair and help at the county fair pig show.

I didn’t know if I really wanted to apply to be a mentor until I talked to Kyla Wize about the program. Kyla was super nice and explained that being a mentor meant more than what I thought based on what I had seen my sisters do.

I have been able to help to tailor my mentoring experience to my own preferences and have been able to do things I am interested in and not retrace my sister’s exact footprints.  I did get to attend the World Pork Expo just like my sisters did but my mentor experience has been a great way to learn more about myself. I am very much a people person so I have helped with several different promotions. My favorite promotion was being able to help at the Lancaster County Fair but not with the show like my sisters did. I helped the “Pick a Pig” 4-H club give barn tours by talking with daycare children who came to see the livestock at the fair.

My one older sister job shadowed a hog buyer at a company in Nebraska. I knew right away that I didn’t want to do that so I worked with Kyla and have been able to shadow an advertising firm that deals with agriculture companies including a few commodity boards.

Being a mentor has been more than just doing what my sisters did. I have been able to have unique experience through my job shadows, promotions and extended learning opportunities. By being able to  choose my activities as a mentor I have had a great experience and am thankful I chose to follow my sisters lead.

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