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About the Event

The Animal Care and Handling Conference for the Food Industry is the leading animal welfare educational opportunity for meat companies, their customers and those involved in the production and management of livestock and meat products. This important conference has doubled in size since it was launched in 1999 – testament to the increasing significance of animal care and handling in the meat industry.

Why Should You Attend?

With the meat and poultry industry processing 31 million cattle, 118 million hogs, 2.2 million sheep and lamb, and 243.3 million turkeys in 2016, animal handling issues are vitally important to our industry and the success of our businesses. From in-depth instruction by species to “big picture” sessions that address key strategies for managing the changing needs and trends, including the impact of consumer expectation on animal welfare, the Animal Care and Handling Conference for the Food Industry offers instruction at a range of levels from leading academic and industry experts.

Who Should Attend?

CEOs and senior managers who seek to understand new customer demands – and how to meet them.

Plant managers and operations personnel responsible for implementing new animal handling programs – or improving existing ones.

New livestock handlers on the front-lines.

Producers who want to understand animal welfare from farm to plant.

Animal welfare auditors looking to sharpen their skills.

Retail and restaurant companies who seek to understand the issues and challenges involved in animal care and handling.

Hotel Information

The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center
1 E Pershing Rd
Kansas City, Missouri 64108
Phone: (816) 474-4400
Hotel Website

Click here for online reservations

Rates start at $189/night.
Reservations must be made by September 24, 2019 – after this date, rate will be subject to prevailing rates and availability.



Media Parners

Cassandra Tucker

Cassandra Tucker, PhD

Professor, Director of the Center for Animal Welfare
Department of Animal Science, University of California

Dr. Tucker leads a team focused on cattle behavior and welfare. Her research aims to understand the effects of housing and management systems from the animal's perspective. She also works as a consultant to help private and non-governmental organizations develop animal care standards as well as training and auditing programs. Through these activities, scientific information informs the day-to-day lives of cattle and the people that care for them. She teaches courses about domestic animal behavior and animal welfare at UC Davis and is the Director for their Center for Animal Welfare.

Event: Animal Care and Handling Conference
Presentation: The Five Freedoms: Where Are We Today?

Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin, Ph.D

President, Grandin Livestock Handling Systems,
Professor, Colorado State University

Temple Grandin is a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. She obtained her B.A. at Franklin Pierce College, her M.S. in Animal Science at Arizona State University, and her Ph.D in Animal Science from the University of Illinois. Facilities she has designed for handling livestock are used by many companies around the world. She has also been instrumental in implementing animal welfare auditing programs that are used by McDonalds, Wendy’s, Whole Foods, and other corporations. Temple has appeared on numerous TV shows such as 20/20, Larry King Live, and Prime Time. Her books include: Thinking in Pictures, Livestock Handling and Transport and The Autistic Brain. Her book Animals in Translation has been on the New York Times Bestseller List. Temple was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in September 2017.

Event: Animal Care and Handling Pre-Conference Workshop
Presentation: Stunning and Determining Insensibility

Event: Animal Care and Handling Conference
Presentation: The ABCs of Animal Handling
Stunning and Determining Insensibility

Paula K. Alexander

Paula K. Alexander

Manager, Animal Welfare
Tyson Foods, Inc

Bachelor of Science, Animal Science, Oklahoma State University
Master of Science, Animal Science – Meat Science, Oklahoma State University

Paula’s career in the meat industry began in 2001 at Foodbrands, a division of IBP Inc., in Ft. Worth, TX in Research & Development. In nearly 20 years, her experience includes a variety of roles in Research & Development, Food Safety Quality Assurance (Beef, Chicken, Pork and Case Ready), Technical Services, Hides & Tannery Operations and Animal Welfare.

Her current responsibilities include the creation and management of beef, pork, chicken and turkey animal welfare training programs; including programs for off-site team members as well as contract growers and haulers. In addition, responsibilities include the creation and management of animal welfare programs implemented in the beef, pork, chicken and turkey plants. Management of the FarmCheck™ program as it relates to direct suppliers of cattle into Tyson beef plants. Provide technical service to cattle procurement team. Conduct animal welfare research at Tyson plants and in cooperation with supply and academic partners. PAACO (Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization) Certified and foundation Red Meat trainer. Transportation Quality Assurance Advisor status thru the National Pork Board. Beef Quality Assurance and Beef Quality Assurance Transportation trained.

Paula resides in Southwest Kansas with her husband, Clint, a Professor of Animal Science and meat judging team coach and her daughter, Paxton.

