Pork producers from Iowa and around the Midwest are invited to attend the 2009 Iowa Pork Congress Jan. 28-29, at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

This is the Iowa Pork Producers Association's 37th annual show, and it features a giant trade show, an array of seminars with expert presenters, youth activities and networking and social opportunities.

The nation's largest winter swine trade show will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 28 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 29 at Hy-Vee Hall and Veterans' Memorial Auditorium. Almost anything a pork producer needs to run a successful swine operation is available from one or more of the nearly 300 companies that will be on hand to market their latest products and services, say organizers.

Iowa Pork Congress is one of the premier swine events because of the variety of industry people and companies involved, says Iowa Pork Congress Committee Chairman Greg Lear, a producer from Spencer, Iowa. "Whether it's feed, animal health or mechanical, these companies bring the best people they have and put on the best show at the best attended Pork Congress in the Midwest."

Producers also can learn how to be more successful by attending the many seminars that are available at Iowa Pork Congress. Some of the industry's leading experts will be on hand to share information and lead thought-provoking discussions with attendees. Producers can learn how to provide a healthier work environment, discover the keys to successful employee management and find out how to measure and control energy costs. Seminars on sow housing and animal well-being, mortality composting and emergency planning and Iowa environmental regulations also are scheduled.

"The seminars offer something for everyone to learn how to improve the efficiency of their operation - from feed, to animal handling, to farrowing," says Lear.

A new feature in 2008 is returning for the 2009 Iowa Pork Congress. The Demonstration Area will feature a presentation on swine necropsy by an Iowa State University expert. Producers also will hear from an Iowa Pheasants Forever representative on how to improve their farms' aesthetics.

Headlining the list of outstanding speakers and facilitators at the 2009 Iowa Pork Congress is Montana logger and activist Bruce Vincent, who will be the featured keynote speaker. Vincent will draw on his own experiences to share his vision of how pork producers can improve the perception of the industry.

In addition to the trade show and seminars, attendees can visit with other pork producers and industry experts throughout the show and attend the various social events. Several youth activities also will be offered. New to Pork Congress in 2009 is the 4-H and FFA Swine Judging Contest. Any 4-H or FFA members interested in learning more about judging hogs are invited to participate.

"Our focus this year is to try to get younger kids involved in pork production and show them it's not just raising hogs or farrowing the sows," Lear says. "There's also credit lenders, feed supply companies and a lot of other avenues and with the judging contest, we're going to try to expose a lot more junior and senior high school students to our industry."

Pork producers, allied business partners and students are encouraged to attend the two-day show. Pork Congress is held for decision makers in farrowing, finishing and seedstock production, production employees, veterinarians or anyone with an interest in the swine industry.

IPPA members and non-members can save money when they pre-register to attend Pork Congress.  IPPA members who pre-register receive free admission, for non-members it's $5 per person. Registration can be completed at www.iowaporkcongress.org. As an added bonus, those pre-registering to attend Pork Congress will be entered in drawings for prizes, including Iowa and Iowa State men's basketball tickets, hotel stays and more. Registration at the door is $10 per person.

For more information, call IPPA at (515) 225-7675 or (800) 372-7675.

Source: IPPA