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Iowa Pork Congress to be mostly virtual this year

DES MOINES — The Iowa Pork Congress will be held this week but the pandemic is forcing a series of major changes from years past.

Iowa Pork Producers Association spokeswoman Dal Grooms says the first event is at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning in Des Moines.

“We are going to start the week off with our annual meeting but that will be the only in-person event that we have,” Grooms says. “Then we’ll have education sessions and those are all going to be one-hour virtual sessions. Of course, there’s not going to be any trade show available to producers, and we know how much they love that.”

The 2020 event, which usually brings 5,000 producers to Iowa’s capital city, was canceled due to COVID-19. Grooms says a host of top-notch speakers are lined up for this year’s edition.

“Our keynoter is Damian Mason, an ag economist who also does some motivational and inspiring speaking,” Grooms says. “He’s going to be talking about different events that have happened in agriculture and how they’re going to impact producers in the future.” Mason’s talk is scheduled for noon on Wednesday, while there are two educational workshops planned for Thursday.

“One is going to be with Hannah Thompson-Weeman of the Animal Ag Alliance. She’s going to talk about some of the animal activists and what they’ve been doing and how producers can protect their farm and farm security,” Grooms says. “The other educational session is going to be about some of the new marketing opportunities that have been developed.”

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