By CAROL RYAN DUMAS
Alltech's fifth annual Global 500, set for Dec. 4-6 in Lexington, Ky., will address the changing future of the dairy and beef industries, exploring the latest issues and trends.
The event brings together innovators in those industries from around the globe, with attendees from 30 countries last year, said Kami Beukers, Alltech territory sales manager based in Jerome, Idaho.
The event focuses on the future and gives attendees opportunity for networking and finding out what has worked for other operations, she said.
It brings together a lot of different speakers on both the production side and processing side of the dairy and beef industries, she said.
"Global 500 is really for the innovators in the industry. It's for guys who want to be on the cutting edge," she said.
"Through this event we can explore ways to make farming more profitable and sustainable and share new strategies and technologies to make dairy and beef production more efficient," Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech, said in a press release.
This year's program will feature presentations on branding, social media in agriculture and finding new opportunities in challenging times. In addition to an array of presentations, attendees will be invited to take part in discussion dinners, breakout sessions and farm tours.
Dairy producers will explore topics including breakthroughs in nutrition, strategies to manage feed costs and emerging markets. Beef producers will delve into issues such as the future marketplace, consumer demand, meat quality, greenhouse gasses, and feed yard management.
A tour of the Alltech Algae research facility will also be held. It is the only animal-health company research center looking at algae as an alternative for high protein feed, Beukers said.
Alltech's research at its Center for Animal Nutrigenomics and Applied Animal Nutrition will also be highlighted. The research is focused on how nutrients affect animal genes to gain the ability to improve such things as feed efficiency, growth rate and fertility at the molecular level. Nutrients can activate some genes and deactivate others, and Alltech is testing how animals perform, and the quality of their meat, by switching those genes on or off.
Alltech's work with genes was an eye-opener for Troy Hobbs, a Franklin, Idaho, dairymen who attended the event last year.
"I was pretty impressed. Some of it was way over my head, of course," he said.
But one quote that stuck with him was "If Henry Ford would have asked the public what it wanted, they would have said a faster horse," he said.
Instead, Ford had his own ideas, and it's that same innovative thinking that is needed to feed the world's growing population, projected to reach 9 billion by 2050, he said.
Registration is $325. The early registration fee is $200 by Nov. 9. The registration fee includes access to all sessions, functions, luncheons and dinners.
For more information or to register, visit www.alltech.com/global500 and use the invitation code G124.