What You Need to Know for The Exposition
By: Angie Ruffoni
1. Super Bowl of the Swine Industry
The Exposition is a one of a kind place for your family to experience an atmosphere filled with so much prestige and excitement that some might say you “can feel it in the air!” It is an awe-inspiring experience to see generations of exhibitors and breeders gather in Des Moines, Iowa to showcase and promote the future of the swine industry. No matter your level of experience, you are sure to have a great time and take away new knowledge and experiences.
2. Preparation is Key
Organization is important when juggling schedules, registration paperwork and more. Give yourself plenty of time to load the trailer and pack, this will allow extra time to double check everything and arrive prepared. It’s an unsettling feeling to arrive at Expo and realize your lucky whip didn’t make the trip.
Stay updated with the exhibitor letters and show regulations by visiting the National Swine Registry website and follow the NSR and NJSA on social media for additional updates throughout the week. Also, download the new NSR Show Center app for all Expo information.
3. Rain or Shine, it’s Show Time
In Expo’s history temperatures can vary from hot and humid to rain showers and thunderstorms in the same week. Pack your suitcase and trailer accordingly for both you and your pigs. Iowa weather can change quickly, with an average high of 85°F, and average low of 60°F. Let’s not forget about the humidity too!
4. Build Relationships
Bringing families from all corners of the United States to Des Moines, Iowa, The Exposition is a great opportunity to connect with industry members and make new friends. Step out of your comfort zone and get involved by participating in events like the National Pork Board Clinic, Stock Show U Clinic, Team Purebred skillathon and judging contest.
Stepping outside your comfort zone and taking the time to have a conversation with a fellow exhibitor from across the aisle, or lending a helping hand to someone in need makes a great ice breaker to potentially meet a life long friend. Also, take the time to participate in activities to learn and make new friends!
5. Best Seat in the House
Be sure to grab a seat in the bleachers early to get the best view of showmanship finals and grand drives. Spots on the rail and in the bleachers fill up fast. Creative kiddos have even been known to bring feed buckets to stand on to get a boost up for a better view. For friends and family at home, they can tune into Walton Webcasting’s live broadcast to watch the show.
Make sure to have a snack or drink handy when you sit down so you don’t miss watching your favorite showman while standing in line at the concession stand. If you do go to the concession stand, a traditional Expo favorite is the “walking taco.”
6. Stock Show Family
Some of the best memories are made in the truck ride to the show and sitting around the barn playing games laughing with friends. There’s no better time to come together with your stock show family than while at The Exposition. The week goes by in the blink of an eye. Be present in the moment and take time to enjoy each others company, and be thankful for the exhilarating week you get to experience together.
Getting ready for The Exposition is no small task! Remember to thank those that have helped you at home to prepare and throughout the week. From NSR, NJSA and Team Purebred staff and Junior Board members, to sponsors, breeders, family and friends there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work. A handshake and genuine smile, or hand written thank you card goes a long way!
About the Blogger
Angie Ruffoni hails from the great state of California. She is a past president of the NJSA Junior Board. Angie and her family are active members of the NJSA and its programs.