Thomas Jefferson Middle School Student Abigail Schmitt is among three students in the state awarded scholarships from the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF) and funded by the Iowa Pork Producers Association to support student research of pork and swine.

Schmitt was awarded $400 to support her research and present her work at one of the four science fairs and symposiums hosted in Iowa.  A sixth-grader at Jefferson, she is researching animal behavior and moving pigs efficiently. Schmitt will research safe and proper ways to move pigs from one facility to another. She will study animal behavior to get an understanding of what triggers pigs to move and the best practices to direct pigs in a safe manner. Through this research she hopes to create a new system to move pigs on the farm.

Two other scholarships were awarded by IALF – one to senior Silvia Poor from Des Moines Public Schools and one to the team of Brody Moeller and Ward Fraise, both seventh-graders at Central Lee Middle School in Donnellson.

“We are excited to support these students,” said Joyce Hoppes of the Iowa Pork Producers Association. “Good science helps propel responsible pork production forward. As the nation’s top pork-producing state, it’s in every Iowan’s interest to keep pork and pork by-products as an important part of farming and the food supply.”

Students will compete with their research projects at one of the science fairs and symposiums hosted in Iowa including: the Junior Science & Humanities Symposium (March 2-3, 2021 in Iowa City); the Western Iowa Science and Engineering Fair (March 5-20, 2021 virtually); the Eastern Iowa Science and Engineering Fair (March 8-20, 2021 virtually); or the State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa (March 26-27, 2021 in Ames).

 For more information, contact the DCSD School and Community Relations Office at (563)552-3020.