By: Courtney Schaardt, Mentor
When I looked into applying to be a Pork Mentor, I had no idea what it would be or what type of knowledge I would need to have about swine. My background is a little different from the other mentors as I am not from the production side of swine, but from the processing side. My parents own a meat locker and I have shown pigs at the county fair, but that is really all the closer I have been to a pig. My grandparents and uncles own cattle so that is more of what I know about. The reason I wanted to be a mentor was so I could be an advocate for agriculture. After growing up in a small town and seeing what my family does, I have been able to see the importance of agriculture. This is a great opportunity to meet new people who love what I love, and to be able to learn from them and hopefully to be able to teach them as well.
I think that there is a lot to be learned from this mentoring program. I think that experience, self-growth and new friends can be gained through this program. I plan to gain experience from all of the traveling that comes with this program. In the next couple of weeks I plan to travel with Kyla to Grand Island and Columbus for Ag Day to teach third and fourth graders. This seems like a learning experience for me as well as the students. My major is ALEC, and this will help me to decide which direction I want to take in the program. I also plan to take advantage of the job shadowing opportunities. I’m not completely sure what I want to do for the rest of my life and I think that with these experiences will help. I’m willing to try a variety of different things. Throughout my year as a mentor, I plan to be as involved as I can. Learning is important to me and I think that learning about pork will be interesting.
This year is going to full of new experiences and new people. It’s going to go faster than any of us can imagine. I hope to be able to accomplish the things I have planned and even things I don’t have planned. After talking to a member of last years mentoring class I know that this is going to be one awesome experience.