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Serving: IL

Quick Take: Winter farm meetings hit by COVID-19

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EVENT CHANGES: The Illinois Pork Expo, IFCA’s winter conference, ILFB’s annual meeting and Farm Bureau’s national convention are all going online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The North American International Livestock Exposition is also downsizing.
Three wintertime events for Illinois agriculture are canceled. National events from Farm Bureau and NAILE are also changing in response to the pandemic.

UPDATE: A Quick Take has been updated to reflect news for the virtual Illinois Farm Bureau annual meeting.

Illinois Pork Expo goes digital

Due to in-person meeting restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Pork Producers Association is canceling the 2021 Illinois Pork Expo.

Instead of an in-person event, IPPA will host a four-week video series during the month of February and a virtual annual meeting to conduct delegate business.

In place of a tradeshow, IPPA is developing a catalog: Chop Talk Special Edition. It will be distributed to over 1,100 mailboxes across Illinois in late January. Learn more at

The association is also seeking nominations for the 2021 family of the year award. It honors a pork-producing family who has contributed to the long-term success of the industry through leadership and pork promotion on the local and state levels.

Please submit nominations by email to by Nov. 2 with a brief description. Learn more at

The association is also accepting applications for an at-large director spot on its board of directors up until Dec. 21. Fill out this application and submit to It will be submitted for a vote at the 2021 annual meeting.

IFCA cancels winter conference

The Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association is canceling its two-day January convention and trade show at the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, Ill.

Instead, IFCA will hold a short virtual annual business meeting in January to announce its board of director election results and scholarship recipients. The organization will also provide an industry update. Throughout the winter, IFCA plans to provide online educational opportunities for certified crop advisers and industry members as well. Learn more at

This past summer, IFCA had to cancel its popular summer equipment show, the Midwest Ag Industries Expo. The organization has announced the next MAGIE will take place Aug. 25-26 at the McLean County Fairgrounds in Bloomington, Ill. The next winter convention will take place Jan. 18-20, 2022, at the Peoria Civic Center.

ILFB annual meeting goes virtual

Illinois Farm Bureau’s annual meeting is going virtual to comply with the governor’s guidelines for COVID-19. The event’s county awards and several other annual awards are canceled for 2020, ILFB says.

ILFB plans to proceed with in-person farmer-delegate participation at 18 regional locations from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 5. Masks are required per state guidelines that ILFB will enforce.

This will be scaled down considerably from the typical gathering at Chicago’s Palmer House. President Richard Guebert’s address will begin at 10 a.m. on Dec. 5.

Further details will be released later at

American Farm Bureau Convention to be held online

The American Farm Bureau Federation will hold its 102nd annual convention online after the venue, the San Diego Convention Center, canceled all events through Jan. 31 next year.

The 2021 American Farm Bureau Virtual Convention, to be held Jan. 10-13, will focus on the issues facing agriculture, including the impact of COVID-19, sustainability and the future of the supply chain.

The free online event will bring home American Farm Bureau Convention favorites, from the Ag Innovation Challenge to the Ag Foundation Book of the Year.

Registration for the 2021 American Farm Bureau Virtual Convention will open later this year and will be free to all attendees. Further details on the event can be found at

NAILE limited to exhibitors

The North American International Livestock Exposition at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville is still scheduled for Nov. 6-20, but organizers are downsizing the annual event to follow state COVID-19 guidelines.

While those showing livestock are still allowed to come to NAILE, the Country Store tradeshow with over 400 vendors is canceled. Smaller, essential livestock show supply stores will be relocated and spread throughout the property. The three-day North American Championship Rodeo is also canceled for 2020.

While most 2020 meetings are canceled at NAILE, the Junior College, National Collegiate and 4-H judging competition meetings will still take place. They’ll be in larger spaces than in previous years, including Broadbent Arena, Freedom Hall and East Hall.

Award banquets are canceled, with a virtual award show to replace them. Additionally, auctions will be livestreamed from the show to reduce the number of participants.

To enter the event, attendants will have to sign paperwork to confirm they haven’t been to a state with a COVID-19 positivity rate equal to or greater than 15% 14 days prior to the date of their scheduled arrival time. Check for any changes to this and other policies ahead of Nov. 6.

To further limit attendance at the event, the llama, mules/jacks and draft horses shows are canceled for 2020. Participants entering swine, market goats and wether dam goats will only be allowed to enter eight head of livestock in 2020 instead of 12 head of livestock. The dairy goat show is canceled due to lack of entries.

Badges to enter NAILE are limited, as well:

Small animals. Participants with sheep, goats and swine will receive three badges if they bring one to five head, four badges if they bring six to 10 head, five badges if they bring 11 to 15 head, and six badges if they bring more than 16 head.

Large animals. Participants with beef and dairy cattle will receive three badges if they bring one to five head, five badges if they bring six to 10 head, seven badges if they bring 11 to 15 head, and eight badges if they bring more than 16 head.

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