Wandile Sihlobo

Chief Economist, Agbiz, South Africa

Sponsored by:

Animal Feed Manufacturers (AFMA)

Wandile Sihlobo is the Chief Economist of the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa (Agbiz) and the author of “Finding Common Ground: Land, Equity, and Agriculture”.  He is a Senior Lecturer Extraordinary at the Department of Agricultural Economics at Stellenbosch University and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Wits School of Governance, University of the Witwatersrand. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Fort Hare and a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Stellenbosch University. 

Sihlobo was appointed as a member of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Presidential Economic Advisory Council in 2019, having saved on the Presidential Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture from 2018.  He is also a member of the Council of Statistics of South Africa (Stats SA) and a Commissioner at the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC). 

Sihlobo is a columnist for Business Day, The Herald and Farmers Weekly magazine.

Marieta Human

Freelance Communications Consultant, The Clever Club, South Africa

Sponsored by:

Following a 4-year degree in Consumer Science from Stellenbosch University, Marieta Human worked as a food editor for Media24 before being headhunted to the biggest advertising and communications agency in the country.

She immersed herself in the specialist fields of market research, understanding different types of media, public relations, and strategic communication planning. She managed a division as client service director providing research and communication programmes for the former Meat Board, Deciduous Fruit Board, Rooibos Tea Board, Liqui-Fruit and Appletizer, Bokomo, Sasko, and a host of other food and agricultural brands, most recently SA Pork Producers Organisation.   

Her innovative approach in the planning and execution of communication strategies, implementing fresh modalities and systems to gain insight into how consumers think and behave, particularly in terms of food purchase choices, have earned her the respect of many organisations in agriculture and food production.

Marieta is currently a freelance communications consultant.   

Dr Susanne Wiegel

Head of Alternative Protein Program & Investment Manager: Alternative Proteins, Nutreco NuFrontiers, The Netherlands

Sponsored by:
Trouw Nutrition

Susanne Wiegel, PhD, is the Head of the Alternative Protein Program and leading the investments in the alternative protein industry at NuFrontiers, the strategic innovation and investment department of Nutreco, Netherlands. Susanne dedicates her time to exploring business opportunities for Nutreco as a cell feed supplier to the cultivated and fermentation-based protein industry while also building a portfolio of leading alternative protein start- and scale-ups.

Susanne received a PhD in protein biochemistry from the University of Braunschweig, Germany. She broadened her expertise beyond science through strategy consulting with McKinsey&Co. For over a decade, Susanne served as a business development professional in the biopharmaceutical industry, building and commercialising R&D portfolios of human protein therapeutics at the leading European biopharma companies Morphosys and MediGene. The similarity of the underlying technologies for protein therapeutics and alternative food proteins is the basis for her switch into the food and feed sector. Prior to joining Nutreco in her current role, she volunteered with the Good Food Institute, a leading NGO in the field of alternative proteins. Susanne's passion to turn science into business has been the driving force throughout her career, and now fosters the creation of novel, sustainable and healthy protein sources to feed a growing population and their fellow companions.

She has 15 years of presentation experience presenting at scientific conferences, business conferences and speaking engagements on panels.

2020/2021: Nov 2020, KET Virtual; Jun 2021 Future Food Tech

Dr Ahmed Amerah

Global Technical Lead, Cargill Animal Nutrition & Health

Sponsored by:

Ahmed Amerah is a Technology Lead at Cargill Animal Nutrition. He has more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of research areas in poultry nutrition, focusing on feed additives to maximise nutrient utilisation and enhancing dietary quality through a better understanding of interactions between ingredients, processing and economic constraints.

Ahmed has a PhD in Poultry Nutrition from Massey University, New Zealand and he joined Cargill in 2016 as a senior scientist. In 2018 he joined the technology team and led several projects related to feed additives, processing and sustainability. Ahmed is an author for numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles and a regular reviewer for several journals.

