The Pork Expo consisted of a trade show with 147 exhibit booths (representing 124 companies), numerous educational seminars for producers, an awards banquet honoring dedicated volunteers, and auctions to support IPPA efforts.
“We had an impressive line-up of speakers, one of our best ever and was a highlight for many of the attendees,’ said Jim Kaitschuk, IPPA Executive Director. “The seminars were well attended and gave producers some insight to the many challenges continuing to face the pork industry.”
This year’s seminars featured industry experts such as Phil Seng, chief executive office of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, addressed pork export growth; Mark Greenwood of Ag Star Financial discussed the industry's economic outlook; Bob Morrison, DVM, from the University of Minnesota, who discussed greenhouse gases and carbon credits; and Chad Gregory, senior vice president of the United Egg Producers discussing the Human Society of the United States' state ballot initiatives.
Wes Jamison from Palm Beach Atlantic University was the keynote speaker and discussed HSUS campaign using animals, politics and religion to attack animal agriculture. He challenged producers to get engaged in this fight.
Seminars were also offered specifically for show pig, purebred breeders and the youth sector. “We continue to make the Pork Expo as relevant to a variety of pork producer audiences as possible,” said Conrady.
IPPA raised $34,000 at the annual Pork Production Auction. Businesses donated 47 pork production related items such as feed, pharmaceuticals, and equipment that were sold to the highest bidder. The money raised at the auction provides funds for IPPA non-checkoff programs, such as legislative representation.
On Feb. 2, IPPA honored retiring board members, the retiring Illinois Pork Ambassador, and IPPA award winners at the annual Awards Banquet. IPPA recognized individuals who have contributed time and effort improving the pork industry in Illinois. Recipients included the following:
· Distinguished Service Award- Jill Appell, a pork producer from Altona, IL.
· Illinois Pork Producer Family of the Year Award- Keller Grain and Livestock – Art & Alice; Bob & Donna; and Jason and Anna Keller from Sainte Marie, IL
· Pork Promoter of the Year Award- Mollie Fesser from Farmersville, IL
· Environmental Steward Award- Kitley Farms – Kent & Tracy Kitley from Clay County