Sponsored by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY), the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and the Meat Institute, the annual Animal Agriculture Sustainability Summit brought together more than 125 attendees to hear the latest on how the meat, poultry and egg, animal feed and pork industries are advancing their sustainability programs. The summit was held during the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE), taking place this week in Atlanta, Ga.
Frank Mitloehner, Ph.D., professor and air quality specialist in cooperative extension in the Department of Animal Science and director of the Clarity and Leadership for Environmental Awareness and Research (CLEAR) Center at the University of California, Davis, delivered the summit’s keynote address on “Sustainable Farming, Sustainable Future: How Livestock Can Be Part of a Climate Solution.” He discussed the impact of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the expected increase in animal protein consumption and its effects, the need for more public and private funding, as well as the need for the development of a toolbox to identify solutions.
“We know that methane is what matters in animal agriculture. If we understand it and manage it well, we can be part of the climate solution,” stated Dr. Mitloehner, as he noted the importance of methane reduction in agriculture’s sustainability journey.
Following Mitloehner’s keynote address, representatives of the meat, poultry and egg, animal feed and pork industries shared updates on their industry sustainability programs to advance their aspirations of producing more protein in a sustainable fashion. A common theme industry representatives shared included the need for communication across the animal agriculture industry to ensure sustainability goals can be reached and ensure companies can communicate their contributions effectively. Speakers included Ryan Bennett, executive director of the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry & Eggs and the International Poultry Welfare Alliance; Lara Moody, P.E., executive director of the Institute for Feed Education and Research; Eric Mittenthal, chief strategy officer at the Meat Institute; and Dr. Heather Fowler, director of producer and public health at The Pork Board.