Discover the next generation of pet food researchers and innovators

Back by popular demand, the Student Program at Petfood Forum 2023 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.

2023 academic research presentations:

  • Physiochemical characteristics of jerky-style pet treats developed with ground swine pluck or a combination of swine heart and kidney – By Gerardo Abascal-Ponciano, Auburn University
  • In-home digestibility study of plant- versus animal-based dog food and the impact of low compliance – By Brooklynn Liversidge, University of Guelph
  • Evaluation of color and textural characteristics of commercially available poultry jerky-style pet treats – By Ileana Berganza, Auburn University
  • Evaluation of corn fermented protein (CFP) on the fecal microbiome of cats – By Logan Kilburn-Kappeler, Kansas State University
  • Comparison of textural properties and instrumental color of commercially available fish jerky-style dog treats – By Hilary Carrera, Auburn University
  • The effects of supplemental concentrated brewer’s yeast on postprandial amino acid appearance in healthy, unchallenged, adult sled dogs – By Lindsey Rummell, University of Guelph
  • Evaluation of color and textural characteristics of commercially available red meat jerky-style pet treats – By Jorge L. Sandoval, Auburn University
  • Measuring the impact of oxidation of chicken meal and chicken by-product meal on canine palatability, enose chromatograms, metabolomics and caco-2 cell viability – By Fiona Mccracken, Cottey College
  • Protein quality evaluation of fish, vegetable and insect protein sources for pet food – By Alaina Mooney, Kansas State University
  • Evaluation of sorghum pericarp varieties on nutrient digestibility and stool quality in healthy adult dogs – By Katelyn Bailey, Kansas State University
  • Immunological effects of Ganoderma lucidum (GL) supplementation in canine nutrition – By Emanuela Kayser, University of Illinois
  • Influence of graded levels of microbially enhanced protein on nutrient digestibility of extruded cat food – By Youhan Chen, Kansas State University

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.

For a complete schedule of student-centric events, view the online agenda, the complete Petfood Forum Guide, and signage at the event itself in front of the Future of Pet Food Pavilion.

Presenting and attending universities:

Auburn University | Colorado State University | Cottey College | George Washington University | Kansas State University | Liberty University | Ontario Veterinary College | Temple University | The Wharton School | University of Guelph | University of Illinois | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | University of Phoenix

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 2023’s Student Program has several opportunities for networking with students currently studying companion animal nutrition and other industry-related subjects. Below, you can find the dates and times when the Student Center (on the Petfood Forum exhibitor floor) will be open and students will be available for networking and discussion:


Tuesday, May 2, 2023

  • 9:45-11 a.m. – Student abstract research presentations
  • 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – STUDENT EDUCATION SESSION: Launching and managing your career: Surviving and thriving in this ever-changing work environment
  • 4:15-5:15 p.m. – Student and industry research poster meet-and-greet

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

  • 9:30-11:30 a.m. – Student abstract research presentations
  • 11:30-11:45 a.m. – Announcement of student research competition awards

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 2023 edition of Petfood Forum is scheduled for May 1-3 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.

2023 Student Program sponsored by: