The January 2021 Iowa Pork Congress will look much different than the 48 previous events hosted by the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA). The IPPA board of directors decided to cancel the Iowa Pork Congress trade show, which would have been Jan. 27 and 28. The trade show and educational sessions held during the two days typically attract 4,000 to 5,000 people involved in pork production from Iowa and the Midwest.
"We are disappointed to cancel the trade show, and to postpone some other events typically held during Iowa Pork Congress," said IPPA president Mike Paustian of Walcott, Iowa. "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."
As scheduled, IPPA will hold its annual meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.
"We have worked closely with the Iowa Events Center staff in planning this required in-person event so that social distancing can be maintained throughout the day," Paustian said.
The day will also include the Master Pork Producers Awards program, as well as the announcement of the 2021 Iowa Pork Youth Leadership Team. Both the awards program and announcement of the Youth Leadership Team will be seated events held in rooms that allow social distancing. They will also be streamed online for those who chose to watch the events from their homes.
The educational seminars held during Iowa Pork Congress and the Iowa Pork Foundation Auction will both move to virtual formats. As more details on that programming are developed, the information will be shared on IowaPorkCongress.org.
Additionally, the Taste of Elegance restaurant event that usually kicks off Iowa Pork Congress, and the youth swine judging contest that occurs at the end, have both been postponed until later in 2021.
The Iowa Pork Congress has been North America's most successful winter swine trade show and conference. The 2022 show is scheduled for Jan. 26-27, 2022.