Dr Michael Hutjens 

Professor Emeritus, Department of Animal Science, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, United States

Sponsored by:

Mike Hutjens was raised on a Holstein dairy cattle farm near Green Bay, Wisconsin. His bachelor, masters, and PhD degrees were awarded from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

From 1971 to 1979, Dr Hutjens was an extension dairy specialist at the University of Minnesota where he coached the national champion team in 1978 at the World Dairy Expo. Since 1979, he has been a member of the University of Illinois Animal Sciences Departments as extension dairy specialist. He speaks at 60 to 70 meetings at conferences in 46 states, 17 foreign countries, and nine Canadian provinces. Mike writes feed columns for Hoard's Dairyman, Progressive Dairyman, and hosts the Hoard's Dairy monthly webinars.

Award recognitions include the Undergraduate Teaching Purina Award from the American Dairy Science Association, National DeLaval Extension Worker Award, ADSA, Applied Nutrition Award from ADSA, Outstanding Extramural Instructor (University award) in 1993 and 2000, and two citations from the Minnesota Board of Regents.   Mike was president of the American Dairy Science Association. In 2008, he was selected "Service Person of the Year" by World Dairy Expo. In 2009, he received the Award of Honor from ADSA and Fellow, the "Eagle Award" from the IL Farm Bureau Association, the national DHI Service in 2013, and the Dairy Shrine Person of the Year in 2019.

He resides in Savoy, IL, with his wife, Carol, five children, and seven grandchildren. Mike served six years in the U.S. Army Reserve. He retired from the University of Illinois on 31 December 2010.

Vincent Couture

Customer Success Manager, Metex Animal Nutrition, France

Sponsored by:

Metex Animal Nutrition

Vincent completed in 2009 his Master II: Commercial Development Engineer. ICD / IGS Group (International Institute of marketing and distribution). In August 2006 he obtained his Licence & Master 1 Ecology / BGSTU (General Biology – Earth and Life Science) from Paul Sabatier III University of Toulouse.

Metex Animal Nutrition Customer Success Manager (Feb 2020 – Today): Vincent is responsible for development of the new solutions and innovations; market and customer approach: value identification, solutions development, commercial and technical support (Scope: BE, DK, NL, UK, ZA); and marketing: strategy set up, product offer, and action plan implementation at company level.

Lallemand Animal Nutrition: As brand manager from 2017-2020, Vincent focused on marketing strategies and product management of probiotic feed additives; international support: technical training, commercial and marketing support: UK, FR, BE, Eastern EU, Asia, South America; business analyses and local action plans; and management. Vincent served as operational marketing manager Monogastric feed additives range from 2013 to 2016, and as marketing project manager from 2010 to 2013.

Dr Nataliya Roth 

Global Portfolio Manager Microbial Modulation, DSM Animal Nutrition and Health, Austria

Sponsored by:

Nataliya Roth is an expert on antimicrobial resistance and global portfolio lead for microbial modulation at DSM Animal Nutrition and Health. 

She studied at the Academy of Veterinary Medicine in Lviv in Ukraine and graduated MSc in meat processing and technology. She has continued her education at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna and received a master degree in food technology and biotechnology. Nataliya worked for Biomin GmbH that way acquired by DSM in 2020. Last year she investigated antimicrobial use and resistance in animal production worldwide as well as the efficacy of feed additives on the prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria, resistance genes and gene mutations causing resistance to quinolones. In 2019 she has received her PhD degree at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna. Nataliya is the author of several scientific publications in the field of animal nutrition, antimicrobial use and resistance.

Dr Paolo Fantinati

Lead of EMEA Technical Services Managers, Chr. Hansen, Italy

Sponsored by:

Growing up on a farm, Paolo is dually educated as a Veterinarian and PhD in Reproductive Endocrinology of Zootechnical Animals from the University of Bologna. He also owns a Master's Degree in Swine pathology from the University of Milan.

Paolo brings more than 20 years of experience in the industry combining solid field expertise in Ruminants from different suppliers in feed ingredients and different roles. His field of expertise ranges over several topics related to nutrition, management and antinutritional factors in ruminants.

He is the author and co-authors of several Scientific Publications in National and International Journals and a stable contributor in many Italian Farm magazines with over 100 articles.

