ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. — The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) held its annual Purchasing and Ingredient Suppliers Conference (PISC) in Fort Worth, Texas, U.S. The three-day educational and networking program boasted a record 702 attendees, breaking last year’s record of 652 attendees. 

 “From the diverse lineup of speakers to the many opportunities for feed ingredient buyers and sellers to network and conduct their businesses at the conference and around town, PISC is truly where our members ‘get business done,’” said Veronica Rovelli, senior director of meetings and events for the AFIA. “This conference has grown exponentially over the past few years, and we believe it is because it provides a perfect venue for our members to foster and deepen relationships with their suppliers and clients.”

This year’s educational program featured several experts who spoke on topics such as: preparing your business for future success by learning to manage digital transformations; an outlook on the political landscape; discussions on the economics of the animal agriculture industry; and a motivational keynote about moving with purpose.

 New this year, the Institute for Feed Education and Research, AFIA’s public charity, sponsored a lunchtime screening of the documentary, “Food Evolution.”

It explores the challenges the world faces in feeding a growing population and the critical role that biotechnology plays in addressing them. Following the screening, one of the featured experts from the film, Alison Van Eenennaam, a cooperative extension specialist in animal genomics and biotechnology at the University of California, Davis, led a discussion on the important role of communicating science to consumer audiences.

“People often ask me why I have been out there talking about this film, and I tell them that I care because there have been several documented cases throughout history of the agriculture industry losing access to safe technology due to fear, misleading marketing, and public perception,” Van Eenennaam said. “As a scientific community and agriculture industry, we have a responsibility to be more vocal in calling out those who demonize our industry to replace facts with fiction. By focusing on having conversations around shared values, we can show how we are achieving greater environmental sustainability through better science and innovation.”

Conference attendees also had the opportunity to meet with 12 members as part of the PISC Suppliers Showcase and participate in other networking activities, such as the annual golf tournament and sporting clays outing.