DES MOINES - The National Pork Producers Council has announced three tours for people who want to experience Midwestern agriculture and hospitality before the World Pork Expo opens in Des Moines on June 6.
Pork producers from throughout the world can choose a two-day tour highlighting livestock, crops and agribusinesses, or single-day excursions featuring different agricultural destinations near Des Moines.
"These tours are a perfect way for Expo attendees to fully experience the diversity of agriculture here in the nation's breadbasket," said Bryan Humphreys, director of grassroots organization, LEADR, for NPPC. "Tour participants will have direct access to farm managers and agribusiness experts as they get to know fellow producers. And once the tours are finished, they will enjoy free admission to World Pork Expo."
The Midwest Agriculture Highlights Tour from June 4 to June 5 will take participants to see the locks-and-dam system that enables agricultural products to traverse the Mississippi River to the rest of the world. By popular demand, the group also will visit Cinnamon Ridge Farms, which feature 4,000 acres of corn and soybeans, wean-to-finish swine facilities, a beef operation and a dairy.
"At Cinnamon Ridge Farms, participants will be taken to a specially designed viewing room to see modern pig production firsthand without compromising the herd's biosecurity," Humphreys said. "Then they'll finish the first day by enjoying a special dinner with area farmers and pork producers."
The second day will feature a stop at the John Deere Pavilion museum, which has been recognized as the world's most comprehensive agricultural exhibit.
For those with limited schedules, two one-day tours are available. On June 4, participants will go to one of the Midwest's largest food-distribution companies as well as a feed mill for one of Christensen Farms' large pork-production facilities. The final stop will be the newly remodeled College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University.
The June 5-only agribusiness tour features stops at Swine Genetics International's boar-reproduction facility and Pioneer Hi-Bred, a developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics.
All three tours begin and end in Des Moines, and include bus transportation. Registration for the two-day tour, which includes four meals and overnight hotel accommodations on June 4, is $300 per person.
Individuals can participate in either the agriculture or the agribusiness tour for $125 per person, or enjoy both one-day tours for a total of $200. Each tour includes a midday meal.
To register for any of these tours, all of which include free admission to World Pork Expo, visit www.worldpork.org and click on the "producer registration" button. Questions may be directed to Humphreys at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (515) 864-7980.