The recently concluded three-day World Pork Expo attracted nearly 20,000 participants to the world’s largest pork-specific trade show June 8-10, 2011 in Des Moines, IA.

Attendees viewed business seminars, Pork Academy, the record-setting Junior National swine show and GRAMMY caliber musical entertainment while enjoying free pork.

Sponsored by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), the annual event drew producers and exhibitors from a total of 39 states, from Maine to Hawaii.

“We heard optimism about marketing prospects along with healthy concern regarding the availability of affordable feed from the producers at World Pork Expo this year,” says Doug Wolf, NPPC president. “In fact, the forward-thinking nature of NPPC members was evident everywhere –from candid conversations over a pork sandwich to the standing ovation given to Korean Ambassador Han Duk-soo as he commented on the pending free-trade agreement. The interaction at Expo has never been better.”

Attendees viewed exhibits from more than 400 companies from 11 different countries, with exhibitors reporting brisk activity.

“World Pork Expo is our highlight event of the year,” says Tom Stuthman, vice president of Automated Production Systems headquartered in Assumption, IL. “It gives international companies like us the ability to make contacts with customers and meet pork producers from throughout the world.”

Bill Shields, regional sales manager for PigTek, based in Milford, IN, mentioned how Expo brings pork producers and companies together.

“World Pork Expo provides face-to-face contact with existing and potential customers,” he comments. “We are able to talk about long-range project planning with people from all over the world.”

The address by Han Duk-soo, Korean ambassador to the United States, headlined the Strategic Investment Program luncheon.

Journalists from four continents were on hand to cover news and information presented during Expo.

Informational sessions highlighted the week. Free business seminars sponsored by five leading companies featured discussions about risk management, pig nutrition and health and anaerobic digestion.

Pork Academy sessions covered topics ranging from the latest about porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, to managing feed costs and efficiencies while putting U.S. pork on the world’s table.

The Junior National Show, the world’s largest junior pedigreed barrow and gilt show hosted by the National Junior Swine Association and Team Purebred, set a record with more than 1,750 hogs competing from 26 states.

MusicFest by GRAMMY nominees Highway 101 and Papa Doo Run Run and local favorite, Tony Valdez & the Retro Rockets, provided entertainment to Expo participants mingling and enjoying free pork products.

Next year’s Expo is set for June 6-8, 2012 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, IA.