Guidance on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the focus of the 2018 NGFA-PFI Feed and Pet Food Joint Conference planned Sept. 17-19 at Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.

The event, which is an annual collaboration between the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and the Pet Food Institute (PFI), will feature several industry leaders and education sessions that will provide the latest information to guide feed and pet food companies through FSMA.

It also will feature research and expert insight on shifting consumer preferences and how they affect the feed, pet food and animal agriculture industries.

 “It is critical for the feed and pet food sectors to work with regulators, our suppliers and each other to advance practical compliance while still ensuring product safety and maintaining the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of our ingredient sourcing, manufacturing processes and distribution systems,” said Randy Gordon, president and chief executive officer of the NGFA, and Dana Brooks, president and CEO of the PFI. “This year’s conference programming and speakers will help manufacturers and ingredient suppliers address these requirements, provide timely insights on best practices for facility inspections, and explore the latest research, innovation, and industry and consumer trends.”

Dr. Steven Solomon, director of FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, will keynote the event. In addition, Jenny Murphy, consumer safety officer for FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine and the agency’s point person on FSMA implementation for animal feed and pet food, has been confirmed as a featured speaker.

The conference will feature an interactive training session to prepare employees for the type of new conversation-based inspections under FSMA. Confirmed as discussion leaders are Cassandra Jones, associate professor at Kansas State University, who is instrumentally involved in FSMA training; Michael Sayles, executive director of food safety and quality at Diamond Pet Foods; and Matt Frederking, vice-president of regulatory affairs and quality at Mid America Pet Food.

 Jayson Lusk, distinguished professor and department head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, has been confirmed as a featured speaker to present his research on consumer attitudes regarding food animal production practices, as well as consumer trust and confidence issues important to the pet food industry.

 Attendees also will hear from Dr. Ben Warren, director of product safety and regulatory affairs at Land O' Lakes; Stan Cook, president of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO); and other industry experts.

Cybersecurity risks and how to address them will be discussed by Geoff Jenista, cybersecurity adviser for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of Cybersecurity and Communications. Separate pet food and animal feed breakout sessions also are scheduled to address topics of specific interest to these respective sectors.

View the full agenda and register here.

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