Nearly 20,000 pork producers and industry representatives from 39 countries will be in Des Moines, June 5-7, for the 2013 World Pork Expo. Presented by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, it is the world’s largest pork-specific trade show with more than 400 commercial exhibits. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, World Pork Expo will feature 310,000 square feet of exhibits, which is an increase from 2012.
“If you’re looking for products, technology or information, World Pork Expo is the best place to spend your time,” says Randy Spronk, NPPC president and pork producer from Edgerton, Minn. “The heart of Expo is the personal interaction — producer to producer, and with NPPC leaders and company representatives. The most valuable part is those unexpected conversations.”
Between the business seminars and PORK Academy, World Pork Expo always offers the latest information that busy pork producers, their employees and their families need to run responsible and efficient businesses. On Wednesday, June 5, and Thursday, June 6, 20 educational presentations will take place in the Varied Industries Building. Both days include a free business-seminar luncheon featuring experts discussing economic and weather outlooks.
“We have a wide variety of seminars lined up, from nutrition and feed to manure management and food safety,” says Alicia Irlbeck, World Pork Expo general manager. “These free educational presentations are an ideal way for pork producers to learn more about the latest trends and developments affecting their markets and their product.”
Continuing its upward trajectory, the World Pork Expo Junior National has set another record this year, with 856 junior exhibitors from throughout nation entering more than 2,500 pigs. The 2012 show set a record when youths showed 2,177 hogs — a 25 percent increase from the previous year. The Junior National shows and judging competitions take place each day of Expo. The open show, with almost 1,000 hogs entered by 493 exhibitors, will be held on Friday, June 7, with a sale on Saturday, June 8.
New this year is the addition of the Agriculture Building to the exhibit space, which will feature the International Visitors Center and the America’s Best Genetics display, as well as a display of World Pork Expo memorabilia from the past 25 years.
“Attendees should stop by the Agriculture Building and vote for their favorite display,” Irlbeck says. “To celebrate World Pork Expo’s 25th anniversary, NPPC is giving away a trip for two to a location of the winner’s choice for up to a $3,000 value. All Expo attendees are eligible and can sign up in booth 2708.”
Next door to the Agriculture Building is the ever-popular Big Grill where attendees can enjoy a free pork lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. all three days of Expo.
While Expo’s days are filled with lots business activities and information, there’s also time to relax and enjoy an evening of fun and fellowship. MusicFest will take place on Thursday, starting at 4:30 p.m. It will feature GRAMMY®-nominated Little Texas, who also is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, as well as Transit Authority, the premier tribute band to the music group Chicago.
“If you haven’t been to World Pork Expo before or haven’t been there for a few years, you’re going to be truly impressed with the quality of products, producers and information,” Spronk says. “Grab a friend, grab a fellow pork producer and head over to Expo. Where else can you go to gain the information you need for your pork-production business and have some fun at the same time?”
Admission purchased at the gate is $15 per adult and $3 for youths aged 6 to 11; there is no charge for children 5 years of age and younger. This price of admission includes entry into Expo for all three days. Proceeds from World Pork Expo are used to develop and defend export markets, fight for reasonable legislation and regulation, and inform and educate legislators.