Pork Sessions Offered During Pork & Corn/Soy Expo

Pork producers and industry friends are invited to attend the 2019 Pork & Corn/Soy Expo on January 31 and February 1 at the Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells. During the Expo, Wisconsin Pork Association (WPA) 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. The Wisconsin Pork Association annual membership meeting will also take place on Thursday, January 31.

All WPA members, Wisconsin pork producers, and industry partners are invited to attend the Annual Membership Meeting. The meeting will begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Kalahari Resort in the Aloeswood room. The annual meeting allows WPA members an opportunity to provide input on policies and the future direction of the organization. Elections for the WPA board of directors and Pork Forum delegates will be held during the meeting. WPA scholarship and distinguished service award recipients will also be recognized.

Registration to the Pork & Corn/Soy expo is not required to attend the WPA annual meeting. However, to help ensure enough meeting materials are available for everyone, an RSVP is requested by calling the WPA office at 608-723-7551 or emailing wppa@wppa.org.

The UW-Extension Swine Team will kick off the educational sessions on Thursday morning with a Pork Quality Assurance Plus® (PQA) certification course followed by Transport Quality Assurance® (TQA) on Friday. These certification programs 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. PQA Plus training will be offered at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 31 and TQA training will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, February 1. Expo registration is not required to participate in PQA or TQA only, however, producers are asked to RSVP to WPA by calling 608-723-7551.

Following the annual meeting, an On-Farm Environmental & Swine Health Issues panel is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. The panel will focus on findings from the UW-Discovery Farms program as well as updates to the swine health rule in Wisconsin. Erica Olson, Farmer Network and Communications Coordinator, will discuss findings and tips on how to use the information on farms. Dr. Julie McGwin from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture will provide an update and answer questions regarding the swine health rule changes implemented this past year.

For those looking to learn more about cooking pork at home, Chef Jeff Igel, culinary arts instructor at Fox Valley Technical College, will be hosting a Cooking with Pork session at 1:30 p.m.. In this fun and entertaining session, Chef Jeff will provide preparation techniques for simple family meals using pork.

A second educational session, Integrator Perspective on Pork Production will begin at 4:30 p.m. During this seminar, Dr. Cameron Schmitt will discuss how the Pipestone model works and discuss avenues on how farmers can engage as an owner within the system. Dr. Schmitt will address details regarding barn construction as well as how the system relates to the global market.

Later Thursday evening, Expo attendees will have another opportunity to sample new pork recipes during the 2019 Taste of Elegance. The Taste of Elegance is a culinary competition for Wisconsin chefs. Attendees at the event will have the opportunity to sample each chef’s entrée and vote for their favorite to determine the People’s Choice award. The evening also includes WPA’s Silent and Pie Auctions. A variety of fresh-baked pies and other items will be available for attendees to place their bids and support WPA programs including scholarships and youth activities. Items up for auction this year include autographed NFL memorabilia, Green Bay Packers tickets, Steel Cow prints, Scentsy products, home and garden décor, collectible tractor replicas, meat and cheese boxes, gift baskets, and much more.

On Friday morning, February 1 producers and industry members are invited to a round-table discussion on industry issues during the Breakfast with the WPA Board. Dr. Konkle, WDATCP Assistant State Veterinarian, will provide an update on African Swine Fever. Newly appointed WDATCP Secretary of Agriculture Brad Pfaff has been invited to address the group as well as representatives from the National Pork Board and National Pork Producers Council. Anyone interested in attending the Breakfast with the WPA Board is asked to RSVP by calling 608-723-7551.

The complete Expo schedule is available to download from the WPA website at www.wppa.org/expo or you may register online at www.cornsoyexpo.org.

The Wisconsin Pork Association’s mission is to insure the future success of the Wisconsin pork industry. WPA represents the interests of the pork industry members with a strong emphasis on social issues, public and government policies, environment, animal welfare and safety.