Taylor Homann- Pipestone
Taylor’s love for pigs began when she started working for the Pipestone System. She had the opportunity to learn how to vaccinate, load pigs, conduct research and the paperwork required to run a pig farm. Taylor also enjoys showing pigs. Her passion for the pork industry helped her become the first-runner-up for the 2015 Minnesota Pork Ambassador competition.
Taylor will be entering her sophomore year at the University of Minnesota studying animal science with a pre-vet emphasis and a minor in public health. She is a member of the Beta of Clovia Sorority, the Undergraduate Public Health Association and plays intramural volleyball. “I enjoy being involved in agriculture because it is a vital part of our everyday lives,” said Taylor. After graduation, she plans on getting her DVM and Masters of Public Health from the University of Minnesota where she hopes to conduct research or work in communications.
“This is a great opportunity to do that same kind of meaningful public outreach for the pork industry all summer long,” said Taylor, “knowing that at the end of the day, I have made a positive contribution to how people feel about pigs and pig farming is a great feeling.”
Fun Fact: Taylor has a family barn cat named Polamamu, a long haired stray, who was originally named Polamalu after Troy Polamalu until she had kittens.
Valerie Earley- Wykoff
Valerie grew up on her family’s beef, dairy steer and crop farm and enjoyed showing dairy steers, beef heifers, rabbits and llamas through 4-H. “I enjoy being a part of agriculture because it enables me to be a part of something bigger than myself,” said Valerie, “the people in agriculture are the most genuine, hard-working and passionate people I know and am excited to work with some of them this summer.”
Valerie will be a sophomore at the University of Minnesota studying agricultural education with an emphasis in leadership and communications and plans to obtain her teaching license as a part of her masters in agricultural education. After graduation she hopes to teach agriculture or be involved in agricultural communications. Valerie is active in the CFANS Policy Engagement Program, Gopher Dairy Club, Agricultural Education Club, Beta of Clovia Sorority and served as the 2014-2015 Minnesota FFA State Secretary.
“I have a passion for sharing my story in agriculture and engaging in conversations about the role farmers play in people’s lives,” said Valerie, “I am looking forward to every opportunity I will have this summer to engage in conversations about pigs.”
Fun Fact: Valerie played the tuba, bass drum, flute, piano and baritone and has a Flemish Giant rabbit named Blake who weighs 25 pounds.
Valerie and Taylor will work on projects like Oink Outings, the Minnesota Pork Ambassador program, State Fair and other various activities.