Feed Strategy Conference: Feeding poultry to meet evolving consumer demands

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020

Time: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Location:  Co-located with IPPE 2020, Georgia World Congress Center

Evolving consumer preferences — and an increasing interest in the farm-to-fork origins of animal protein production — have trickled down to influence how animal feed is formulated and produced. The Feed Strategy Conference, co-located with IPPE 2020, aimed to assist in providing animal feed stakeholders the tools they need to maintain productivity and profitability in a changing production landscape.

The half-day event examined macro trends influencing production over the next 12 months and beyond.


  • 2020 poultry and feed production outlook

    Speaker: Will Sawyer, lead animal protein economist, CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange

    CoBank’s Will Sawyer will delve into the global issues impacting supply and demand for poultry meat and other commodities in 2020. His talk will provide both a short- and long-term view of the animal protein sector and examine the factors influencing grain costs and feed production to help industry stakeholders plan for the year ahead.

    Will Sawyer is lead animal protein economist in CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange research division, where his focus is on providing market and industry research for the pork, poultry and beef sectors. He has researched the food and ag industry for more than a decade and before joining CoBank in 2018, was executive director of animal protein research at Rabobank, analyzing the pork and poultry sectors across North America. There he authored works on several issues facing the U.S. and global animal protein industry including disease, trade, profitability and changing consumer trends. Prior to Rabobank, Sawyer was an associate analyst at Credit Suisse where he covered publicly traded U.S. consumer food, animal protein and
    agribusiness companies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s in accountancy from Wake Forest University.

  • Traditional animal protein vs. plant-based alternative

    Speaker: Christine McCracken, executive director – animal protein, RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness

    The rise of plant-based animal protein alternatives has captured headlines over the five years, but how much market share can traditional meat production lose to these alternatives? Rabobank’s Christine McCracken will explore the growth of this sector, its appeal to consumers, and provide insight into what poultry and meat producers can expect in the future.

    Christine McCracken is an executive director at Rabobank focusing on the animal protein industry, with an emphasis on North American pork and poultry. Prior to joining Rabobank, McCracken spent 18 years as a sell-side Food & Agribusiness analyst and founding partner at Cleveland Research, an Ohio-based equity research firm. Earlier in her career, the native Minnesotan held similar positions at several institutions including FTN Midwest Research, Vector Securities and BioScience Securities. McCracken has been named “Best on the Street” Food Analyst by the Wall Street Journal and the top Food Analyst by Forbes. McCracken holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics from the University of California at Davis.

  • What’s in the cart? A look at consumer poultry purchasing trends

    Speaker: Chris DuBois, senior vice president – protein practice, IRI

    Drawing from the largest repository of purchase, media, social, causal and loyalty data, IRI will use its exclusive market intelligence to explore current and future US consumer poultry purchasing trends as they relate to antibiotic-free production, slow-growth broilers and feeding specifications, such as all-vegetable diets.

    Chris DuBois is a leader of IRI’s Protein practice and leads IRI service and insights delivery for IRI’s large protein-focused clients. In addition to leading IRI’s teams, he also works extensively with industry associations and media outlets to share research-based expertise and insights and it a frequent speaker and contributor.

  • Poultry 2050: How technology will shape production

    Speaker: Aidan Connolly, president of AgriTech Capital and CEO of Cainthus

    Changing consumer desires and the rapid development of new technologies are reshaping poultry production. Aidan Connolly, president of AgriTech Capital and CEO of Cainthus, will explore the new technologies likely to impact how poultry will be fed and raised in 30 years, and identify which are the most technically feasible, economically practical and acceptable to consumers.

    Aidan Connolly is the president of AgriTech Capital, an advisory, consulting and investor that counts the British government, startups and corporate agribusinesses among its clients. In February he joined Cainthus as CEO, a startup computer vision system for recognizing and managing livestock. Previously he was with Alltech for 28 years, most recently as chief innovation officer. Connolly is an adjunct professor of marketing at the Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School at University College Dublin and is a visiting professor at the MBA program of the China Agricultural University. He has been an executive board member of the International Feed Industry Federation, the National Chicken Council and the National Turkey Federation. He is also a former board member of the European Union Association of Specialty Feed Ingredients and their Mixtures and the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association. Connolly holds an MBA in international marketing from the Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, University College Dublin.

  • PANEL DISCUSSION: Poultry & feed production 2020: opportunities & challenges

    Four feed industry stakeholders gather to discuss the trends and issues critical to poultry feed production over the next 12 months.


  • Aidan Connolly, president of AgriTech Capital and CEO of Cainthus
  • Dr. Reza Poureslami, poultry technical nutritionist consultant, Purina Animal Nutrition
  • Dr. Janet Remus, senior technical director, DuPont Animal Nutrition North America.
  • Ruud Eits, Global Poultry Director, Trouw Nutrition

    2020 Feed Strategy Conference Sponsors

    Interested in sponsoring this event? See details here.