Event: Animal Care and Handling Pre-Conference Workshop
Presentation: Teaching Stunning and Sensibility to Employees and Management (Beef)

Dianna V. Bourassa

Dianna V. Bourassa

Assistant Professor / Extension Specialist
Auburn University – Department of Poultry Science

She has participated in a wide range of poultry and egg food safety research including hatching/table egg sanitization, broiler processing, and on-farm interventions. In 2016, Dr. Bourassa joined the Auburn University Poultry Science department as an Assistant Professor / Extension Specialist in the area of poultry processing. Through her extension programming she has developed a Poultry Processing Short Course and has implemented a quarterly HACCP Roundtable Meeting to facilitate crosstalk between poultry processors and USDA-FSIS in the Jackson District. Her current research topic areas are based on needs identified through her extension programming and include the impact of stunning methods on bird physiology and effects of primary processing parameters on carcass microbiology. Dianna is an active member of PSA and WPSA currently serving on the PSA nominating and food safety committees. She also serves as JAPR subject editor for Meat Bird Processing and Products and is an associate editor for Poultry Science.

Event: Animal Care and Handling Conference
Presentation: Controlled Atmosphere Stunning

Lyndsey Jones

Lyndsey Jones

Corporate Swine Welfare, JBS

Lyndsey Jones is the Director of Animal Welfare for five pork processing facilities at JBS. Her responsibilities include overseeing humane handling programs within the plants and interacting with producers, customers, and industry groups to improve animal welfare. She received her Bachelors and Masters degrees from Purdue University where she focused on animal behavior and well-being.

Event: Animal Care and Handling Pre-Conference Workshop
Presentation: Teaching Sensibility and Stunning to Employees and Management (Pork)

Tiffany Lee

Tiffany Lee, DVM, PhD

Director of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs

Tiffany Lee is the director of regulatory and scientific affairs for the North American Meat Institute where she provides informed scientific analysis to its members on many issues, including food safety, food processing, food quality, diet and health, nutrition, public health initiatives, biotechnology, new technologies, research priorities, and animal health.

Lee collaborates with related industry trade associations and professional organizations on relevant scientific issues. She also develops and advocates a scientific platform to support meat and poultry industry initiatives on proposed policy, regulations and research priorities to federal and state agencies.

Lee supports the management of the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education, including developing industry research priorities in food safety, diet and health, and other important issues.

Lee earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Science degrees from Kansas State University in 2012. After practicing in a mixed animal clinic in Limon, Colorado, she returned to Kansas State University to pursue a PhD degree in Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology. Her research focused upon beef cattle health and welfare, including diagnosis of mobility problems and prevention of carcass bruising in fed cattle.

Event: Animal Care and Handling Conference
Presentation: Welcome and Introduction: Why Are We Here?

Event: Animal Care and Handling Pre-Conference Workshop
Presentations: FAQ: NAMI’s Animal Handling Guidelines
Tips for Addressing Regulatory Actions for Animal Welfare

Roya Galindo

Roya Galindo

Director, Regulatory Services

Roya Galindo serves as NAMI’s director of regulatory services. She first began her career in 2005 when she was one of the first successful consumer safety inspector interns (CSI) to complete the internship program for the Food Safety and Inspection Service. She worked as a CSI for a few years until she was quickly promoted to an Enforcement Investigation Analysis Officer (EIAO).

After mentoring many of the EIAOs, Galindo switched gears and worked for the industry managing and refining establishment’s food safety systems. Galindo’s extensive background in industry and regulations allows her to provide the members with guidance on a wide array of subjects.

Event: Animal Care and Handling Conference
Presentation: Tips for Addressing Regulatory Actions for Animal Welfare

Dallas Wynn

Dallas Wynn

Sr. Manager of Animal Wellbeing
Tyson Foods

Dallas has had a full and varied career in the poultry industry leading to an intricate knowledge of the poultry business. From primary breeder experience, to live production positions in both chicken and turkey operations, to processing plant and quality assurance positions, Dallas has been involved with or managed nearly every step in the business. A degree in Poultry Science from the University of Arkansas combined with 31 years in the industry has led him to his current role as Senior Manager of Animal Welfare for Tyson Foods where he is responsible for leading a team of Animal Welfare specialists covering 5 states. Dallas and his wife Connie reside in northwest Arkansas.

Event: Animal Care and Handling Conference
Presentation: The ABCs of Poultry Handling

Dr. Monique Pairis-Garcia

Dr. Monique Pairis-Garcia

Associate Professor
North Carolina State University

Dr. Monique Pairis-Garcia is an Associate Professor in the Department of Population Health and Pathobiology at North Carolina State University (NCSU) with a 50% research, 30% teaching and 20% extension and service appointment. Dr. Pairis-Garcia earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy degree from Iowa State University in Ames, IA and her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Grinnell College. Dr. Pairis-Garcia serves on the Pig Welfare Committee for the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) and The National Pork Board.

