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    Annual Meat Conference General Sessions Announced

    Opening session to feature Food Network co-hosts Pat and Gina Neely

    The Annual Meat Conference (AMC) has announced its general sessions to be held Feb. 24-26, 2013, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn. The sessions will address pertinent issues facing the meat industry today, including maximizing current consumer trends to increase sales, as well as understanding the global market to remain competitive.

    Pat and Gina Neely, restaurateurs and co-hosts of two Food Network television programs, "Down Home with the Neelys" and "Road Tasted with the Neelys," will share their Recipe for Success in the opening general session.

    Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco, will follow the opening session with a presentation on "Making Safe, Affordable, and Abundant Food a Global Reality." With demand for food rapidly increasing, highly efficient food production is vital in ending world hunger, lowering food costs, protecting consumer rights, and safeguarding the earth’s natural resources.

    Harvey Hartman, founder, chairman and CEO of the Hartman Group, will present "Unwrapping Food Culture" during the last general session of the first day of the conference. Hartman will demonstrate how food culture is changing and how today’s consumers are redefining the rules for customer engagement. He’ll also provide insights into the changing eating patterns of American consumers and their effect on meat marketers and retailers.

    The second day of the sessions will begin with "The Economy and the Impact on Your Business," as three experts share their insight on economic trends. Paul Aho, Ph.D., president, Poultry Perspective; Randy Blach, CEO, Cattle Fox; and Steve Meyer, Ph.D., president, Paragon Economics, Inc., will share their expertise on consumer spending trends, unemployment rates, and industrial capacity, while explaining how these economic factors will impact the livestock, poultry, and meat retail industries.

    Following this economic presentation, Ron Elving, NPR's Senior Washington Editor, will discuss the results of the congressional and presidential elections and their expected impact on national issues, as well as the potential implications for business and the marketplace, during the "Politics and Current Affairs of 2013" session.

    The final general session, "The Power of Meat: An In-Depth Look at Meat through the Shoppers’ Eyes," will be presented by Anne-Marie Roerink, principal, 210 Analytics, LLC. Her presentation will provide attendees a clear understanding of what drives consumer purchasing decisions in the current economic environment, including trends in protein types, amounts, brands, nutrition, packaging, promotional tactics and purchasing channels.

    Co-sponsored by the American Meat Institute Foundation (AMIF) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the conference attracts 800 members of the retail food and meat industries each year. Associate sponsors include the American Lamb Board, Beef Checkoff, National Chicken Council, National Pork Board and National Turkey Federation.

    To exhibit or to register for AMC, visit www.MeatConference.com.

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