Iowa Pork Leadership Academy

Iowa Pork Leadership Academy


Travel the country. Meet farmers from other states. Develop your leadership skills.

If preferred, download printable/fillable PDF application.

Iowa’s agriculture leadership is built on generations of individuals who have made agriculture their cause, not just their job. The Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) recognizes that the future of Iowa’s pork industry depends on developing new leaders who share the same passion.

The Iowa Pork Leadership Academy was created to support Iowa’s pork producers who are committed to the pork industry. It provides them with the tools to succeed as leaders. Those tools include:

  • a working knowledge of IPPA and other key organizations that work with IPPA to broaden perspectives and build coalitions;
  • understanding and defining leadership styles and how they impact people working together in a group;
  • a deeper understanding of the pork industry and its economic contributions to Iowa, and how that impacts Iowa’s place in the world; and
  • sharpening written and verbal communications and messaging about pig farming and pork.

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.

Graduates will be able to:

  • Describe the value of grassroots leadership, which includes knowing how to get involved and having the personal skills to work effectively as a leader.
  • Define their personal leadership style by knowing the diversity of leadership styles, and how people with different leadership styles work together in a group.
  • Develop a working knowledge of Iowa Pork Producers Association and other key organizations that agriculture can work with to broaden perspectives and build coalitions.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of the pork industry and economy in Iowa and Iowa’s place in the world agriculture economy.
  • Communicate messages about the pork industry using facts and key points and communicate pork industry messages through written or verbal communication.

Program sessions:

  1. Pork Checkoff Focus—February 2022

– Identify personality profiles
– Understand Pork Checkoff history and purpose
– Participate in communication training

  1. Legislative Focus—March 2022

– Leadership in the workplace
– Understand Strategic Investment Program history and purpose
– Identify current issues in pork industry
– Participate in LEADR policy training

  1. Washington, D.C. trip—June 2022

– Define policy making process on Capitol Hill
– Describe pork production systems and raise awareness outside of Iowa

  1. Out-of-State trip—Late August 2022

– Gain understanding of supply chain management and logistics of trade
– Promote pork in area of little pork production
– Learn about other agricultural business

  1. Iowa Pork Congress—January 2023

– Participate in IPPA Annual Meeting
– Recognition as IPLA graduate

Read about the 2020/2021 class!

Members of the 2020/2021 Iowa Pork Leadership Academy visited the Capitol of Iowa in March 2020. From left: Emma Lasco, former producer outreach director for the Iowa Pork Producers Association; Doug Rice, Mount Vernon; Janae Metzger, Larchwood; Ben McDonald, Hopkinton; Rose Onsgard, Dorchester; Matt Romoser, Keota; Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg; Lance Heuser, Manson; Amanda Winslow, Prescott; Cory Thilges, Lone Rock; Jessica Lensing, Calmar; Garrett Gourley, Des Moines; Jake Sterle, Story; Ben Wikner, Farmersburg; and Austin Lane, Cedar Rapids.


IPLA Participant testimonials
“Huge learning experience.”
“Great eye-opener.”
“Overall program does nice job of touching several different aspects of the pork industry.”
“Interacting with consumers and promoting pork made for an awesome experience.”
“It gave me a better appreciation for how our government truly operates to make policy happen.”

Photo Gallery