The Iowa Pork Leadership Academy (IPLA) welcomes 13 members to its 2020 class. IPLA develops leadership skills in Iowa’s pork producers and is organized by the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA). Those selected for the class have indicated an interest in becoming future leaders in the pork industry at the local, state, and national levels. They may also use their new leadership skills in their local communities.
“IPLA is for men and women who want to contribute to a better future for Iowa’s pig farmers by connecting with their communities and supporting the long-term profitability of the pork industry in Iowa,” said Emma Lasco, IPPA’s director of producer outreach.
The IPLA members identified several issues ahead for all pork producers, no matter their location or size. Some of these issues include biosecurity, animal welfare, and water quality. “During the year they spend as part of the academy, they will learn about these issues, how to speak about them confidently, and make connections in all corners of Iowa and the country,” Lasco said.
During the group’s first meeting this year, they identified their individual strengths, were coached on media communications, and learned about the work of the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) and the National Pork Board.
At their second meeting in early March, they attended a leadership workshop, learned about the National Pork Producers Council, and met with Iowa legislators, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, and Lt. Governor Adam Gregg.
The class has two additional upcoming meetings. They are hoping to travel to Washington, D.C. and California when the COVID-19 situation dissipates and travel opportunities return to normal.
Members of the IPLA 2020 class are (listed alphabetically by county): Adams County – Amanda Winslow, Prescott; Allamakee County – Rose Onsgard, Dorchester; Calhoun County – Lance Heuser, Manson; Clayton County – Ben Wikner, Farmersburg; Delaware County – Ben McDonald, Hopkinton; Jackson County – Austin Lane, Prescott.
Also, Kossuth County – Cory Thilges, Lone Rock; Linn County – Doug Rice, Mount Vernon; Lyon County – Janae Metzger, Larchwood; Polk County – Garrett Gourley, Des Moines; Story County – Jake Sterle, Ames; Washington County – Matt Romoser, Keota; and Winneshiek County, Jessica Lensing.’’ Sterle’s spot in the class is made possible by the Al Christian Fellowship for a student attending Iowa State University.