The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is offering two tours for visitors who want a first-hand look at Midwest agriculture before World Pork Expo gets underway on June 5-7. A two-day tour on June 3-4 is underwritten by the Illinois Soybean Association, and will display the diversity of U.S. agriculture, from crops to livestock and shipping to agribusiness. 

The one-day tour, on June 4, will feature the rich agricultural areas in and around Des Moines. Both include meals on tour days, and free admission to World Pork Expo where visitors can enjoy the world’s largest pork-specific trade show, seminars, swine shows and sales, and more.

“While there’s no shortage of things to see at World Pork Expo, these tours offer an opportunity to gain a more intimate look at Iowa and U.S. agriculture, which is particularly valuable for guests from other countries,” says Greg Thornton, NPPC director of producer services. “Tour attendees will be able to visit with farmers and agribusiness experts face to face, and gain real-world perspectives to take back home.”

The chance to expand global interaction is what makes both World Pork Expo and these tours unique.

“U.S. pork producers have directly experienced the impact of an expanding and interconnected global market,” says Randy Spronk, NPPC president and pork producer from Pipestone, Minn. “It’s to everyone’s benefit to exchange ideas and learn from each other.”


Spotlight on Midwestern agriculture

On June 3-4, the Midwest Agriculture Tour will take guests to the ever-popular Cinnamon Ridge Farm near Donahue, Iowa, where they will see 4,000 acres of corn and soybeans, wean-to-finish swine facilities, as well as a beef operation and a dairy. A visit to the United States’ major shipping artery — the Mississippi River—will include lunch and a barge trip down the river, along with a grain-terminal tour. Other highlights will include tours of the Kinze Manufacturing plant and the John Deere Harvester Works manufacturing plant, as well as a dinner with area farmers and pork producers. 

For those with limited schedules, the one-day Agribusiness Tour on June 4 will feature Iowa-based agribusinesses, such as DuPont Pioneer, a developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics. A visit to Swine Genetics International will provide insight into U.S. swine genetics and reproductive technologies. Participants will gain an understanding of the U.S. food distribution channel with a walking tour of a major U.S. grocery chain. The John Deere Manufacturing facility in Ankeny, Iowa, will round out the tour with a look at the type of modern equipment that helps livestock and crop farmers work more efficiently. 

The National Pork Board (NPB) will host both tour groups for dinner at its headquarters on June 4. Attendees can visit with NPB representatives and learn about the group’s promotional, research and international programs.
Discounts for early registration 

Register early to receive a discounted tour rate. For the one-day Agribusiness Tour, the cost is $125 per person if registered by May 1, and $150 after that date. The registration fee for the two-day, Midwest Agriculture Tour, which includes hotel accommodations on Monday evening, is $300 per person by May 1, and $350 thereafter.

Both tours will begin and end at the Holiday Inn Des Moines-Airport. Included in the package is bus transportation, three meals during each day of the tours and a three-day pass to World Pork Expo. As an added bonus, tour attendees will have access to free transportation from the Holiday Inn Des Moines-Airport to World Pork Expo and back, June 5-7.