Iowa Pork Congress getting underway in Des Moines

DES MOINES — As many as 5,000 pork producers from across Iowa will be in Des Moines this week for the 47th annual Iowa Pork Congress.

Greg Hora, of Fort Dodge, is president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association which is hosting the convention. While some events started last night, the main draw is the industry trade show, which runs Wednesday and Thursday.

“What we really want to highlight is over 300 exhibitors that come in to over 500 exhibit booth spaces in Hy-Vee Hall,” Hora says. “These range from not just production and science and technology but new innovations and we’ll be showcasing over 30 new products and companies this year.” Speakers and seminars will run the same days as the trade show, and one talk is focused on biosecurity and swine disease preparedness.

“We have animal diseases out here that we’re well aware of over in China with the African Swine Fever right now,” Hora says. “We’re trying to make sure that type of disease never happens on the shores of the United States or in any of our Iowa pig farms.”

Events last night included the Taste of Elegance cooking contest, featuring a dozen chefs from across Iowa who whipped up a variety of dishes using pork. The association’s business meeting is Tuesday along with an auction to raise money for a youth scholarship program.