The 2012 World Pork Expo attracted nearly 20,000 pork producers and industry leaders from 38 countries to Des Moines, Iowa, for the world’s largest pork-specific trade show. During three action-packed days, it offered seminars with the latest industry insights and management information, and a trade show featuring more than 400 exhibitors from throughout the world.
Sponsored by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), this year’s World Pork Expo set records for the number of pigs in the Junior National show and the quantity of meals served at the Big Grill, and featured the creation of the world’s largest pork burger during its well-attended MusicFest.
“People attending World Pork Expo this year were some of the most analytical and conscientious producers I’ve met, and they are serious about the industry,” said R C Hunt, NPPC president from Wilson, North Carolina. “They appreciated hearing about what’s happening with pork production, such as new research showing that a minority of pigs lives in group housing. And, we all found it exciting to see new innovations, designs and engineering that help us raise our animals responsibly wherever we farm.”
World’s largest pork-specific trade show
The trade-show buildings and outside exhibits were crowded throughout World Pork Expo as attendees viewed displays put on by more than 400 exhibitors from throughout the world. Expo exhibitors commented on the brisk activity, and the interest in learning about new products and services.
“The crowd was great Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with many producers considering expansion and remodels,” said Brian Rieck, product manager for AP, a swine-equipment company based in Assumption, Illinois. “We valued the chance to reconnect with customers, show our new products and hear feedback that enables us to help producers find solutions. This Expo is the best show we’ve had in years.”
Debbie Schoenbeck, owner of ITSI Provisions, a Walworth, Wisconsin, company that provides animal-health and swine-reproduction supplies, also talked about how Expo enables pork producers and companies to connect.
“This year’s Expo was phenomenal,” said Schoenbeck. “Attendance exceeded our expectations and producers were very positive. We enjoyed this chance to see customers we typically work with by phone, and we’ll be back in 2013!”
Setting new records
Once again, the World Pork Expo Junior National set a record for the number of pigs exhibited in the pedigreed barrow and gilt shows hosted by the National Junior Swine Association and Team Purebred. More than 700 junior exhibitors from 26 states competed with 2,177 head, a 25 percent increase from 2011.
Expo set another record by grilling the world’s largest pork burger, made with 260 pounds of pork and a 40-pound bun. Sponsors Hog Slat, Newton Grove, North Carolina, and the NPPC donated half of the pork burger to be served as pork sandwiches in Des Moines-area homeless shelters; the rest was enjoyed by Expo-goers during MusicFest.
“I appreciated the record-breaking pork burger, which was made possible by a company from my home state of North Carolina and used to help reduce hunger in central Iowa” said Hunt. “I also was impressed with the time both Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds spent with producers at Expo. It is very special to have this type of support for the work we do as pork producers.”
As this year’s Expo went into the record books, NPPC announced dates for the 2013 World Pork Expo, which will celebrate the event’s 25th anniversary. It will take place June 5-7 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa.