The Pennsylvania Pork Producers Council, along with event co-host PennAg Industries Association, announced this week the decision to reschedule the popular Keystone Pork Expo from February to April 21. This move comes as a proactive measure to offer the best chance for the organizations to host the expo in-person in the new year.
This move also impacts Poultry Progress Day and the MidAtlantic Manure Summit, both held in conjunction with the Keystone Pork Expo. PennAg will likewise be postponing their annual banquet, held the same week as the expo, to April 20.
The expo has quickly become recognized as a leading animal agriculture event annually in the commonwealth, showcasing and bringing together the best of the best in Pennsylvania's growing pork, poultry and manure industries. The single-day event offers producers and industry professionals important opportunity for networking, education and access to innovative new products and services.
"Unfortunately, many similar events have been canceled or moved to a virtual format since the onset of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, resulting from continued and evolving restrictions placed on larger gatherings across the state, especially those held indoor," says PPPC Executive Director Jessica Darr. "PPPC recognizes and appreciates that our pig farmers, processors and industry partners have been hard at work through the pandemic from the very beginning and that, regardless of the virus or restrictions, the business of agriculture does not rest. We also recognize that our producers and industry partners find great value in the expo each year and intend to do everything possible to prevent this event from experiencing a similar fate as those that have been canceled."
For these reasons and out of an abundance of caution, PPPC and PennAg have made the decision to proactively change the date for the 2021 expo, as well as the PennAg Annual Banquet, for those who enjoyed participation in both events.
Rescheduled 2021 Expo and Banquet Dates
PennAg Annual Banquet — April 20
Keystone Pork Expo — April 21
As in recent years, these two events will be held back-to-back and once again hosted at Spooky Nook Sports Complex, Manheim.
By migrating from the usual mid-February schedule, the hosts hope the additional time will allow for the state to see significant improvement in the coronavirus situation, offering increased opportunity to host both the expo and banquet as "normally" as possible in these unprecedented times. PPPC and PennAg also hope that this move will offer some relief to those making plans for the 2021 Keystone Pork Expo, either as attendees or as sponsors and exhibitors, by minimizing the need to repeatedly shuffle schedules, travel itinerary and even regular duties on the farm or in the office, resulting from continued postponements, corporate and government policy changes, and so on.
"We continue to communicate closely with the venue and will be monitoring the evolving circumstances related to COVID-19 to ensure that current guidance from local, state and federal levels are properly followed," Darr says. "Even more, the safety and well-being of our attendees and exhibitors is and will remain a top priority throughout the planning process for both the expo and banquet."
Details about sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are expected to be released in early to mid-December. The expo will remain free to attendees, but an advanced registration option will be encouraged to better enable appropriate planning for the event, which often attracts more than 1,200 people.
Further information and updates will be offered through the events page, Facebook and email. Questions or concerns regarding the expo or banquet in general, as well as exhibit space and sponsorships, should be directed to Jessica Darr at 717-651-5920.