Agenda & Speakers

Petfood Forum & Petfood Essentials 2020 Tentative Schedule of Events

Monday, April 27, 2020

9 a.m.-7 p.m.

Petfood Forum registration and check-in
Lobby 2300

10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Petfood Forum exhibitor move-in
Exhibit Hall D-E

5:30-7 p.m.

Petfood Forum and Petfood Essentials opening reception
Kansas City Convention Center

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

7 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Petfood Forum registration desk open
Lobby 2300

7-8 a.m.


8-8:50 a.m.

Welcome and opening keynote: Bonin Bough
Bonin Bough, CPG brand expert, presents “Hackonomy,” explaining how to create value for your business by breaking things.

8:50-9:30 a.m.

General session: Emerging trends in a changing pet food industry landscape
Maria Lange, vice president of strategic verticals pet and cannabis, Nielsen
Lange offers an update and overview on the state of the pet industry and emerging trends in a changing pet food industry landscape. This session will look back at recent years and highlight what impact these trends and factors had on the industry overall, plus what other trends are worth watching in 2020 and beyond. Are raw alternative feeding options the fastest growing categories for pet foods? What do we know about insect protein being used in pet food? And what is the CBD craze all about?

9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Exhibit hall open
Exhibit Hall D-E

9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

Paws for a break (visiting pet charities)
Lobby 2300

9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Exhibit hall activities: coffee break, Student Program, Pet Food Tech Talks, lunch
Exhibit Hall D-E

1:30-2:35 p.m.

Concurrent technical sessions (see list below)

2:35-3:05 p.m.

Coffee break
Exhibit Hall D-E

3:05-4:10 p.m.

Concurrent technical sessions (see lists below)

4:15-5:30 p.m.

Networking reception
Exhibit Hall D-E

Concurrent session tracks:

Ingredient research

Nutrition and market trends


Technologies for today’s pet food

Black soldier fly ingredients for cat food: new digestibility results, regulatory updateAndrew Vickerson, chief technology officer, Enterra

Nutrition for the Labrador Retriever: amino acid and energy requirementsCraig Coon, Ph.D., CEO, Four Rivers Kennel

When compliance fails to prevent: assessing the critical factors of an effective pet food recall from theory to practicePaola Cane, Ph.D., CEO, Mia Solution

4 essential pieces to a modern e-commerce fulfillment and technology strategyLuke Helm, VP of distribution, eShipping Distribution Services

Rendering industry’s research and initiatives to supply high-quality pet food ingredientsDavid Meeker, Ph.D., senior VP, scientific services, North American Rendering Association

Long-term effects of diet format on body weight, composition and insulin sensitivity in cats Emma Bermingham, Ph.D., senior research scientist, AgResearch

Nurturing an organizational pet food safety cultureDavid Rosenblatt, D.V.M., director of learning, Sher Consulting and Training

Industry 4.0: Improve the operational performance of your pet food facility by using big data to make fact-based decisionsPete Ensch, CEO, WEM Automation

Research update: rethinking the role of corn in the pet food industrySarah McKay, director of market development, National Corn Growers Association

Key success factors for a winning clean label pet food strategyCécile Saint-Paul, marketing director, North America, Diana Pet Food

Rigorous new supply-chain-applied controls for innovative raw pet food materialsJeff Lucas, senior director, technical services, Silliker-Merieux NutriSciences

A path to pet food personalization: A direct-to-consumer scientific experienceJustin Shmalberg, DVM, DACVN, DACVSMR, chief nutrition officer; and Ryan Honaker, Ph.D., director of microbiology, NomNomNow

New refined chicken fat for reducing risk of Salmonella in pet foodJames Peterson, Ph.D., technical consultant, Pet Food Solutions

Pet food customer perceptions of product attributes: implications for marketing and product strategyLonnie Hobbs, Ph.D. student in agricultural economics, Kansas State University

Unconventional and novel protein sources: mitigating the risk for safe pet food ingredientsRay Matulka, Ph.D., director of toxicology, Burdock Group

Technologies for overcoming unique challenges with new pet food retort packagingJulian Stauffer, chief operating officer, PTI

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

7 a.m.-3 p.m.

Registration desk open
Lobby 2300

7-8 a.m.


8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Exhibit hall open
Exhibit Hall D-E, Kansas City Convention Center

8-8:45 a.m.

