Home 5 Ag Stories Des Moines natives take bacon fellowship overseas (Part Two)

Des Moines natives take bacon fellowship overseas (Part Two)

Pictured (L to R): Anna Hastert, Brooks Reynolds

A couple Des Moines natives are sharing their love for Iowa pork around the world.

Brooks Reynolds and Marshall Porter, founders of the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival, plan to take their “bacon fellowship” overseas. The duo will travel to Kofu, Japan, Des Moines’ sister city, for the second Japan Bacon Festival. Reynolds outlines the two-day event.

“We’re going to be serving Berkwood Farms’ bacon and pork loin,” Reynolds said. “We’re also going to be serving Jones Dairy Farm, which is a company out of Wisconsin. Eighty-five-percent of the hogs they process are from Iowa and Iowa farmers.”

Reynolds adds the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival is “all about promoting great Iowa pork and Iowa farmers. He shares more about the farmers represented at bacon festivals in the United States and overseas.

“One of our great supporters is a company called Berkwood Farms. Berkwood Farms is based in Des Moines. They’re a co-op of 64 family farmers. They raise a Berkshire hog; it’s nitrate, nitrite free. It’s a great, high-quality pork,” Reynolds said.

Festival staff will be adding a new item to the Japan Bacon Festival menu this year: pork loin and CT butts.

“Smithfield is a great supporter of us. They’re sending over a pallet of pork loin, so we’re giving that to all of our food vendors and they’re going to come up with a unique pork loin item.”

The United States exports $1.6 million of pork to Japan annually.