posted on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 in Central Region News
During the Iowa State Fair, if you are going to stand in line, the wait better be worth it. There were lines for a turn to ride down the Giant Slide, to see the famous butter cow and to enjoy a pork chop on a stick. The line for the farrowing display at the Paul R. Knapp Animal Learning Center on the fairgrounds was no different. Last week at the Iowa State Fair, AMVC employees volunteered through the Iowa Pork Producers Association to run the farrowing display for an entire day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fairgoers young and old came through the building to see sows, piglets and pig farmers.
The AMVC volunteers were members of AMVC’s Leadership Development Program (LDP). This volunteer opportunity fit perfectly into the program’s curriculum as this month’s session focused on farrowing. The class is comprised of AMVC employees who have a passion to further their skills and career in swine management.
AMVC LDP employee, Connor Geib who works at a sow farm in Brayton, commented, “My experience at the fair was truly incredible. I loved explaining to so many people what I do every day on the farm and how we ensure the pigs’ safety.”
The AMVC team was divided amongst three shifts with two volunteers on each side of the farrowing display. The AMVC volunteers were the pig experts and fielded a variety of questions about modern pig farming and handed out paper pig ear headbands.
“Volunteering in the Animal Learning Center was a fun and interactive way to promote the industry and talk to people about pigs. It was fun to see the kids so happy to receive paper pig ears,” added Melanie Palmer, an AMVC LDP employee from Brayton who works at the boar stud.
There was a constant flow of people all day who waited in line to see eight sows and piglets. The sow exhibit drew in around 500 people per hour throughout the day.
Dan Weber, AMVC Production Manager who coordinated the group’s volunteer efforts, added, “I’m not sure who had bigger smiles, our employees interacting with fairgoers or those seeing a real piglet for the first time. Our group did a wonderful job sharing their personal experiences and describing how much producers care about the animals they raise.”
- our team