World Pork Expo in 30th Year- Still Feeding the Masses

DES MOINES, Iowa- The World Pork Expo is marking it’s 30th year, welcoming thousands to the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

“As we mark 30 years of Expo, it’s exciting to see how the event has evolved and grown,” says Jim Heimerl, NPPC president and producer from Johnstown, Ohio, in a news release. “It not only reflects the vibrancy of the U.S. pork industry, but also the connectedness of the global marketplace. For anyone involved in pork production, Expo is a wonderful opportunity to discover new technologies, exchange ideas and plan for the future.”

Organizers are expecting 20,000 visitors, including producers, and pork professionals. The Expo welcomes 1,000 visitors from outside the United States.

One of the highlights every day is a free lunch of pork ribs, pulled pork, and pork patties.

“We’ve been doing it so long it’s easy to get the people,” said Dennis Gienger of the Tama Co. Pork Producers. “It used to be a struggle, nowadays people realize the farmers realize it’s important for them to be here to promote the product.”

It takes a lot of people to run the grills, and serve the masses. It’s all done by volunteers, and the food paid for by sponsors. The “free” lunch is available only if you have paid to get in.

“We grilled 176 rib racks, 1000 pulled pork sandwiches, and right now we got about 800 pork burgers done,” said Gienger.

After this wraps up the Tama County Pork Producers trailer will go to Florida to serve the Future Farmers meeting there.

The World Pork Expo runs from 8 am to 1pm Friday.