Pork-Congress-logoThe state’s pork producers are gathered in Des Moines for the 44th annual Iowa Pork Congress.

County delegates will convened for the annual meeting Tuesday to discuss proposed resolutions and other issues important to the pork industry.

Iowa Pork Producers Association spokesman Ron Birkenholz says the trade show along with educational seminars start today.

He says the seminars are always popular and they have 11 new ones this year. There are almost 300 companies with more than 500 trade show booths. Birkenholz says the seminars will focus on many swine health issues, including the deadly disease PRRS.

“PRRS is a continuing problem for this industry, it’s cost the industry millions and millions of dollars over the years,” Birkenholz says. He says they will have veterinarians to talk about how to control this and other swine diseases.

The Pork Princess is usually chosen at the annual event, but Birkenholz says the pork producers are starting something a little bit different this year. “We won’t have a pork princess. We have 15 candidates, the top female will be our pork queen. The two runners-up — male or female — will be our pork ambassadors for 2016,” Birkenholz explains. The trade show runs through Thursday.

(Reporting by Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)