NIAA Annual Conference Highlights Merging Values, Technology to Feed the WorldTue, 15 Jan 2013 11:10:32 CST
With the world's population projected to reach more than 9 billion by 2050, the challenge of feeding a growing global population is daunting. Nevertheless, current trends and research show that meeting this challenge is doable. This year's National Institute for Animal Agriculture's Annual Conference, April 15-17 in Louisville, Ky., will focus on two key factors -- technology and values -- that need to marry to make feeding the world's growing global population a consumer-acceptable reality. Speakers at NIAA's Annual Conference "Animal Agriculture's Vision to Feed the World: Merging Values and Technology" will address and delve deep into these two key areas. General topics include:
· Meeting the demand for food through technology and knowledge
· Using technology and values to tackle catastrophic disease events and natural disasters
· Translating and communicating advancements in agriculture to consumers
"The past two conferences brought these two topics -- technology and consumer values -- to the forefront, and we need to examine the best ways to merge the two for the benefit of consumers, animal agriculture and a growing hungry world," states Dr. Robert Fourdraine, co-chair of NIAA's Annual Conference.
Fourdraine explains that speakers will share innovative technologies -- those available today and others in the pipeline - -that can advance food production and will navigate challenging and emotionally charged issues tied to food production. Speakers will also present information that unpins the need to communicate with consumers in transparent, consumer-understood, consumer-friendly words and terms so consumers feel informed.
He points to a 2012 "Consumer Perceptions of Food Technology" survey that posed the question "What is your overall impression of using animal biotechnology with animals that produce food products such as meat, milk and eggs?" The top two reasons given by those comprising the 51 percent who were "neutral" or "unfavorable" to animal biotechnology being used were "don't have enough information" and "don't understand the benefits of using biotechnology with animals.""We in animal agriculture must remain focused on the big picture of providing safe, affordable protein to consumers in our nation and throughout the world, keeping technology and communicating the 'how' to consumers as priorities," Fourdraine says. "If you're involved in animal agriculture, this conference is the place to be, as it brings all species together and gets to the heart of our need to help feed the world."
NIAA's Annual Conference kicks off Monday, April 15, with an all-day optional tour. The conference's General Opening Session starts at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, April 16, followed by Committee and Council Meetings. Additional Council Meetings will take place on Wednesday, April 17, with the conference wrapping up by 4:30 p.m. with the Closing General Session.
Attendees are also invited to attend a Foot-and-Mouth Disease Symposium that starts Wednesday afternoon, April 17, and concludes Thursday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. April 18. The FMD Symposium will zero in on fostering a new preparedness paradigm and facilitate conversation among public and private sector stakeholders.
You can learn more about NIAA's Annual Conference or the FMD Symposium or register for either or both by going online to www.animalagriculture.org or calling NIAA at (719) 538-8843.
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