Broiler chicken welfare on the agenda for 2017 Stakeholders Summit

Early registration discounts end tonight

April 10, 2017 – With activist groups pushing hard for restaurants, retailers and foodservice companies to adopt policies requiring the use of “slower growing” chicken breeds and new welfare standards for raising and stunning broilers, broiler chicken welfare will be up for discussion at the 2017 Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit. The 2017 Summit, themed “Connect to Protect Animal Ag” will be held May 3-4 in Kansas City, Mo. Early registration rates end at midnight tonight.

On a panel titled “Latest Target for NGOs: Broiler Welfare & Sustainability,” a group of expert speakers will offer perspectives on animal welfare in the broiler industry and meeting consumer demand while balancing environmental and economic sustainability.

Panelists include:

  • Kate Barger Weathers, DVM is the Director of World Animal Welfare at Cobb-Vantress, Inc., a global primary breeder company dedicated to the development of broiler breeder genetics. Weathers leads the company’s animal welfare program and actively collaborates with a diverse group of engineers, scientists and poultry specialists to design and test new innovations to enhance animal well-being and bird health.
  • Mike Morris is the Manager of Food Animal Programs for Yum! Brands. He has been employed with Yum for 11 years and provides technical guidance for global suppliers of beef, dairy, poultry and pork for Yum Brands including KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. Morris’ responsibilities include oversight for global quality assurance, food safety, animal welfare and animal production programs.
  • Ken Opengart, DVM, PhD, is the Vice President of Live Operations/Processing and Corporate Social Responsibility for Keystone Foods. Opengart has been employed by Keystone Foods for 13 years and during that time his responsibilities have included overseeing live operations, health and nutrition, animal welfare, biosecurity, pre-harvest food safety, sustainability and grain risk management programs.
  • Matt Salois, PhD, is Director of Global Scientific Affairs and Policy for Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly and Company. Salois also holds a courtesy professor appointment with the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida. His current research and professional experience focuses on the role of innovation and technology in food and agricultural production, with a focus on animal health, sustainability and food security.

“Broiler welfare is certainly a hot topic this year, with several activist groups indicating current or future plans to launch pressure campaigns targeting consumer-facing brands,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “This panel will help our attendees to understand the current situation facing the broiler industry.  It will also help arm our restaurant, retail and foodservice partners with truthful information about broiler production, welfare and stunning so that they have the necessary resources to navigate demands from activists, to address sustainability and animal welfare, and to meet the needs of their customers.”

Be sure to check the Alliance website for the most up-to-date Summit information. You can also follow the hashtag #AAA17 and #ActionPlease2017 for periodic updates about the event. For general questions about the Summit please contact or call (703) 562-5160. 

Make your plans to attend:

The early registration rate of $425 is available through midnight tonight. Discounted rates are available for Alliance members, government officials, university representatives and students. To see all rates and register, visit Complimentary registration is available for reporters covering the event for media outlets. Contact Hannah Thompson-Weeman at for details.

The Summit will once again be held in Kansas City in 2017 with all events taking place at the InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza. A limited supply of rooms is available at a discounted rate of $175/night as supplies last through April 10. For hotel booking instructions, visit

Did you attend the 2016 Summit?

If you attended the 2016 Summit and were inspired to take action to secure the future of animal agriculture, we’d love to hear from you! Your story could be featured at the 2017 event. Contact Casey Whitaker at to learn more. 

Get involved:

Show your support for the Alliance’s outreach efforts by becoming an official Summit sponsor today! To explore opportunities for 2017 please visit For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Allyson Jones-Brimmer at

Thank you to our 2017 Summit sponsors: Farm Journal Media, Meatingplace, Watt Global Media, American Feed Industry Association, Boehringer Ingelheim, Farm Credit, National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation, United Soybean Board, Elanco Animal Health, American Veal Association, Council for Biotechnology Information, Summit Livestock Facilities, United Egg Producers, Cobb-Vantress, Inc., National Biodiesel Board, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Protect the Harvest, The Mosaic Company, AdFarm, Agri Beef, BPI Technology, Inc., GNP Business Unit of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, Kemin, National Chicken Council, American Farm Bureau Federation, Dairy Max Inc., Live Oak Bank, North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation, Eggland’s Best, Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City, Food Industry Environmental Network, LLC, Kansas Farm Bureau and Kansas Soybean.

The Alliance thanks the following members for their continued support of Summit and other Alliance programs: U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, Merck Animal Health, Charleston|Orwig, Diamond V, Zoetis, Alltech, Inc., Aviagen Group, Bayer HealthCare LLC, Cargill, Cattle Empire, LLC, Genus PLC – PIC/ABS, Hendrix Genetics, Hy-Line North America LLC, Potash Corp., Provimi North America, Inc., Seaboard Foods LLC, Smithfield Hog Production and Iowa Soybean Board.

About the Alliance:

The Animal Agriculture Alliance is an industry-united, nonprofit organization that helps bridge the communication gap between farm and fork. We connectkey food industry stakeholders to arm them with responses to emerging issues. We engage food chain influencers and promote consumer choice by helping them better understand modern animal agriculture. We protect by exposing those who threaten our nation’s food security with damaging misinformation.
Find the Alliance on Facebook and Twitter.

Category: Press Releases

Tag: Broiler Chickens, Stakeholders Summit,