2021 ILC Virtual Event Information


The 2021 International Livestock Congress will be held virtually on March 2-4, 2021, for ILC participants to interact with global industry leaders as they discuss how they are addressing and adapting to the issues created by COVID-19. The virtual 2021 ILC will focus on each of the touch points in the beef chain from production at the ranch level, to the feeder, the processor, the retailer and food service operators to the global consumer as the end user. The adjustments and decisions made by global industry leaders today may well define the future of our livestock and meat industries moving forward.

NOTE:  All time frames in the schedule are in Central Time.

Maintaining the Flow of Beef to Feed the Populace: Production and Processing of the Future – Supply Chain Impacts.
10:00 – 10:05 am Welcome
James O. Reagan, Ph.D., Zoetis, Chairman, International Stockmen's Educational Foundation
Chris Boleman, Ph.D., President and CEO, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Brett Sarver, Chairman, International Committee, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
10:05 – 10:10 am Introduction by Session Moderator: Julie Anna Potts, President and CEO, North American Meat Institute
10:10 – 10:50 am Keynote Address: Changing Landscape of the Beef Industry: What Have We Learned from the COVID 19 Pandemic?
Tom Field, Ph.D., Director, Paul Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program, University of Nebraska
The Pandemic is accelerating change in the food chain that we thought was already fast-paced. The future more so, but in which new directions? From live animals through retail to the restaurant, consumers are making their voices heard. What are the considerable hurdles for the industry in the next five years? [Moderated Q&A Opportunity]
10:50 – 11:30 am Pandemic Impact on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Food Service.
Brad Morgan, Ph.D., Professor, Colorado State University
One of the bottlenecks of the supply chain during the Pandemic was a delivery system designed to deliver large meat packages to the foodservice restaurant/hotel trade. The shift to the retail grocer for home-prepared foods resulted in demand for smaller size delivery of meat. How will the industry prepare for future changes in the market? Will food delivery or store pickup accelerate food delivery directly to the customer as an increasing outlet for meat? Will the delivery/transportation system be available in its present form for rapid delivery to the distributors, or is there change on the horizon? How will this play out in the future? [Q&A Opportunity]
11:30 – 12:10 pm Pandemic Impact on Retail Segment.
John Sauter, Vice President, H.E.B., San Antonio, Texas
Will the retailer demand smaller cuts of increasing quality to meet changing consumer shopping habits? Will the lower pricing of competitive pork and chicken make inroads into the demand for beef? Is the retailer of the future going to reduce shelf space for the competing non-animal proteins? Will there be an evolving role for the "old fashion butcher shop" to attract shoppers into the retail establishment, or is prepackaging here to stay? What changes would the retailer like to see over the next five years? Does USDA Prime beef make inroads into the USDA Choice product mix? [Moderated Q&A Opportunity]
Maintaining the Flow of Beef to Feed the Populace: Production and Processing of the Future – Supply Chain Impacts.
2:00 – 2:05 pm Introduction by Session Moderator: Jason Strong, Managing Director, Meat & Livestock Australia
2:05 – 2:55 pm What Do Plants of Tomorrow Look Like?
Michael Crowley, General Manager Research, Development and Adoption, Meat & Livestock Australia
Michael Lee, Group Manager, Science and Innovation, Meat & Livestock Australia
A significant portion of the industry's beef and pork harvesting segments have consolidated into large meat processing companies. The recapitalization of large legacy plants has resulted in an impediment to replacing the aging facilities. With increased labor costs, will future plants be automated with robotics utilizing artificial intelligence and blockchain tracing? The current design of plants results from the efficient assignment of capital to the hiring of relatively cheap labor. Labor is now moving up the priority list leading to more significant inefficiencies and lowered profitability, a driver for change. [Moderated Panel Q&A Opportunity]
2:55 – 3:35 pm New infrastructure in targeted regional locations leads to a more secure, stronger and re-sculptured cattle/beef Industry.
Jim Pattillo, Pattillo Group, Canada
COVID has served to illuminate the need for strengthening the cattle and beef industry. Improving supply lines while ensuring beef product’s values, security and integrity requires new development of the Industry’s breadth and depth. One such direction is to build new and specific regional cattle/beef infrastructure and enable their related economies. A review of a few of the why, how, and benefits of regional development and how it improves the risks between new mid-sized and huge plants, product quality, consumer demand, and their preferences. New profiles that challenge a host of competitive products will be discussed. [Moderated Q&A Opportunity]
