FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- Ontario Pork Congress, Next Week in Stratford
June 11, 2015, Joey Sabljic
[Stratford, Ontario] The Ontario Pork Congress is gearing up for the 42nd year of its annual tradeshow, taking place Wednesday, June 17 and Thursday, June 18. The goal for this year’s show, say Pork Congress organizers, is to create an event that celebrates Ontario pork – and educates.
Each year, the Ontario Pork Congress pulls together all segments of the Ontario pork sector under one roof to connect with their fellow producers, get up to speed on the latest issues affecting the industry and highlight new innovation.
For the third year in a row, the Ontario Pork Congress will be presenting its “Taste the Best” event on day one of the show. Main sponsor Sofina Foods will provide several local Stratford chefs with a cut of pork to be prepared in creative and delicious ways and then served with local wine samples.
“The Sofina Foods Taste the Best continues to be a creative way to feature and celebrate locally produced pork,” says Blair Cressman, Vice-President of the Ontario Pork Congress. “It’s also a chance for us to tie locally produced pork to local restaurants here in Stratford and get them to enjoy preparing our quality products.”
Attendees not being able to make the show’s first day will have an opportunity to take in the new “Pork Fiesta” event on the second day.
Cressman says the Pork Congress organizers partnered with Ontario Pork to put on cooking demonstrations and offer freshly prepared samples of local Ontario pork. The main idea behind the Pork Fiesta is to highlight pork’s nutritional qualities, correct cooking techniques and to help people get the most flavour out of their pork products.
Admission to this year’s Pork Congress will include a meal ticket for the main BBQ lunch, which is sponsored by Grand Valley Fortifiers and served by Perth County Pork Producers. On the menu? Smoked chops and bacon burgers with all the fixings.
Producers looking to get informed while at the show can attend a new speaker series hosted by Farm and Food Care Ontario’s IMPACT program, which will offer free training sessions on subjects including on-farm handling and animal husbandry.
Ontario Pork is also holding a seminar on navigating the PigTrace system that offers traceability tips for producers’ farms.
Another pillar event from last year’s Pork Congress, the OSI & Agribrands Purina Canada Bacon Maker Educational Centre, will be back once again and feature six interactive stations that bring attendees full circle through the entire pork production process.
The OSI & Alliance Genetics Canada Bacon Maker Classic Competition – known previously as the Junior Barrow Competition – will take place the second day of the show. So far, Pork Congress President Christine Schoonderwoerd says they’ve received the all clear to feature live hogs among the entries, due to decreased PED (porcine epidemic diarrhea) activity in Ontario and advice from consulting veterinarians.
Live entertainment this year will include award winning musicians Linsey Beckett (fiddle), Fred Hale and Kenny Munshaw. Southwest Vets will also be providing a dunk tank on Day 1, which will provide its own share of entertainment, as veterinarians, feed reps and other industry folk ‘take the plunge’.
Pork Congress attendees are also encouraged to sign up for the 10th annual Hog Jog, a 3.5 kilometer run and walk, as well as a 10 kilometer run that is held on the first day of the show and draws hundreds of participants and raises funds for a local charitable organization. This year, the cause will be the Ontario Association of Food Banks, a network of 125 food banks and hunger relief agencies across the province.
Both Cressman and Schoonderwoerd agree that, all in all, the congress comes at a peak time of the year for pork producers, both from a business and emotional perspective.
“We’re gearing up for a really great event” says Schoonderwoerd. “This event has and always will be a great way to celebrate the pork sector, and since we’re at the top of our seasonal markets, our attendees will be in the mood to celebrate!”
The 42nd annual Ontario Pork Congress will be held Wednesday, June 17 and Thursday, June 18 at the Stratford Rotary Complex in Stratford, Ontario. For more information on this year’s Congress and a detailed listing of events, please visit: http://www.porkcongress.on.ca/
For media inquiries, please contact: Christine Schoonderwoerd, President, Ontario Pork Congress.
For a PDF copy of this release, please click HERE