Keller vies for Pork Youth Leadership Team

Clive, Iowa – Eleven young women and men are competing for three positions on the 2021 Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) Youth Leadership Team. The competition will be held Jan. 25 and 26 in Des Moines. Winners will be named at an evening banquet on Jan. 26.

Eric Keller of rural Gladbrook is among the contestants competing to become a Premier Pork Youth Ambassador for 2021.

Keller, the son of Ryan and Melissa Keller, was the 2018 recipient of the Lance J. Horbach Award presented by the Tama County Community Foundation and a Contributing Youth Honoree in 2018 through the Iowa 4-H Foundation.

The Pork Youth Leadership Team is designed for those who are passionate about the pork industry. Contestants are seniors in high school or college students up to age 20 at the time of the event. Candidates will be judged on their knowledge about pork and pig production as shown in a speech presentation, personal interview, media interview, experience, and a written test about the topics.

The female contestant with the highest score will automatically be crowned Iowa Pork Queen, and receives a $4,000 scholarship, plaque, crown and sash. Two other applicants will become Premier Pork Youth Ambassadors; they each receive a $4,000 scholarship and plaque. All three will assist with state pork promotional and educational activities throughout 2021.

2021 contestants include: Kiley Allan, Le Mars; Paige Dagel, Sanborn; Reagan Gibson, Panora;

Adele Hogan, Monticello; Eric Keller, Gladbrook; Brooklyn Kucera, Bryant; Leah Marek, Riverside; Macy Loecke, Manchester; Olivia Marek, Riverside; Zoe Reffitt, Dunlap; Emily Wulfekuhle, Earlville.

Current members of the Youth Leadership Team are Abby Bean, Marathon; Caleb Hogan, Monticello; and Alexis Berte, Algona.