Another Successful Year for the Minnesota Nutrition Conference

The 77th installment of the Minnesota Nutrition Conference was held September 21 and 22 at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel. Over 270 people attended the conference motivated by topics delivered by world-class speakers—a new record in attendance considering the last 15 years of the conference. The main theme for the general session was on “Successful Outcomes Amidst New Antibiotics Regulations”. Speakers were tasked to deliver information on subjects related to the transition to a world with increasing antibiotic feeding restrictions: from what the future may look like without use of antibiotics in animal production, to understanding how probiotics may help reduce antibiotic use, to what strategies we currently can deploy by improving management to reduce antibiotic use. The program ended with a review of what the dairy industry may look like in 2030.

During the second day, the conference was split into 3 sessions: ruminant, non-ruminant and equine. Speakers for those sessions covered topics related to feeding and managing dairy and beef cattle, pigs, poultry and horses in a manner consistent with prudent antibiotic use, coupling corn crop harvest end point and residue use to dairy and beef production systems, manipulating functional food profile of meat and milk through diet, developmental programming, use of novel additives in lieu of antibiotics, and amino acid nutrition of these species. 

For the first time, the Minnesota Nutrition Conference convened a graduate student poster competition. Students were asked to submit posters they may have or will present at an animal or poultry science conference. A panel of 6 judges (4 from industry) reviewed and ranked posters and accompanying abstracts based on scientific soundness, originality, applicability to industry, and presentation. Eight students, 7 from the University of Minnesota and 1 from South Dakota State University, competed. Cash awards were given to the 3 top ranked posters: Divek N.T. Nair, advised by Dr. Anup Kollanoor Johny, placed first, followed by second place Michaela Trudeau, advised by Drs. Jerry Shurson and Pedro Urriola, and Haley Larson, advised by Drs. Marshall Stern and Alfredo DiCostanzo. The Midwest Chapter of ARPAS sponsored the cash awards and also awarded an extra cash award to the top ranking poster submitted by a graduate student who is a member of ARPAS. 

In the photos with the poster winners are: John Goihl and Alfredo DiCostanzo co-chairs of MNC Planning Committee (on left side of photo); Randy Walker, President, CEO of DPI Global and Past President (2016) of ARPAS Midwest Chapter, and Rick Bonander, Business Manager, Upper Midwest for Adisseo (both on right side of photo).  

1st place ($500): Divek V.T. Nair, advised by Anup Kollanoor Johnny in monogastric nutrition

2nd place ($200): Michaela P. Trudeau, advised by Gery Shurson and Pedro Urriola in monogastric nutrition 3rd place ($100): Haley Larson, advised by Marshall D. Stern and A. DiCostanzo in ruminant nutrition

Preceding the conference, our gracious sponsor and partner, Evonik, held a pre-conference symposium on Amino Acid Nutrition in Today’s Environment. Speakers for that symposium were tasked to deliver topics on balancing amino acid supply of diets in dairy cattle, poultry and pigs followed by an excellent discussion on diet mixer accuracy.

Please make plans to attend the 78th Minnesota Nutrition Conference in 2017. Due to remodeling at the current venue, the conference will be held at the Mankato City Center Hotel on September 20 and 21, 2017. Look for preliminary information about the conference and speakers by May 2017. Also, if you have ideas for topics or speakers for the general session or the ruminant and non-ruminant sessions, please be sure to contact Alfredo DiCostanzo ( or John Goihl (