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Feeding the world is focus of Alltech's 2011 lecture series

Emily Caldwell Published on 30 January 2011

In less than 40 years, there will be 9.3 billion people on this earth. And, obviously, those people need to be fed. But 2050 will also mean less land, less water and likely a continued unstable world economy.

That's where technology in the agricultural industry comes into play, and it's why Alltech chose the theme, "Feeding the World," for its 2011 lecture tour series.

Click here to view a related video from Alltech.

But feeding the world is not just about having enough supply and making that supply affordable, says North American Sales Director Mark Lyons. It's also about traceability.

Lyons and a team of speakers stopped in Twin Falls, Idaho, on Jan. 26 to share research plans and ideas with local producers and allied industry representatives. Idaho was one of 21 stops for the lecture tour across the U.S., in addition to three lectures given in Canada.

After sharing some highlights for Alltech over the past year — including hosting the 2010 World Equestrian Games, Lyons handed the floor over to Research Manager for Ruminant Nutrition Juan Tricarico.

Tricarico explained that increased ethanol production has many producers wondering if the U.S. is running out of corn. It takes 4.8 billion bushes of corn to make 13 billion gallons of ethanol.

This issue has led to increased research about precision nutrition, including nutrigenomics and adding enzymes that allow for improved digestion without adding more feed, particularly in feedlots.

Following Tricarico's presentation, Director of Nutrition Kate Jacques discussed the link between humans and animals regarding infectious diseases.

Jacques said there was a number of reasons for emerging and re-emerging infection diseases, including:

  • increased resistance to antibiotics
  • environmental changes, such as catastrophes
  • political upheaval
  • travel and trade
  • more human to animal species contact, due to increased population of both people and animals

One potential solution proposed by Alltech is a product that puts Selenium — chock full of antioxidants and immunity-boosters — back into the food supply.

Jacques shared that vaccines are supposed to prevent, antibiotics are supposed to cure, but that neither one is working all that well. Both, she says, ignore the host and the diet of the host, but animal science research is looking at those items.

Lyons wrapped up the lecture with an overview of other Alltech projects, including algae research and a venture into life sciences, aimed at reducing the risk and effects of cancer, AIDS and Alzheimer's.

Lyons also invited the crowd to attend the 27th International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium, to be held in Lexington, Kentucky, May 22-25, 2011.  end_mark