ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference (ONE19) opened May 20 with the presentation of Alltech’s highest distinctions: the Alltech Medal of Excellence and the Alltech Humanitarian Award. Now in its 35th year, Alltech’s annual international conference has become known as the nexus of global food and agribusiness, bringing together producers and industry experts from around the world to share insights and solutions for today’s most pressing issues.

The Alltech Medal of Excellence, a recognition of achievement and character, was awarded to Dr. Richard Murphy, research director at the Alltech European Bioscience Centre in Dunboyne, Ireland. Murphy, who has worked with Alltech for nearly 25 years, received the award for his pioneering work in the areas of organic trace element assimilation, microbial enzyme technology and the mitigation of antimicrobial resistance in livestock production. This research has provided the basis for a revolution in animal nutrition. Murphy also took the conference mainstage to speak about our understanding of the microbiome, how it functions and how we can better support it, which will have major implications for animal agriculture and for human health.

The Alltech Humanitarian Award, which is bestowed annually to someone of strong character who uses their platform to positively influence and inspire those around them, was awarded to Bear Grylls. The BAFTA award-winning survival expert has completed numerous incredible feats during his life, both on and off the screen. Most notably, he became one of the youngest climbers ever to reach the summit of Mount Everest just 18 months after breaking his back in three places during a parachuting accident. Grylls has since shared his inspirational survival experiences, grit and determination with the world in television shows such as the Emmy Award-nominated “Man vs. Wild.”

Grylls told attendees about the four things that have shaped him and the lessons he’s learned along the way. He guided the audience on a journey to discover how to overcome challenges and adversity and to learn from failures. His stories of resilience, courage and never giving up inspired and empowered the audience to get out and find their own adventures.

“Have faith in yourself, others and the force of goodness,” said Grylls. “We all face our Everest. Everest, really, is just a state of mind. I finally reached the summit of my Everest, and it was extraordinary.”

Dr. Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech, challenged the audience to take action on their dreams.

“Just get it going,” he said. “Do something. If you do something, you learn from it. If you make a mistake, you will find a better way out.”

The Pearse Lyons Accelerator startups also took to the mainstage at ONE19 to pitch in front of some 3,500 thought leaders in agriculture from over 70 countries. Empowering the next generation of ag-tech entrepreneurs to contribute to a Planet of Plenty, The Pearse Lyons Accelerator was founded in 2016 to support the advancement of disruptive technologies taking on problems facing agriculture today.

Subject- and species-specific breakout sessions with industry experts also took place, giving attendees an opportunity to explore their particular fields, including aquaculture, beef, crop science, dairy, pig, poultry, equine, health and wellness, business, and brewing and distilling. For those who missed the discussions or want to replay their favorite presentations, the Alltech Idea Lab offers the chance to hear talks from the inspiring leaders and future thinkers featured at ONE19.

To learn more about ONE19 and follow live updates, visit www.one.alltech.com.