Pork producers across the state are invited to attend the 2018 Pork/Corn/Soy Expo on February 1 & 2 at the Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells. During the Expo, Wisconsin Pork Association will be hosting several programs designed to keep pork producers current on industry issues, provide networking opportunities for youth and pork industry members, and offer quality assurance certification opportunities.
First, a seminar ‘Current Status of the US Pork Industry’ will feature national pork industry organization speakers and members of the UW-Extension Swine Team. Dr. Chris Hostetler, Director of Animal Science for the National Pork Board, will discuss challenges producers are facing with whole-herd mortality rates, and actions that the Pork Checkoff is taking to help producers on this issue. He will also give an update on other Pork Checkoff activities, including priorities for the organization in 2018. Maria Zieba will provide an update on progress of the NAFTA and South Korean trade negotiations, as well as provide a broader picture of the successes and challenges facing pork exports. Zieba is the Director of International Affairs for the National Pork Producers Council. In addition, she will highlight other activities of the National Pork Producers Council. Adam Hady and Lyssa Seefeldt with UW-Extension will also give a snapshot of Wisconsin pork production trends they are seeing on the state level.
The UW-Extension Swine Team will offer training sessions for producers to become certified, or recertify, in the Pork Quality Assurance Plus® and Transport Quality Assurance® for Livestock Haulers programs. These certification programs help bring the latest knowledge and practices to the farm, including the development of comprehensive on-farm programs to ensure food safety and animal well-being, as well as understanding how to handle, move, and transport pigs in ways that promote pig well-being. Expo registration is not required to participate in PQA or TQA only, however, producers must RSVP to WPA by calling 800-822-7675.
For those with an appetite, the 2017 Taste of Elegance winner, Chef Mitchel Weber, will be hosting a Cooking with Pork session. Join him as he prepares pork samples and provides tips on how versatile pork can be in the kitchen. Later that evening, all Expo attendees will have the opportunity to sample the pork entrees entered in the 2018 Taste of Elegance competition and vote for their favorite to determine the People’s Choice winner. During the Taste of Elegance, attendees may also bid on a variety of silent auction items and take part in the live pie auction. Funds raised during the Silent Auction and Pie Auction go towards WPA programs including scholarships and youth activities. Items up for auction this year include Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers memorabilia – several items are autographed – a Steel Cow ‘Pig Paul’ print, Scentsy products, home and garden décor, collectible tractor replicas, meat and cheese boxes, gift baskets, and much more.
Lastly, WPA invites pork producers and industry members to attend the WPA Annual Meeting. The annual meeting gives WPA members an opportunity to provide input on policies and the future direction of the organization. WPA scholarship and distinguished service award recipients will also be recognized during the meeting.
On the morning of Friday, February 2 producers will have another opportunity to provide feedback on WPA programs and have a round-table discussion on industry issues during the Breakfast with the WPA Board. Dr. Paul McGraw, Wisconsin State Veterinarian, will update producers and answer questions on changes to Wisconsin’s Animal Health regulation related to PRRS and SECD testing. In addition, Secretary Sheila Harsdorf of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture is invited to address the group. If you would like to attend the Breakfast with the WPA Board, please RSVP by calling 800-822-7675.