Editor's Note: Don't forget to stop by PorkNetwork's booth this week at the World Pork Expo - #763 in the Varied Industries Building.
Nearly 20,000 pork producers and related professionals from 32 countries will attend World Pork Expo, June 4-6, at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa. Presented by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), Expo features the world’s largest pork-specific trade show with some 375 commercial exhibits in more than 310,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibit space.
“World Pork Expo is a showcase of pork production; it’s where producers get together and share ideas,” says Howard Hill, NPPC president and Iowa pork producer. “It offers a great opportunity for pork producers to get a crash course in what’s new.”
The trade show will display the latest products, services and technologies available to pork producers from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 4, and Thursday, June 5, as well as from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, June 7. The Agriculture Building will mark its second year of exhibits, featuring the America’s Best Genetics display and the International Visitors Center.
New this year is the World Pork Expo Universe Passport — a program that offers a daily chance to win $500. Expo-goers can pick up a passport in the registration area, located in the Animal Learning Center.
“As attendees travel around World Pork Expo, they can get their passports stamped at the booths of participating companies,” says Alicia Newman, World Pork Expo general manager. “Then they can bring their completed passports to the NPPC booth in the Agriculture Building, get a prize and be entered into the daily drawing.”
Expo is the place to gather useful information on a wide range of topics from manure handling or exports, to sow-herd management and swine health. Throughout Wednesday and Thursday, a series of business seminars and PORK Academy will present more than 15 free, educational seminars, all of which will take place in the Varied Industries Building. Pork producers, their employees and families are sure to find helpful insights to take back home.
Swine shows eclipse all records
Youth education programs, judging contests and pig shows are part of the World Pork Expo Junior National, which set another record this year with 2,947 entries from across the nation. To accommodate this growing event, the Junior National starts earlier this year — on Tuesday, June 3, with competitions taking place in the Swine Barn each day of Expo.
The open shows will take place on Friday, June 6, with more than 1,000 entries representing some of the country’s best genetics. A sale will follow on Saturday, June 8, beginning at 8 a.m.
While Expo’s days are filled with business activities, MusicFest is a time to relax and have some fun. MusicFest will kick off Thursday at 4:30 p.m. with singer/songwriter, and Iowa native, Jake McVey. Headlining the show is four-time GRAMMY®-nominated Restless Heart with its energetic country music.
Also on Thursday, NPPC, Hog Slat and Vinny’s BBQ will collaborate to set another record for the world’s largest pork burger (previously set at the 2012 World Pork Expo). Expo-goers can watch the assembly of this mammoth burger at 5 p.m. and try a sample. A significant portion of the burger will be donated to Youth Emergency Services & Shelter in Des Moines.
Mouth-watering pork is a vital part of Expo, including the ever-popular Big Grill. Located next to the Agriculture Building, attendees can enjoy a free pork lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. all three days of Expo.
“World Pork Expo is not just for primary owners of pork operations,” says Hill. “Everyone should encourage their staff to attend. Whether they are breeding technicians, farm managers, supervisors or people who work in the environmental area — there’s a lot of information at Expo for anyone who works in pork production.”