3:35 – 3:40 pm Break
3:40 – 4:20 pm What is the Role of Vertical Integration of the Beef Industry: Cow-Calf to Marketplace?
John Butler, CEO, Beef Marketing Group
The beef industry has resisted vertical integration, primarily due to the high capitalization required. However, there has been an explosion of companies that take the beef from the rancher to the consumer. Branding of the beef allows the rancher and feeder to capture additional returns on their livestock. Will the cooperative arrangements between the seed stock and cow-calf producer and regional processors result in synergistic added value representing a future vertical integration model? [Moderated Q&A Opportunity]
What Does the Future Live Beef Sector Look Like?
10:00 – 10:05 am Introduction by Session Moderator: Jason Sawyer, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Research Scientist, King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management
10:05 – 10:45 am Cattle are Good for Improving an Eco System that is Compatible with Future Global Health: Support for Regenerative Animal Grazing.
Kim Brackett, Idaho Cow/Calf Producer, Brackett Ranches, Three Creek, Idaho
Ranches, particularly in the developed world, provide a place for wildlife and plants that will be destroyed with encroaching development if left to man's whims. Cattle are not the environmental problem as perceived by those with good intentions of protecting the planet. Instead, animals contribute to the recycling of carbon through regenerative grazing returning nutrients to improve soil health. Healthier soils lead to carbon sinks, offsetting urbanization, and generation of carbon. Will the future partnerships between ranchers, non-profits, and government agencies protection of the environment be the model that will make it profitable for ranches to remain in the family long term? [Moderated Q&A Opportunity]
10:45 – 11:15 am Beef Production in Costa Rica: Protection of the Forest, Soil, and Biodiversity Compensates for the Greenhouse Emissions.
Marco Fallas, Director of Projects, CORFOGA
Sergio Abarca, Institute of Technology Transfer & Innovation, Ministry of Agriculture of Costa Rica
According to data from the 2015 Greenhouse Gas Inventory published by the National Meteorological Institute, the emission from enteric fermentation of the Costa Rican cattle herd was 76.47 Gg. The emission from excreta was 1.314 Gg. Currently, the condition of the Costa Rican herd is increasing, and according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses, we increased our herd size from 2015 to 2019 by 319,596 animals. The great challenge is to improve the efficiencies of emissions per kilogram of meat or milk produced, offset this global growth by incorporating more trees in the livestock system, and better manage all natural resources, including the soil and forages. Support by a Genetic Improvement Program allows us to permit herd increases in a sustainable way. [Moderated Q&A Opportunity]
11:15 – 11:30 am Break and Introduction of 2021 International Livestock Congress Student Fellows
11:30 – 12:10 pm Rancher’s Greatest Challenges for Keeping the Ranch Intact.
Michelle and Tony Rossman, Rossman Farms, Oronoco, Minnesota
Will the future accommodate the ranching family's survival that can bring the next generation back to continue to make a living from a cattle operation? Ranching across North America is diverse, allowing a range of options to meet future challenges. Some of those options include changes in the integrated management of the land and cattle. Other activities could include applications of advances in genetic panels, management with drones, joining marketing programs, vertical integration, expansion of a diversity of income streams such as environmental activities, participation with government and non-profits on future issues, and the availability of capital. [Moderated Q&A Opportunity]
12:10 – 12:50 pm Feedlot Future Survivability Challenges.
Ben Holland, Ph.D., Director of Business Development and Operations Analysis, Cactus Feeders
Commercial feed yards are significant contributors to the success of the efficiency of producing a beef product that is the envy of the world. This efficiency contributes to a reduction in the livestock carbon footprint while making cattle a profitable enterprise and, at the same time, producing a product in demand by the consumer at an affordable price. Many beef producing regions of the world are adopting the efficiency of the U.S. commercial feeding industry. Unfortunately, sharp headwinds are spearheaded from the non-animal protein companies, environmentalist and animal welfare groups, and those promoting local production and utilization. What is the future of the commercial feed yard? What is the optimal economic size of the yard? Will there be increased on-farm feeding of grain? Does it include a trend that sees migration to a different location in North America? What is the role of the byproduct feeds of the future? [Moderated Q&A Opportunity]