Pork Industry Career Round Table Facebook Live Chat: Kylee Deniz, Director of Marketing & Youth Engagement for the National Pork Board
Could you describe how your role fits into the collective pork industry?
Pig to Plate
“If you’ve got one show pig you are a part of an industry that totals 90+ billion dollars and that’s allied industry, that’s on-farm production, that’s the consumer sale, so consider yourself a part of something really big and really dynamic.”
“It’s critical today that we really have an industry that thinks about developing the next generation of leaders through organizations like the NJSA or Team Purebred all the way again to the consumer plate. Because we at the end of the day even if we are showing pigs, we are producing a product that will enter the food system somewhere along the way likely and I think it’s critically important as a group of individuals that like livestock shows to consider us a part of that food industry piece.”
“There are so many careers in the pork industry and I always say to my colleagues and specifically my boss our investment in the NJSA and Team Purebred for instance are investments in individuals like me. Without the opportunity to show pigs across the country and network, meet people, and learn responsibility, learn how to market my animal, I probably wouldn’t be in the position that I’m at, at the Pork Checkoff today and so I think careers are really big for us to communicate back to members and my role and connection to youth associations.”
“Certification is also a big one for us. I mentioned that show pigs also being a part of the food supply that certification program you would recognize as Youth for the Quality Care of Animals or YQCA, or Adult PQA Plus. That is the same certification of those that market pigs on a large scale also have, and so it is critically important for us to have those certifications.”
“When things come up! Last year we were very focused on the potential of African Swine Fever and how important biosecurity was. This year we are focusing on keeping distance between humans because COVID-19 is a thing so at the Pork Board we have an incredible team of veterinarians and PhD’s who are rooted in the research, grounded in the science and can give us that data, and then we make it into something that is relatable to you and I and then communicate those messages to members.”
What advice would you give to NJSA members that are interested in pursuing careers within the pork industry?
The big things:
- Really focus on your network – “If I had gone right, I might have done this if I had gone left, I might have done this. So, you network is very important, it’ll prove to be important down the road.”
- Mindset Matters – “I challenge you to stretch your mindset on what you’ve done and then correlate that to what you would like to do.”
- Never stop learning – “You have to be continuously learning, and I would argue today as a result of COVID-19 we will continue to see more innovations and those innovations are probably going to be things you didn’t learn in the classroom whether it be elementary school, high school, or college, you are going to have to have that mindset to be a continuous learner in order to stay relevant.”
What words of advice do you have to directly grow you network with industry professionals?
- 70% on the “NOW” Network
- 20% on the “NEXT” Network
- 10% on the “NEW” Network