BUFFALO, Minn. — Once upon a time, there was a group of state poultry organizations that hatched a plan. The organizations all had their various annual meetings and small conferences in respective states, but they dreamed of an event that would bring the entire Midwest industry together. One place over one set of dates. In return, revenue generated from that event would be donated back to the states and other poultry-related causes. And so, the Midwest Poultry Federation (MPF) Convention was born 50 years ago.
The MPF Convention became beloved by farmers, integrators, vendors and academia. It was the place to meet up with old friends, meet new colleagues, learn from speakers and find solutions in the exhibit hall for their farms and businesses. Very much the case today.
Of course in 2021 this special anniversary is going to celebrate virtually. Certainly not what anyone was hoping for but still an important milestone for an organization that started as a Midwest event and grew into something more — with more than $500,000 in funds given back to its state poultry organizations and related poultry causes.
Today, the MPF Convention typically welcomes attendees and vendors from 35-plus states and 20-plus international countries. Its exhibit hall is flooded with companies that are of international footprints. In fact, a waiting list has been in place for years to attend the in-person show. Its education program is renowned for bringing together production-based information for farmers and poultry companies. The Midwest Show is certainly larger in scope and audience than its humble beginnings at a hotel in downtown Minneapolis, but it hasn’t forgotten its roots. Or its strengths.
What makes MPF an important, annual tradition for so many in the poultry industry is, quite simply the people. It’s the connections, relationships and bonds formed — whether from decades of friendship or meeting a new acquaintance or customer. That’s what will successfully carry and grow MPF into the next 50 years as we look forward to 2022 and shift back to our in-person show in March. We can’t wait to see everyone in person again.
In the meantime, I hope you will take time on May 18-21 to visit the MPF Virtual Convention and connect with people — as we do now— via text and video chat. The same state poultry organizations who started MPF are counting on you. We have 170 exhibitors and a whopping 75 speakers who are ready to talk turkey, eggs and chickens with you.
Visit midwestpoultry.com to register now and learn more about the show.
Lara Durben is half of Empowered Events LLC, the company that manages the Midwest Poultry Federation. She and her business partner, Teresa Sorenson, handle all logistics, planning, sales and marketing for the convention.