National Hog Farmer

Alltech Symposium Opens With Record Breaking Attendance

[Lexington, KY] – The Alltech 27th Annual International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium opened with a welcome from Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and U.S. Congressman Ben Chandler to the Alltech Symposium delegates in this record breaking year with more than 2,100 attendees representing 72 countries and 46 states.

Alltech’s 2011 International Symposium is intended to be an industry time-out, providing opportunities for professionals to huddle in specialized breakout sessions – including aquaculture, beef, dairy, equine, poultry, pig production, pet food, regulatory, food quality, traceability, and communication in agriculture. All sessions are dedicated to the open discussion of creative game-changing strategies for revolutionizing industry practices and thus redefining its future.

The opening session included an enthusiastic talk from Professor Damien McLoughlin of the University College Dublin regarding How to transform a half-billion dollar company into a $50 billion company. McLoughlin highlighted several game changing companies such as Nestle, KFC, JBS, Liuhe, Zespri, Google, Apple, Food, IBM, Dell, and the Wall Street Journal. He stated, “Invest in the innovations which make you truly different.” Among his key messages were: don’t follow fashions but simply change; be different; know where your growth comes from; relentlessly pursue the right people; and embrace your full potential.

Following the theme of Game Changers, Alltech announced the winner of their first ever Farming Film Festival, which invited those in the industry to tell their “game changing” story of an innovation that helped them on their farm. First place was awarded to Adam Dotson who submitted Good Shepherd Cheese, which told the story of a sheep farm in Kentucky. Second place went to the video Cow Comfort, entered by Jonathan Klingenfus who explained how his family farm turned a crisis into an opportunity. First and second place winners were decided by five industry judges including Chuck Zimmerman of, Dale Miller of National Hog Farmer and Hoard's Dairyman’s Lucas Sjostrom. Third place, which was Lauren Chase’s Telling The Montana Family Ranching Story, was determined by highest number of online votes.

Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech, closed the opening session by discussing his six points to becoming a game changer. Lyons told his story of beginning Alltech by relocated to Kentucky on Gold Rush Road, a fitting place for the 31 year old thriving business. “Take a chance; what does it matter if you fail? You can’t make scrambled eggs without first cracking an egg. Take the chance and aim high,” said Dr. Lyons.

New to the Alltech Symposium this year was the incorporation of several new technologies, such as a Twitter feed wall displaying tweets that contain #alltechsymposium. The opening plenary session was also streamed live on Alltech’s homepage. Live video streaming will continue on Tuesday, May 24 beginning at 1:30 p.m. EST, via Alltech’s Symposium Web site, also accessible by mobile phones.

For further information on Alltech’s 2011 Symposium, please visit

Alltech’s Innovations blog is being updated throughout the Symposium to include photos from the event, video interviews with speakers, podcasts, and the most salient points from the specialized breakout sessions. Join in the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag: #AlltechSymposium.