Pork Mentorship participants for 2019, from left: Ronald Kramer, Darren Segner, Miranda Mueller, Mekenzie Beattie, and Heather Hunt. 


The Nebraska Pork Producers Association is proud to welcome participants in its 2019 Pork Mentorship Program. This year, five college-age students will participate in the program, which has worked to further develop youth leaders through individual and group-based learning experiences since 1999. 


Each year, participants in the Pork Mentorship Program participate in activities that encourage personal growth, career readiness, and development of leadership skills, while expanding their knowledge of the pork industry. Participants are also active in projects that encourage giving back to their communities. Each of the participants will receive a $500 scholarship upon the successful completion of requirements throughout the year-long program.  


Meet the 2019 Pork Mentorship Program participants 


Darren Segner of Friend, Nebr., is a freshman at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln studying Animal Science with an option in food animal production and management. He is a member of Block and Bridle Club and Cru. He enjoys being outside hunting, fishing and camping, and is interested in learning more and exploring more about agriculture.  


Darren was raised on a family farm north of Friend where he says his best memories were made working in the hog barns with his dad, two older brothers and his grandpa. After completing his degree, he plans to return to the family farm. 


Heather Hunt of Fullerton, Calif., is a sophomore at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln studying Animal Science with an option in meat science. Heather is involved in the professional agricultural sorority, Sigma Alpha, the Meat Science Club, and the Block and Bridle Club. She is also the student coordinator for the Nebraska FFA Career Development Events and is a peer mentor for the Agriculture Futures Learning Community. 


Heather is preparing herself for a career in research and development to provide safe, quality meat to consumers. She understands the concerns people have about the meat industry, but is striving to become a resource for media and consumers.  


Mekenzie Beattie of Sumner, Nebr., is a freshman at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln studying Agribusiness. Mekenzie is involved in Chi Omega Sorority, Nebraska Human Resource Institute, Agronomy Club, Collegiate Farm Bureau, and the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program.  


Mekenzie grew up on a family farm raising crops and livestock. In 2018, Mekenzie was a national finalist for her Swine Entrepreneurship FFA Proficiency. She plans to work in agribusiness after completing her degree. Because of her upbringing and her involvement in 4-H, FFA, and showing livestock, however, Mekenzie plans to return one day to her family’s farm. 


Miranda Mueller of Yutan, Nebr., is a freshman at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln studying Animal Science, Grazing Livestock Systems. Miranda is involved in Block and Bridle Club, UNL FFA Alumni, and Grazing Livestock Systems Club.  


Miranda knows the pork industry is innovative and maximizes the use of technology and implements the best practices for animal care. She seeks to learn more about the pork industry, including career opportunities, and will work to build connections with industry leaders. Miranda plans to earn a Masters Degree in genetics or ruminant nutrition. 


Ronald Kramer of West Point, Nebr., is a senior at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln studying Animal Science, Grazing Livestock Systems. He is a member of Block and Bridle Club, UNL FFA Alumni and Cru. He enjoys hunting, camping, and watching Western movies.  


Through his experiences in the Pork Mentorship Program, Ronald would like to grow as an advocate for the pork industry as he learns from experts caring for pigs as well as from experts in marketing pork. After completing his degree, Ronald looks forward to a career in livestock production.