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Harris named first runner-up for 2008 Minnesota Pork Industry Ambassador

Le Sueur County Pork Ambassador Kate Richter will serve as the 2008 Minnesota Pork Industry Ambassador. A three-judge panel selected Richter during competition held in conjunction with Minnesota Pork Congress, held in Minneapolis in January.

Richter is a sophomore at South Dakota State University, Brookings, where she is an agricultural education and animal science major. She is the daughter of Dave and Karen Richter of Montgomery.

Richter will receive a $1,500 scholarship from the Minnesota Pork Board. Throughout the year, she will represent Minnesota's 4,800 pork producing families at various pork-related functions across the state. These include consumer and producer educational events and promotional activities that encourage pork consumption and public understanding of swine production. Richter is active in the professional agricultural society for students, Alpha Zeta, as well as collegiate 4-H and FFA Ag Education Club.

The first runner-up was Erin Harris, who represented the Stevens County Pork Producers Association. Harris attends North Dakota State University, Fargo, where her major is animal science. As first runner-up, she will receive a $750 scholarship. Her parents are Allan and Elizabeth Harris of Morris. Harris also will also receive an additional $250 for her winning essay on anthropomorphism.

Second runner-up was Brittany Meidl, representing the Brown County Pork Producers Association. Meidl majors in medical biology at Southwest State University, Marshall. Her parents are Paul and Colleen Meidl of Springfield. Richter will receive a $500 scholarship.

The pork ambassador candidates selected Tricia Michels, the daughter of Gary and Becky Michels of Le Sueur, as the congeniality recipient. Michels is an agribusiness major at South Central Technical College, Mankato.

Additional individuals who took part in the competition were Jacole Drinkall, daughter of Delvin and Lucy Drinkall of Ostrander (Fillmore County); Zak Drescher, son of Clair and Rita Drescher of Alden (Freeborn County); Emily Ulland, daughter of Gary and Marilyn Ulland of Austin (Mower County); Sarah Stellpflug, daughter of Jim and Mary Kay Stellpflug of Rochester (Olmsted County); and Elizabeth Glisczinski, daughter of Ken and Linda Glisczinski of New Prague (Scott County).

The Minnesota Pork Board's ambassador program, which is funded through the Pork Checkoff, strives to create a learning environment for development of young leaders in the pork industry. Ambassador program participants are provided opportunities to increase their knowledge of the pork industry and to learn more about issues that affect swine production. Additionally, the program helps develop the support system for participants' future involvement as Minnesota pork industry leaders.