2018 Pork Congress

Pork producers gather on the trade show floor at the 2018 Pork Congress.

MINNEAPOLIS – For the 52nd time, pork producers from across Minnesota will gather in the Twin Cities for the annual Minnesota Pork Congress. Held at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Pork Congress takes place Feb. 5-6.

“It’s Minnesota’s only trade show that is specific to pig farmers – directed toward their needs and information sharing for them,” said Pam Voelkel, director of Events and Promotions with the Minnesota Pork Board.

Before the event kicks off at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 5, pork producers will hold their annual meetings. On Monday, Feb. 4, the Minnesota Pork Board will hold their annual meeting in the morning and the Minnesota Pork Producers will meet in the afternoon at the Minneapolis Hilton.

“It is important that producers are able to attend those meetings,” said Voelkel. “It would be great to have them there and have their voices heard.”

Those meetings will include updates and summaries of activities and programs over the past year and plans for the next year. The financial records for both groups will be reviewed and they will be electing new board members.

“We will have an update from Bill Even, our National Pork Board CEO, along with the National Pork Producer Council CEO on national level issues and programming,” said Jill Resler, Minnesota Pork Board COO.

Other topics that are likely to come up during the meetings are of high concern among pork producers. Foreign animal disease, the import/export market and new technologies like cultured protein are all in the forefront of producers’ minds.

“I think certainly all those topics, along with the current legislative environment likely will come up in our discussions,” said Resler.

Following the meetings, invited guests can attend the awards reception and the Taste of Elegance event.

The following two days of trade show and learning seminars are not to be missed out on.

“We have over 150 exhibitors this year, companies that are exhibiting on the trade show floor – anywhere from animal health to swine housing,” Voelkel said. “We have some solar panel people that will be there, so just a wide variety of things for farmers to look at.”

A full list of exhibitors, as well as a schedule of events, can be found on the Pork Congress website, mnporkcongress.com.

The seminars planned for the event will cover a wide range of topics. There is a talk on foreign animal disease preparedness, working with the Minnesota Pollution Control agency, and current trade and economic conditions, just to name a few.

A full list is available on the website as well as registration for the event.

“It is a good time, not only for coming and learning, hearing some new things and seeing some of the new trends that are happening within the industry, but also just to socialize, meet with other farmers, learn what everyone is doing,” said Voelkel.