Erin Wicker of Kimball is the Stearns County Pork Ambassador for the year of 2013. This year, she has applied for Minnesota State Pork Ambassador.
Raised on an independent pig farm near the town of Marty, Northwest of Kimball, Erin has grown up around farming and pork production. The Wickers keep around 2,800 pigs that they finish out before they go to market, with raising pigs they also farm about 620 acres of crops.
Erin’s passion for pigs has helped influence her decision to be a pork ambassador. “I really enjoy working with pigs,” explained Erin, “In FFA I got really involved in general livestock and went on swine tours. I learned about this opportunity from the Minnesota Pork Board.” She loves advocating for agriculture and also gaining a lot of experience.
By being a county ambassador, Erin has received a scholarship from the Pork Board. She also enjoys learning about the swine industry and helping others understand more about swine production.
The Minnesota Pork Board is an organization that advocates the production, education, health, safety and consumption of pork. They are funded through the pork board check off. The Minnesota Pork Board has county ambassadors to help advocate for the pork industry in their county. They benefit agriculture by having youth that are involved in agriculture be a spokesperson for the organization to create a better outlook on pork production.
Erin’s responsibilities include attending events and communicating to the public on the importance of swine production. She attended the Minnesota Ag. Ambassadors Institute in June. This event was held for young leaders in agriculture. Erin was able to meet with local business leaders and tour agriculture facilities.
Erin’s other hobbies include riding her horses, competing at the county fair, and hanging out with friends. In the past she served as president of the Kimball FFA chapter and Director of region five FFA. She competed in several career development events as well as conducted a supervised agricultural experience in swine production over the course of four years.
She plans to attend South Dakota State University in the fall of 2013 and will double major in Animal Science and Agricultural Education. Her career goal is to attend a vet school after undergrad school and become a large animal veterinarian.
Every year, the Minnesota Pork Board accepts a maximum of two candidates from each county to apply for State Pork Ambassador. This year there are 15 applicants applying to be State Pork Ambassador and Erin is one of them. This position is open to anyone between ages 18-22. Participants do not have to come from a pork production farm or be actively involved in pork production, but participants should have a strong interest in the pork industry.
For this State Pork Ambassador competition, Erin is required to complete an essay on a pork issue of her choice, an individual interview, and conduct a presentation on the same topic of her essay. Erin also completed a voice recording for the Linder Farm Network which will be aired starting the week of July 22. Tune in to hear Erin’s broadcast at WVAL 800 AM or KIKV 100.7 FM. Erin will explain about Farmfest and the pork ambassador candidates.
The new Minnesota Pork Ambassador is announced at Farmfest Wednesday, Aug. 7. For more information on the Minnesota Pork Board and Ambassador program, visit mnpork.com.
Fast pork facts:
• Minnesota is second in pork production in the U.S. behind Iowa
• Pork is the world’s choice of meat
• The U.S. produces 10 percent of the world’s meat
• Pork is a nutrient dense food
• Pigs are the most efficient livestock converters of grain to red meat
• Pigs cannot sweat, this is one of the reasons they rub in mud- to keep cool
• A newborn piglet on average weighs about 3 lbs.
• The average market hog is
• The largest pig on record weighed 1,984 lbs.
• Pigs have been domesticated about 5,000-7,000 years ago and originated from the Eurasian wild boar
• Pigs rank fourth in intelligence above a dog and behind only chimps, dolphins and elephants
• The largest litter of pigs on record was 37, the average size
Erin Wicker of Kimball has a passion for pigs and is now Stearns County Pork Ambassador for the year 2013. Her experience with pork includes being raised on a farm where they finished out about 2,800 pigs for market a year, and involvement in FFA with livestock. Erin loves being a voice for agriculture and plans to study Animal Science and Agricultural Education at South Dakota State University. Staff photo by Katelyn Asfeld.