Discover the next generation of pet food researchers and innovators

Back by popular demand, the Student Program at Petfood Forum 2024 will feature academic pet food research conducted by graduate students from various universities with studies focused on companion animal nutrition. Students will present non-commercial oral presentations and posters on relevant pet food-related research.

The Student Program, hosted inside the Future of Pet Food Pavilion, is designed to give the industry a chance to see the latest in academic pet food research as well as gain access to those entering the industry in the next few years.

2024 student program agenda

Future of Petfood Pavilion, Aisle 2100

Tuesday, April 30

  • 9:45-9:50 a.m. | Welcome and introduction, Lindsay Beaton, Petfood Forum
  • 9:50-10:05 a.m. | Effect of dehydration on textural, chemical and color properties of jerky treats using swine pluck – Hilary Carrera, Auburn University
  • 10:05-10:20 a.m. | Analysis of pet food buyers’ perception of plant-based ingredients: Evidence of consumer survey – Elaheh Rabiee, Kansas State University
  • 10:20-10:35 a.m. | Electronic nose detection of aroma profiles of beef liver flavors developed using proteolytic enzymes with different incubation times – Gerardo Abascal-Ponciano, Auburn University
  • 10:35-10:50 a.m. | Comparing the market development of invasive species-, insect-, lab meat- and plant-based dog food – Carly Baker, Cardiff University
  • 10:50-11:00 | Wrap-up of day’s presentations, Lindsay Beaton, Petfood Forum
  • 11:15 a.m. -12:15 p.m. | Student educational session, TBD
  • 4:30-5:30 p.m. | Student and industry research poster meet-and-greet

Wednesday, May 1

  • 9:30-9:35 a.m. | Welcome and introduction, Lindsay Beaton, Petfood Forum
  • 9:35-9:50 a.m. | Influence of incubation conditions with proteolytic enzymes on electronic nose aroma profiles of chicken viscera packs – Jorge Sandoval, Auburn University
  • 10:00-10:10 a.m. | Characterization of antinutritional factors across samples of US soybean meals – Kallee Dunn, Kansas State University
  • 10:10-10:20 a.m. | In vitro fermentation of diet fibers using fecal inoculum from dogs on dried brewer’s yeast product – Vanessa De La Guardia-Hidrogo, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • 10:20-10:30 a.m. | Performance of Aspergillus oryzae fermented soybean meal in processing and expansion of extruded dog foods – Youhan Chen, Kansas State University
  • 10:30-10:40 a.m. | Survey analysis of pet food industry decision makers’ perception of plant-based ingredients – Elaheh Rabiee, Kansas State University
  • 10:40-10:50 a.m. | Situational analysis for use of sorghum in North American pet food – Katelyn Bailey, Kansas State University
  • 10:50-11:00 a.m. | Utilization of dried bakery products as an ingredient in extruded pet food – Larissa Alves Koulicoff, Kansas State University
  • 11:05-11:15 a.m. | Wrap-up of day’s presentations
  • 11:05-11:15 a.m | Poster voting
  • 11:15-11:45 a.m. | Competition awards

In addition to research presentations, the Student Program provides the opportunity for industry representatives and students to network and discuss the future of pet food. Opportunities for connecting will be available after each presentation session, as well as a “meet and greet” event on the opening evening of Petfood Forum.

Presenting and attending universities

Auburn University |Cardiff University | Kansas State University | Konkuk University | University of Arkansas | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign | University of Phoenix | Western Illinois University

Meet and interview top-notch students

Meet talented students from across the country who are interested in careers in pet food by attending Petfood Forum’s annual student program.

Undergraduate and graduate students from, but not limited to, the following variety of majors will be in attendance:

  • Companion animal
  • Nutrition
  • Poultry
  • Ingredient technologies
  • Food technologies
  • Process engineering
  • Manufacturing engineering
  • Packaging technology

Network with future pet food industry professionals in Petfood Forum’s Future of Pet Food Pavilion

Is your company looking for future hires? Petfood Forum 2024’s Student Program has several opportunities for networking with students currently studying companion animal nutrition and other industry-related subjects.

About the Student Program

The Student Program segment of Petfood Forum strives to build a bridge between the pet food industry and those looking to potentially enter it. With access to all educational sessions and the exhibit hall, students attending Petfood Forum are able not only to learn more about all facets of the industry, but also to network and speak with potential future employers. A two-day research presentation component provides those students studying companion animal nutrition and related areas with the opportunity to present their completed academic research to their peers and the industry.

For immediate questions related to the Petfood Forum Student Program, please contact Student Program Coordinator Lindsay Beaton at

About Petfood Forum

The 2024edition of Petfood Forum is scheduled for April 29-May 1 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 now to reserve your spot. There are several registration options available, making it easy to customize your Petfood Forum experience.

2024 Student Program sponsored by: