Agrilife24.com desk:The Alltech ONE Conference (ONE) opened to a live audience in Lexington, Kentucky, today after being held as a virtual-only event for two years. Alltech’s flagship event continues to be an invaluable industry resource, providing innovative ideas, inspiration and motivation through world-class speakers and unmatched content. ONE welcomed nearly 2,000 international delegates to downtown Lexington, with an additional 5,000 participating virtually.
The ONE Mainstage session began with Dr. Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech, who welcomed the in-person delegates to Lexington and virtual attendees tuning in from around the world, challenging them to think about what comes next as we look toward the future.
“It’s been almost 1,100 days since we were last together and certainly, we know a tremendous amount has changed from social turmoil to a global pandemic and beyond,” Lyons said. “What is this all telling us? What can we step back and think about in terms of how we progress forward?”
Lyons was joined on the ONE mainstage by Heather White, author, founder and CEO of “OneGreenThing,” who brought two decades of environmental advocacy work and national nonprofit leadership to life with her book, "One Green Thing: Discover Your Hidden Power to Help Save the Planet." White offered three steps to make climate action a joyful daily practice. First, think beyond your age and listen. Secondly, find your unique role, and third, apply the daily practice of sustainability.
Following White’s presentation, Lyons spoke to agriculture’s role in saving the planet.
“Reducing is not enough; we must do something different,” said Lyons. “Our belief is that agriculture has the greatest potential to positively influence the future of our planet, to provide nutrition for all and to help rural communities thrive and replenish our planet’s resources.”
The keynote lineup also included Nikki Putnam Badding, registered dietitian nutritionist and managing director of Acutia. Putnam Badding spoke about the crucial importance of making nutrition accessible to all.
“The impact of malnutrition is far-reaching,” said Putnam Badding. “So, is it enough to just feed the world? Do we instead need to focus on providing nutrition for all, thereby changing the dialogue from food security to nutrition security?”
Dr. Vaughn Holder, Alltech ruminant research group director, then shared his insights on how animal agriculture can be part of the solution to improving sustainability.
“We sit at the interface between the main carbon capturing industry in the world and the main food production industry in the world,” said Holder. “Those things are tied closely together and unavoidable. We sit in a unique position to be doing something about the carbon argument. It really is important that we do not talk about compromising one for the other because we have to do both.”
During the opening session, Lyons presented the Alltech Medal of Excellence Award to Dr. Karl Dawson for his advancement of animal science over a career spanning more than five decades. The award further recognizes Dawson’s contributions as an educator, innovator, mentor, scientist and technologist. Dawson became the 31st recipient of the Alltech Medal of Excellence Award and, having previously received the honor in 1992, also became the 1st two-time recipient.
In addition to hearing from the inspiring keynote speakers, ONE attendees participated in live workshops and focus tracks, uncovering the challenges and opportunities in agriculture, business, health and wellness, and professional development.