What They Wish You Knew About the Next Generation of Pork Producers

posted on Thursday, June 9, 2022 in AMVC Employee Blog

Blythe BolenderFarm Journal’s PORK asked five youth pig enthusiasts from across the country questions ranging from the biggest misconception of their generation to how the industry can attract future leaders to animal agriculture. Blythe Bolender, an AMVC student-employee in Ohio, shared her thoughts.

Blythe Bolender, 18
Greenfield Ohio

I am a 2022 graduate of McClain High School. I plan to attend Wilmington College and major in animal science.

Q. What’s one thing you wish people understood better about your generation?
My generation is definitely a unique one. I wish people understood that while we are an entire generation, we are not all entirely the same. We have unique skills and traits that we bring to the world because we have grown up as technology has taken off and advanced rapidly. This knowledge and experience will allow my generation to bring it into the workforce and world to make it more effective and efficient.

Q. What do you think is your generation’s strongest asset to offer the future of pork production?
As time goes on and years progress, technology advances. My generation is going to be at the forefront as technology progresses. The better the technology, the better communication can be throughout the industry with veterinarians, farmers, etc. Technology could also contribute to animal welfare through better medication, testing and sire selection. Better animal welfare ultimately means more pork produced.

Q. What’s the biggest misconception your friends have about the pork industry?
There are groups of people in this world who believe farming, especially commercial livestock production, is inhumane. This is why educating people and advocating for the pork industry is instrumental in allowing others to understand the industry better. It’s not at all inhumane, but a necessity to put food on the table.

Q. Why did you become involved in the pork industry?
My life with livestock started at birth. I grew up on a small family dairy farm and spent the first five years of my life around cattle. Upon selling the cattle in 2008, my life with livestock was halted, but the interest was not sold away with the cattle. My mom got a job at a farm through AMVC Management Services and was quickly moved to farrowing lead. After job shadowing and falling in love with pig farming, my mom and the farm’s production manager, Mike Mullady, helped me get an interview and start my first job at the age of 15. Agriculture has always been my passion and my job now through AMVC has propelled my passion into what it is now.

Q. How can we get more youth interested in pork industry careers?
Advocating for agriculture is important, especially through the youth. Going into classrooms and working through organizations such as FFA are just a couple of ways we can teach our youth at an early age the importance and diversity of agriculture and agriculture careers. The pork industry is more than just your local family farm or taking a showpig to the fair. It is a global industry that supplies the world with food on the table. This could also show the youth the diversity of jobs just in the pork industry, such as office jobs, commercial farming, lab work and more.

Read the whole article here.

(Farm Journal’s Pork, 2022)


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