The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has developed two tours in conjunction with the 2014 World Pork Expo for visitors who want a further glimpse into U.S agriculture. A two-day tour, June 2-3, will feature a broad agricultural overview, from crop and pork production, to farm equipment and shipping. A one-day tour will highlight agribusiness in central Iowa. Both options include meals on tour days and free admission to World Pork Expo, the world’s largest pork-specific trade show.
“These tours give visitors first-hand exposure to U.S. agriculture and farming methods for both grain and pork production,” says Greg Thornton, NPPC director of producer services. “They provide an excellent snapshot of the Midwest, which many feel is the breadbasket of the world.”
A look at Midwest agriculture
The two-day tour, underwritten by the Illinois Soybean Association, will venture into eastern Iowa, western Illinois and northern Indiana, giving visitors an up-close look at U.S. corn and soybean production. A highlight will be an afternoon at the Pig Adventure at Fair Oaks Farms, which shows visitors modern pork production in action. After an overnight stay at Harrah’s Joliet in historic Joliet, Ill., Day 2 will include a barge trip on the Mississippi River — a vital waterway for shipping U.S. agricultural goods around the world, as well as a visit to the John Deere Harvester Works.
The one-day tour on Tuesday, June 3, will feature insights into crop research and production at DuPont Pioneer, and advances in swine nutrition and feed ingredients at Kemin’s new research center. Leading Midwestern pork producers will join the group for lunch at an Iowa institution, The Machine Shed Restaurant. A stop at the John Deere Des Moines Works will provide a look at equipment used by both livestock and crop farmers. A visit to a new, innovative Hy-Vee grocery store will provide a look at the U.S. retail food sector.
Tuesday evening, both tour groups will have dinner with National Pork Board representatives at the organization’s headquarters, with a chance to learn about NPB’s research, education and promotional programs — including international activities.
“These tours are a particularly good opportunity for visitors from other countries to get a perspective on U.S. agricultural businesses and practices,” says Howard Hill, NPPC president and Iowa pork producer. “Then, as they participate in World Pork Expo, they can apply their real-world insights to the products and technologies on display within the trade show, as well as the seminars and other educational activities.”