Two ISU freshmen crowned 2013 Iowa Pork Queen and Ambassador

Frances Myers

Two ISU students were recently honored to become a part of the Iowa Pork Producers Association 2013 Youth Team when one was crowned Iowa Pork Queen and the other was crowned 2013 Iowa Premier Pork Youth Ambassador.

Breanna Branderhorst, freshman in agricultural and life sciences education, was recently crowned the 2013 Iowa Pork Queen. She has been involved with pork since she was a very young girl.

“I grew up on a farrow-to-finish hog farm,” Branderhorst said. “I have also shown pigs since I was in fourth grade.”

Branderhorst became involved with the contest when she was crowned the 2012 Jasper County Pork Queen. After earning this title, she moved on to compete at the Iowa Pork Congress for the 2013 Iowa Pork Queen title.

Now that Branderhorst is the 2013 Iowa Pork Queen, she will have the opportunity to travel throughout Iowa, representing the Iowa Pork Producers Association at various events.

“I will help in the Animal Learning Center, the Pork Tent and the Agricultural Building at the State Fair as well as handing out ribbons at the World Pork Expo in June, many county fairs in July, and the State Fair in August,” Branderhorst said. “In June, the Iowa Pork Youth Team will head to Washington, D.C. to serve pork and promote the industry. These are just a few of my duties. I will be at countless events throughout the year promoting pork.”

Emily Klootwyk, freshman in animal science, was crowned the 2013 Iowa Premier Pork Youth Ambassador. Part of her duties as ambassador will be to promote pork, not just at the various events she attends with the Pork Queen, but also in everyday life.

“I haven’t quite felt the impact of being the ambassador yet, but as far as the competition, it impacted me by giving me so much more knowledge on the industry and how youth like myself can get more involved,” Klootwyk said. “Now that I have been crowned I will spend the year going to various promotional events … It’s something I’m very passionate about, which makes it easy to be an ambassador.”

Like Branderhorst, the pork industry has been a large part of Klootwyk’s life since she was young.

“Agriculture has been a huge part of my life, especially raising hogs,” Klootwyk said. “It means so much to me to be able to take my life experience on a farm as well as all I’ve learned at Iowa State and apply it to teaching the public about pork and what Iowa’s industry has to offer.

“I love meeting new people, and I’m very passionate about agriculture, so becoming the Iowa Premier Youth Ambassador means having the opportunity to meet consumers and producers and to talk to them about what I love; it’s so thrilling.”

As a student at Iowa State, Klootwyk intends to get a degree in animal science and minor in international agriculture. She intends to take her degree and use it to impact the pork industry on a much bigger scale.

“I want to become a leader in the pork industry and its future progression,” Klootwyk said. “I want to be a part of pork’s global impact by producing food in a safe, inexpensive and efficient way so we can feed the world’s growing population. I would also love to continue farming like I have my whole life, but use my degree to do it on a much bigger scale.”

As part of the Iowa Pork Youth Team, Branderhorst and Klootwyk will both be responsible for keeping interested followers informed through a blog where they will post updates on their activities with the Iowa Pork Producers Association throughout the year.