General session: Tracking pet food priorities: Why consumers switch products and how they mix things up
David Sprinkle, publisher and research director for Packaged Facts
Sprinkle provides data and insights into which consumers have changed their pet food type, brand or product choices in the past 12 months — and why and to what new choices. What do these changes and the pet owners pursuing them say about consumer “pain points” with current and historical pet food offerings?

8:45-9:30 a.m.

General session/panel: Dissecting DCM: Industry’s next steps in understanding the canine dilated cardiomyopathy situation

9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Exhibit hall activities: coffee break, Student Program, Pet Food Tech Talks, lunch
Exhibit Hall D-E

12:30-2 p.m.

Roundtable sessions

CBD craze: Update on usage, legality, research in pet food – CBD products are everywhere on the pet scene, but is this substance legal to use in pet food or treats? Is it safe for pets? How much can the CBD pet product market grow? Join experts in these areas to find out if this is just a passing fad or a major category in the making.

  • Top trends in natural and specialty pet: Focus on CBD — Amy Kerr, director of business development, SPINS
  • Green rush: Making and marketing pet foods and treats with CBD — Emily Lyons, attorney, and Michael Annis, partner, Husch Blackwell
  • New research on CBD: Safety and efficacy — Joseph Wakshlag, DVM, Ph.D., professor

Sustainability’s key role in all areas of pet food

  • Optimizing proteins to achieve holistic sustainability in the pet food industry — Caitlyn Dudas, executive director and co-founder, Pet Sustainability Coalition
  • Sustainable pet food: Combining nutrition and efficiency — Henk Bosch, sustainability manager, DSM
  • Debunking common pitfalls on the path to pet food packaging sustainability — Dave McClain, director of sustainability, Printpack

The microbiome and its importance to pet nutrition and health

  • Feeding trillions of bacteria: Bridging the gap between nutrition, the microbiome and pet well-being — Juan Gomez Basauri, Ph.D., global director for companion animals, food ingredients and human health technologies, Alltech
  • Keeping the microbiome in mind: Best practices for diet trials — Jessica Jarett, Ph.D., computational biologist, AnimalBiome
  • The effect of complex and diverse sialylated oligosaccharides on simulated dog gut microbiome and metabolites — Kelly Swanson, Ph.D., Kraft Heinz Company endowed professor in human nutrition and scientific advisory board member of Gnubiotics Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

3 p.m.-12 a.m.

Exhibitor tear-down
Exhibit Hall D-E, Kansas City Convention Center

4-5 p.m.

Closing networking reception
Grand Ballroom D and patio, Kansas City Convention Center

Petfood Essentials Agenda - Monday, April 27

8:00 am – 8:45 am

Petfood Essentials registration and check-in with coffee and light breakfast

8:45 am – 9:15 am

Welcome and introduction

Get an overview of the dry pet food production process, starting with ingredients through packaging, and including quality/safety/testing as a key element. Plus, information on the day’s schedule/program will be covered.

Sessions/rotations: Each provides an expert’s explanation of the key steps, processes and considerations in that area, plus an interactive exercise demonstrating one of the steps or processes. Get more details about the sessions.

9:15 am – 10:00 am

Rotation 1 – Ingredient selection and sourcing
Serge Boutet, agrologist and animal nutrition expert, SB Nutrinnov Consultants

10:05 am – 10:50 am

Rotation 2 – Batching, mixing, grinding and milling
Charles Stark, Ph.D., associate professor of feed technology, Department of Grain Science and Industry, Kansas State University

10:50 am – 11:15 am

Coffee break

11:15 am – 12:00 pm

Rotation 3 – Preconditioning and extrusion
Ron Tribelhorn, food process engineer, former section head for Procter & Gamble/Iams Pet Food Co.

12:05 pm – 12:50 pm

Rotation 4 – Coating, cooling and drying
Griffiths G. Atungulu, Ph.D., associate professor & agricultural/food engineer, Department of Food Science, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture

12:50 pm – 2:05 pm


2:00 pm – 2:45 pm

Rotation 5 – Packaging
William (Scott) Whiteside, Ph.D., Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences Department, Clemson University

2:50 pm – 3:35 pm

Rotation 6 – Quality, safety, validation and other testing
Michele Sayles, Ph.D., executive director of food safety and quality, Diamond Pet Food

3:45 pm – 4:00 pm


4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Petfood Essentials mixer

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Join Petfood Forum opening reception