KANSAS CITY — Pet Food Processing magazine and parent company Sosland Publishing Company announce the speaker lineup for the inaugural Pet Food Processing Exchange, an educational and networking event to be held Oct. 7 to 8 in Kansas City, at the InterContinental on the Country Club Plaza. The goal of the inaugural event is to unite industry influencers, thought leaders and decision makers.

Attendees will include pet food and treat manufacturers as well as professionals involved in animal nutrition, ingredient development, food science, product development, food safety, processing and packaging technologies.

“The inaugural Pet Food Processing Exchange will offer attendees the chance to expand their knowledge about the formulation, production and safety of pet food through topical presentations given by leaders in the industry,” said Dave Crost, publisher of Pet Food Processing. “Our team has put together an agenda covering topics ranging from ingredient formulation, supply chain challenges, exporting opportunities, recall protection, sustainable packaging and so much more.

“You also won’t want to miss the perspectives and insights that will be shared by our State of the Industry panel and during the Plant of the Future session,” Crost added.

Speakers presenting during the 1 ½-day event represent pet food processing organizations, industry associations and supplier companies. Other subject matter experts from the fields of animal nutrition, data analysis, supply chain logistics, legal, design and automation will share their knowledge on-stage.

The Pet Food Processing Exchange agenda includes:

A Look at the Pet Food Industry: Today and Tomorrow  A broad look at today's pet food and treat industry, the trends affecting the industry, and where things are headed. (Seth Kaufman and Nate Thomas, co-founders of BSM Partners)

All About the Ingredients — Pet food processors look to the latest and greatest ingredients when formulating new pet food and treat products. Find out what new and existing ingredients are finding their way into today’s pet food formulations. (Brittany White, Ph.D., senior director of product development, innovation and applied research, Simmons Pet Food)

Finding Partners: Co-manufacturing Opportunities — With the increasing influx of new pet food products entering the market annually, the persistent obstacle lies in discovering suitable manufacturers to produce them. In this session, you’ll gain insight into the essential qualities to look for in a co-manufacturing partner. (Worth Turner, chief executive officer, Custom Veterinary Services)

Supply Chain Challenges, Transportation and Industry Economics — Learn how to navigate ongoing supply chain obstacles and transportation challenges while maintaining profitability. (Jim Ritchie, CEO, RedStone Logistics, and instructor, University of Kansas School of Business)

Global Market Opportunities: Expansion Through Exporting — With the remarkable surge in pet food sales worldwide, find out how you can capitalize on this growth and successfully navigate this potentially arduous process. (Mallory Gaines, director of market access and trade policy, American Feed Industry Association)

Leveraging Data for Business Growth — From market research to consumer data, how can processors use valuable data-driven insights to help guide product development and drive profitability? (Andrea Binder, vice president of retail account development, NielsenIQ)

State of the Industry Panel — Hear from leaders in the pet food and treat industry as they share insights into the state of today’s ever-changing pet food industry. (Jeremy Couture, director of business development – Pet Specialty Group, Nestlé Purina PetCare; Scott Krebs, president, Wenger Group; Amy Patterson, president, Petsource by Scoular; and Tom Rychlewski, vice president, Food and Beverage Operations, CRB)

The Plant of the Future — As pet food processors strategize their long-term capital investments, what would be the optimal blueprint for the plant of tomorrow? (Tyler Cundiff, president, Integrated Process Group, Gray; Billy Gillispie, client delivery partner, Microsoft; and Brian Lakari, vice president of operations, Carnivore Meat Company)

Recall Protection and Prevention: Keeping Pets and Pet Food Safe — Processors are tasked with delivering safe pet food to the pet parents that rely on them. Learn about how processors can keep those products safe during and after processing. (Billie Johnson, Ph.D., food safety and regulatory compliance manager, BHJ North America)

Sustainability and Pet Food Packaging — How can pet food manufacturers make conscious choices regarding packaging that’s right for their products and that align in terms of design, functionality and branding, all while considering the environmental impacts? (Ali Boden, senior packaging manager, Pet Sustainability Coalition)

Legal Considerations for Overseas Partnerships — As US pet food processors consider overseas distribution, it’s important to understand the legal requirements surrounding potential sales, manufacturing, and joint development arrangements. (Fang Shen, partner, Husch Blackwell)

Emerging Trends in New Product Development — What factors are fueling the latest advancements in pet food, treats and supplements? (Stephanie Clark, Ph.D., companion animal nutritionist, BSM Partners)

For more information about the Pet Food Processing Exchange agenda, speakers and activities surrounding the event, visit petfoodprocessingexchange.net.