Diverse panelists to discuss issues management, engaging allies at Summit

Registration open through May 2

April 26, 2016 – Attendees at the Animal Agriculture Alliance’s 2016 Stakeholders Summit will enjoy the unique opportunity to hear exceptional stories and insights from their peers on two “Action, Please!” panels. The discussions are intended to provide the audience with fresh perspectives and actionable ideas that can be immediately implemented by any farm or business. The Summit is set for May 5-6, 2016 in Arlington, Va.

This year’s Summit, themed “Securing Animal Agriculture’s Future: Action, Please!”, will focus on securing a bright future for animal agriculture by finding solutions to the challenges facing the industry today. Attendees will hear from thought-provoking speakers, participate in engaging discussions, and leave with takeaways that they can use right away on their farms or in their businesses. Pre-registration for the event is open through May 2.

The “Stepping Up: Finding Solutions to Pressing Issues” panel will feature:

Gavin Gibbons, vice president, communications, National Fisheries Institute. As spokesman for the National Fisheries Institute, the country’s largest commercial seafood trade association, Gibbons has been the voice of fisheries on issues in the mainstream media. He will focus on how activist organizations have misrepresented the seafood industry and what NFI has done to drastically increase the amount of positive media attention for seafood.

Kristen Coady, senior director, corporate communications, Dairy Farmers of America. Coady is responsible for implementing Dairy Farmers of America’s communication strategy, managing the brand and messaging for DFA, and ensuring effective communication with members, employees, customers, legislative representatives and other key stakeholders. Coady will discuss DFA’s unique approach in handling an “undercover” video release by animal rights activists.

Joe Swyers, owner and operator, Swyers Dairy Farm. Swyers and his wife operate an 1,100-cow dairy in Danville, New York. Last year, Swyers became concerned when he learned that Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” was part of his 8th grade daughter’s curriculum. After having no luck talking with his daughter’s teacher or principal about his concerns, Swyers convinced the school superintendent to give him a chance to offer the students another perspective of the food system. Swyers will tell this story of his experience and his lessons learned.

The “Reaching Out: Enlisting Allies” panel includes:

Mia Roberts, vice president – strategic operations, American Egg Board. Roberts leads the Good Egg Project, an image campaign created in 2009 on behalf of America’s Egg Farmers, as well as all corporate social responsibility, sustainability, education, state support and industry communications initiatives. Roberts will describe the Egg Board’s efforts to engage students and teachers through Farm-to-Table Virtual Field Trips produced in partnership with Discovery Education.

Lou Nave, executive director, Farm Animal Care Coalition of Tennessee. Nave has served as the executive director for the Farm Animal Care Coalition of Tennessee, a nonprofit serving as a unified voice for humane animal care, well-being issues and best management practices in Tennessee agriculture, since the group was formed in 2011. She will share about FACCT’s work to connect with the law enforcement community through a seminar held in October 2015 titled “Livestock 911: Basic Response to Livestock Investigations.”

Jeff Kayser, director of production, Suidae Health and Production Veterinary Clinic. Kayser leads a team of 150 employees that perform human resources, production, animal movement coordination, animal care program implementation and information services activities for 30,000 sows and 200,000 grow finish pigs. Kayser will give advice for enlisting industry allies in preparing for and avoiding crisis situations on farms, including “undercover” activist activity.

“An important part of the Alliance’s work is connecting leaders in animal agriculture to share ideas, and these two panel discussions will do just that,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “Anyone who works in or with the animal agriculture industry will want to be a part of these conversations about how we can effectively manage emerging issues and build strong relationships with industry stakeholders and external audiences.”

The Stakeholders Summit is a one-of-a-kind conference attended by a diverse group of decision makers, including representatives from farms, ranches, food processors, allied industry, restaurants, grocery stores, legislatures, universities, and government agencies.

Be sure to check the Alliance website for the most up-to-date Summit information. You can also follow the hashtag #AAA16 for periodic updates about the event. For general questions about the Summit, please contact summit@animalagalliance.org or call (703) 562-5160.


Registration for the one-and-a-half day event is $425 for Alliance members, $475 for non-members and $375 for those in government or academia. Members of the media receive complimentary registration and should contact Hannah Thompson at hthompson@animalagalliance.org for instructions on how to register. Registration materials and full event schedule can be found at www.animalagalliance.org/summit.

This year’s Summit will be held at the Westin Arlington Gateway in Arlington, Va. For more information, visit the hotel’s website or call 1-888-627-7076.

The 2016 Summit is approved for 10 American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists CEU’s. ARPAS members in attendance can obtain this credit using the ARPAS website (www.arpas.org).

Refer a Friend:

Help us spread the word about Summit! If you refer a friend to attend the 2016 Stakeholders Summit who has never attended a previous Stakeholders Summit and they list your name as their recommender when they register for the event, you’ll both be entered in a drawing to win a $100 gift card! Each referral will count as one entry and there is no limit on the number of entries for referrers. We will give away two $100 gift cards at the 2016 Stakeholders Summit – one drawing for referrers and one drawing for those who were referred. All registrations with a referral listed made until online registration closes on May 2 will be entered. Must be present at the 2016 Stakeholders Summit to claim your gift card.

Get involved:

Show your support for the Alliance’s outreach efforts by becoming an official Summit sponsor today! For a complete listing of Summit sponsors or to watch video recordings from the 2015 Summit please visit www.animalagalliance.org/summit. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Allyson Jones-Brimmer at ajonesbrimmer@animalagalliance.org.

Current 2016 sponsors include: U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, Meatingplace, Farm Journal Media, Watt Global Media, Farm Credit, American Feed Industry Association, National Pork Board, National Cattleman’s Beef Association, Alltech, Zoetis, Diamond V, Charleston|Orwig, National Pork Producers Council, Merck Animal Health, Smithfield, Provimi, Bayer Animal Health, PotashCorp, Seaboard Foods, Iowa Soybean Association, Aviagen, Cattle Empire, United Soybean Board, Elanco Animal Health, Council for Biotechnology Information/GMO Answers, The National Turkey Federation’s 20 by 2020 Project, United Egg Producers, Kemin Industries, American Veal Association, Cobb-Vantress, Protect the Harvest, GNP Company, Agri Beef Co., National Chicken Council, North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation, Dairy MAX, Live Oak Bank, Millennium Research Inc., Eggland’s Best and the Food Industry Environmental Network.

In addition to sponsoring the Summit, companies, associations and individuals can support the Alliance’s outreach and engagement efforts by donating to the Silent Auction. Proceeds from the 2016 Silent Auction at the Summit will support the Alliance’s College Aggies Online (CAO) program. CAO helps train the next generation of leaders in agriculture by challenging students to go out of their comfort zone to engage online and on campus about current and emerging issues facing agriculture. Previous auction donations have included goods and services such as artwork, quilts, jewelry, craft items, model farm equipment, celebrity autographed items, gift baskets, gift certificates, food items, wine and sporting or entertainment event tickets. To support CAO through the Silent Auction, contact Allyson Jones-Brimmer at ajonesbrimmer@animalagalliance.org.

About the Alliance:

The Animal Agriculture Alliance is an industry-united, nonprofit organization that helps bridge the communication gap between farm and fork. We connect key 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.

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