NIAA Annual Conferences always address cutting edge issues facing food producers and the industries, agencies and organizations supporting them. “The National Institute for Animal Agriculture can be counted on for level headed, timely, technical leadership on concerns to both consumers and producers and their impact on their day-to-day lives,” says John Saunders, CEO & Chairman of Where Food Comes From, Inc., and Chair of the NIAA 2017 Annual Conference Planning Committee.
This year’s upcoming NIAA Annual Conference will focus on understanding the challenges of the globalization of food production. This year's theme, "US Animal Agriculture’s Future Role in World Food Production: Obstacles & Opportunities," goes beyond the implications of import and export, trade negotiations and political concerns, to include how animals are treated and resources are used world-wide.
“2016 has been an interesting year in many respects,” says Saunders. “Trade, finances, feed, pathogens like avian flu and PEDv … all are issues which not only impact a species, but have regional and global implications.”
The April 3-6 Annual Conference will feature discussions and presentations recognizing that disease traceability, feed issues, hormone and antibiotic use, GMO's, animal welfare, and sustainability influence world herd health, while market-driven value added programs and financial trends impact productivity here at home.
“All of it intertwines in the globalization of food production,” continues Saunders. “There are great food producers around the world, and consumers in the U.S. have food from everywhere coming in to their homes.” U.S. producers deliver protein products to consumers in multiple international destinations.
Where once there was an interest and motivation for regulated standardization of animal health and feed, today’s more consumer-driven marketplace brings value-added programs and verifiable standards for which the end user will pay an increased price. World-wide regulation, perhaps a difficult model to implement, may prove a less robust concept than market-driven standards, where producers comply with programs which enhance marketing and trade.
No matter what the issue, there is always more than one side of the story. NIAA excels in bringing together stakeholders for productive discussions which include alternate perspectives, opinions and experiences for the advancement of animal agriculture.
Following the 2017 Annual Conference, an added day on April 6th will feature a workshop themed “Animal Care Standards – How Laws, Company Commitments, and Public Perception Have Changed the Landscape” which will concentrate on animal welfare and well-being, with presentations and panel discussions on standards, legislation, and a vision to the future.
The NIAA Annual Conference will be held at the Renaissance Columbus Hotel Downtown, Columbus, OH. An Ag Tour of area industries will be available as a pre-conference tour on April 3rd. NIAA Species Committees, Issues Councils and Leadership meetings will also be highlighted. For registration, agenda information and speakers, go to the NIAA website, www.animalagriculture.org.
The National Institute for Animal Agriculture provides a forum for building consensus and advancing proactive solutions for animal agriculture—the aquaculture, beef, dairy, equine, goats, poultry, sheep and swine industries—and provides continuing education and communication linkages for animal agriculture professionals. NIAA is dedicated to programs that work towards the eradication of disease that pose risk to the health of animals, wildlife and humans; promote a safe and wholesome food supply for our nation and abroad; and promote best practices in environmental stewardship, animal health and well-being. NIAA members represent all facets of animal agriculture.