Iowa Pork Congress cancels trade show segment due to pandemic

Rod Swoboda Attendees at a past Iowa Pork Congress trade show
CANCELED: The trade show portion of Iowa Pork Congress, North America’s biggest winter swine event, will not be held in 2021.
Pandemic prompts Iowa pork producers to scale back annual event in Des Moines.

The January Iowa Pork Congress will look a lot different than the 48 previous annual events hosted by the Iowa Pork Producers Association. The IPPA board of directors has canceled the event’s trade show, which would have been held Jan. 27-28 in Des Moines. IPPA announced this decision Dec. 2 in a press release.

The trade show and educational sessions held during the two days typically attract 4,000 to 5,000 people involved in pork production in Iowa and the Midwest.

“We are scaling back our annual winter convention to help control the spread of coronavirus,” said Pat McGonegle, CEO of IPPA. “While the trade show is canceled, we still plan to hold the IPPA annual business meeting Jan. 26. We are working closely with the Iowa Events Center staff to ensure people attending our IPPA annual meeting can be safe and social distance.”

Portions streamed online

At its business meeting, IPPA plans to hold its Master Pork Producers Awards program both in person and online. It will be streamed online for those unable to attend in person.

IPPA is postponing until later next year its annual Taste of Elegance restaurant event that usually kicks off the Iowa Pork Congress, and the youth swine judging contest that normally occurs at the end.

 “We are disappointed to cancel the trade show, and to postpone some of the other events typically held during Iowa Pork Congress,” said IPPA President Mike Paustian, an eastern Iowa pork producer. “In making this decision we relied on our We Care Iowa program’s core values: caring for the people in our communities and working together to solve the big issues our communities face. And today that big issue is coronavirus.”

At the Jan. 26 business meeting, IPPA will announce the 2021 Iowa Pork Youth Leadership Team. Both the awards program and announcement of the youth team will be seated events held in rooms that allow social distancing.

“And we will also stream them online for people who choose to watch from their homes,” McGonegle said.

Education seminars virtual

The educational sessions for swine producers held each year as part of Iowa Pork Congress will move to online only in 2021. The Iowa Pork Foundation Auction will also move to a virtual format. As more details on the programming for these two events are developed, the information will be shared at iowaporkcongress.org.

Looking ahead, the 2022 Iowa Pork Congress and trade show is scheduled for Jan. 26-27, 2022, in Des Moines.

In March, the National Pork Producers Council canceled the 2020 World Pork Expo, a summer convention slated to be held in Des Moines. NPPC canceled it because of the COVID-19 pandemic. NPPC said its board of directors was “deeply disappointed” but agreed the move would help producers focus on feeding Americans at a time when the swine industry was being severely disrupted.

Source: IPPA, which is responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and its subsidiaries aren’t responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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