The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has developed two tours in conjunction with the 2014 World Pork Expo for visitors who want a further glimpse into U.S agriculture. A two-day tour, June 2-3, will feature a broad agricultural overview, from crop and pork production, to farm equipment and shipping. A one-day tour will highlight agribusiness in central Iowa. Both options include meals on tour days and free admission to World Pork Expo, the world's largest pork-specific trade show.
"These tours give visitors first-hand exposure to U.S. agriculture and farming methods for both grain and pork production," says Greg Thornton, NPPC director of producer services. "They provide an excellent snapshot of the Midwest, which many feel is the breadbasket of the world."
A look at Midwest agriculture
The two-day tour, underwritten by the Illinois Soybean Association, will venture into eastern Iowa, western Illinois and northern Indiana, giving visitors an up-close look at U.S. corn and soybean production. A highlight will be an afternoon at the Pig Adventure at Fair Oaks Farms, which shows visitors modern pork production in action. After an overnight stay at Harrah's Joliet in historic Joliet, Ill., Day 2 will include a barge trip on the Mississippi River - a vital waterway for shipping U.S. agricultural goods around the world, as well as a visit to the John Deere Harvester Works.
The one-day tour on Tuesday, June 3, will feature insights into crop research and production at DuPont Pioneer, and advances in swine nutrition and feed ingredients at Kemin's new research center. Leading Midwestern pork producers will join the group for lunch at an Iowa institution, The Machine Shed Restaurant. A stop at the John Deere Des Moines Works will provide a look at equipment used by both livestock and crop farmers. A visit to a new, innovative Hy-Vee grocery store will provide a look at the U.S. retail food sector.
Tuesday evening, both tour groups will have dinner with National Pork Board representatives at the organization's headquarters, with a chance to learn about NPB's research, education and promotional programs - including international activities.
"These tours are a particularly good opportunity for visitors from other countries to get a perspective on U.S. agricultural businesses and practices," says Howard Hill, NPPC president and Iowa pork producer. "Then, as they participate in World Pork Expo, they can apply their real-world insights to the products and technologies on display within the trade show, as well as the seminars and other educational activities."
Sign up early to secure a spot
The registration deadline for both tours is Friday, May 2. The fee for the one-day tour is US$175 per person. The cost of the two-day tour, which includes hotel accommodations for the night of June 2, is $400 per person. Space for both tours is limited, so don't delay.
Both tours will start and end at the Holiday Inn Des Moines-Airport. Included in the packages are bus transportation and three meals during each day of the tour. Registration also includes a three-day pass to World Pork Expo, and access to free transportation between the hotel and Expo grounds, June 4-6.
For more information
The website also has the latest details about room availability at the official Expo hotels, a schedule of activities, and answers to frequently asked questions about traveling to World Pork Expo. Regular updates are available when you connect with World Pork Expo on Facebook, follow World Pork Expo on Twitter or download the official app by searching for "World Pork" in the Apple Store, Android Market or Blackberry's App World.
World Pork Expo takes place June 4-6 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. More than 400 commercial exhibits will be on display from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 4, and Thursday, June 5, as well as from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, June 6. The swine breeding stock sales will take place on Saturday, June 7, from 8 a.m. until they're completed (at approximately noon).
World Pork Expo, the world's largest pork-specific trade show, is brought to you by NPPC. On behalf of its members, NPPC develops and defends export markets, fights for reasonable legislation and regulation, and informs and educates legislators.