The longtime Missouri Pork Association (MPA) leader says things are good in the pork industry. MPA Executive Vice President Don Nikodim spoke to Missourinet at this week’s Pork Expo in Columbia.

The Pork Place restaurant at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia (2017 file photo courtesy of the Missouri Pork Association)

He says the future is bright for Missouri’s pork industry.

“We’re in a growth mode, we’ve been adding a considerable number of sows to the Missouri herd and we have several underway right now,” Nikodim says. “Market prices aren’t as good as we’d like them.”

Nikodim is optimistic trade deals with Mexico and China will come to fruition, saying it would help bolster their markets considerably.

More than 800 people attended Tuesday’s Pork Expo lunch, and Nikodim says they had record attendance at the dinner and breakfast. He says the trade show sold out early this year.

Nikodim also notes more than 200 Missouri youth are involved in a show pig program. A Missourinet reporter interviewing Nikodim at the Expo saw several high school students wearing FFA jackets.

Hundreds of pork producers from across Missouri heard directly from Governor Mike Parson (R) at this week’s dinner banquet. Nikodim praises the governor.

“Great guy, I mean we supported Mike ever since he first ran for the (Missouri) House (in 2004),” says Nikodim. “I mean he’s just a down-to-earth solid kind of guy, and just proud to have somebody like that in the governor’s chair.”

Governor Parson still owns and operates a cow and calf operation near southwest Missouri’s Bolivar. Nikodim also notes Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe farms. Kehoe has a family farm in Phelps County, near I-44.

Meantime, the winter weather has been impacting Missouri’s pork producers. Nikodim notes pork producers dealt with last summer’s drought, and have been dealing with snow and ice in many parts of the state.

“They deal with weather, that’s part of the reality of being in the business,” Nikodim says. “We went from dry summer to wet fall, so it’s a challenge but it’s something these guys, they’re good at,” Nikodim says.

Nikodim has noted that the pork industry contributes $1 billion annually to the state’s economy. Governor Parson says Missouri pork producers raise more than 3.4 million hogs in the state.

Click here to listen to the full interview between Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth and Missouri Pork Association (MPA) Executive Vice President Don Nikodim, which was recorded on February 12, 2019 at Columbia’s Holiday Inn Executive Center: