Are we staying curious and embracing new technologies in the agricultural industry? That was the challenge proposed today as Alltech’s North America Lecture Tour kicked off in Waterloo, Ontario. The first of 23 stops on the 2013 tour schedule, industry experts discussed the latest innovations in nutritional technologies and presented opportunities for operations to connect with customers and deliver a difference.
“We are faced with a daunting task of feeding 7.6 billion people by 2020,” said Ty Yeast, Alltech Canada managing director. “The only way we are going to achieve success is if we remain curious, embrace new technologies and brand ourselves among this growing population.”
Alltech’s 28th annual North American Lecture Tour from Feb. 12- March 1 is expected to draw more than 2,500 attendees. The 2013 lecture tour’s program, Stay Curious, features three presentations highlighting the latest developments in crop science, rumen nutrition, programmed nutrition, algae applications, fertility, mycotoxins, social media and branding.
This year’s lecture tour discusses why members of the agricultural industry “should bother” with branding their products. Benefits of branding include customer loyalty, a higher price and volume for products, a cost advantage, an increase in media reach through the Internet, an identification of and equity for new products and, most importantly, a platform for the ag industry to tell their story.
“Stories are how people connect, are what people remember, are how people learn and are what people share,” said Emily Kay, regional marketing manager for Alltech. “Are we telling our stories?”
On the animal health side, Julien Martin, Alltech France country manager, discussed how nutritionists are now seeking solutions at the cellular level through the genechip, a DNA microarray, to measure gene expression and allow scientists to analyze a very large number of genes at once. With this technology, scientists have found nutrients are “gene switches” that regulate bio-functions.
“Yesterday, when we discussed animal nutrition, we talked about increasing performance through a stress pack,” Martin said. “Today we are discussing nutrigenomics and how we can feed our animals to up-regulate their genes, improve immune response, advance carcass quality and leave less stress on the environment. It’s a game changer.”
Yeast concluded the Waterloo presentation with seven rules for attendees to apply in their own operations:
- We start with our land. How do we feed 9 billion people? Through technologies such as Grain-Set®, we are achieving a ½ to 1 ton more grain per acre.
- Understand the rumen. It’s a fermentor and we have to stabilize it.
- Feed the rumen nitrogen and carbohydrates to keep it stable.
- We can make the perfect steak, chicken and pork through programmed nutrition.
- Understand aquaculture. Algae may revolutionize the way we feed our animals.
- Follow the eight branding principles. Every point of communication is a moment of truth for the brand.
- Don’t forget about mycotoxins. We still need to monitor our 2012 corn crop and prepare for the 2013 growing season.
For a complete schedule of Alltech’s lecture tour stops, please visit the Alltech North American Lecture Tour site.