Bridging Gap Between Consumers and Ag at AFIA Nutrition Symposium
The education-packed seminar addressed recent developments in the agriculture industry and the industry’s efforts to communicate to consumers. Michael Formica, National Pork Producers Council, addressed the regulatory environment in Washington, D.C., identifying how certain regulations such as Waters of the United States could impact agriculture. Dr. Brad Johnson, Texas Tech University, spoke to the crowd about growth and development research in animals for consumption and what it means for the global food supply.
Johnson said, “…growth promotion hormones
have been around for 60 years. They are not new.” He added it is important to tell this to people concerned about their effects.
A firm believer in “drink more milk,” Dr. Adam Lock, associate professor in the Department of Animal Science at Michigan State University, highlighted the impact of milk on human health. Lock discussed the advances in cholesterol as a biomarker for cardiovascular disease, particularly the shift from total cholesterol to the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol. These advances in cholesterol have big implications for dietary saturated fat and its association with heart disease.
Stan Erwine, Dairy Management, Inc., reiterated Lock’s beliefs and discussed what we can do as industry representatives to build and maintain consumer trust in dairy and to make an impact through our roles. He encouraged attendees, no matter the age, to become advocates for the industry and hold conversations about the industry, reminding that social media is a way of life in 2015, not an option.
“Intelligent people can hold different opinions,” said Erwine. However, “shared values are three to five times more valuable than just the science” to today’s consumer.
The symposium has been approved for four continuing education units by the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists. The 2016 Spring Committee Meetings, Nutrition Symposium and Purchasing & Ingredient Suppliers Conference will be hosted March 7-11, in New Orleans, La.