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UWRF Student Magolski Receives Whitmore Memorial Scholarship

By Kendra Knutson
FEB. 23, 2007--To some, the swine industry might be thought of as dirty or smelly; however, to University of Wisconsin-River Falls Senior Jim Magolski, it's his passion.

Magolski, an animal science major from New London, Wis., received the $500 Whitmore Memorial Scholarship at the Wisconsin Pork Expo in Wisconsin Dells in February.  

He applied for the scholarship by writing an essay describing his future goals within the swine industry and the impact he could make as well as a list of his activities and achievements. In December, he received a phone interview from a panel at the Wisconsin Pork Association headquarters.

"I knew that I was the (scholarship) representative from RF, but it was an honor to win the award against students from Platteville and Madison," said Magolski, "I was surprised when they called my name!"

Magolski, son of Dave and Carol Magolski of New London, leads a busy life as he attends classes in addition to maintaining a 40-hour work-week in his role as the UWRF swine herd manager. He has a lot of help but does most of the groundwork including breeding, farrowing, vaccinating, management, paperwork and other various tasks.  

"Anything that is involved with a farrow-to-finish operation, I try to be part of it," said Magolski, who also works with a few students in training and day-to-day tasks. He finds it to be a great experience and a rewarding job.

Growing up on a small hobby farm with pigs and a few steers sparked Magolski's interest in the swine industry. He was an active member in both 4-H and FFA and showed hogs at the county fair for 13 years and the state fair for seven years.

"It was always so enjoyable and rewarding for me working the animals all summer long," said Magolski. "As I got more involved with the project, I started keeping a few gilts back to begin farrowing my own stock."  

Magolski currently owns a few crossbred sows that he farrowed out for show pigs this spring; however, he hasn't had much time lately so he tries to keep the number of his herd low.

In college in addition to the swine manager position, Magolski has been an active member in the Block and Bridle organization on campus and is a swine project leader for both St. Croix and Waupaca counties.   He is also a member of the St. Croix County breeding stock committee where he presents at several swine workshops throughout the year. The past three years, he has also been a member of the Wisconsin Pork Association.

Last fall, he presented a report at the Society for Undergraduate Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities event on campus and is looking forward to presenting some research data in Des Moines in March at the animal science organization annual meetings. Last summer, Magolski served as an intern at Hormel Foods in Austin, Minn. working in procurement.  

"I worked on two research projects analyzing meat quality and uniformity, along with doing the day-to-day tasks in that size of an operation," said Magolski.

After graduation in May, Magolski plans to attend graduate school and pursue a doctorate degree in meat science.  

Magolski is also planning the second annual show pig sale held at Lab Farm 2 on April 14. This is a sale he started last year within the swine enterprise at the farm, and it turned out to be a success. According to Magolski, they are planning to sell about 200 head of crossbred and purebred show pigs.  

The Whitmore Memorial Scholarship was established as a legacy to the late Rex Whitmore, a master statesman and communicator who served as the first executive director of the Wisconsin Pork Association.

Applicants must be a junior or senior at UW-Madison, UW-Platteville, or UW-River Falls.   Each university selects a candidate to represent their school in the selection of this scholarship. Besides Magolski, the 2007 finalists were: Kelsey Sambs, UW-Platteville, of Fort Atkinson; and Paul Humphrey, UW-Madison, of Ixonia. Applicants are judged based on grade point average, extracurricular activities, career orientation, and financial need.

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Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:08:01 Central Daylight Time

 

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