Over 620 attendees involved in the livestock feed and pet food industries attended the AFIA Purchasing and Ingredient Suppliers Conference in Las Vegas, Nev. March 2-4, 2011, to learn about the latest issues and events affecting operation and profitability. The AFIA Purchasing and Ingredient Suppliers Committee have sponsored the annual event for many years.

The event was keynoted by Tanya Dowda, Land O’Lakes Purina Feed, followed by Al Gunderson, chairman of the IFEEDER Board of Trustees. The first day of PISC included a state of the domestic agriculture industry delivered by David Oppedahl of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The international outlook was presented by a panel of experts including Eric Trachtenberg of USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, Matt McKnight of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, and Paul Clayton of the U.S. Meat Export Federation. The domestic and international state of the industry presentations offered a general oversight that proceeded the detailed sessions following on the second day of PISC.

The second day of the PISC comprised a series of presentations on issues and topics affecting the industry. Richard Brock of Brock Associates led with the grain outlook, with Dr. Art Douglas of Creighton University presenting the long-term weather update. Timothy Venverloh of Archer Daniels Midland and Tim Makens of Land O’Lakes Purina Feed comprised the sustainability panel, which focused on preparing the feed industry for future legislation and consumer requirements. Steve Kopperud of Policy Directions provided insight into the new Congress, and Dave Harlan of Cargill, Inc. addressed feed industry practices in relation to the international approach to global food safety.

“I am continually impressed by the knowledge and positive attitudes PISC attendees bring to the table,” stated Joel G. Newman, president and CEO of AFIA. “We are in the midst of some of the greatest changes our industry has ever seen, and our members leave PISC energized and ready to tackle the challenges lying ahead.”

The nutrition symposium, presented on March 1, 2011, was a highlight of the Spring Committee Meeting. The Nutrition Committee representing the AFIA Nutrition Member Interest Group arranged the pre-conference seminar entitled “Feeding and Fueling the World: Impact of Advancements in Crop Genetics on Animal Nutrition and the Need for Real Time Nutrient Analysis.” The afternoon-long seminar covered a variety of topics including the future of crop production, the demand for renewable fuels, meeting the food needs for the expanding global population and breeding technologies. Expert speakers addressing the topics included Michael Doane of the Monsanto Company, Dr. Todd Piper of Forage Genetics International, Dr. Eliot Herman of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Dr. Jon Goodson of Evonik Degussa Corp. and Dr. Fred Owens of Pioneer Hi-Bred International.

The 2012 Purchasing and Ingredients Suppliers Conference and Spring Committee Meetings will be held March 12-16, 2012, in Orlando, Fla. Visit the AFIA website for more information.