It’s less than a month till the start of the sixteenth World Pork Expo in Des Moines. Keith Berry is a farmer in Greencastle, Indiana, is president of the National Pork Producer’s Council. He says 30-thousand people come through the gates, and more than 500 exhibitors will have booths showing off products and the latest technology for producing pigs. Berry says he talks with other producers about what they get out of a trade show and farm expo of this size.He says they like the trade show, breed shows, seminars and sales, but probably best is being able to talk to other pork producers, and ask how they’ve solved problems they all deal with. Berry applauds the announcement this month of a coalition that’ll combine half-a-dozen commodity and farm-advocate groups to help livestock producers get the information, permits and compliance they need to survive and grow.Berry produces crops, but says they understand the livestock industry’s their biggest customer and if something happeneds to hurt livestock farmers, it affects the others. Berry says producers hope to meet at the Expo or even before, to discuss a national effort that would mirror Iowa’s coalition to benefit livestock producers. With prices reaching record highs for grain, beef, and dairy products, Berry says it’s looking like a good year for pork producers, too. Demand’s good for “protein sources,” in part because of popular low-carb diets but he also says it’s looking like another year for pork exports. The farmer says one out of every five people right now claims to be on some kind of high-protein diet, which is good news for meat producers. Berry says the world concerns over Mad Cow disease benefit swine producers, who may sell more pork to make up for other countries’ lowered imports of American beef. In March, Berry says we saw record levels of pork production but demand is good, and after prices had not been favorable in 28 of the last 32 months he says the combination of lots of animals selling at good prices “puts everybody in a better mood.” The World Pork Expo will run June 10 through the 12th at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.
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