WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — U.S. Congressman Lee Terry will provide the keynote address to the fifth annual Feed and Pet Food Joint Conference,scheduled Oct. 7-9 in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S., hosted by the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and the Pet Food Institute (PFI).

Terry, who serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its regulation of animal feed and pet food, will address the more than 300 industry members expected to attend the conference.

The conference, which is the premier feed industry and pet food event, will take place at the downtown Hilton Omaha and kicks-off with Terry's opening address at 4 p.m. on, Oct. 7. A grand opening reception will follow from 5-7 p.m. in the conference's exhibit hall. (Spaces still are available to exhibit, for more information see the Sponsorship Menu.)

The Joint Conference's program will open Oct. 8 and focus on the top regulatory, customer, and market issues facing the animal feed and pet food sectors in the coming year. Among the topics to be addressed during the day-long program are:

• FDA's Feed and Pet Food Agenda for 2015: Dan McChesney, director, Office of Surveillance and Compliance, FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine, will review the status of Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rulemaking, as well as the agency's wide-ranging regulatory and guidance initiatives planned in 2015 for the feed and pet food industries.

• Sanitary Transportation of Food, Animal Feed and Pet Food Products: Sharon Clark, senior vice-president transportation and regulatory affairs at Perdue AgriBusiness LLC, will provide an overview of FDA's proposed rule for sanitary transportation of food, animal feed and pet food products, and approaches that companies may wish to consider to ensure the safety of products during transport.

• Top Policy Issues for Animal Feed and Pet Food: David Fairfield, vice-president of feed services, NGFA, and Peter Tabor, vice president of regulatory and international affairs, PFI, will offer their thoughts on the top policy issues important to animal feed and pet food companies.

• Sustainability and Consumer Preferences - What's the Right Approach: A panel of leading experts will share their views on what sustainability means, consumer perspectives and industry initiatives.

• GMO Answers - Building Greater Consumer Acceptance of Biotechnology: Cathy Enright, head of Food and Agriculture for Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) will discuss current issues related to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and ongoing activities to build greater consumer acceptance.

• AAFCO Priorities for 2015 and Beyond: Doug Lueders, president, Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and feed program supervisor, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, will provide an update on the status of the AAFCO ingredient-approval process and other initiatives underway in the professional organization of state and federal regulators.

• The Renewable Fuel Standard - Impacts on Animal Feed and Pet Food Ingredient Availability: Marty Ruikka, principal, The ProExporter Network, will outline anticipated impacts of the Renewable Fuel Standard on the availability of ingredients used in animal feed and pet food.
In addition, on Thursday morning, Oct. 9, a free FSMA workshop will be available for all conference attendees. The Acheson Group, a strategic consulting firm that provides the latest food/feed safety consulting insights related to operational-, brand-, and regulatory-risk management, will conduct the special session.  During the workshop, Jennifer McEntire, vice-president, and Anne Sherod, director of food safety, will offer practical suggestions on how animal feed and pet food manufacturers can begin preparing for anticipated new FDA requirements.

Program, registration and hotel reservation information is available on the NGFA website.