Overhe(a)rd: Livestock Show Cancellations & Lessons Learned

( Alison Fulton and iStock )

It’s PORK Week, and in Episode 1, Season 2 of Overhe(a)rd, we share results from a study that examines farmers’ comfort levels with live events in the era of COVID-19. And guest host Jennifer Shike discusses show cancellations with Tyler Norvell, President of Onward Endowment, Oklahoma Youth Expo, and Clay Zwilling, CEO, National Swine Registry.

Have you he(a)rd: The latest news in livestock

Many farmers say they’re less likely to attend live events this year, citing risks associated with the new coronavirus and social distancing restrictions.

A May 2020 Farm Journal survey explored farmers’ sentiments on attending live events into the fall. Data revealed farmers were less comfortable with in-person events, and some anticipated changing their behaviors and plans. For example, while 48% of respondents said they’ve previously attended the Farm Progress show, only 14% said they were planning to attend the show this year.

Listen to more data nuggets from the study below. 

The main dish

Oklahoma Youth Expo's President of Onward Endowment Tyler Norvell and National Swine Registry CEO Clay Zwilling chat about COVID-19's impact on youth livestock shows this year and their thoughts on what's ahead.

The two shared common misconceptions about running livestock shows, how their teams are working through decisions about whether to hold live events and more. Guest host Jennifer Shike, Editor of Farm Journal’s PORK, asked Norvell what it was like to shut down the Oklahoma Youth Expo. 

“I'll remember as long as I have a memory getting a phone call from Todd Kennedy telling me to go watch the news out of Houston that they were canceling the show, and it never crossed my mind that our event might be canceled. And then boom, it just hit that we're done,” Norvell says. 

Zwilling also shared some of the biggest challenges he’s faced trying to relocate shows. 

“I think the biggest challenge right now has been just the sheer logistics. And there are multiple species shows that are having to move and work through and develop solutions and there's only limited places where large events can go with livestock,” Zwilling says. 

Listen to the complete podcast here: 

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Read more updates here:

Survey Highlights Farmers’ Concerns About Live Events

Virtual Pig Shows Provide Unexpected Opportunities

Farm Journal Announces a Major New Farm Show—Farm Journal Field Days