A national symposium focusing on animal agriculture and the environment will be held Jan. 5-6, 2006 in Kansas City. "Visions for Animal Agriculture and the Environment" is being organized by the Department of Animal Science and the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University.

"The goals for this symposium are to define environmental hurdles that limit progressive livestock production, develop a vision of how to overcome those hurdles and prioritize future livestock and environmental research," said Maynard Hogberg, chair of the animal science department. Hogberg said both nutritional and engineering approaches to environmental issues will be addressed for all animal species.

This is the second John M. Airy Beef Cattle Symposium. An inaugural symposium was held in 2003 and focused on beef breeding and genetics. Airy was a long-time employee of Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. and worked with Pioneer's beef breeding project. Part of that project was at the Rhodes Research Farm now owned and operated by Iowa State.

Hogberg said Airy provided an endowment to conduct symposiums on ways to improve the beef industry by identifying the unknown that can be researched and solved through science. "These events are unique because they focus on the academic community of researchers, challenging us to think more broadly about ways science can be used to address problems or opportunities in the beef industry," Hogberg said. Airy is retired and lives in Arizona.

The 2006 symposium will feature nationally and internationally renowned speakers discussing future research needs of livestock production and the environment, and possible opportunities for addressing those needs. In breakout sessions, participants will prioritize future research needs and develop a draft recommendation.

The intended audience for the symposium is industry representatives, government officials, animal scientists, agricultural and biosystems engineers, environmental and nutrition consultants, graduate students and leaders of environmental organizations.

The symposium will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel near the Kansas City International Airport. The deadline for discounted early registration is Dec. 1. Registration and schedule information is available online at http://www.iowabeefcenter.org/content/Airy_home.htm.

Iowa State University