Building a career in agriculturePublished 10:58am Friday, June 29, 2012
Southland graduate eyes pork ambassador spot, vet career
Longtime farmers aren’t the only ones concerned about the future of agriculture.
Consider Lee Kloeckner, a 2011 Southland High School graduate who grew up with hogs and cattle. He’s pushing his ag career
beyond the family farm and showing a vested interest in the industry, especially pork.
“Getting involved young, it’s just a way to give back to the community, and in turn, help the people that feed the rest of the world,” Kloeckner said about pursuing an agricultural career.
Kloeckner, a Mower County Pork Ambassador, attended the 17th annual Minnesota Agricultural Ambassador Institute in Red Wing just days ago, which is one of several steps Kloeckner is taking in hopes of becoming a Minnesota Pork Ambassador.
“I got to meet with a lot of people who hold positions in agriculture in Minnesota, such as people on the Minnesota Pork Board, Soybean Board and other aspects, such as corn, beef and lamb, as well,” Kloeckner said.
Though Kloeckner earned a $250 scholarship at last year’s Farmfest in Morgan, Minn., and wrote the winning essay, too, he just missed becoming a state ambassador. He’s giving it another shot this year. Events like Red Wing’s offer Kloeckner an inside look into American agriculture. Kloeckner visited a 2,200-head sow facility and learned how vital trade is on the Mississippi River. Those experiences will bolster the educational path Kloeckner has laid for himself, as well.
Kloeckner now has one year of college under his belt at the University of Minnesota and is quickly chiseling away at a large animal veterinarian degree. He qualified for the VetFast program, which eliminates one year of courses, as well.
Kloeckner will find out in early August, at Minnesota’s Farmfest, if he has what it takes this time to become a Minnesota Pork Ambassador.