The Washington DC area chapter has been very active this fall. We have had four monthly meeting with four impressive speakers. The meeting speakers were as follows:
Thursday, September 12: Michael Henry, Food and Drug Administration, Center for Veterinary Medicine, Division of Animal Feeds on “Mycotoxins–Past, present and future”.
Thursday, October 11: Rachel Dennis, University of Maryland, Department of Animal and Avian Science, on “The welfare implications of the brain-gut axis (poultry).”
Thursday, November 8, Kasey Moyes, assistant professor in nutritional immunology, Department of Animal and Avian Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, on “Replacements for antibiotics for treatment of mastitis.”
Thursday, December 13: Casey Kinler, communications manager, Animal Agriculture Alliance, Arlington, Virginia, on “College aggies online: Developing life-long advocates for ag.” This talk included a description and function of an alert system that spots people masquerading as a USDA inspector and others invading animal production and processing facilities.
Our speakers for the next two months include, for January, Don Grossnickle, a Maryland dairy farmer, speaking on “What it takes to run an efficient dairy farm today,” and for February, Lowell Randall of Randall & Associates on “Washington update on farm policy.”
We will hold a symposium on April 24 in Beltsville, Maryland, “Myths and realities in modern meat production.” We expect our speakers to cover the following subjects: (1) Meat consumption and health outcomes—myths and reality. (2) Safety of animal products—where are the food poisoning bacteria coming from? (3) Are alternative animal production systems (organic, free range) really producing safer foods or is this another myth? (4) Cage-free chickens—What is the modern interpretation of cage free and what are the animal welfare and disease problems?
We are currently working on recruiting student members. We do offer a scholarship for an animal science student at the University of Maryland and are thinking of offering a similar scholarship at Virginia Tech.