Editor’s Note: Allison Zabel is a senior at Iowa State University, majoring in Agricultural Studies with a minor in Animal Science. She is originally from Tekamah, Neb., where she grew up on a small acreage with a few horses. Although Zabel doesn’t have a background in pork production, she will be working for Pipestone Veterinary Clinic, headquartered in Minnesota, when she graduates. She will be working in China, but first will train in the United States for six months. Zabel will be writing a regular blog for PorkNetwork, and provides a bit more of an introduction here:

I was very active in FFA in high school. I participated in multiple events and even held offices within my chapter. I have held two internships with hog companies during my four years in college. I worked in a wean-to-finish facility with Murphy Brown LLC and I worked on a sow farm with Hawkeye Sow Centers. That is where I developed my profound love for and knowledge of the pork industry.

I am leaving on May 14 for a study abroad trip, and will be visiting Poland, Germany and the Ukraine. The trip is designed to provide an overview of the European Union’s sustainable agriculture. While I am in Poland, I will be participating in a group project on animal welfare, specifically in the pork industry. I plan to make comparisons between the pork industries in the United States and the EU.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts and experiences with you, and I appreciate your comments.