The Illinois Pork Producers Association (IPPA) is seeking youth age 16 to 22 with an interest in the pork industry to attend the 2012 Illinois Pork Leadership Institute (IPLI) June 26-28. IPLI focuses on leadership, citizenship, and communication skills through hands-on experiences. Youth participate in a bus tour of various aspects of the agriculture industry and learn about pork promotion, research, consumer information and issues that affect the pork industry.

The application deadline for the IPLI has been extended to Friday, May 25.  The 2012 IPLI will include visits to the Galesburg Department of Agriculture testing lab, Farmland hog processing plant in Monmouth, a cooking class in Quincy, and the Abraham Lincoln Museum and State Capitol in Springfield.

“IPPA supports numerous checkoff-funded youth related activities as a way to develop future pork industry leaders,” said Mike Borgic, IPPA director of membership & outreach. “IPLI is an exceptional opportunity for the youth of the Illinois pork industry to meet with others and learn more about their industry."

Young pork enthusiasts are eligible to attend the trip. IPLI attendees do not have to be pork producers or from pork-producing families, but must exhibit a sincere interest in the pork industry and agriculture.

"I have been on the IPLI trip twice and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  It has been interesting to learn how important pork production is to Illinois and see such production on both small and large scales," says Rachel Schumaker, previous IPLI participant from Woodhull, Ill. "I would recommend others take this opportunity, if eligible, because it allows you to learn more about the pork industry and to meet many people from all over the state." 

A $100 registration fee per attendee is due at time of application. Attendees are encouraged to seek sponsorship from county pork producer groups for their registration fee and other expenses. IPPA covers the cost for any lodging, meals, and other expenditures which are a part of IPLI.

“IPLI gives youth the tools and skills to become spokespersons for the pork industry in their local areas, at their school, and in their careers,” said Borgic. “IPLI is an investment in the future of the pork industry.”

IPLI applications can be downloaded at www.ilpork.com or by contacting the IPPA office at (217) 529-3100.

Source: Illinois Pork Producers Association