Alltech’s Global 500 closed Thursday after welcoming dairy and beef producers from 40 countries to Alltech’s home in Lexington, Ky. Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech, closed Global 500 with seven take-home messages:
- The gene chip. What genes are switched on and off by certain nutrients? What is causing obesity? The gene chip is pinpointing again and again what is happening at a genetic level.
- Closing the gap – There are two gaps that need to close. First, we must close the communication gap between ourselves and the consumer. Second, we must close the nutrition gap. Nutrition has not kept pace with genetics; the world is moving on and we need to catch up.
- We have to start on the farm because it is there that we can make huge improvements. It is there that if we learn how to feed the plant that we can make a huge difference. One plant can give you a ton more grain per acre, a ton with higher starch and better protein, translating to more weight gain or more milk.
- We need to remember that the rumen is a fermenter. As we fine-tune this fermenter, we can improve weight gain, lean meat and reduce pollution. The rumen must be fed all day, be it nitrogen or carbohydrate, and this is why Optigen® is such a success.
- Fertility is crucial, and we shouldn’t be culling our animals. DHA is important for animals, and it comes from algae.
- We learned about the perfect steak. It’s nothing artificial; it’s simply about feeding the animal properly.
- Branding is our way of getting our ideas out. Brand beef and milk to set it apart. We heard about the eight rules of branding, but nothing starts until you take the first step. Be relentless, be consistent, be the first.
Instability in the dairy and beef industries did not manage to dampen the spirits of attendees at this year’s Global 500. Instead, there was a consensus that something needed to be done. Speakers focused on what producers could do to regain control of their markets.
Jack Corless, global dairy consultant at Rumsol, advised that farmers “look at components that contribute - a hierarchy of needs: environment, management, agronomy, nutrition. We need to look at how we manage that animal, then look at fermentation, the rumen, the nutrition. Before we look at nutrition, we need to look at environment. Each of these animals has a maintenance cost no matter the cost of production.”