ATLANTA – As the 2012 International Poultry Expo and International Feed Expo draws to a close, sponsors of the even relay that more than 20,500 poultry and feed industry leaders from throughout the world attended. This year’s show attracted 895 exhibitors versus 900 in 2011. The annual Expo, which is sponsored by US Poultry & Egg Association and the American Feed Industry Association, is the world's largest poultry and feed industry event of its kind.

"We are very pleased with the number of exhibitors and attendees on the exhibit floor for IPE/IFE Week," said 2012 USPOULTRY chairman Mark Waller, Ingram Farms, Cullman, Ala. "We have had a great turn-out this year, and the energy and excitement on the floor has been evident."

This year’s main attraction was the exhibit floor where exhibitors touted the newest in equipment, supplies and services used by industry firms in producing and processing poultry, eggs and feed products. All segments of the poultry and feed industry were represented, ranging from live production and processing to further processing and packaging.

Education sessions kept industry management informed on current issues. This year’s educational line-up featured five new programs. The Executive Conference on the Future of the American Poultry and Egg Industry drew an extremely large crowd and featured presentations from Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco Animal Health; Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist for Wells Capital Management; and Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, Under Secretary for Food Safety, Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Sponsors relay that the new Pre-Harvest Food Safety Conference was also very well attended. Known and unknown issues associated with the control of foodborne pathogens in pre-harvest operations were reviewed during this conference. Hagen helped provide the opening comments for the conference.

The Hatchery-Breeder Clinic presented not only information on incubation needs for modern breeds and a disease update for breeders, it also featured a variety of other time-sensitive topics. The Animal Agriculture Sustainability Summit reviewed the challenges and solutions of animal agriculture stewardship. A distinguished panel, including Jim Perdue, chairman of Perdue Farms, and Mike Helgeson, chief executive officer of GNP Company, discussed sustainability implications for the poultry industry.

Three-hundred twenty-five students from 23 universities throughout the US participated in the College Student Career Program. Students soon to graduate interviewed for jobs and internships with 25 industry and allied firms.