In 2014, the American Feed Industry Association became a member of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture. AFIA has asked NIAA to share their story in our Journal guest column:
The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) is a group whose main objective is to educate and facilitate conversation within the agricultural industry. Members represent all facets of the agricultural industry, and NIAA is able to bring stakeholders together to find a consensus on the many issues facing animal agriculture.
NIAA . . . providing forums for solutions to relevant issues, providing opportunities for continuing education, and providing communication linkages for the animal agriculture professional.
The NIAA has many species and issue based committees and councils in order to focus and facilitate the conversation between producers, veterinarians, researchers and government personnel. In order to accommodate the wide variety of members, NIAA leads six committees: aquatic livestock, bovine, equine, poultry, small ruminant, and swine committee. As well as six councils: animal care, animal identification & information systems, antibiotics, animal health emergency management, emerging diseases, and global animal health, food security & trade council.
The organization is dedicated to programs that: work towards the eradication of diseases that pose a risk to the health of animals, wildlife and humans; provide a safe and wholesome food supply for our nation and abroad; and promote best practices in environmental stewardship, animal health and well-being.
An important component of NIAA education and informational programs is the exchange of science-based and technical information. This exchange of information is through discussions where industry-wide positions are taken, voted on and become industry policy. It is this type of exchange that enables NIAA to be a facilitator for solutions for the animal agriculture industry as meetings pull together decision-makers, problems and solutions are identified and initiated for industry-wide gain.
The NIAA holds several conferences and symposiums throughout the year in order to provide a forum for building a consensus and advancing proactive solutions for animal agriculture.
The next conference that the NIAA will be hosting begins March 23 - March 26, 2015 in Indianapolis. The theme for the 2015 Annual Conference is Water and the Future of Animal Agriculture. The main topics that the general sessions as well as the committee and council meetings will focus on are the issues involving the quality, quantity and operating environment for water. How can production agriculture be as sustainable as it can be? How is animal agriculture impacting water quality? Is fracking affecting water quality for animal agriculture? What water regulations need to be in place or changed?
Outstanding keynote speakers include Dr. Jay Famiglietti, Earth Science Professor, University California, Irvine; Aubrey Bettencourt, Executive Director for the California Water Alliance; and Fred Kirschenmann, Distinguished Fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.
There is a new addition this year with the National Roundtable for Sustainable Aquaculture. This one and a half day workshop will begin on March 25 and conclude on March 26. This workshop will be facilitated by Dr. Marty Matlock, Ph.D., P.E., B.C.E.E., a professor of ecological engineering at the University of Arkansas. The NRSA and NIAA look forward to to increasing the involvement of the aquaculture industry in helping to find ways to increase production and sustainability in the United States. Fish and other seafood is growing in popularity in the American diet however the U.S. still imports 90 percent of its seafood from countries like China and other parts of Asia. By increasing production within the U.S., jobs will be created and the quality and safety of seafood available to Americans will increase.
The 2015 NIAA Annual Conference, Water and the Future of Animal Agriculture, is March 23-26, 2015 in Indianapolis at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis. For more information or to register online go to www.animalagriculture.org/2015AnnualConference or contact the NIAA by calling 719-538-8843 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
While the conference is open to everyone, being a member of the NIAA has significant benefits including a discounted rate at the Annual Conference and voting capabilities within the committees and councils. There are three membership tiers: National association or commercial organization, state level association or publicly supported institution/agency and individuals. Go to www.animalagriculture.org for more information about the association, membership or upcoming conferences.
Administrative Communications Coordinator
National Institute for Animal Agriculture
13570 Meadowgrass Dr., Suite 201
Colorado Springs, CO 80921
Tel: 719-538-8843, Ext 12