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0808 PD Progressive Events: Alltech annual symposium

PD Staff Published on 19 May 2008

Alltech and its founder and president Pearse Lyons invited more than 1,700 employees, clients, reporters, researchers and nutritionists from around the world to its annual symposium in Lexington, Kentucky, in April.

During the opening session, Lyons introduced the symposium’s theme – the greenest generation.

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The impact of biofuels on feed prices was a frequent discussion during the meeting. Nearly half (46 percent) of attendees said they believed production of biofuels would cause feed prices to rise by more than 30 percent, according to a straw poll conducted during one of the meeting’s general sessions. (See page 36 for more survey data).

Lyons said although some may call this the worst time to demand biofuels, in his opinion, it is the best time to respond with innovation. He detailed the company’s plans to build a closed-loop biorefinery, which will include a dairy; research biofuel production from algae; and promote dairy industry growth in the milk-deficient state of Kentucky. Inspiring young people to study science and agriculture will be crucial to fostering innovation.

“Young minds see opportunities, not problems,” Lyons said.

Speakers at this year’s symposium also focused discussion on the dairy industry. Attendees considered how milk might be the world’s new “white oil,” as demand for protein in developing countries continues to grow. During breakout sessions, domestic and international producers said for milk to become a product as valuable as oil, the worldwide dairy industry must measure not only how many liters or hundredweights of milk are produced, but what percentage of milk’s nutrients can or are turned into an eatable food product. Producers also said they will have to monitor and control the number and costs of inputs required for milk production.

Lyons closed the session by saying: “Our responsibility is to feed a hungry world and necessity is the mother of invention; we must constantly look for sustainable energy resources." PD

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By Walt Cooley

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