Annual Conference of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), April 11 – 14, 2011   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      Contact: Teres Lambert December 1, 2010                                                                                847-838-2966     National Conference to Identify Consumers as Stakeholders in Today’s Food Production   COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – By most estimates, food production must double by 2050 to feed the world’s rapidly growing population.  While agriculture will evolve to fulfill such a mandate, limited resources make it increasingly important that the industry emphasize responsible and sustainable production that meets consumer expectations while providing for food security.   The 2011 Annual Conference of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), April 11 – 14, will explore the growing necessity of involving consumers as stakeholders in food production.    Areas to be explored will include the food supply; food security; food safety; animal agriculture’s importance in the ecosystem; and effective ways to communicate with consumer stakeholders.  The conference will be held at the Omni San Antonio Hotel in San Antonio, Texas.   “Given the nearly overwhelming challenge of doubling the food supply in the next forty years, producers in animal agriculture will be faced with the task of finding ways to meet growing production demands with continued integrity,” said Dr. Nevil Speer, chairman of the Annual Conference’s planning committee.    “Consumers are increasingly demanding more input and desire to have accurate and complete information on the many issues surrounding meat, milk and fiber production practices. Consumers will necessarily need to be involved as stakeholders in order to ensure efficient, responsible, and resource-conserving methods are understood and used in food production.”   The NIAA Annual Conference brings together leaders in animal agriculture and agribusiness who provide cutting edge information and work collectively to develop consensus on key issues.  This year’s conference will feature two plenary sessions in which experts will lay the foundation for the elements of a stable food supply, with conference participants then helping to develop a direction for needed research, information, development, and production methods to meet the food production challenge.    NIAA’s several species committees and issues councils will also meet during the conference to address specific animal agriculture topics and to help drive NIAA’s policy process.    “NIAA’s Annual Conference has been recognized for decades as being the place where animal agriculture comes together,” said Dr. Robert Fourdraine, NIAA’s board chairman.  “The organization represents all livestock species and industry segments, as well as animal health practitioners and regulators.    “The conference allows for a forum unlike any other.  It promotes interaction and consensus-building for the betterment of animal agriculture.”   A schedule of events for NIAA’s 2011 Annual Conference, registration information, and hotel information is available at the NIAA website: Individuals are also welcome to call NIAA at (719) 538-8843 for additional information.   The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) is a non-profit, membership-driven organization that unites and advances animal agriculture—the beef, dairy, equine, goat, poultry, sheep and swine industries. NIAA is dedicated to programs that work toward the eradication of diseases that pose risk to the health of animals, wildlife and humans; promote a safe and wholesome food supply for our nation and abroad; and promote best practices in environmental stewardship, animal health and animal well-being.  Members of NIAA include livestock producers, producer organizations, veterinarians, scientists, state and federal officials, and agribusiness executives.   #   #   #