Sixth Annual Iowa State Bacon Expo: ‘Bacon at the Big Top’


Lyn Keren/Iowa State Daily

Bacon stands from a variety of vendors were placed throughout the Hansen Student Ag Center for visitors to taste from. Iowa State University hosted its annual Bacon Expo at the Hansen Ag Center on Oct. 8.

Kirstie Martin

The sixth annual Iowa State Bacon Expo is ready to showcase “Bacon at the Big Top” as a part of CALS week.

The Expo will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Jeff and Deb Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center.

With a bacon eating contest, bacon bingo and a pig squealing contest, the day is full of entertainment in addition to featuring bacon related food items.

Vendors within the industry, as well as Iowa State clubs, will also be showcased at the Expo.

“My favorite part of Bacon Expo is how it brings the agriculture industry together along with the community for a family friendly event to learn about the swine industry while enjoying delicious food,” said Gracie Russell, 2018 Bacon Expo internal communications tri-chair.

The Bacon Expo is planned almost a year in advance, with three tri-chairs selected in November the year before.

“Multiple hours of planning and executive team meetings go into planning the event,” said Reece Rieken, the 2018 Bacon Expo external communications tri-chair. “We table on campus, go to Destination Iowa State, participate in CALS Week and many other activities to promote our event. We have 110 students through different majors to make this event run smoothly.”

Rieken said his favorite part of the Bacon Expo is being able to celebrate the pork industry as a whole with family, friends and industry professionals, all while “bringing a positive light to the industry through a fun family event, which is a great way to showcase the industry and Iowa State University. “

Russell said this year ticket prices have changed, so the event has become more affordable. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Special Olympics of Iowa. Tickets are available online at

For students, tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Adult tickets are $10 each, 6-12 year old tickets are $5 and the event is free for children under 5 years old.