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Dr. Dawson offers six steps to a better food chain at Alltech's 30th Symposium

Alltech’s 30th Annual International Symposium which took place May 18-21 in Lexington, KY was a chance to educate ourselves on the food chain for people, animals and plants.

At Alltech's annual Symposium learning was top priority. Karl Dawson, Ph.D.
Diana De Rosa Photo
Lessons learned at Alltech's annual Symposium
Diana De Rosa Photo

There were a host of speakers who shared their knowledge. Among those was Dr. Karl Dawson, Ph.D. who is Alltech’s Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Research.

The focus of his talk was revolutionizing the planet.

“I’m a boring old scientist,” began Dr. Dawson as he focused on the food chain, which was a large focus of this year's symposium. The question you constantly heard mentioned was how are we going to feed 9 billion people, which is what our planet is destined for in 2050.

He offered his six visions on how to do that as follows:

1-The face of farming is changing was his first point noting that we need to recognize what is good quality food. He also talked about the increase in Farmer’s Markets because it helps people to better know where their food is coming from.

2-The age of Big Data is coming to agriculture was next noting that this is happening because new technology is helping achieve this. Dr. Dawson explained that gene expression will help us evaluate traditional manufacturing practices.This allows us to know more about our feed, our animals and critical interactions between food.

3-Predictive models will drive our view of productivity, product value and overall well-being added Dr. Dawson to his list. He clarified this by adding that a lot of decisions about what the farmer will do when caring for his property and animals will take place in front of the computer. This will allow them to test things on the computer screen to ensure they are successful before taking the leap on the farm.

“What if we add something specific into the animals diet,” remarked Dr. Dawson. “What will be the outcome?” He further went on to explain that the foodd chain is affected by so many things day to day, such as the weather. How this affects the products they grow are things the farmer and we need to know.

4-Change the way we eat has been voiced more and more over the years. Eating more vegetables can help but in reality will that happen. Yet another side of this is getting a better return from our animals on the calories invested in them. If every bit of food we/they eat offers us more value than here is an example of how less will be more.

On this topic Dr. Dawson continued noting that “nutrient interaction will undoubtedly drive the diet of the future instead of all that has been promoted in the past.”

5-New standards for nutritional management will drive changes in the food supply chain was the fifth item on his list adding that we need to understand that nutrient interactions define nutritional value.

6-Traceablitiy will drive the food chain and control waste was the final topic that he emphasized.

So much has advanced in the knowledge we’ve already gained over the years and with Alltech’s help we will continue to make great strides in the future. Because of this we now have the ability to integrate innovation across the food supply chain.

Dr. Dawson explained that one of the biggest questions that people want answers to is how do they know what you did with what I am consuming and/or feeding my animals. The world is no longer putting its face in the sand. They are waking up and we want answers. Alltech intends to help get those answers for them.

Founded in 1980 by Dr. Pearse Lyons, Alltech improves the health and performance of people, animals and plants through natural nutrition and scientific innovation. With more than 3,000 employees and a presence in 128 countries, the company has developed a strong regional presence in Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Alltech is the proud sponsor of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy, France. For more information visit

For more about Alltech’s 30th Annual International Symposium visit their web site at For twitter feeds go to #AGFuture.

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