By Elizabeth Sias
October is National Pork Month, and a Cambridge native is promoting awareness of pork products and pork safety.
Kayla Michels, a Cambridge-Isanti High School graduate, is the 2011 East Central Pork Ambassador for Isanti, Kanabec, Pine and Mille Lacs counties.
“I see pork month as a chance for me to inform the public about pork and how good it is for you,” she said. “Farmers do the best they can to treat their animals well and provide a healthy, lean product.”
Michels graduated last spring and now attends Minneapolis Business College. She’s pursuing a career in health care and plans to minor in something agriculture related—she hopes to have her own farm someday.
She started 4-H in elementary school and began by showing swine at fairs, then moved to beef and poultry.
“Swine was the gateway for me getting into the agriculture world,” Michels said. “It really opened my eyes to what really goes on on farms, and how much time and care it takes to take care of our animals. Agriculture has become my life. I wouldn’t be who I am and where I am today without it.”
As the East Central Pork Ambassador, Michels spent time learning about leadership and agriculture, and also competed in at Farm Fest in Morgan, Minn.
She teaches the public about pork safety, such as cooking pork to 145 degrees Fahrenheit instead of 160 degrees.
“There’s a lot of misconceptions with animal rights and animal ethics,” Michels said. “A lot of people think it’s bad we’re killing animals for meat, but they’re raised for a purpose and are fed very balanced diets—we treat our animals better than we treat ourselves. The farmers do their best to provide food for the rest of the world.”
For more information, visit www.mnpork.com.