Thousands of pork producers from across the region will be meeting in the heart of the nation’s top pork-producing state this week. The 38th annual Iowa Pork Congress runs Wednesday and Thursday in Des Moines. Greg Lear, of Spencer, is chairman of this year’s event, one of the largest in the Midwest.

Lear says some 300 exhibitors will be showing their wares to some 5,000 visitors at the trade show. Lear says the two-day event will feature an array of workshops and speakers. Some of the topics include: Management for Risky Business, Environmental Regulations, The Crystal Ball Says… and Maintaining the Bottom Line.

The keynote speaker on Wednesday is Michele Payn-Knoper who will be using humor and kick-boxing moves to address “Celebrating Agriculture.” Lear has been involved with the Pork Congress for nearly 25 years. He says he’s seeing some positive times ahead for the state’s pork producers. Worldwide, he says, there’s been a large contraction of the sow herds.

Mexico has lost much of its sow population and is now buying a lot of U.S. pork products, while Canada is now our biggest competitor on the world market, yet Canada’s numbers are dropping, presenting an opportunity for the U.S. to rebound. For more about the Iowa Pork Congress, visit: ““.

The event is underway at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines.

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City