The Animal Care and Handling Conference for the Food Industry will be held Oct. 17-18 at the Westin Crown Center, Kansas City, Mo. The event, sponsored by the American Meat Institute Foundation (AMIF), is the leading animal welfare education opportunity for meat companies, their customers and those involved in the production and management of livestock.

The conference offers a variety of professional development opportunities. Nearly a dozen associations and organizations have collaborated this year to create a program that satisfies an array of attendee needs.

The conference includes three focused tracks including Management and Policy, Applied Pig Handling and Applied Cattle Handling.

The Management and Policy Track is ideal for those responsible for “big picture” management of animal handling and welfare. The track will address key strategies for managing changing needs and trends, including the impact of consumer perspectives on animal welfare.

Attendees in the Management and Policy track will benefit from sessions ranging from antibiotics and welfare implications, perception and how it influences buying, an FSIS training update and a beginners guide to engaging in social media.

The Applied Pig Handling and Applied Cattle Handling tracks offer attendees in-depth instruction by species. Leading academic experts in the field will offer instruction at a range of levels – from beginner to advanced. Their presentations will be complemented by practical insights from industry experts.

This year’s featured speakers include Temple Grandin, president, Grandin Livestock Handling Systems; Paula Bates, Tyson Foods, Inc.; Larry Davis, USDA, FSIS; Daniel Hale, Texas A&M University; Joe Regenstein, Cornell University; Janet Riley, American Meat Institute; Elizabeth Rumley, The National Agriculture Law Center; Dan Thomson, Kansas State University; Kurt Vogel, University of Wisconsin – River Falls; Liz Wagstrom, National Pork Producers Council.

Co-sponsoring organizations include American Association of Bovine Practitioners, American Association of Meat Processors, American Association of Swine Veterinarians, American Meat Science Association, Animal Agriculture Alliance, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Dairy FARM Program, National Grocers Association, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council, North American Meat Association, Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization, Inc.

Registration fees for those registering by Sept. 6, are $475 for members, and $415 when three or more members register together. After Sept. 6, registration rates increase to $525 for members, and $465 when three or more members register together. Registration is $825 for non-members.

For a complete agenda and to register, click here.