Dr. Pairis-Garcia’s research interests include
1) Pain management in livestock animals utilizing pharmacological interventions to minimize pain
2) Development and refinement of educational material to ensure timely and appropriate euthanasia on farm and
3) Development and implementation of audit and assessment programs to ensure positive animal welfare and handling on farm.

In addition, Dr. Pairis-Garcia was board-certified by the American College of Animal Welfare in 2018 and currently writes a column for the magazine Pig Progress with a focus on swine welfare and behavior.

Event: Animal Care and Handling Pre-Conference Workshop
Presentation: Pork Euthanasia on Farms and Fitness for Transport

Josh White

Josh White

Executive Director - Producer Education
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Josh White serves as the Executive Director - Producer Education for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

In his current role with NCBA, Josh and his team are working to capitalize on the rich histories of the Beef Quality Assurance, Stockmanship & Stewardship, and Cattlemen’s College programs while developing new initiatives such as the Cattlemen’s Webinar Series to deliver even greater value to NCBA members and the cattle industry. Josh also provides leadership for NCBA’s policy funded sustainability efforts and helps lead Beef checkoff funded efforts associated with cattle production. He serves on the board of directors of the Beef Improvement Federation and represents NCBA on the board of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. Josh is a fourth-generation cattleman. He purchased his first heifer at the age of twelve and began building his own cattle herd. Josh and wife, Erin, live in Highlands Ranch, CO with their three children. He continues to own cattle on his family’s farm in Georgia.

Event: Animal Care and Handling Conference
Presentation: Communicating with Producers and Livestock Markets for Continuous Improvement in Animal Welfare

Robert Elder

Robert Elder

Sr. Director FSQA/Regulatory Compliance
Seaboard Triumph Foods

Robert Elder is the Senior Director FSQA Regulatory Compliance and Food Safety for Seaboard Triumph Foods. Robert partners and oversees multiple pork processing facilities working with senior management, sales, operations and FSQA staff as part of his responsibility to ensure all products and programs meet regulatory and food safety requirements. Robert has been overseeing animal welfare, regulatory compliance, food safety and sanitation programs for over 15 years with Seaboard Foods and prior, having spent several years working in preharvest food safety and epidemiology research for USDA ARS resulting in several peer review publications and development of Industrial food safety diagnostics.

Robert grew up on a family farm in northern Kansas. Attended Kansas State University receiving a BS in Microbiology, an M.S. Degree in Veterinary Sciences at University of Nebraska Lincoln and a PhD in Medical Sciences from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha. Robert has been a member of the NAMI Animal Welfare Committee for over 15 years and served as co-chairman for the committee for two terms. Robert has PAACO, PCQI, HACCP and SQF certifications.

Event: Animal Care and Handling Conference
Presentation: Creating and Implementing a Robust Systematic Approach

Vance Crowe

Vance Crowe

Communications Strategist
Articulate Ventures, LLC

Vance Crowe is a communications consultant that has worked for corporations and international organizations around the world. He has spoken before more than 90,000 people, answering questions about some of the most sophisticated and controversial technology in the modern age.

Vance is the former Director of Millennial Engagement for Monsanto, a Communications Strategist for the World Bank Group, a returned U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer stationed in Kenya, a former Communications Coordinator at a National Public Radio affiliate in Northern California and was a deckhand on an eco-tourism ship that traveled the Western Hemisphere. His stories and lessons illuminate aspects of communications that remain hidden to most people. Vance holds a degree in communications from Marquette University and a Master's Degree in Cross-Cultural Negotiations from the Seton Hall School of Diplomacy.

Event: Animal Care and Handling Conference
Presentation: The Architecture of Stories That Change Hearts and Minds


Kristen Parman

Vice President Membership Services
Livestock Marketing Association

Kristen Parman grew up on a commercial cow-calf and livestock trucking operation in Buffalo, Missouri. After earning a bachelor of science in agricultural business from Missouri State University she joined LMA working with livestock auction markets nationwide overseeing the association’s book of member services, member recruitment and the development and management of LMA’s animal handling and employee training programs. Kristen and her children, Brock (age 8) and Emery (age 6) reside in Smithville, Missouri along with their lovably lazy dog Tank and Bun-Bun the Rabbit.

Event: Animal Care and Handling Conference
Presentation: Communicating with Producers and Livestock Markets for Continuous Improvement in Animal Welfare

Mike Spurgin

Mike Spurgin

National Beef

Mike Spurgin is the Technical Services Corporate Director of Programs for National Beef. His responsibilities includes the oversight of National’s humane handling program in each of their fed-beef plants. Mike has been employed with National Beef for 25 years. Prior to joining the Tech Services group in 2005; Mike was the Beef Grading Manager at the Dodge City facility as well as the Head Beef Carcass Merchandizer in Liberal. Mike has been a certified PAACO auditor for many years. Mike is a graduate of Texas Tech University and grew up on a small cattle ranch south of Dallas, Texas.

