swine experience participants

Swine Experience

The Iowa Pork Industry Center and the ISU Department of Animal Science are excited to announce the return of the ISU Swine Industry Experience, set for January 2024. The goal of the ISU Swine Industry Experience is to develop undergraduate student exposure, knowledge, skills, and professional relationships in the swine industry, in order to help meet the critical need for trained professionals in the swine industry. This experience will include hands-on farm learning, classroom lectures, and industry networking opportunities. The best thing is, thanks to our sponsors, accepted students will pay nothing and be eligible for a scholarship! Application deadline is Nov. 1, 2023.

Highlights from the 2023 Swine Experience

This week-long event allowed 13 students to gain experience and knowledge they need to consider joining the swine industry. These students had the opportunity to do multiple on-site farm tours in Iowa as well as learn and network with industry professionals from 15 companies.

One of the participants described their experiences as invaluable stating, "Something I heard that was impactful for me was when someone said that you don’t need to have a livestock background to make connections within the agriculture/swine industry. I thought it was a great thing that was said since coming from no livestock experience, it was reassuring knowing that anyone in the swine industry is willing to build you up and help you learn more!"


Opportunity for up to 14 Iowa State undergraduate students to participate in an all-expenses-paid Iowa State Swine Industry Experience to be held in the Ames, Iowa area January 8-12, 2024.

The overall goal of this Swine Industry Experience and associated activities and opportunities is to: develop student’s exposure to and knowledge, skills, and professional relationships in swine management in order to help meet critical need for trained professionals in the swine industry.


  • Train students in aspects of swine production through a week long hands-on comprehensive "Experience" around Ames, IA
  • Cultivate student’s vision of potential career paths within the swine industry
  • Facilitate student interaction with professionals in the swine industry

What's included?

The Swine Industry Experience will include both classroom instruction and hands-on experiences at participating farms. Transportation to and from Ames, hotels, food, and educational materials will be provided. Upon acceptance, students will be enrolled in AnS 490 for 1 credit hour for Spring 2024. The Swine Industry Experience content to be covered will include:

  • Sow operations - breeding, gestation, farrowing
  • Wean to finish - Weaning, grow/finish, pig management
  • Swine health and well-being management - biosecurity, preventative medicine, housing
  • Swine nutrition and feeding, and risk management
  • Evening networking dinners with swine producers and allied-industry supporters

During and (or) following the Swine Industry Experience, there will be additional opportunities for students to network with swine industry partners.

The application is due by November 1, 2023 and should be emailed to Stacie Matchan at sgould@iastate.edu.

Disclaimer: Application does not ensure spot in the program, interviews will be held to determine 14 final students. It is important that all applicants understand NO swine exposure or international travel is allowed for the week leading up to the program start date. A date in December will be scheduled to discuss program expectations.


Thank You to Our Collaborators!

Brenneman Pork Cactus Family Farms Dystinct Farm Credit Services of America
First Choice Livestock Genvax Technologies Gourley Research Group Iowa Pork Producers Association
Iowa Select Farms Merck Animal Health New Fashion Pork Nutriquest
Partners for Production Agriculture PIC Pipestone pork checkoff
Prestage Foods of Iowa Seaboard foods Smithfield  



Stacie Matchan
Stacie Matchan.
Program Specialist