Pork Industry Immersion Program - Pork Checkoff

Pork Industry Immersion Program

Advance your career with this two-year program designed to accelerate the development of early career talent.

This program establishes a pipeline of leaders ready to meet the demands and challenges of state pork associations by exposing future leaders to all facets of the pork industry.


The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), National Pork Board (NPB), and state pork associations are partnering to provide in-depth, hands-on training to individuals passionate about the pork industry.

Selected individuals will be hired as the manager of pork industry relations and will participate in the Pork Industry Leadership Development Program. This full-time, two-year experience promotes the development of early career talent.

Participants will receive hands-on experiences, networking and development opportunities, and exposure to all facets of state pork industry associations.

How It Works

The program will include three, eight-month rotations with the following organizations.

  1. National Pork Board (NPB): focused on research, education and promotion.
  2. National Pork Producers Council (NPPC): focused on policy development and grassroots engagement.
  3. State Pork Association: focused on applying research, education, promotion, policy and grassroots at the state and producer level.

Throughout each of these rotations, the manager of pork industry relations will be assigned a set of responsibilities unique to that organization in order to prepare them for all aspects of the pork industry.

First Rotation – National Pork Board

Location: Clive, Iowa

During their time at NPB, participants will be immersed in numerous departments including market development, strategy and insights, producer relations, swine health, sustainability and communications. They will be exposed to various roles and partnering organizations, and have training opportunities within USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, media, project management, issues management, DiSC, crucial conversations and more. Their responsibilities will include:

  • Complete a long-term project related to an identified industry priority
  • Attend and present at producer leadership meetings across the country
  • Facilitate youth leadership seminars
  • Network with various roles and partner organizations

Second Rotation – National Pork Producers Council

Location: Urbandale, Iowa and Washington D.C.

During their time with NPPC, participants will be involved in both public policy engagement and producer advocacy engagement.

Public Policy Engagement

  • Participate in congressional relation efforts on Capitol Hill, including committee meetings, one-on-one hill visits and agency advocacy
  • Assist with the bi-annual Legislative Action Conference in April & September
  • Gain exposure to issue engagement

Producer Advocacy Engagement

  • Work with a state to develop, implement and execute a Strategic Investment Program (SIP) Marketing Plan.
  • Assist with Planning and execution of the NPPC annual meeting.
  • Exposure to all internal departmental activities and partnering organizations.
  • Policy development interface and issue-specific engagement at the state level.

Third Rotation – State Associations

Location: TBD during participant’s employment

The participant’s experience will vary from state to state based on the time of the year. During their time at their assigned state association, the manager of pork industry relations will:

  • Participate in state annual meetings, board meetings and annual or regular planning sessions.
  • Participate in producer/district meetings, SIP calls and any other producer education opportunities.
  • Create an advisory panel of the state executive who are working with candidates to help shape the outcome.
  • Provide regular reports to the state’s advisory panel.
  • Participate in public policy/advocacy such as legal challenges, zoning hearings, environmental regulation and/or rule-making processes.

Program Goal

The goal of this program is to develop the next generation of organizational leaders, creating a pipeline of high-quality individuals to fill state and national association positions upon availability. Participants gain knowledge of each industry organization, as well as unique, well-rounded work experience.

“The Immersion Program serves as a launchpad for a successful career in the pork industry.” Seth Mitchell, current immersion program participant