Over 10,000 producers from across the U.S. attended the event
By Jackie Clark
Pork producers from across the U.S. gathered in Des Moines for the triumphant return of the World Pork Expo. In 2019 the event was cancelled because of biosecurity concerns due to African swine fever (ASF). In 2020, COVID-19 was the cause of cancellation.
But from June 8-11 this year, farmers and other pork industry stakeholders reconnected.
“The event was fabulous,” Doug Fricke, National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) director of trade show marketing, told Farms.com. The expo involved a full trade show, outdoor equipment demonstrations, seminars and more than 50 hospitality tents.
“We had a number of companies that weren’t able to make it due to COVID restrictions by their companies, or not being able to get into the U.S. to do those kinds of events,” he explained. But “the producers didn’t seem to skip a beat. They came out in droves.”
Over 10,000 people attended the event. World Pork Expo organizers put measures in place to protect attendees from the spread of either COVID-19 or ASF, including four biosecurity checkpoints.
“Having that kind of attendance was a pleasant experience. Lots of smiles, really good attitudes. People were really happy to get together,” Fricke said.
Seminar topics included markets and contracting, new technologies, progress toward sustainability, and swine health.
“Those were very well attended,” he said. “In a normal year a lot of people have many opportunities to catch up on those things. This year, I think it was really the first time they could sit in a room and get a feel for what people were trying to get across and get information to take back to their operations.”
The Expo was also a timely opportunity to strategize around pressing issues.
“After a two-year absence, we’re thrilled for the return of Work Pork Expo, showcasing the latest developments in the U.S. pork industry,” said Jen Sorenson, in a June 9 release. He’s president of the NPPC and communications director of Iowa Select Farms in West Des Moines, Iowa.
“U.S. pork producers have a number of near-term challenges and priorities, including a federal court ruling that, if implemented later this month, will cause tremendous harm to hog farmers across the country,” he explained. “We need the Biden administration to quickly intervene and prevent this disastrous scenario from becoming reality.”
Most of the farmers in attendance were U.S. producers, however “we did have international guests that attended from Canada, South and Central America,” Fricke explained.
“The overall feel was phenomenal. I’ve done this show for 15 years and it’s never felt like this before,” he added.
Next year’s event is scheduled to take place June 8-10 2022.
NPPC World Pork Expo photo