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World Pork Expo returns after two years
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World Pork Expo returns after two years

WPX file photo

After a two-year hiatus caused by foreign animal disease concerns and the COVID-19 global pandemic, the World Pork Expo returns to the Iowa State Fairgrounds June 9-11.

“This will be the first expo since 2018, and it feels really good to be back,” says Doug Fricke, director of trade show marketing for the National Pork Producers Council. “Our board took a hard look at everything, and they felt this was the right move for everyone involved.”

Much of the expo remains the same as 2018, but there have been concessions made to COVID-19. That includes the absence of a live hog show, Fricke says.

However, the trade show has sold out when it comes to indoor space. Fricke says the outdoor portion of the trade show has expanded, providing ample opportunities for producers to talk to an assortment of vendors.

“We are continuing to add vendors outdoors. We have room to grow there,” he says.

Pork Academy and corporate-sponsored educational seminars remain an integral part of the expo. Fricke says he is pleased with this year’s lineup, which includes sessions on labor challenges, industry technology, sustainability and climate impact.

“There is going to be a lot of great information available to those who attend the expo,” he says.

The popular Big Grill has changed locations, moving to just west of the Jacobson Exhibition Center. Fricke says the new location is “much more conducive for a large group of people.”

He says biosecurity protocols will be enhanced, adding hand sanitizing stations will be located throughout the expo area. Fricke says NPPC will continue to monitor guidelines involving masks, etc.

“We want to make sure that we’re doing all we can to keep people safe,” he says.

More information on the World Pork Expo may be found online at worldpork.org.

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

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