Pet Food Conference

January 30, 2024 | 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. ET
Georgia World Congress Center | Thomas B. Murphy Ballroom | Atlanta, Ga.
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Tuesday, January 30, 2024

7 - 8 a.m. Breakfast
8 - 8:10 a.m.  Welcome and Introductions
8:10 - 9 a.m.

Nourishing Companions: Emerging Trends in the Global Pet Food Market

Lynn Dornblaser, Director, Innovation & Insight


9 - 9:50 a.m.

Sustainable Pet Food Formulations Through the Use of Rendered Products

Dr. Charles Starkey, Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs

North American Renderers Association

9:50 - 10:10 a.m Break
10:10 - 11 a.m.

Packaging Regulations and Pawsibilities: The Ongoing Pursuit of Sustainable Pet Food Packaging

Dr. Rafael Auras, Professor, School of Packaging

Michigan State University

11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Emerging Issues In The Pet Industry 

Invited papers from four graduate students

Yeast based ingredient affects canine gastrointestinal microbiata fermentation dynamics

Vanessa De La Guardia-Hidrogo, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Situational analysis for consumer-focused sorghum in north american pet foods

Elaheh Rabiee, Kansas State University

Effects of reformulation of a crystalline amino acid reference diet in dogs to determine protein quality of ingredients

Michelina Crosbie, University of Guelph

Pet food producers’ perception of sorghum as an ingredient in pet food/treats

Katelyn Bailey, Kansas State University

12 - 12:05 p.m.

Friend Of Pet Food Award

12:05 - 1:10 p.m. Networking Lunch 
1:10 - 2 p.m.

Are Cats and Dogs the New Climate Culprits? Separating Facts from Fiction

Dr. Frank Mitloehner, Director, CLEAR Center

Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis

2 - 2:45 p.m.

Panel Discussion

Agri Trade Inside Panel: USDA FAS and USTR Representatives will Provide Valuable Insights into the Intersection of Agriculture and Trade Policies


Constance Cullman, President and CEO

American Feed Industry Association


Ambassador Doug McKalip, Chief Agricultural Negotiator

Office of the United States Trade Representative

Alexis M. Taylor, Under Secretary, Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs

U.S. Department of Agriculture

2:45-  3:45 p.m.

Biotic Buzz: Definitions, Potential Benefits and Application to Pets

Dr. Kelly Swanson, Department of Animal Sciences and Division of Nutritional Sciences

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 

3:45 - 4 p.m.

Wrap up and Adjourn

*Times and speakers are subject to change (times in EST)
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Contact Us


Contact Louise, AFIA’s director of regulatory affairs, for any questions regarding conference agenda, committee questions and event expectations. 

SARAH NOVAK     (703) 558-3574       SNOVAK@AFIA.ORG

Contact Sarah, AFIA’s manager of membership & engagement, for any questions regarding AFIA membership opportunities. 


Contact Lynette, AFIA’s specialist, meetings and events, for any questions regarding sponsorships, registrations, travel and hotel accomodations.