The world's largest pork-specific trade show, the 2014 World Pork Expo will take place June 4 through 6 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. Anyone interested in pork production or connected with the pork industry is encouraged to attend the event, where over 400 commercial exhibits will be on display from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 4 and 5, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 6. The next day, the swine breeding stock sales will take place from 8 a.m. until finished. A discount admission price is available for visitors who register now.
World Pork Expo is brought to you by the National Pork Producers Council, and NPPC has two tours before the Expo for visitors who want a closer glimpse at U.S agriculture. A two-day tour just before the Expo on June 2 and 3 will give a broad view of Midwest agriculture, from crop and pork production to farm equipment and shipping. A one-day tour will highlight agribusiness in central Iowa.
"These tours give visitors first-hand exposure to U.S. agriculture and farming methods for both grain and pork production," says Greg Thornton, NPPC director of producer services. "They provide an excellent snapshot of the Midwest, which many feel is the breadbasket of the world."
A close look at Midwest agriculture
The two-day tour, underwritten by the Illinois Soybean Association, will venture into eastern Iowa, western Illinois and northern Indiana, giving visitors a close look at U.S. corn and soybean production. Visitors will get to see modern pork production in action with an afternoon at the Pig Adventure at Fair Oaks Farms. After overnighting at Harrah's Joliet in historic Joliet, Ill., participants will spend the second day on a barge trip on the Mississippi River — a vital waterway for shipping U.S. agricultural goods around the world, and a visit to the John Deere Harvester Works.
The one-day tour on Tuesday, June 3, will feature insights into crop research and production at DuPont Pioneer, and advances in swine nutrition and feed ingredients at Kemin's new research center. Leading Midwest pork producers will join the group for lunch at Iowa's Machine Shed Restaurant. A stop at the John Deere Des Moines Works will provide a look at equipment used by both livestock and crop farmers. A visit to a new, innovative Hy-Vee will give a look at the retail side.
Tuesday evening, both groups will eat dinner with National Pork Board representatives at NPB headquarters, with a chance to learn about NPB's research, education and promotional programs — including international activities.
"These tours are a particularly good opportunity for visitors from other countries to get a perspective on U.S. agricultural businesses and practices," says Howard Hill, NPPC president and Iowa pork producer. "Then, as they participate in World Pork Expo, they can apply their real-world insights to the products and technologies on display within the trade show, as well as the seminars and other educational activities."
Sign up early to secure a spot
Registration deadline for both tours is Friday, May 2. The one-day tour's fee is $175 per person. The fee for the two-day tour, which includes hotel accommodations for the night of June 2, is $400 per person. Both tours will start and end at the Holiday Inn Des Moines-Airport. Transportation and three meals each day of the tour are included. Registration also includes a three-day pass to World Pork Expo, and access to free transportation between the hotel and Expo grounds, June 4 through 6.
For more information and to register for the tours, visit the Expo's website and click "Attendees" on the blue registration button. Then, scroll down to "Industry Tours." The website also has the latest details about room availability at the official Expo hotels, a schedule of activities, and answers to frequently asked questions about traveling to World Pork Expo. Regular updates are available at the World Pork Expo Facebook page, Twitter (#NPPCWPX), and by downloading the official app by searching for "World Pork" in the Apple Store, Android Market or Blackberry's App World.