A live focus group featuring Kansas City-area consumers will kick off the 2017 Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit, setting the stage for the 1.5-day conference. The 2017 Summit, themed “Connect to Protect Animal Ag” will be held May 3-4 in Kansas City, Mo. The conference will build on the 2016 Summit’s focus of taking action to secure a bright future for animal agriculture. Speakers will give the audience actionable solutions to take home and implement on their farm or in their business. The panel is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.

The focus group panel, conducted by Applied Marketing Research, will discuss the panelists’ choices and preferences related to dining out. Panelists will be asked to share how they decide where and when to eat at restaurants, including whether issues like animal welfare and antibiotic use factor into their decisions. Summit attendees will have the unique opportunity to hear directly from their customers and ask them questions about how they find information about food and farming.

“Last year’s focus group on how consumers make food purchasing decisions while grocery shopping was a huge hit,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “This year, our focus on eating at restaurants will offer a new angle to the discussion. Many restaurant brands are adopting policies on animal welfare, and our Summit will give attendees the ability to hear how those policies may or may not impact consumer decisions.”

The panel will be moderated by Don Phipps, owner of Applied Marketing Research – a full service marketing research firm with a 23-year track record. Phipps has conducted marketing research studies for a variety of “business to business” and “business to consumer” industries, including agriculture, beverages, pet food and packaged goods. He has worked with many Fortune 500 companies, including Coca-Cola, Toyota, John Deere, Sprint, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Pfizer and General Electric. Prior to starting Applied, Phipps worked in marketing management for Sprint, Allied Signal Aerospace (now Honeywell) and Kenwood. He holds an undergraduate degree from Boston University and an MBA from the University of Kansas.

Be sure to check the Alliance website for the most up-to-date Summit information. You can also follow the hashtag #AAA17 and #ActionPlease2017 for periodic updates about the event. For general questions about the Summit please contact summit@animalagalliance.org or call (703) 562-5160. 

Make your plans to attend:
The early registration rate of $425 is available through April 3rd. Discounted rates are available for Alliance members, government officials, university representatives and students. To see all rates and register, visit http://animalagalliance.org/summit/register.cfm. Complimentary registration is available for reporters covering the event for media outlets. Contact Hannah Thompson-Weeman at 

hthompson@animalagalliance.org for details.    

The Summit will once again be held in Kansas City in 2017 with all events taking place at the InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza. Rooms are available at a discounted rate of $175 as supplies last. Rooms must be booked by April 3 to receive this rate. For hotel booking instructions, visit http://animalagalliance.org/summit/index.cfm?PageID=8