Midwest pig farmers who attend the 2020 Iowa Pork Congress on Jan. 22-23 in Des Moines will find a variety of educational seminar and training opportunities, along with more than 300 trade show exhibitors. All events will take place at Hy-Vee Hall in the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center downtown.
“The seminars and presenters will provide producers with practical information that can be put in place immediately, as well as market outlook and other ideas that can help guide future decision-making for both pig farmers and pork stakeholders,” says Trent Thiele, president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association and a producer from Elma in northeast Iowa.
“We have a great slate of seminars and speakers lined up,” Thiele says. “They will share information on issues pork producers face. We have two sessions on African swine fever and the relative threats of this disease to the hog industry today. We’ll hear from two farmers who’ve gone through the AFS training, and some speakers from foreign countries that have had to deal with this potentially devastating disease.”
Taking care of pigs as best you can and keeping the animals comfortable and healthy is the focus of some of the other presentations. Other topics include water quality protection practices and application of manure nutrients to farm fields. How to work cover crops into manure application fields will also be discussed.
Jan. 22 seminars
There will be five seminars on Jan. 22:
Nuisance case discussion, 9:30 a.m. Attorney Eldon McAfee of Brick Gentry Law Firm has represented many Iowa livestock farmers in cases claiming nuisance. Moderator Drew Mogler will encourage the audience to ask McAfee questions to find out how to proactively to head off similar lawsuits.
Threats to animal agriculture,10:45 a.m. Andy Curliss of the North Carolina Pork Council will discuss how coordinated advocacy is threatening the livestock industry. He’ll offer a look at ongoing attacks against the livestock industry and provide attendees with insight on how these attacks are being executed in strategy and tactics.
African swine fever preparedness,12:45 p.m. The presentation will cover a report on USDA’s September exercise on how the reaction system would work if African swine fever was diagnosed in the U.S. Three swine farms in Iowa participated in the exercise. Moderator Pam Zaabel will talk with farm representatives about what they learned regarding their own preparedness to respond, and what changes they are making now to their farm operations. Panelists are Heidi Vittetoe, a Washington County producer; Pete Thomas of Iowa Select Farms; and Ian Levis of Seaboard.
Ventilation systems for swine buildings, 2 p.m. D ifferent types of ventilation systems used in today's swine barns will be covered. Moderator Jay Harmon, an Iowa State University ag engineer, will discuss the types and their benefits with the panelists — Ray Foerster, Smithfield Hog Production; Fernando Gomez, PIC; and Doug Owens of New Fashion Pork.
Economic outlook for 2020, 3:15 p.m. Pig farmers will hear about factors that may impact producer profitability in the new year. Economists Steve Meyer and Joe Kerns, both of Kerns & Associates, will outline the livestock and crop issues that can make a difference in profitability.
Also, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Jan. 22, producers can choose to attend certification training for either Pork Quality Assurance Plus or Pork Quality Assurance.
Jan. 23 seminars
Five seminars are scheduled for Jan. 23:
More on African swine fever, 9:15 a.m. Producers can learn more about African swine fever. Andrew Hennenfent of the Iowa Department of Agriculture will discuss the topic with Todd Thurman of SwineTex Consulting who has experience in China; Ilia Zubtsov, a PIC technical consultant with experience in Russia; and Gary Flory of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, who has done carcass consulting with multiple countries.
Risk management using contracts and insurance, 10:30 a.m. Risk management is a critical to producers, whether they are faced with weather situations like floods or heavy snow, or disease threats. Colin Johnson of ISU Extension will moderate a panel on tools to protect yourself, your farm and your pigs. Panelists include Matt Berger, Gislason & Hunter LLP; Chris Pudenz, ISU economist; and Marty Pippett of Mark Crop Insurance.
Alternatives to antibiotics, 11:45 a.m. For producers who want to explore alternatives to antibiotics, Heather Fowler of the National Pork Board leads a discussion with researchers and veterinarians about options to use in swine production. Panelists include Nick Gabler, ISU animal science professor; Peter Schneider of Applegate; and a representative of Smithfield Hog Production.
Managing margins, 1 p.m. Managing margins in the futures and options markets may help farmers control financial risks. Tim Hughes of CIH will talk about those tools.
Facilities maintenance and management, 2 p.m. If you are looking for ways to improve the longevity of pig buildings through maintenance, this session will provide information on how to get the most value and years from your building investment. Moderator Brian Blumhagen of New Modern Concepts leads a panel including John Boleyn, Hog Slat; Matt Cunningham, Premier Ag Systems; and a representative from Precision Structures.
Cover crops in hog production, 3 p.m. As interest in using cover crops continues, there is also interest in learning about use of manure in fields where cover crops are planted. Dan Anderson, ISU manure management specialist, talks with two farmers about their experiences. The farmers are Steve Berger of Wellman and Mark Schleisman of Lake City.
Also, Confinement Site Manure Applicator certification training will be from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 23. Applicators should bring their manure applicator certification card to this session.
Registration and preregistration
Preregistration to attend the Iowa Pork Congress seminars and trade show is available through Jan. 9, or by calling 800-372-7675. IPPA members who preregister can attend Iowa Pork Congress free. Non-IPPA members can save $5 off the normal $10 admission cost by preregistering by Jan. 9.
Registration will be accepted after the deadline, including through each day of the show. The cost will be $10. For more information about events and registration, contact IPPA at 800-372-7675 or visit iowaporkcongress.org.