The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has announced it will offer three tours for people who want to experience Midwestern agriculture - and hospitality - at its finest before World Pork Expo opens on June 8. Pork producers from throughout the world can choose from a two-day tour highlighting livestock, crops and agribusinesses, as well as two one-day excursions featuring different agricultural destinations closer to Des Moines.
"Our goal is to enable Expo attendees to experience the diversity and importance of agriculture to Iowa, to the United States and to the world," says Bryan Humphreys, director of grassroots organization, LEADR, for NPPC. "Tour participants will have access to farm managers and agribusiness experts as they get to know fellow producers. And, once the tours are completed, they all will enjoy free admission to World Pork Expo."
Showcasing Midwestern agriculture
On June 6-7, the Midwest Agriculture Highlights Tour will take participants to see the locks-and-dam system that enables agricultural products to traverse the Mississippi River, a local soybean farm, and the John Deere Pavilion agricultural museum. By popular demand, the group also will visit Cinnamon Ridge Farms, which feature 4,000 acres of corn and soybeans, wean-to-finish swine facilities, a beef operation and a dairy.
"At Cinnamon Ridge Farms, participants will be able to see the inside of the hog building through a specially designed viewing room," says Humphreys. "It allows visitors to observe modern production without compromising the farm's security measures."
Monday evening will feature a special dinner with area farmers and pork producers.
Highlighting genetics and agribusiness
For those with limited schedules, two one-day tours are available. On Monday, June 6, Iowa Agriculture Tour participants will go to a Christensen Farms feed mill as well as one of the Midwest's largest food-distribution companies. Two stops at Iowa State University will include the newly remodeled College of Veterinary Medicine and the Meat Laboratory, a federally inspected, state-of-the-art facility that is set up for complete processing of meat animals and poultry.
The Tuesday-only Iowa Agribusiness Tour features stops at Swine Genetics International's boar-reproduction facility, Kemin Industries, a nutritional ingredient manufacturer, and Pioneer Hi-Bred, the world's leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics. Attendees will enjoy lunch at The Machine Shed, which has been featured on the Travel Channel.
Reserving your seat on a tour bus
All three tours begin and end in Des Moines, and include bus transportation. Registration for the two-day Midwest Agriculture Highlights Tour, which includes four meals and hotel accommodations on Monday evening, is $300 per person.
Individuals can participate in either the Iowa Agriculture Tour or the Iowa Agribusiness Tour for $125 per person, or enjoy both one-day tours for a total price of $200. Each of these tours includes a midday meal.
To register for any of these tours, which includes free admission to World Pork Expo, contact Humphreys at email@example.com or 515-864-7980.
Discovering more about the tours
To read more details about these pre-Expo tours visit www.worldpork.org, click on the "Producer" tab, then select "Industry Tour" from the Events & Activities pull-down menu. The website also has the latest details about room availability at the official Expo hotels as well as a schedule of activities. For more information, connect with World Pork Expo on Facebook and follow World Pork Expo on Twitter (use #NPPCWPX).
World Pork Expo takes place June 8-10 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. More than 450 commercial exhibits will be on display from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8, and Thursday, June 9, as well as from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, June 10. The breeding stock sales will continue on Saturday, June 11, from 8 a.m. until they're completed (at approximately noon).
World Pork Expo, the world's largest pork-specific trade show, is brought to you by the National Pork Producers Council. On behalf of its members, NPPC develops and defends export markets, fights for reasonable legislation and regulation, and informs and educates legislators. For more information, visit www.nppc.org.