Monday, April 5, 2021

Iowa Pork Producers Association Gives Back at "Thank You Denison" Event

The Iowa Pork Producers Association celebrated the Denison community's support of the industry over the past year during Monday's stop on their “Thank You” celebration tour.

The event took place in the entrance of the Donna Reed Theatre in uptown Denison. Mayor Pam Soseman opened the ceremony by highlighting many unique ways that Crawford County residents and organizations helped those in need during the pandemic. IPPA President Dennis Liljedahl presented a gift to the mayor and a $500 donation check to local food programs. The celebration included Connie McKee from the Temporary Aid Program, Evan Blakley from the Chamber and Development Council, Eric Kohler of Quality Food Processors, and Brian Rank of Smithfield Foods.

Liljedahl says events like these are a way to show their appreciation to producers and consumers in places like Denison.

“A year ago starting about now until mid-summer was extremely stressful and we kind of worked together to work through all these things and I know the staff worked with producers from all over the state to tell our story and I think when people reflected...man, we went through a lot,” said Liljedahl. “Let's give back to these communities with production facilities that kept going.”

Liljedhal says a variety of factors impacted food production over the past 12 months.

“It's been such a roller coaster. I mean, we started out with kind of average prices and then the prices tanked and we got COVID and we've got all these things,” said Liljedahl. “We talk about reduction of herds and then the fall came and we have another spike of COVID. So it's just been a lot of things and now we're on the road to permanent recovery we hope.”

A pork giveaway to first responders and coupon distribution to grocery stores around Denison followed the uptown ceremony. Quality Food Processors and Smithfield Foods also donated fresh bacon and pork loins to be passed out by volunteers at the United Presbyterian Church beginning at 4 p.m.

Liljedahl says he's proud to have the IPPA help put on this kind of event.

“It's just a physical sign of people giving back and caring about their community so that's a great thing,” said Liljedahl.

Denison is one of only six locations in Iowa where the Iowa Pork Processors Association is hosting one of their “Thank You” events this spring.

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