The National Pork Board (NPB) opened the application period on Feb. 7 for a new series of swine research fellowships to provide a pipeline of highly skilled employees for the pork industry.
The pork checkoff has committed a total of $500,000 for the fellowships, which will fund professional student education and training in critical areas of impact, including animal science, feed science and management, engineering and human resources, among others, NPB said.
“Labor supply is a critical issue across the entire pork industry,” said NPB president David Newman, a pig farmer representing Arkansas. “This fellowship program will develop highly trained professionals who possess skills and abilities with direct application to pork production now and in the future.”
According to Chris Hostetler, director of animal science for NPB, past checkoff research funding supported graduate students based on specific research priorities.
“While results of swine-related research are not the desired outcome of these fellowships, the pork checkoff recognizes that research is a critical component of professional student training,” Hostetler said. “Research outlined in the proposal must be of importance for the pork industry.”
Fellowships will be awarded for a maximum of two years and can be used for master's of science, doctorate or doctor of veterinary medicine programs. Fellowship funding will be capped at $30,000 annually for two years. Second-year funding will be contingent on the submission and approval of a progress report at the end of the first year, the announcement said.
More information is available at pork.org/rfp, including guidelines and the application. All materials must be submitted by 5 p.m. (CST) on Feb. 25.
NPB has responsibility for pork checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public.