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Karen Larson, Department of Residence, (515) 294-2103
Dr. Tom Burkgren, IPVS congress, (515) 465-5255
Tracy Raef, College of Veterinary Medicine, (515) 294-4602


AMES, Iowa -- Imagine hosting a dinner for 2,000 people from 55 countries in one place--and in three hours. That's the task for organizers of the International Pig Veterinary Society's (IPVS) biennial congress to be June 2-5 at Iowa State University in Ames.

One thing is for certain, pork is on the menu.

For the 2,000 veterinarians, producers and animal scientists attending the congress, the banquet on June 4 is a social event. But for the society's organizers and Iowa State's Department of Residence, the event is an exercise in thinking big.

To keep everyone under one roof on central campus, the banquet will be under 30,000 square-feet of tent, already erected.

The tent isn't the only thing that's super-sized. Approximately 850 pounds of pork tenderloin, 600 pounds of potatoes, 1,140 bottles of wine, 350 pounds of fresh asparagus, 2,400 cheddar cheese and wheat rolls, 6,000 jumbo shrimp, 703 apple tarts, 720 brownies and 44 turtle cheesecakes will be devoured, says Karen Larson, coordinator of catering for the residence department. It will take 12,000 plates and 2,000 cups to hold all of that food.

Twelve trucks will be needed to get all the equipment to central campus for the banquet. The event will be catered out of three smaller tents and the meal will be served by 250 people. "Volunteers from non-profit community groups help serve, and ISU's residence department pays the non-profit group for the help," Larson added.

Other events planned for attendees include a rodeo, opening ceremony and reception and an evening picnic in the Iowa State Center courtyard. Technical tours of the ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the National Animal Disease Center also will be offered.

The 17th IPVS congress, "Global Technology for Health Assurance," will feature 194 speakers. Information about the program is on the Web site at http://www.ipvs2002.vetmed.iastate.edu.

IPVS is dedicated to increasing the knowledge of swine health and production around the world. The congress is co-sponsored by Iowa State University, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and the National Pork Board.


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