The Animal Agriculture Alliance will host its sixth industry-wide Stakeholders Summit, ''Animal Welfare: Roadmaps to Successful Solutions,'' scheduled for March 19- 21, 2007 at the Sheraton Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.

''Food production companies, food processors, restaurants and retailers —  everyone in involved in the U.S. and international food chain--need to examine solutions to the critical issues this conference addresses,'' explains Kay Johnson, the Alliance's executive vice president. "Our previous Summits have shown the benefit of cross-industry communication in debunking myths and misperceptions presented in campaigns of the rapidly growing activist industry. This year we have adopted a new format that will work toward changing scientific messages to value-based messages, along with strategies that connect customers, communities and public officials. This new format is specifically designed to encourage extensive audience participation in developing solutions that can be implemented to address challenging issues.''

The Summit will develop roadmaps to success on animal welfare, the prudent use of antibiotics, environmental concerns and public health. Featured speaker Lisa Elledge, Senior Manager at Wal-Mart, will discuss future directions in food from the retail perspective. Ron DeHaven, DVM, administrator of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, will discuss OIE Animal Welfare Standards and their potential impact. Attorney Ricardo Solano, a Federal prosecutor in the case against animal rights terrorists, will review Federal investigators' progress against animal rights extremists. Jim Klinker, executive secretary of the Arizona Farm Bureau, will discuss Arizona Proposition 204 and what Arizona’s farmers and ranchers learned from the experience. Other speakers will include farmers, researchers, anti-terrorism experts, issue specialists, legislative leaders and more.

For more details on the program, visit www.animalagalliance.org.

"The new, more participatory format, will let Summit participants develop strategies they can share and implement," says Johnson. "The goal is to provide more take-away benefits.''

The Summit is targeted at decision-makers at all levels of the agriculture and food chain, including policy makers and communicators. Event sponsors include: Vance Publishing's Food 360° Group, Watt Agribusiness Media, Brakke Consulting, Animal Health Institute, United Soybean Board, Rabobank, National Pork Board, United Egg Producers, American Veal Association and American Feed Industry Association and National Pork Producers Council.

To register by Feb. 28, the cost is $375 per person ($350 per person for multiples from the same organization). After that date, the cost is $425 and $400 respectively. For those in government or academia, the Alliance will offer a special rate of $275 per person or $325 after Feb. 28. Registration includes two receptions, continental breakfast each day, lunch on Tuesday and a copy of the Summit Proceedings. Accommodations can be made with the Sheraton Crystal City for the special rate of $175 single/double. Hotel reservations must be made directly with the hotel by Feb. 26, under the Animal Ag Alliance Summit block to receive this special rate; call (888) 627-8209.

Summit registration and hotel information are available on the Alliance Web site or fax the registration form to (703) 524-1921.

All registrations must be submitted in advance of the conference. For additional information regarding the Summit, contact the Alliance at (703) 562-5160.

Source: Animal Agriculture Alliance