A full slate of seminars and a growing trade show await producers at the annual Iowa Pork Congress, scheduled for Jan. 22-23 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

Many of this year’s seminars involve panel discussions, says Jamee Eggers, producer education director for the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

“We have tried these in the past and they are very popular with producers,” she says. “I think producers enjoy more peer to peer interaction.”

African swine fever is the focus of a couple of seminars. Eggers says the spread of the disease in Asia and Eastern Europe has heightened awareness as the industry takes steps to keep the disease off U.S. soil.

The educational seminars begin Jan. 22 at 9:30 a.m. and continue through the end of the event Jan. 23. Other topics include nuisance lawsuits, building ventilation and maintenance, price outlook, risk management and antibiotic usage.

Andy Curliss of the North Carolina Pork Council will deliver the keynote address Jan. 22 at 10:45 a.m.

Other activities are planned, including PQA Plus and TQA certification.

Eggers says there are several new exhibitors at the trade show, which has expanded further into the events center.

“We expect very good attendance in the 5,000-plus range,” she says.

The youth judging contest also returns, and Eggers says that event continues to grow in popularity.

The week also includes the Taste of Elegance competition Jan. 20 and the annual meeting of the IPPA board of directors Jan. 21.

Iowa Pork Congress Schedule

Wednesday, January 22

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Iowa Pork Congress Trade Show

9:30-10:30 a.m. Seminar: Coffee Chat with Eldon — A Nuisance Case Discussion with Eldon McAfee, Brick Gentry Law Firm

10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PQA Plus Certification

10:45-11:45 a.m. Keynote: “When Reptiles Invade” with Andy Curliss, NC Pork Council

12:45-1:45 p.m. Seminar: Producer Experience from the ASF Functional Exercise Producer Panel Discussion

1-3:30 p.m. TQA Certification

2-3:30 p.m. Workshop: Is Your Farm Ready for a Foreign Animal Disease? with Amanda Chipman and Kristin Olsen, Iowa Pork Industry Center

2-3 p.m. Seminar: Calling All Fans of Good Ventilation Panel Discussion

3:15-4:15 p.m. Seminar: Prices & Profitability: Economic Outlook with Dr. Steve Meyer & Joe Kerns

4-6 p.m. Iowa Pork Congress Producer Recognition Reception

6-9 p.m. Iowa Pork Congress Banquet

9-10 p.m. Iowa Pork Congress Dessert Social

Thursday, January 23

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Iowa Pork Congress Youth Swine Judging Contest

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Iowa Pork Congress Trade Show

9:15-10:15 a.m. Seminar: Foreign Experience with ASF Panel Discussion

10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Training: Manure Applicators Certification

10:30-11:30 a.m. Seminar: Contracts, Insurance, and Risk Management, Oh my! What can you do to protect yourself, your farm, and your pigs from disasters? with Colin Johnson, ISU Swine Extension

11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Seminar: Alternatives to Antibiotics Panel Discussion

1-2 p.m. Seminar: Tools for Managing Margins, A CIH Presentation

2-3 p.m. Seminar: Building Maintenance & Longevity Panel Discussion

3-4 p.m. Seminar: Manure + Cover Crops Research & Experience Panel Discussion

4 p.m. Convention concludes

See more online at http://www.iowaporkcongress.org/.

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Jeff DeYoung is livestock editor for Iowa Farmer Today, Missouri Farmer Today and Illinois Farmer Today.