Mark your calendar for the 2014 World Pork Expo, June 4-6, at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa. It is sponsored by the National Pork Producers Council.
"If you're shopping for new products and technologies, want the latest information on production management, legislative issues and markets, or are looking to exchange ideas with pork producers and other professionals, World Pork Expo is the event for you," says Alicia Newman, World Pork Expo's general manager.
In 2013, nearly 20,000 pork producers, their employees and other professionals from 39 countries attended Expo, and organizers expect similar attendance this year.
Online registration is already open at www.worldpork.org. Register early to secure the discounted admission fee of $5 for an adult (ages 12 and up), which provides entry for the entire Expo — a $10-per-person savings over the on-site fee.
The trade show will feature more than 400 exhibitors. It is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 4, and Thursday, June 5. On Friday, June 6, trade show hours run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Free educational seminars on Wednesday and Thursday present updates on current management issues and research. Experts discuss topics from animal health and well-being to production management to legislative updates to feeding strategies and more, all designed to provide practical information to take back home.
Business seminars, also scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, address a range of marketing and business strategies and present an opportunity for questions and dialogue.
Live hogs will be on display in the swine barn from June 3-7. The World Pork Expo Junior National, hosted by the National Junior Swine Association and Team Purebred, now ranks among the premier youth shows in the United States.
In 2013, a record 1,600 pigs were exhibited by 678 juniors from 26 states. More details about show rules and entries are available at NJSA's website.
Also at Expo, swine breeding stock will compete in the purebred, open shows. Last year, more than 200 exhibitors competed for top honors with nearly 600 hogs. Breeding stock sales are held Saturday, June 7, from 8 a.m. until completion.
MusicFest, scheduled for Thursday afternoon, has evolved into the social highlight of Expo. It's a time when attendees can relax, listen to music, connect with colleagues, and enjoy some delicious pork and refreshments.
It wouldn't be World Pork Expo without the Big Grill, and during each of event's three days attendees can stop by for a free lunch of succulent pork. Manned by the Tama County Pork Producers Association from Iowa, the Big Grill serves up some 10,000 pork lunches each year.
"World Pork Expo offers something for everyone. It's a great place to connect with fellow pork producers and compare notes," says Randy Spronk, NPPC president. "It's also the one place where you can see all the latest developments in pork production and find business solutions that you can take back home. If you're involved in pork production, you need to be at World Pork Expo."
To learn more about the 2014 World Pork Expo, check out www.worldpork.org.