The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is offering two tours before the 2015 World Pork Expo opens that will provide visitors a unique opportunity to gain insights into U.S. agriculture. A two-day tour, set for June 1-2, will travel to locations in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa, showcasing hog, feed, bioenergy and equipment production. The one-day tour on June 2 will provide a look at modern swine production and food marketing, as well as agricultural research and product development. Both tours include meals on tour days, along with free, three-day admission to World Pork Expo, the world’s largest pork-specific trade show.
“The pre-World Pork Expo tours are a great way to gain a broad view of the many facets of U.S. agriculture and food production,” says Greg Thornton, NPPC director of producer services. “This year’s tours will cover a lot of ground — from feed milling to hog production, and pork marketing to energy production. Participants will gain a rich perspective of Midwest agriculture at the farm and beyond.”
Get a personal view of Midwest agriculture
Participants can join the two-day tour, which is underwritten by the Illinois Soybean Association, in either Des Moines, Iowa, on Sunday, May 31, or Chicago, on Monday, June 1. Monday will feature stops in Indiana at a Co-Alliance feed mill; Bio Town Ag, a pork and beef producer with an anaerobic digester to recycle animal waste; and Fair Oaks Farms, home of the Farmhouse Restaurant and The Pig Adventure, which showcases modern pork production. Day Two includes a visit to the John Deere Harvester Works in East Moline, Illinois, and a barge trip down the Mississippi River to observe grain-export activities along this vital waterway. After touring a Cargill commercial wean-to-finish swine barn, the group will dine at the award-winning Smokey D’s BBQ in Des Moines.
The one-day Central Iowa tour on Tuesday, June 2, includes visits to Kemin Industries’ research and product-development facilities, and the DuPont Pioneer Research & Development Center. Lunch will be served at the Lucky Pig restaurant in Ogden, Iowa, which is owned and operated by pork producer Craig Christensen. Other stops include a commercial wean-to-finish hog facility, a modern Hy-Vee grocery store for a look at the U.S. retail food sector, and dinner at the Machine Shed Restaurant, which has been featured on the Travel Channel.
“These pre-Expo tours are open to anyone, but in the spirit of World Pork Expo, they are an excellent opportunity for visitors from other countries to get an up-close look at the business of agriculture from the farm gate to the consumer’s plate,” says Ron Prestage, NPPC president and Camden, South Carolina, pork producer. “Tour participants also will enjoy the exhibits and seminars at World Pork Expo as they gain further insight into the latest products and technologies pork producers use to supply the world with nutritious, high-quality pork.”
Space is limited
The fee for the one-day tour, which can accommodate up to 30 people, is US$150 per person. The cost of the two-day tour, which has a maximum capacity of 54 and includes hotel accommodations for the night of June 1, is US$450 per person.
Both tours end at the Holiday Inn Des Moines-Airport, which is the World Pork Expo international headquarters hotel. Participants in the two-day tour can choose to board the bus at the Holiday Inn Des Moines-Airport on May 31, or join the tour June 1 at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Chicago-O’Hare. Included in the tour packages are bus transportation, three meals on tour days, exhibit fees and any biosecurity apparel required to visit the hog operations. Registration also includes a three-day pass to World Pork Expo, and access to free transportation between the international headquarters hotel and Expo grounds, June 3-5.
Find more information and register for a tour
The website also has the latest details about room availability at the official Expo hotels, a schedule of activities, and answers to frequently asked questions about traveling to World Pork Expo. Regular updates are available when you connect with World Pork Expo on Facebook, follow World Pork Expo on Twitter (@NPPCWPX, #WPX15), or download the official app by searching for “World Pork” in the Apple Store, Android Market or Blackberry’s App World.
World Pork Expo takes place June 3-5 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. Hundreds of commercial exhibits will be on display from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3, and Thursday, June 4, as well as from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, June 5. The swine breeding stock sales will take place on Saturday, June 6, from 8 a.m. until they are completed (at approximately noon).