Mike and his family live outside of Cimarron, Kansas.

Event: Animal Care and Handling Pre-Conference Workshop
Presentation: Beef Euthanasia: Trucks and Yards

Lily Edwards-Callaway

Dr. Lily Edwards-Callaway

Assistant Professor of Animal Sciences,
Colorado State University

Dr. Lily Edwards-Callaway is currently an Assistant Professor of Livestock Behavior and Welfare at Colorado State University in the Animal Science Department. Originally from the Northeast, with a B.A. in French from Amherst College, Dr. Edwards-Callaway had her first exposure to the agriculture industry, on a small scale, during her time at the University of Rhode Island where she received a Master’s in Animal Science. After finishing her studies, Dr. Edwards-Callaway moved to Colorado, receiving her PhD in Livestock Behavior under the advisement of Dr. Temple Grandin at Colorado State University. Since completion of her graduate work, Dr. Edwards-Callaway has held various roles in academia (Assistant Professor, Kansas State University), the packing industry (Director of Animal Welfare, JBS) and cattle production (VP of Operations, Crystal River Meats) primarily focusing on improving animal welfare in the various management systems. She is involved in industry groups and associations including the Colorado Beef Council and the Beef Quality Assurance Advisory Board to promote and progress the beef industry.

Event: Animal Care and Handling Pre-Conference Workshop
Presentation: Stunning and Sensibility Research Updates

Event: Animal Care and Handling Conference
Presentation: Fact or Fiction: Lessons in Animal Behavior and Handling

Jason Mcalister

Jason Mcalister

Director of Animal Welfare
Triumph Foods

Event: Animal Care and Handling Pre-Conference Workshop
Presentation: FAQ: NAMI’s Animal Handling Guidelines

Dan Thomson

Dr. Dan U. Thomson

Jones Professor of Production Medicine and Epidemiology
Kansas State University

Dr. Dan U. Thomson is a third generation bovine veterinarian from Clearfield, IA. Dr. Thomson received his BS in Animal Science and DVM from Iowa State University. Dr. Thomson completed a MS in Ruminant Nutrition from South Dakota State University and a PhD in Ruminant Nutrition from Texas Tech University.

Dr. Thomson is recognized internationally as a leader in animal welfare, beef cattle production and cattle health management. Dr. Thomson has published 112 peer-reviewed papers and delivered 840 invited talks internationally on his research and field experience on the interactions between production management, environment and nutrition on the health and well-being of beef cattle. Dr. Thomson’s research program has been granted over $35.3 million with $16.0 million of those funds coming with him as the primary investigator.

Event: Animal Care and Handling Pre-Conference Workshop
Presentation: Sedation Techniques in Cattle

Tim Toliver

Corporate Manager Fresh Meats Quality Assurance and AnimalWelfare
Hormel Foods Corporation

Tim is a 30 year employee with Hormel foods serving in multiple different roles in Pork Procurement and Quality Assurance throughout his career. During these 30 years Tim has been directly involved in developing quality management systems,training and auditing for both on farm production and animal welfare and in plant animal handling and welfare for Hormel.

Tim is a PAACO certified auditor and trainer for Meat Plant Auditing and a PAACO certified auditor for on Farm Swine Auditing. Additionally Tim serves on animal welfare committees for both NAMIand NationalPork Board as well as part of the Common Swine Industry Audit Task force.

Event: Animal Care and Handling Pre-Conference Workshop
Presentation: Teaching Sensibility and Stunning to Employees and Management (Pork)

Click here for online registration

Special Accommodations

All NAMI and Foundation for Meat & Poultry Research & Education educational programs are accessible to persons with disabilities. Please let us know your needs in advance if you require special accommodations or auxiliary aids. Please contact us for more information.


Foundation for Meat & Poultry Research & Education is committed to providing an optimal educational experience for attendees. Foundation for Meat & Poultry Research & Education reserves the right to deny admission either in advance or on-site to anyone whom the Institute believes will disrupt the conference or hinder the learning experience. This decision will be based in part upon the individual's history and/or the history of the organization with whom the person is affiliated. If you have any questions about whether or not you will be admitted to the conference, please contact NAMI Vice President of Communications, Sarah Little, 202-587-4263, slittle@meatinstitute.org.

All requests for refunds are subject to a $50 processing fee per person. Refunds will be issued if written notification is postmarked or faxed by September 13th, 2019. No refunds will be given after this date. Substitutions may be made in writing at any time.