A two-day trade show will highlight the Iowa Pork Congress, Jan. 26-27, providing Iowa and Midwest pork producers a chance for one-stop shopping. More than 300 exhibitors will provide displays. Also during the two days, 30 educational opportunities and a host of nationally known swine experts from leading universities will be on hand. All related events will take place at the new Hy-Vee Hall in downtown Des Moines. 

“Excitement is unusually high this year as producers are feeling the positive effects of a strong market,” says John Weber, chairman of IPPA's pork congress committee and a producer from Dysart, Iowa. “This is a great venue for producers who are interested in upgrading their facilities and seeing the newest products and technologies available.” 

The Iowa Pork Congress offers a variety of educational opportunities for pork producers throughout the show, including the latest information for controlling porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome, presented by Scott Dee, DVM, University of Minnesota; and understanding hyper-prolific sows, presented by George Foxcroft, University of Alberta, Canada.  Also featured will be new information on managing finishing pigs, presented by Joe Conner, DVM, Carthage Veterinary Clinic; and tips for maintaining finishing buildings, presented by Jay Harmon, Iowa State University.  Other educational topics include employee management, regulatory compliance and a variety of swine-finishing strategies.

New this year is a workshop on feed-mill management, sponsored by the American Feed Industry Association. This Thursday-only session will offer an intense look at all aspects of feed-mill management, such as feed particle size, transportation regulations, purchasing strategies and inventory management.  Presenters include Keith Benke, Kansas State University, and Jim Rydell with the AFIA. 

Pork University, a collection of company-sponsored seminars scheduled throughout two days, will feature new products, services and information related to important pork production issues.  Pork University will include the latest in auto-sorting technologies, antibiotic use issues, nutrition information and estate planning and investment considerations.

Producers also can visit with university experts at the "Pork Campus,” co-sponsored by Pork magazine. The experts will be on hand to offer free consultation to producers and answer questions on any production topic.

Preceding the Iowa Pork Congress is IPPA's Annual Delegate Meeting, held on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at the downtown Marriott Hotel.  Producer delegates will review financial reports, committee activity reports and will consider resolutions submitted by members, county pork producer organizations and IPPA committees.

Other events throughout the week include the Taste of Elegance, a culinary competition for chefs designed to inspire innovative ways to menu pork. It will be held Monday, Jan. 24. There's also the Iowa Pork Congress Kickoff Reception and Auction held Tuesday evening, Jan. 25.  Master Pork Producers, Master Seedstock Producers and the Pork All-American will be recognized during the Iowa Pork Congress Banquet, held Wednesday evening, Jan. 26. 

IPPA members will serve 2,500 pork burgers to downtown Des Moines workers and residents during the Winter Pork Picnic, a fundraiser for the Food Bank of Iowa. The event will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Capital Square on Wednesday, Jan. 26. 

Registration fee to attend the Iow Pork Congress is $5 for IPPA members and $10 for non-members. Show hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Jan. 26, and 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Jan. 27. For more information, call IPPA at (800) 372-7675 or visit www.iowaporkcongress.org