Early registration and hotel deadline for the event quickly approaching on April 8th.

Speakers and panelists will encourage attendees to ‘open the barn doors’ and increase transparency to build consumer trust at the Animal Agriculture Alliance’s annual Stakeholders Summit, to be held May 6-7, 2015 in Kansas City, MO.  Early registration is now available for the 2015 edition of the Alliance’s showcase event, themed “The Journey to Extraordinary.”

Attendees will first hear from the consumer viewpoint as they take a journey into the blogosphere with a panel of participants from the Alliance’s 2014 Farm to Pork blogger tour. During the blogger tour, organized by the Alliance along with the National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council and the North Carolina Pork Council, a group of 12 bloggers experienced the full ‘farm to fork’ experience, visiting Prestage Farms, Smithfield’s processing facilities and the meat science lab at North Carolina State University. Blogger tour panelists include:

  • David Wescott of Wescott Strategic Communications, who helped facilitate the tour
  • Ilina Ewen, tour participant and blogger, Dirt & Noise
  • Lisa Frame, tour participant and blogger, A Daily Pinch

On the second day of the Summit, Gary Cooper, chief operating officer of Cooper Farms, and Leah Lentini, Fair Oaks Farms, will serve on the “Another Stop on the Voyage to Radical Transparency: When Real People Open the Barn Doors to Real Farms” panel. Cooper and Lentini will offer the producer viewpoint on the challenges and benefits of increasing transparency and share how their businesses are progressing on their voyage.

“Transparency is crucial to building consumer trust, but producers are understandably wary of just how to implement ‘radical transparency’, our term for offering consumers complete insight into every step of the food production process,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “We’re excited for everyone to hear from our Farm to Pork bloggers about how much they valued the honest and open exposure to the industry, as well as what they learned about the people involved in farming and their passion.  We are confident our attendees will also be inspired by Cooper Farms and Fair Oaks Farms to start on their own journey to increased transparency.”

The Summit is a one-of-a-kind conference, ideal for networking across sectors of the food chain as it is attended by a diverse group of decision makers, including representatives from farms, ranches, food processors, restaurants, grocery stores, legislators, universities and government agencies. The 2015 event, set in Kansas City, Mo., will be the first edition of the Summit held outside of the Washington, DC area.

This year’s event will explore animal agriculture’s continuous efforts to embrace new technologies that will help feed a growing population while measuring sustainability, engage consumers in innovative ways to bridge the knowledge gap, and highlight initiatives that demonstrate agriculture’s commitment to transparency.

Early registration, which ends April 8, for the one-and-a-half day event is $375 for Alliance members and $425 for non-members; $325 for those in government or academia.  Media and students interested in registering should contact Hannah Thompson.  Registration materials and a full event schedule can be found on the Summit website.