Each year the Illinois Pork Producers Association hosts Piglets on Parade at the Illinois State Fair. (Photo by Carrie Muehling/WJBC)
By Carrie Muehling
PEORIA – The Peoria Civic Center will be all things pork Feb. 5-6 as the Illinois Pork Expo returns to the venue.
The two day event includes the annual meeting of the Illinois Pork Producers Association and the largest pork specific trade show in Illinois. Tuesday’s schedule also includes fundraiser auctions and an awards banquet, while Wednesday is focused on education with a number of seminars on a variety of topics. Technology continues to change the pork industry and that is evident at the trade show each year.
“In these hog barns now it’s really amazing, we’ve got all of these sensors and people can control things and get notices on their cell phones and make sure the temperatures in those buildings, that those animals are cared for using those technologies,” said Tim Maiers, director of public relations with the Illinois Pork Producers Association.
The trade show is an opportunity for people from across the country to gather in one spot to share ideas, products and services. It will be open Tuesday from noon to 4 p.m. and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
New this year to the Illinois Pork Expo is a market outlook roundtable on Wednesday afternoon. Three market analysts from across the country are on the panel, including Dan Zwicker with Consolidated Grain and Barge, Sue Martin with Ag & Investment Services and David Nelson with Rabobank. Manure management continues to be an important topic for producers, as well as feed prices. Seminars will also address new environmental regulations coming in 2013. Other programs target purebred and show pig producers, as well as swine youth exhibitors. Maiers said even with the challenge of high feed prices over the last few years, the pork industry remains strong.
“Our industry is very resilient. We have a lot of resilient producers and farmers in this industry and I think right now we have seen some hope of some profitability later in 2013,” said Maiers. I think over all there are a lot of positives in the industry. Pork exports continue to be a bright spot and we continue to be a leading exporter of pork in the world.”
Registration is available online this year, as well as more information and a schedule of events. Walk up registration is also accepted the day of the event at $10 for adults and $5 for youth.
Carrie Muehling can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.