Elle Ploeger, Pierson; Ali Wadle, Milo; and Josh Wiley, Walker, are members of the 2023 Iowa Pork Youth Leadership Team. They were selected during the Iowa Pork Congress in late January.
The Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) sponsors the contest. Participants are judged on their knowledge about pork and pig production as shown in a speech presentation, personal interview, media interview, and written test about pork industry topics. Their previous community involvement and experience are also considered. The female contestant with the highest score is crowned Iowa Pork Queen, and the top remaining contestants, male or female, are named youth ambassadors.
Ploeger, a freshman at South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D., will reign as this year’s Iowa Pork Queen. Wadle and Wiley are Iowa Pork Ambassadors. Each receives a $4,000 scholarship and plaque noting their award.
Also, starting this year, those who completed the contest but were not selected each earned a $200 scholarship. Receiving these scholarships are:
- Boyden — Jahlyn DeJong
- Cherokee — Allie Bouchard
- Danville — Britnie Helmick
- Milo — Sadie Fredricks
Throughout 2023, the IPPA Youth Leadership Team will assist with public activities promoting and educating about pork and pig production, from county activities around Iowa to the World Pork Expo and Iowa State Fair. Past team members have valued the connections established with fellow industry advocates, as well as the many growth and learning opportunities provided by these positions.
Elle Ploeger is the daughter of Lonnie and Kathy Ploeger of Pierson in Woodbury County. She is a freshman at South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D. There she is majoring in agricultural communication, with minors in professional writing and English.
Ali Wadle is the daughter of Dustin and Sarah Wadle of Milo in Warren County. She is a freshman studying animal science at Iowa State University in Ames, and is seeking a career in swine genetics.
Josh Wiley is the son of Todd and Denise Wiley of Walker in Benton County. He is a senior at Vinton-Shellsburg High School in Vinton. Following graduation, he plans to pursue a degree in animal science at Iowa State University in Ames.