For students looking for more opportunities while pursuing their passion in the pork industry, the National Pork Industry Foundation launched the Neil Dierks Scholarship to honor NPPC’s long-time CEO, who is retiring at the end of the year. The $5,000 scholarship will be given annually to a college student pursuing a graduate degree at a land grant university in a field related to the pork industry.
“The National Pork Industry Foundation is privileged and excited to launch this scholarship in Neil’s name,” said Missouri pork producer Scott Hays, who is NPPC vice president and the NPPC representative on the foundation’s board of directors. “His 30 years of dedicated service to the pork industry has included countless contributions, not the least of which is nurturing future leaders and seeking and elevating talented people with a variety of skills to serve as pork industry resources and decision-makers for today and tomorrow. So, it is very fitting that the foundation honor him through this scholarship program.”
Applications for the scholarship, which will be funded through contributions to the pork industry foundation, are due in September, with each year’s recipient announced at the pork industry’s annual meeting — the National Pork Industry Forum — which usually is held in early March. The initial scholarship will be awarded at the 2023 meeting.
Dierks, who has served as NPPC’s CEO for 21 years, said, “I am extremely humbled by this honor. This is one of my proudest recognitions because this scholarship will help foster new leaders for the pork industry, people who will guide us into the future and help ensure the great women and men who make up our industry can continue feeding people around the globe with safe, nutritious pork.”
The new scholarship program compliments the Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship, which the National Pork Industry Foundation sponsors along with the CME Group. Named after the late NPPC board member Lois Britt, the program annually gives $2,500 scholarships to 10 college undergraduates intending to pursue careers in the pork industry. NPPC administers the program, and winners are announced at the National Pork Industry Forum.