Before accepting the position of Head of Regional Technical Services & TSM Silage/Ruminant AHN for EMEA (position already occupied in Biomin), Paolo has been working as Head of Global Ruminant Product Management in Chr. Hansen AHN.

Dr Ivan Rychlik

Head of the Microbiology and Antimicrobial Resistance Department, Veterinary Research Institute, Czech Republic

Sponsored by:
Vitam International

Dr Ivan Rychlik holds a PhD from the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic. His main research interests include the characterisation of chicken and pig gut microbiota with special emphasis on identifying gut microbiota members restricting Salmonella, Campylobacter and Clostridium perfringens colonisation.

Dr Rüdiger Kratz

Technical Sales Manager, Agromed Austria GmbH, Kremsmünster, Österreich

Sponsored by:
Vitam International

Dr Rüdiger Kratz holds a PhD from Justus-Liebig University in Gießen (Germany). He is mainly working on development and application of feed based solutions to improve gut development and health as a basis for economic animal production and animal welfare with a strong focus on monogastrics.

Over 35 years of experience in animal husbandry, production of meat products, nutrition, research and the feed industry. International training and support on health-based feed concepts.

Studying human nutrition as main part and feed science and animal nutrition additionally. Started a scientific career in animal science with PhD on the effect of genetic and fat feeding on the meat quality of fattening pigs. The initial position in the feed industry to do feed optimisation and give technical support to the sales team and farmers enabled a strong understanding of the needs of the feed industry to supply feed at standardised quality with the lowest costs. After joining the feed additive industry focus went more to secure animal health by using additives most economically. Since some year it is getting more and more obvious that gut health is key for efficient animal production and is additionally a strong demand from consumers.

Current job profile and responsibilities: Technical sales support for all products produced & sold or distributed by agromed Austria GmbH. This support is dedicated to the technical sales team, customers and farmers. Being the link between the R&R team and market. Contact for researchers and public consultants to develop fibre nutrition for swine and poultry.

Dr Solveig Mendowski

Research and Innovation Project Manager, Valorex, France

Sponsored by:
Vitam International

Dr Mendowski completed her PhD between January 2017 and December 2019, dealing with "Digestive use of treated proteaginous seeds, and their valuation by dairy cows". Her studies were funded by Valorex and led in INRAE at the Mix Unit of Research on Herbivores (Clermont-Ferrand, France). After completing her PhD, she joined the Research and Innovation Team of Valorex in January 2020 to work on ruminant topics as a project manager.

Dr Behnam Saremi

Director of Research Center, CJ Europe GmbH, Frankfurt, Germany, CJ Bio, Germany

Sponsored by:

Dr Behnam Saremi received a BSc in agricultural engineering (animal science) and an MSc in animal nutrition at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Excellent Centre of Animal Nutrition. He received his PhD in nutritional physiology at the University of Bonn in Germany. Dr Saremi worked as a lecturer and researcher and head of research farms, as well as enrolling his private businesses including a feed mill and a dairy beef farm. In January 2013, he started working as manager animal physiology research in Animal Nutrition Research Department in Evonik Nutrition & Care GmbH. In June 2016, he was promoted to senior manager of nutritional physiology research, and in 2017, he was promoted to Head of Animal Nutrition Research Department in Evonik Nutrition & Care GmbH.

Starting in September 2018, Dr Saremi moved to CJ Europe GmbH where his main responsibility is Director of the Research Centre.

Over the past 25 years, his focus has been on raw material evaluation, protein and fat digestion and metabolism, starch digestion, feed enzymes, yeast, and lactic acid bacteria in ruminants, and energy and amino acid metabolism under normal and challenging situations in poultry, swine, and ruminants. In the past eight years, he has expanded his focus to include the functionality of amino acids beyond being building blocks of protein, and he is implementing new techniques such as metabolomics and transcriptomics into farm animal nutritional concepts. He will focus on customer-based technical activities, service development, and new product development in his new role.

Dr Saremi has published more than 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals, two books, numerous technical articles, and more than 120 abstracts in different international conferences.

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