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Atlanta: Crossroads of Global Poultry, Feed Industries

by 5m Editor
4 February 2010, at 9:40am

US - Based on preliminary figures, attendance at the 2010 International Poultry Expo (IPE) and International Feed Expo (IFE) was approximately 19,000, surpassing the 2009 attendance of 17,800.

Sponsored by US Poultry & Egg Association and the American Feed Industry Association, the annual event is the world's largest poultry and feed industry gathering.

2010 USPoultry chairman, Steve Willardsen of Cargill Value Added Meats, said: "What we're excited about is that attendee density on the exhibit floor was significantly higher this year. Due to current economic conditions, we were down slightly on the number of exhibitors from last year, so we had fewer exhibitor personnel. But the number of attendees – customers – was up, and the exhibitors seemed well pleased,"

The big exhibit floor was the main attraction. More than 800 companies displayed the latest innovations in equipment, supplies and services used by industry firms in the production and processing of poultry, eggs and feed products. Many firms take advantage of the annual event to introduce their new products. All phases of the poultry and feed industry were represented, from live production and processing to further processing and packaging.

The Expo is the complete event. Complementing the exhibits, education sessions keep industry management informed on current issues. Renewed from 2009, the Animal Agriculture Environmental Sustainability Summit examined the challenges and solutions of environmental stewardship. Industry keynote speaker, Larry Pope, CEO of Smithfield Foods, shared his firm's sustainability programme and explained that "now, customers want to know about sustainability even before discussing price".

A special USPoultry education programme, Animal Agriculture Under Attack, examined the ongoing campaign by animal rights activists targeting animal agriculture. Dr Wes Jamison, associate professor of communication at Palm Beach Atlantic University, and Blake Hurst, a Missouri farmer, author and vice president of the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation, discussed counter strategies for animal agriculture to reach consumers with accurate information about the industry's animal care practices based on good science.

Another popular programme from 2009, the Market Intelligence Forum, was also renewed this year. Prominent economist Dr Donald Ratajczak presented his outlook on the domestic and international economy. Mike Donohue (Agri-Stats) and Dr Paul Aho (Poultry Perspectives) looked at what is ahead in 2010 for the poultry industry.

The College Student Career Program attracted almost 300 students from 24 universities throughout the United States. The graduating students interview for jobs and internships with industry and allied firms. And they visit the exhibit floor to see the real-time technology used in today's poultry industry. Dan Cathy, president and COO of Chick-fil-A, was the keynote speaker, sharing his suggestions on the transition from Academics to Industry.

Organisation meetings, company gatherings, Infomarts, publisher-sponsored programs, the Pet Food Conference, technical sessions on a variety of industry-specific topics, and once-a-year networking opportunities made the International Poultry Expo and International Feed Expo the crossroads of the global poultry and feed industry.