Summit speaker lineup set to provide solutions to challenges facing animal ag

North Carolina Pork CEO Andy Curliss to address legal attacks on farmers

January 10, 2019 – The agenda is now available for the Animal Agriculture Alliance’s 2019 Stakeholders Summit, themed A Seat At The Table. The lineup will tackle diverse topics from understanding consumer perceptions to engaging influencers to protecting farms and other agricultural operations from activist threats. The event will be held May 8-9 at the InterContinental at the Plaza Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri. Early registration discounts are available through February 1. To view the agenda and register, visit

Andy Curliss, CEO of North Carolina Pork Council, will close the event with a session titled “Farmers Under Fire.” Curliss will provide a deep and broad look, with several specific case studies (including the recent nuisance lawsuit verdicts in North Carolina), at how significant coordinated advocacy is threatening animal agriculture. He will offer an unprecedented look at the ongoing attacks against the industry and provide attendees with insights on how to protect their livelihood. “If you think $550 million in jury verdicts in North Carolina are just about pigs in North Carolina, you are mistaken,” Curliss said. “The industry as a whole can learn a lot from the issues we are dealing with.”

Prior to joining the N.C. Pork Council, Andy led the public affairs and strategic communications division at Gelia, Wells & Mohr, a national marketing and communications agency, where he advised executive-level clients on matters concerning business, public policy and communications. Curliss began his career in journalism and has two decades of experience as an editor and investigative reporter.

The annual Stakeholders Summit brings top thought leaders in the industry together to discuss hot-button issues and out-of-the-box ideas. The 2019 event will focus on engagement between key stakeholders in restaurant, retail and foodservice companies, farms and ranches, government agencies, agribusinesses, and agriculture and food associations.

“Unfortunately, preparing for legal attacks from activist groups is a necessity for everyone in animal agriculture,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “We’ve followed the nuisance lawsuits in North Carolina closely and are very concerned about the precedent they may be setting. Mr. Curliss’ unique perspective will be highly valuable for our attendees as they prepare for similar tactics being used in their industries and communities.”

Be sure to check the Summit website for the most up-to-date Summit information. You can also follow the hashtags #AAA19 for periodic updates about the event. For general questions about the Summit please contact or call (703) 562-5160.

Get involved:

Show your support for the Alliance’s outreach efforts by becoming an official Summit sponsor today! For 2019 sponsorship opportunities, please visit For more information, contact Allyson Jones-Brimmer at

Thank you to our 2019 Summit sponsors: Watt Global Media, Farm Journal Media, Meatingplace, National Provisioner, American Feed Industry Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Board, Smithfield, National Turkey Federation, Farm Credit, Country Folks, National Biodiesel Board, Summit Livestock Facilities, United Egg Producers, Cobb-Vantress, Inc., Council for Biotechnology Information, Protect the Harvest, American Veal Association, BPI Technology, Inc., Kemin, National Chicken Council, Live Oak Bank, North Carolina Farm Bureau, Vivayic, Eggland’s Best, Food Industry Environmental Network, Kansas Farm Bureau and Kansas Soybean.

The Alliance also 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 Animal Health, Dairy Farmers of America, Genus PLC – PIC/ABS, Hendrix Genetics, Hy-Line North America LLC, Iowa Soybean Association, Midwest Dairy, Nutrien, Provimi North America, Inc. and Seaboard Foods LLC.

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 FacebookTwitter

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