Dear Future Mentors….







By:Erin Oswald

Dear Student,


Ever considered being part of a group that extends your knowledge base, widens your horizon, and provides an array of exciting experiences? Then the Pork Mentoring Program is for you!


Being involved or interested in Agriculture and the pork industry is ideal, but if you’re not a producer or don’t currently have plans to work in agriculture, don’t rule out the program – there’s something here for you.


As a 2012 graduate of the program, I’m here to give you the inside scoop. I am a junior at UNL majoring in Business Management and Economics. How am I connected to the pork industry, you may ask? I was raised on a swine farm (don’t worry, I lived in the house, not the barns) and learned first hand about the operations of a small family farm. When I moved to college, I thought I would leave the farm life behind and enter the corporate world. It didn’t take me long to realize not only how important my farm roots were to me, but also how impactful agriculture is in everyone’s life. Not far into college, the program was recommended to me. As I’m sure you’re guessing, I was accepted! And it turns out I was the odd ball – the only non-Ag major student in my class. And here’s my main statement to you: Agriculture is a part of your life, no matter your major or career path.


I have gathered a plethora of valuable experiences through the program. Three of the most valuable lessons I learned are the following: You have your own voice at all times and it’s a powerful one, you are valuable to the pork industry, and you make the experience.


As a young adult forging your path in this world, sometimes it can seem as if adults and peers are drowning you out. In this program, your stance and opinion are always important. You do not need to fear being overshadowed or like a puppy on a leash. Additionally, you are a part of the program because you are valuable! You’ll learn this as you go, but you really are the future. Your work, experience, and knowledge contribute to and build the tomorrow of the swine industry. And finally, in the program, you make each experience what it is. If you would choose not to participate in things like Ribfest, State Fair, and others, that is your choice, but you’d be missing out on incredible opportunities. I encourage you to jump into the program! Be a part of everything you possibly can, ask questions, and push yourself to try things you wouldn’t have considered before. You won’t regret it!



The swine industry is not longer simple a part of my past, but it has become one of my future focuses. I may not have my own farm someday, but I will support Agriculture and the swine industry. The Pork Mentor Program helped me learn my role in agriculture. Find your role when you become a member of the 2013 mentor class!

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