Summit Highlights

The Animal AgTech Innovation Summit on March 8, 2021 welcomed its largest audience to date with 579 delegates from 35 countries.

The summit was joined by the world’s leading animal health and nutrition companies, livestock and dairy producers, start-ups and investors.

Check out our summit highlights below!


“This was the most effective online conference and platform I have participated in since COVID-19 hit.”
Director of Global Alliances, GROV TECHNOLOGIES

“The quality of content and diverse range of delegates makes this a must-attend event for anyone who is interested in understanding how the landscape is evolving and where the investment deals and dollars are flowing.”

Relive the Action!

Key Takeaways

Animals as the X-Factor

“Healthy animals create a ripple effect that benefits us globally. This decade isn’t a time for animal agriculture, science and innovators need to be playing it safe. Animal agriculture needs to move away from defence and amp up our offence so we can give consumers what they want, give animals what they need and use less of the environment. That’s where the ultimate value is going to come from.”
Jeff Simmons, CEO, ELANCO

Animal AgTech’s Greatest Priorities for 2021 and Beyond

“In the next decade, the food sector will increasingly be faced with extreme and episodic events. We now talk about food security as national security and there are a lot of lessons to be learned from that perspective about how we move products from farms to the consumer.”

“COVID-19 has elevated the importance of one health. The importance of that integrated health message has never been greater. As an animal health company, we are focused on having mechanisms and industry collaborations in place to identify the onset of emerging diseases and then be very quick to react and make sure we are providing effective solutions.”
Abhay Nayak, Executive Vice President, Head of Accelerated Growth Businesses and Strategy, ZOETIS

“The question that gets asked after COVID-19, honestly, is the question of density; how many animals in one area are too many, and if there are things you can do to improve biosecurity. The other part is people’s confidence to go to work, and the amount of labor we have in processing plants throughout the US.”
Bruce Stewart-Brown, Senior VP Food Safety, Quality & Live Operations, PERDUE FOODS

Sustainable Food Starts with Better Breeding

“If we support science and embrace new breeding technologies, we will have more accessible protein for more people and we can create healthier animals and reduce the impact of animals on the planet.”
Elena Rice, CSO & Head of R&D, GENUS

One Health

“From a health and welfare standpoint, we’ll be able to predict outcomes earlier and take more appropriate action. Therefore, by improving welfare, we will be able to reduce antibiotic use by detecting disease earlier and optimizing efficiency and improving overall sustainable business outcomes.”
Ken Opengart, VP Animal Welfare and International Sustainability, TYSON

“Collaboration is key: We have very extensive farm to pharmaceutical value chains, but we always rely on collaborations to be able to bring some of these innovations to life. We are always looking to partner with folks and leverage and utilize our knowledge of pigs, animals, meat and genetics as a real way to bring value to this space.”
Courtney Stanton, President, SMITHFIELD BIOSCIENCE & Vice President, SMITHFIELD FOODS

“We don’t really have a choice if we want future generations to inherit a healthy planet – we have to do as much as we can to switch over through innovation. Seeing how much children are aware of sustainability, these consumers of the future will be very critical of the animal protein they will purchase. They will want to know where it has come from through traceability, how the was animal treated, and the emission levels at the farm.”
Andre van Troost, CEO, LELY

Precision Livestock Farming


“We have so much data coming in and we have enough data, but what we need is more information. So many times, I have heard that they have collected all this data, filled out the reports and put down an estimate of what animal care is. What we really need is something objective, not subjective that pulls all this information together to move it forward.”
Mark Doornink, Vice President of Product Management, VES-ARTEX

“A big problem we all face in this industry is how we get better data from livestock. We need this data to drive efficiencies and help farmers make better decisions to improve genetics. But more and more importantly, we need to monitor and improve animal welfare standards. The industry is under a lot of pressure from the vegan and alternative proteins movement and we need to be able to demonstrate that we can monitor and prove just how good our animal welfare standards are.”
Terry Canning, CEO, CATTLE EYE


“The most promising technologies that we’re currently seeing are focused around automating processes with machine learning. And that has to do with feed health, water quality and growth of species. We’re also seeing tremendous advancements in genomic vaccines and therapeutic development, specifically with ribonucleic acid (RNA).”
Larsen Mettler, Managing Director, S2G VENTURES

“Today, the aquaculture market is in Northern Europe, South America and especially in Southeast Asia for shrimp. We believe we need to locate the insect protein industry near these areas and near to the agro-industry from which we need to recycle products. In this respect, the US Midwest is one of the most attractive geographies for scaling up.”
Clement Ray, Co-Founder, INNOVAFEED

“After 25 years, we are finally able to bring aqua-advantaged, genetically engineered salmon to the market. We are pioneering a sustainable and nutritious future of aquaculture. It is an innovative solution to address growing supply and growing concerns, a safe, sustainable alternative food for the consumer and the planet.”
Sylvia Wulf, President & CEO, AQUABOUNTY

Farm to Fork

“We are making great progress and the pace of technology development and adoption has moved very significantly in animal agtech compared to 10 – 15 years ago. We have implemented DNA projects on a national scale and gained phenomenal returns from farmers.”
Ronan Loftus, Commercial Lead, Data Lab, MERCK ANIMAL HEALTH INTELLIGENCE

Digital Revolution

“There are four trends supporting the digital revolution: rural internet connectivity is increasing; the cloud enables unprecedented data storage; the internet of things is rapidly proliferating; and consumers want to know where their food comes from.”
Robin Dunki Jacobs, CEO, VAS

Launching a Decade of Women in Agri-Food

“It has been well documented that if women have the same access to productive resources like men do in the agriculture sector, they can increase yields on the farm by almost 20-30%. That could in turn reduce the number of hungry people around the world by almost 17%. So, investing in women farmers is not just the right thing to do, but it’s the only thing to do if you want to reduce hunger and poverty.”
Saswati Bora, Head of Food Systems Innovation, WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

Investor Insights

“We need to look at technologies that can reduce the carbon footprint of the animal agtech space. This is becoming critical, and we are now starting to see companies at a very early stage receiving funding, such as groups like Mootral focused on the gut and microbiome and ZELP, which looks at capturing methane emissions in the field.”
Murray McCaig, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, ARCTERN VENTURES

“There is another big bucket of activity that is focused on health, microbials, antibiotics, and vaccines and there are a bunch of deals including Temasek’s investment with Ascus Bioscience in 2019. There are several companies focused on health productivity and sustainability, without traditional chemistry and pharmaceutical products.”
Ben Fishman, Managing Director, CONTINENTAL GRAIN COMPANY


Key Audience Insights

In several sessions, we invited the summit audience to get involved in some of the panel discussions using an audience polling system. The key insights from the audience are below.

Media Coverage

Who's Who of the Animal AgTech Industry?

Here are just some of the global players and industry leaders who joined us at the virtual Animal AgTech Innovation Summit on March 8, 2021:

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