The current study sought to compare the effectiveness of 2 virus isolation methods for the recovery of contemporary Influenza A virus (FLUAV) strains circulating in swine at agricultural exhibitions. Following the emergence of the influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 virus, increased surveillance of FLUAV strains among swine was recommended for early detection of emerging strains that threaten animal and human health. The increase in genetic drift and genomic reassortment among FLUAV strains infecting swine since 1998 necessitates that detection protocols be periodically validated for contemporary FLUAV strains. During 2009, nasal swabs were collected from 221 clinically healthy pigs at 12 agricultural exhibitions in Ohio. Nasal swabs were tested in parallel for the presence of FLUAV strains using 3 methodologies: 2 passages through Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells adapted to serum-free medium (SFM), 2 passages through embryonated chicken eggs (ECEs), and real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (real-time RT-PCR). Of the 221 samples, 40 (18.1%) were positive for FLUAV recovery in MDCK cell culture and 13 (5.9%) were positive in ECEs (P = 0.015). All samples positive in ECEs were also positive in MDCK cell culture. MDCK cell culture virus isolation results were in perfect agreement with results of the real-time RT-PCR. Hemagglutinin and neuraminidase combinations of the recovered isolates were H1N2 and H3N2, which were consistent with FLUAV strains circulating in U.S. pigs. Effectiveness and cost savings justify the use of SFM-adapted MDCK cell culture over ECEs for the recovery of contemporary FLUAV strains from exhibition swine.