The Pork Checkoff has selected 12 college students to be a part of the #RealPigFarming Student Social Forces team. Participants were selected based on their involvement in the pork industry and their strong communication skills. The team will be active through the end of the year.   

“Social media is ingrained in young people’s daily lives,” said Claire Masker, public relations manager for the Pork Checkoff. “It’s easy for them to share their thoughts about an industry that they are proud to be a part of.”

Consumers continue to have questions about how pigs are raised, and no one knows the answers better than pork producers. The Pork Checkoff’s social media outreach program is helping real farmers share real stories with consumers through #RealPigFarming. The hashtag (#) before Real Pig Farming helps people search social media posts with the same phrase, making it easier for them to follow conversations.


Team members are:

  • Alex Conover, Iowa State University
  • Allison Luety, Iowa State University
  • Allison Bastian, Iowa State University
  • Angie Ruffoni, Santa Rosa Junior College
  • Ashley Smeby, Iowa State University
  • Breanna Branderhorst, Iowa State University
  • Karli Lane, Ohio State University
  • Lexi Delaney, Iowa State University
  • Megan McNamee, Illinois State University
  • Melanie Jackson, Oklahoma State University
  • Mitchell Setterman, University of Minnesota – Duluth
  • Sarah Marketon, University of Minnesota

“I am excited about the #RealPigFarming campaign,” said Ruffoni, a member of the team. “Leaders and team members can use #RealPigFarming as a platform to reach out and share about modern day pork production, helping to bridge the gap between producers and consumers. I look forward to having meaningful conversations and sharing my story alongside other team members.”

“The social forces team will be encouraged to use #RealPigFarming as advocates for the pork industry,” Masker said. “Through social forces, the students will be able to improve their communications skills and expand their professional network.”