Abby Bean, Marathon; Alexis Berte, Algona; and Caleb Hogan, Monticello, are the 2020 Iowa Pork Youth Leadership Team. They were selected from a field of 13 contestants during the Iowa Pork Congress last week.
The Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) sponsors the contest, which includes interviews, demonstrations of their outreach skills, and testing on their knowledge of pork and pig production. They also were judged on their community involvement and experience. The top female contestant is crowned pork queen, and the top remaining contestants, male or female, are named youth ambassadors.
Bean, a senior at Sioux Central High School in Sioux Rapids, will reign as the 2020 Iowa Pork Queen. Berte and Hogan are Pork Ambassadors. Each receives a $4,000 scholarship and plaque noting their award. But according to their predecessors, the most valuable things they will gain are the many growth and leadership opportunities provided by these positions. Over the next year, they will participate in public activities promoting pork and pig production, from county activities around Iowa to the Iowa State Fair, World Pork Expo, and events in Washington, D.C.
Bean, who also served as the Buena Vista County Pork Queen in 2018 and 2019, is the daughter of CJ and Chris Bean of Marathon. After graduating from high school this spring, she plans to pursue a degree in feed science and agricultural marketing. She is a member of the 2019-2020 Iowa State 4-H Council.
Berte, the daughter of Patrick and Nancy Berte of Algona, is a junior studying animal science at Iowa State University, with plans to go on to veterinary school. In summer 2019, she was a production intern with Midwest-based Christensen Farms, one of the largest, family-owned pork producers in the country. She served as the 2018-2019 North Central Vice President of the Iowa FFA Association.
Hogan is a freshman studying agriculture business at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, and he plans to continue his studies at Iowa State University. The son of Dominic and Karen Hogan of Monticello, he grew up helping his dad with pig chores and eventually began managing a 2,400-head hog barn. He currently works as a research assistant at Diamond V’s Research and Innovation Center on Kirkwood‘s agriculture campus.