SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Face-to-face interactions are vital to those involved in the ag industry.

The 54th annual South Dakota Pork congress is happening right now in Sioux Falls. This event draws in visitors not only from South Dakota but from other states across the Midwest.

People are making their way through the trade floor at the 54th annual Pork Congress. For young farmers like Daniel Fuoss, this event is a way to network and meet people in the industry, a vital part of growing and maintaining his farming operation.

“It allows me to meet a lot of people that my dad has done business with in the past and lets me get in touch with them,” said Daniel. “Because as he goes to meetings and such a lot of times I’m on the farm running and stuff still breaks when he’s not around, so it lets me get in touch with them and also lets me get a look at new technologies that we may need to incorporate in the future.”

They expect to see over 1,000 visitors visiting the over 200 booths at the event, where they will learn about advancements and new technology and meet with other industry leaders.

“You will see anything from equipment, feed, nutritional items, you’ll see biosecurity things, lots of items that will just help our farmers in their day-to-day operations,” said Cagney Effling, director of programs and communication, South Dakota Pork Producers Council.

“Face-to-face is just always better, when you have that face-to-face interaction, there’s something about it that you get that you just can’t get on a piece of paper,” said Mark Fuoss, pork producer.

Along with the trade show, there are also many educational seminars offered by industry leaders.

“You know you can read about these things in a book, or maybe an online presentation, and those are good, but that personal touch and that face you can put to it, there comes that comfort level you can actually talk to that person and you may even know them and there’s something about that’s important,” said Mark.

Giving beginning and seasoned pork producers an outlet to learn and grow their operations.

“It’s a chance to meet everyone and find new contacts for people you may need to be in touch with in the future and if you’re looking to get into the business, you need people you will surely do business with,” said Daniel.

You can attend the trade show for yourself today from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ramkota convention center. There is also a seminar happening today talking about biosecurity. You can find the complete schedule here.