|I knew right away this was going to be a good conference. Three milk choices?!|
Through U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, today I spoke at the American Food Technology & Innovation Summit in Illinois.
Though 'American' is in the title, it was a very international conference! Today I talked to people originally from India, Ireland, Brazil, New Zealand, England, Sweden, Germany, Canada, and Holland. Nine in one day! The accents were music to my ears.
Not only is it an interesting conference, but the attendees were very interested in learning about modern farming, and the people and technology supporting the industry. Lots of questions and follow up conversations! I had questions about anaerobic digesters, organic farms, modern farming practices, sustainability practices ... and lots of evening discussions. Very enjoyable time with intelligent, invested people.
- One of the presenters who kicked off the conference was Kai Kight, a violinist, composer, and speaker. Not only was his playing beautiful, but so was his message - don't just be the person playing the notes someone else wrote. Write your own plan and do something different. (As an added bonus, he and Zippy were super friendly.)
- During the PepsiCo presentation, Richard Black said that their products are consumed over a billion times every day. It sounded like an impressive number - and it is - but without doing any research, I'm certain that dairy products are also consumed over a billion times a day.
- Jeff Manning, one of the people behind the Got Milk? campaign, brought to my attention that there was at one point a Got Milk? Barbie. How have I gone this far in life and not known that?
- We had a Future Ingredients showcase - people are always trying to come up with something new, and I love it. Lycotec, Innophos, and Parabel presented. They might be your next favorite new ingredient.
- After I showed how the hoof trimmer keeps track of a cow's hoof problem, Don McGhee of Perfetti Van Melle told me, "I don't even have that! My doctor doesn't even keep track! He just asks me what problems I've had!"
Lots of talk about GMOs, ingredients, and global food issues. I'm thankful to be part of the conversation to bring in the farmer perspective. Even in my Midwestern accent.