ATLANTA — The American Feed Industry Association’s (AFIA) annual Pet Food Conference will kick off 2022 with a much needed — in real life — dose of content, collaboration and pet food manufacturing-related conversations.

The event takes place in conjunction with the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta. IPPE runs from Jan. 25 to 27 and the Pet Food Conference is Jan. 25 from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta.

The conference offers a full day of industry leaders speaking on important topics that will impact pet food and treat manufacturers, industry suppliers, regulatory bodies and allied academic communities now and in the future. Session speakers include Erin Mies, People Spark Consulting; Matt Frederking, Mid America Pet Food; Thembi Machaba, Freshpet; and Nathan Bingaman, D1 Resources discussing human resource challenges and strategies for the pet food industry. Carolyn Kennedy, EAS Consulting Group, will address pet food labeling regarding human grade versus non-human grade brand claims.

Three separate presentations will offer insights on the regulatory landscape. Gina Tumbarello, senior director of international policy and trade for AFIA, will share some of the support available for those exporting pet food. In addition to an update from Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) President George Ferguson, Dave Edwards, Ph.D., director of the Division of Animal Feeds, US Food and Drug Administration, Center for Veterinary Medicine will provide a federal regulatory update. And tackling a complex topic increasingly in the news, Col. John T. Hoffman, Food Protection and Defense Institute, and Todd Renner, Federal Bureau of Investigation, will share best practices for cybersecurity and prevention tips for ransomware.

In addition to several networking opportunities throughout the day, three graduate students will be presenting papers on emerging issues in the pet food industry, and Scott Baker, SEM Minerals, will have the honor of presenting the AFIA Friend of Pet Food award to this year’s recipient.

For more information and to register, visit the AFIA website at

Read our recap of AFIA’s virtual 2021 Pet Food Conference, including key topics and speakers.

Stay up to date about this and other pet food and treat industry events.