Jen Sorenson

The World Pork Expo, an event that typically brings 20,000 people from around the world to central Iowa, is among the latest casualties to coronavirus.

Jen Sorenson of Ankeny, president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council board of directors, says the big gathering that was slated for June in Des Moines is being called off due to the pandemic. “We are deeply disappointed that we have to cancel this year’s expo,” Sorenson says. “It was a tough decision by the NPPC board of directors but it was, obviously, the right thing to do in the face of COVID-19.”

It marks two years in a row the expo has been thwarted by disease. The June 2019 edition was canceled because of fears about African Swine Flu. She says producers will miss the event, but hopefully, it’ll be back in 2021. “Pork Expo is the time to come together, network, get business done, socialize, share ideas, look at the new technology and innovation that’s coming into the industry,” Sorenson says. “For us, as pork producers, it’s business as usual. We’re taking care of our animals on our farms and that’s our big priority right now.”

When it comes to staying ahead of the curve on health issues, Sorenson says pork producers remain proactive, adding, they were practicing social distancing “before it was cool.”  “With our practices to protect our herds when it comes to biosecurity, when it comes to showering in and out of our farms, using that hand sanitizer, disinfecting supplies that come into the farm,” she says, “just a whole gamut of things that we do to protect our herds.”

America’s pork producers take their jobs seriously in being an essential service, Sorenson says, helping keep the food supply chain moving and in good shape.

(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)