Freshpet R&D project leader leverages relationships built at Petfood Forum


Petfood Forum recently spoke with Amanda Dainton, R&D project leader with Freshpet, to learn about her experiences attending the annual event as an up and coming pet food professional.

Petfood Forum: When did you first attend Petfood Forum? What was your industry role or student status at that time, and what is your role now?

Dainton: I first attended Petfood Forum in 2015 as an undergraduate student at Kansas State University. Since then, I’ve earned two graduate degrees (an M.S. from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. from Kansas State University) and joined Freshpet in May 2021.

Petfood Forum: Can you give us an update on any student research you presented at Petfood Forum?

Dainton: As part of my Ph.D. program, I presented a literature review of the effects of processing on thiamine content in canned pet food and original research on the effects of three copper sources at two different levels on nutrient content and overall appearance. The literature review helped spark discussion about original research opportunities that turned into a project evaluating the thermal stability of thiamine supplied by select ingredients for canned cat foods. Both original research projects will be submitted soon for open access publication.

Petfood Forum: Why do you continue to attend Petfood Forum, and why should pet food industry professionals join us?

Dainton: Petfood Forum was an opportunity for me to make new connections and build a lasting network as a student. Now, Petfood Forum has become an annual event to reconnect and leverage those relationships to solve challenges within my current role. It’s an event I look forward to every year!

Petfood Forum: What’s your recommendation for Kansas City fun during Petfood Forum in May?

Dainton: If barbecue is your flavor, you can’t go wrong with burnt ends! My favorite spot is Q39 but there are many fantastic barbecue options in Kansas City. Just don’t leave without trying this local delicacy.

About Petfood Forum

The 30th anniversary of Petfood Forum is scheduled for May 2-4 at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. Petfood Forum includes an agenda packed with opportunities to network and collaborate with industry professionals, learn the latest in pet food innovation and discover new tools for business success.

Register here to make history at Petfood Forum