The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has developed two tours in conjunction with the 2014 World Pork Expo which will be aimed toward visitors who want a further glimpse into U.S. agriculture. A two-day tour, which will take place June 2-3, will feature a broad agricultural overview, from crop and pork production, to farm equipment and shipping. A one-day tour will highlight agribusiness throughout central Iowa. Both options include meals on tour days and free admission to World Pork Expo, the world’s largest pork-specific trade show.

Greg Thornton, the director of producer services for NPPC noted that the pre-World Pork Expo tours will allow visitors the ability for first-hand exposure to U.S agriculture, as well as highlighing farming methods for both grain and pork production. Both provide an excellent picture of the Midwest, which many individuals believe is the breadbasket of the world.

The two-day tour, underwritten by the Illinois Soybean Association, will venture into eastern Iowa, western Illinois and northern Indiana, giving visitors an up-close look at U.S. corn and soybean production. A highlight will be an afternoon at the Pig Adventure at Fair Oaks Farms, which shows visitors modern pork production in action. After an overnight stay at Harrah’s Joliet in historic Joliet, Ill., Day 2 will include a barge trip on the Mississippi River — a vital waterway for shipping U.S. agricultural goods around the world, as well as a visit to the John Deere Harvester Works.

The one-day tour on Tuesday, June 3, will feature insights into crop research and production at DuPont Pioneer, and advances in swine nutrition and feed ingredients at Kemin’s new research center. Leading Midwestern pork producers will join the group for lunch at an Iowa institution, The Machine Shed Restaurant. A stop at the John Deere Des Moines Works will provide a look at equipment used by both livestock and crop farmers. A visit to a new, innovative Hy-Vee grocery store will provide a look at the U.S. retail food sector.

Tuesday evening, both tour groups with have dinner with National Pork Board representatives at the organizatin's headquarters. 

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The registration deadline for both tours is Friday, May 2. The fee for the one-day tour is $175 per person. The cost of the two-day tour, which includes hotel accommodations for the night of June 2, is $400 per person. Space for both tours is limited.

Both tours will start and end at the Holiday Inn Des Moines-Airport. Included in the packages are bus transportation and three meals during each day of the tour. Registration also includes a three-day pass to World Pork Expo, and access to free transportation between the hotel and Expo grounds, June 4-6.

For more information and to register for these tours, go to www.worldpork.org and select “Attendees” on the blue registration button. Then, scroll down to "Industry Tours."

The website also has the latest details about room availability at the official Expo hotels, a schedule of activities, and answers to frequently asked questions about traveling to World Pork Expo. Regular updates are available when you connect with World Pork Expo on Facebook, follow World Pork Expo on Twitter (#NPPCWPX) or download the official app by searching for “World Pork” in the Apple Store, Android Market or Blackberry’s App World.

World Pork Expo takes place June 4-6 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. More than 400 commercial exhibits will be on display from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 4, and Thursday, June 5, as well as from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, June 6. The swine breeding stock sales will take place on Saturday, June 7, from 8 a.m. until they're completed.