DES MOINES, Iowa – The event everyone in the pork industry has been waiting for has finally arrived. The 2014 World Pork Expo kicked off June 4 in Des Moines at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. From the show ring to the exhibits, from the bacon to the barbecue, this year is already promising to be one of the best World Pork Expo events yet.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a World Pork Expo without some sort of Midwestern weather nuisance, and this year was no exception. A powerful storm system brought between 3 and 6 inches of rain to the region overnight but cleared by Wednesday morning.  

Here is a quick recap of some of the day’s highlights:

  • TOPIGS International and Norsvin have merged to create Topigs Norsvin.
  • Pork Checkoff announced a new industry-wide audit, using the existing Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) program as its foundation.
  • PEDv isn’t going anywhere, but as expected during warmer summer months, the number of confirmed cases is declining, say leading veterinarians. However, more questions than answers remain – including how the two strains of the virus came into the country.
  • It’s up to farm and agricultural groups to get out and talk to food retailers and manufacturers. As Dallas Hockman of the NPPC said, “It’s not their job to reach out to us for these questions.”
  • Though Mexico remains the No. 1 pork market by volume and Japan No. 1 by value, other countries – such as Singapore and China– are grabbing far more exports than in the past.
  • An interesting session focused on swine longevity to reach 30 pigs per sow per year - look for more on PorkNetwork related to this topic.

Click on the slideshow below to check out more from the first day of World Pork Expo, and don’t forget to stop by our booth – #763 in the Varied Industries Building – to say “hi” to our staff and sign up for our newsletter and/or print issue. You could win a Carhartt jacket!