SEDALIA- Missouri’s agricultural and commodity groups are united, according to Missouri Pork Association Executive Vice President Don Nikodim.
“I think we’ve got a great relationship among ag groups in Missouri,” Nikodim says. “Everybody seems to be on the same page, working for the same thing. And I know our board is always focused on how can we do things better.”
Nikodim, who spoke to Missourinet at the Governor’s ham breakfast here in Sedalia this week, says the state’s pork industry is doing “extremely well.”
“We see a lot of growth right now in the pork business here in Missouri and nationally and internationally, demand for pork is phenomenal. We’re seeing record numbers of pork exports right now and that looks like that’s set to continue for many years to come,” says Nikodim.
Nikodim tells Missourinet two new major packing plants in the United States are scheduled to open this year, with another set to open next year.
Nikodim also emphasizes farm-to-table, noting the Association’s Pork Place restaurant at the State Fair in Sedalia is having a record year. He says the Pork Place is a great opportunity for producers and consumers to connect.
“We started in 1979 with the Pork Chop Place here at the State Fair and actually in two more years we’ll be celebrating our 40th anniversary. It’s hard to believe,” Nikodim says.
The new air-conditioned Pork Place building opened in 2009. Nikodim notes they’ve grown their menu, which now includes pulled pork and ribs.
The Pork Place is also rented out throughout the year for meals and banquets.
Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson says there’s been record attendance at this year’s fair, noting there have been record crowds everyday.
Parson and Nikodim both credit good weather.
The Missouri Pork Association represents the state’s pork producers in areas such as legislation, promotion and research. Nikodim notes MPA has more than 300 active members.
The 2017 Missouri State Fair ends Sunday.
Click here to listen to the full interview with Missourinet news director Brian Hauswirth and Missouri Pork Association Executive Vice President Don Nikodim, which was recorded on August 17, 2017 at the State Fair in Sedalia: