JoAnn Alumbaugh
JoAnn Alumbaugh

The 2014 World Pork Expo took place in Des Moines last week, and it was, by all measures, a very successful event. Although Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus has taken its toll on the industry, strong prices are helping make up the difference. In addition, exports remain strong and domestic demand is on an upward trend. Crops in the Midwest are off to a great start, too, so there is little to dampen the positive mood in the U.S. pork industry.

Producers came out in force and the trade-show floor was busier on Wednesday than I’ve seen it for several years. Although I spent most of my time in meetings, Associate Editor Angi Bowman attended several of the seminars and Editorial Director Greg Johnson also helped cover the show.

I did have a little time to walk through the trade show and I was impressed with the new technologies and innovation I observed. New equipment, housing, genetics, animal health products, software, feed ingredients, trailers and so much more were in abundance. I also noticed there were a lot of young people working for companies, showing animals and walking through the show. Whether actively involved in production or employed by an agri-business providing products and services, the pork industry is attracting many competent, qualified young people.

It’s always gratifying to reconnect with people I’ve known for years, but it’s also great to meet new people entering the industry. There is abundant potential and tomorrow’s leaders are finding opportunities in the pork industry.

We’ll have more about World Pork Expo in the coming weeks, including USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s comments last Thursday and other announcements. Stay tuned!