Thousands of pork producers and hundreds of vendors will be headed for central Iowa this week for the 46th annual Iowa Pork Congress. Ron Birkenholz, communications director for the Iowa Pork Producers Association, says they’ve reached a new peak.

“We do actually have 300 exhibitors this year from Denmark, from Canada, from Brazil,” Birkenholz says. “It’s the most exhibitors we’ve had. We’re sold out. We’ve had to make extra room off the main trade show floor for new exhibitors.” The big show runs Wednesday and Thursday and it’s expected to draw as many as 5,000 producers.

“If you’re involved in the pork industry in any way, shape or form, there will be a company here to offer products or services to make you more successful in the pork industry,” he says. In addition to the Iowa Pork Congress, Birkenholz says a host of other activities are planned, including an all-pork-based dinner tonight called Taste of Elegance.

“Our annual meeting is on Tuesday followed by our kickoff reception and auction that evening,” he says. “Wednesday evening is our banquet where we honor all of our new master pork producers and other award winners. Thursday is our 10th annual swine judging contest out at the fairgrounds.” The Pork Congress is being held at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. Learn more at: www.iowapork.org

(Thanks to Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)