The 33rd World Pork Expo made a much-anticipated return to the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, June 9 to 11. The Expo is presented by the National Pork Producers Council and features the world’s largest pork-specific trade show. More than 10,000 producers, employees and pork industry professionals attended the three-day event.
“This year’s Expo attendance was a great success given that it did not include a live swine show as in past years, and international attendees and exhibiting companies were unable to attend this year,” said NPPC President Jen Sorenson, communications director for Iowa Select Farms in West Des Moines, Iowa. “Expo has evolved into a tremendous networking opportunity where producers meet with others in the industry, and it also provides easy access to compare products and technologies and to collect the latest information from a wide range of seminars.”
Producers get down to business
The Expo trade show and hospitality tents offer producers and allied industry professionals an opportunity to interact, ask questions and find answers for pork production’s ongoing needs. Exhibitors reported that producers presented a positive attitude about the current state of U.S. pork production.
“Producers’ attitudes are good; markets are good right now,” said Nick Siedelmann, swine sales specialist, Alltech South Dakota. “Expo is valuable to us because we’re able to connect our executive team with customers all in one place. It would take us months to accomplish what we did in one day.”
He pointed to three topics that resurfaced during nearly every conversation that the Alltech team had at Expo. Producers are nervously watching dry weather patterns and the developing crops; ongoing challenges presented by a severe porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus strain; and the future productivity state of the Chinese pork industry as it relates to their African swine fever exposure.
Biosecurity is always an important topic to producers and that was reinforced by strict precautions at the show, as well as a special exhibit area that was dedicated to biosecurity products and services.
First-time exhibitor Maria Paula Garces, marketing manager, PathO3Gen Solutions, reported that Expo provided good perspective on the pork industry and how committed producers are to animal health within their operations.
“Producers were very knowledgeable and curious and I really appreciate how forward thinking this industry is,” Garces said. “The people are willing to embrace technology and are willing to invest in having safe, healthy operations.”
In all, the 2021 trade show featured 700 vendors displaying new and familiar products across more than 300,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibit space.
Another 50 hospitality tents spread along the fairgrounds’ Grand Concourse and Ruan Plaza and provided a festive atmosphere for allied industry representatives to meet with customers in a relaxed business setting.
Seminars provide solutions and guidance for future decisions
Producers and their employees also could tap into a wealth of information by attending any of the 19 free seminars presented during the Expo.
Business seminars, offered by allied industry companies, presented information on record keeping and data management to environmental sustainability, methane and manure management topics to swine nutrition strategies to future technologies and much more.
Pork Academy seminars address timely topics such as hog pricing tools and strategies, production contract negotiation, labor challenges, global pork demand and market diversification, succession planning and more.
“The seminars are a truly valuable aspect of Expo,” Sorenson said. “To have access to that amount of information and expertise is a priceless opportunity. Producers and their employees can return home with new ideas and practices that they can use immediately or apply to their longer-term decision-making strategies.”
Plan ahead for World Pork Expo 2022
Not to be overlooked, the Big Grill, staffed once again by Iowa’s Tama County Pork Producers Association, served up 5,000 free pork lunches during the three days of World Pork Expo 2021. That mouth-watering pork is something attendees at next year’s event can look forward to enjoying as well.
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World Pork Expo will return to the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines on June 8 to 10, 2022, to celebrate its 34th year.
“We are very pleased with the 2021 Expo, particularly after a two-year hiatus,” said Neil Dierks, CEO, National Pork Producers Council. “This year’s show reaffirms the importance of producers, vendors and others coming together at Expo to gather and learn. We look forward to the 2022 World Pork Expo.”
So save those dates and make plans to join thousands of producers and industry professionals to network, learn about the latest innovations, enjoy some free pork and so much more.