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K-State Today

September 26, 2012

Interactive animal health conference at K-State Olathe explores regulatory issues, industry competitiveness

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

In today's animal health industry, upper-level executives face numerous challenges that are continually redefining their strategies and practices, such as fighting industry misconceptions, educating stakeholders on current animal health issues, and helping to strategically shape the future of domestic and global markets.

The Animal Health Supply Chain Program at Kansas State University will explore these topics and more at its inaugural conference "Redesigning Competitiveness in the Animal Health Industry" on Thursday, Nov. 8, at Kansas State University Olathe's International Animal Health and Food Safety Institute, 22201 W. Innovation Drive, Olathe.

This one-day, interactive conference features relevant case studies; panel discussions led by key industry personnel; and presentations from a variety of leadership perspectives, including consulting, academia and regulatory affairs. The diverse list of speakers includes Ron Brakke and Susan Warren, both of Brakke Consulting Inc.

"The animal health industry is experiencing structural and technological change," Warren said. "Despite the state of today's global economy, these structural and technological changes have led to some unique industry-specific growth in recent years."

While Warren and Brakke will focus their presentation specifically on providing an overview of market trends, future markets and new technologies, other speakers will explore different areas of industry. Ron Phillips, vice president of legislative and public affairs for the Animal Health Institute, Washington, D.C., will directly address regulatory issues.

"The regulatory process remains a critical factor in determining the competitiveness of organizations and their ability to profitably bring new and innovative products to the marketplace," Phillips said. "It is our goal to work with both animal health companies and regulatory agencies to ensure an efficient regulatory process that provides clear pathways to market for products that protect animal health and public health."

Regulatory affairs are undeniably important to animal health professionals, but industry issues and concerns for executives stretch far beyond regulation. Kara Ross, research assistant professor of agricultural economics at Kansas State University and leader of the Animal Health Supply Chain Program, recognizes that animal health industry professionals also seek best practices in mitigating and navigating uncertainties in the animal health market.

"By strategically presenting a variety of perspectives at this conference, we are designing it so that professionals can learn about a wide range of industry issues directly from experts who bring their own unique experiences to share," Ross said.

Additional conference topics include foreign animal disease preparedness, presented by Paul Grosdidier, state field veterinarian with the Kansas Department of Agriculture; market research studies, facilitated by Jim Thomas, senior manager of market intelligence and research at Bayer HealthCare; and strategic planning and practices, presented by Vincent Amanor-Boadu, associate professor of agricultural economics at Kansas State University.

The conference registration deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 25. For more information or to RSVP, visit www.ageconomics.k-state.edu/animalhealthconference, or contact Ross at 785-532-3526 or kross@agecon.k-state.edu.

The Animal Health Supply Chain Program is an initiative offered through Kansas State University's department of agricultural economics in partnership with K-State Olathe. The program's mission is to enhance the competitiveness of companies in the animal health industry and its supply chain through programs and industry-focused economic strategic research and analysis.