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Iowa Pork Congress offers virtual sessions

TAGS: Business
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Sessions will cover current events, market disruptions, farm security and marketing tools.

The 2021 Iowa Pork Congress may not be an in-person event this year, but there are still virtual options for online sessions that will bring useful information to pig farmers.

"Our producer education committee focused on a few key topics that it felt would help out Iowa farmers,” said Jamee Eggers, producer education director for the Iowa Pork 

Producers Association (IPPA). "Each education session is just one hour long, including the opportunity for those who participate to ask questions of the presenters."

Registration for the education sessions is required in order to receive the link to join the session.

At noon, Wednesday, Jan. 27, the keynote for the meeting will be presented by Damian Mason, who will talk about the current events impacting agriculture that start with the letter f: foodies, fair trade, feelings, finance, and the future. Mason is known for motivating and inspiring audiences in both good and bad ag climates.

The second presentation that day is at 7 p.m. The panel discussion will cover the lessons learned from the market disruptions last spring. Those lessons can be applied to future market disruptions, even those caused by a foreign animal disease outbreak. Iowa State University (ISU) Extension swine specialist Colin Johnson will lead a panel discussion with Lucia Hunt, Minnesota Department of Agriculture; Sara Crawford, National Pork Board; and Nick Gabler, a swine nutrition professor at ISU.

The first education session on Thursday, Jan. 28 is a 7 a.m. The presentation by Hannah Thompson-Weeman of the Animal Ag Alliance will discuss the individuals and organizations behind animal activists. Thompson-Weeman will talk about what farmers can do to improve their own farm security, but also how to counter activists' tactics. 

Recent pig and pork marketing tools is the topic for the second session on Thursday. It begins at noon and will be a panel led by ISU livestock economist Lee Schulz. Schulz will be joined by Bill Kaelin of K&M Trading, LLC; Tim Hughes of CIH; and Pat Von Tersch, a marketing specialist. The group will talk about the new pork cutout contract, other marketing resources, and updates for Livestock Risk Protection Insurance and Livestock Gross Margin insurance.

The IPPA Board of Directors decided to cancel the trade show and go virtual with the education sessions in order to protect the health of the 4,000-5,000 people who typically attend the event.

"We simply relied on our We Care Iowa core values: caring for the people in our communities and working together to solve the big issues our communities face, and today that big issue is coronavirus," said IPPA President Mike Paustian of Walcott, Iowa.

The 2022 show is scheduled for Jan. 26-27, 2022 in Des Moines. It will be the 50th anniversary of the Iowa Pork Congress.


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