The National Institute for Animal Agriculture's 2008 annual meeting will embrace the theme “Animal Care and Well-Being: Facts Not Fiction,” April 1-3, in Indianapolis, Ind. Opening general session speakers at the NIAA annual meeting will focus on three burning across-species animal agriculture issue questions: What? So what? Now what?

“This meeting is an ideal time for producers, animal-health and management professionals, animal agriculture Extension specialists and all individuals involved in animal agriculture —c attle, swine, sheep, goats, poultry and equine — to gather in one place, exchange information and take an in-depth look at animal care and well-being,” states Jerome Geiger, chair of NIAA’s annual meeting planning committee.

“Speakers and meeting attendees will zero in on real issues and perceived issues. We will sort facts from fiction and address issues impacting animal agriculture, the implication of these issues and what is being done or can be done to address the issues.”

Setting the tone for NIAA’s annual meeting will be Tuesday’s opening general session featuring four highly regarded, robust speakers: Wes Jamison, University of Florida, “Human-Animal Interaction: An Historical, Social and Political Perspective”; Ray Stricklin, University of Maryland, “Animal Care: Diverging Ethical Perspectives”; Steve Kopperud, Policy Directions Inc., “The U.S. Political Arena: On the Table and On the Horizon”; and Charlie Arnot, CMA Consulting, “Animal Care: Defining the Future.”

NIAA’s 12 species-based and issues-based committees will meet after the opening general session on Tuesday afternoon, April 1, and Wednesday, April 2. Committees are open to all attendees.

Thursday, April 3, will be devoted to a one-day ID•INFO Workshop. USDA has released the business plan to advance disease traceability in the United States. The business plan provides various key strategies that will improve current disease traceability capabilities.  Although the business plan provides high-level strategies, USDA recognizes that additional detail needs to be developed. 

Historically NIAA has successfully facilitated discussion between industry, state and federal animal health officials and established recommendations that resulted in the US Animal Identification Plan.  NIAA feels that by bringing a broad coalition of industry, state and federal animal health officials together recommendations can be formulated to USDA as to how the strategies outlined in the business plan can be successfully implemented. 

“This is the animal agriculture industry’s annual meeting and ID•INFO workshop, input from those involved in livestock, equine and poultry industries are invited and encouraged,” states Michele Vise-Brown, NIAA’s chief executive officer. “As our mission states, NIAA has a two-fold purpose: to provide forums for building consensus and advancing solutions for animal agriculture and to provide continuing education and communication linkages to animal agriculture professionals.”

A schedule of events for NIAA’s annual meeting and the 2008 ID•INFO Workshop, meeting registration, list of NIAA committees and hotel information are available at  www.animalagriculture.org. Individuals are also welcome to call NIAA at (270) 782-9798.

Source: National Institute of Animal Agriculture